Dark circles: every woman’s nightmare! I know it is one of my worst. The last thing a woman needs to see in the mirror when she gets up in the morning is those telltale dark spots under her eyes, making her look like an MMA wrestler. Go out with dark circles, and you’re bound to get sympathetic looks from friends and family –‘poor thing hasn’t been getting much sleep of late’ kind of looks. And it will, in all likelihood, make you want to scream. You can avoid all of this with a few simple makeup tricks. But first, let’s understand what dark circles exactly are, and what causes them. the first step towards taking care of any health or skin problem is to understand what it is, and what causes it.
Periorbital dark circles are dark blemishes around the eyes which are caused by:
- Lack of sleep leading to fluid buildup and prominent vessels and tissues
- Hereditary reasons
- Allergies, asthma, eczema
Now that we know what dark circles are, let’s see how we can hide them with some clever makeup tricks.
Cleanse and Moisturize
Use a gentle cleanser and cold water to wash your face; splash some cold water repeatedly at the end. This decreases blood flow, reduces the puffiness and minimizes the dark circles. Next, apply a moisturizer over your entire face. Next, dab some eye cream or moisturizer into the under-eye crease – take care to stay clear of your eyelids. This step will help you apply the makeup more evenly.
The primer will lend an even, smooth appearance to your skin, and your makeup will last longer too. You can either use it by itself or apply foundation over it. You can apply the primer on your entire face, using an applicator, a makeup brush, or just your fingers – pretty much like you would apply foundation. Look for a primer that is ideal for your skin tone:
- You need a moisturizing primer if you have dry skin
- An illuminating primer works wonders for people with dull, lackluster skin
- Choose matte primer if your skin is oily
- Color correcting primers are also available – match it to your skin shade. For example, if your skin is reddish, opt for a green tinted primer to neutralize it.
Applying foundation is of course, an important part of concealing dark circles. Be sure to choose a foundation that suits your skin type and tone. Apply it in moderation; after all, it is a base for the concealer. Foundation will not help to hide your dark circles on its own. What’s more, when you have a layer of foundation on your face, you can go easy on the concealer, and achieve a more natural look.
Bonus Tip: Powder foundation is much easier to control; it lets you target your dark circles more efficiently.
Most experts recommend a concealer that is one shade lighter than your skin color; however, Sarah Coffin a NARS Stylist with nine years of experience, is of the opinion that your concealer should be a perfect match to your skin color. You may need to try both and see what works best for you. Start at the eye’s corner near your nose, dabbing bits of concealer under the eye, right up to the outer corner. Apply the concealer on to the eyelid as well, to get an even tone all over your eyes. Next, using a makeup brush or your finger, gently tap the concealer till it is well blended into the skin.
Bonus Tip: Rubbing the concealer will not give you even, smooth coverage – so always tap, never rub.
If the dark circles are still visible:
- You may need color correcting concealer. This needs to be done before you apply foundation and your usual concealer.
-Those with very fair skin may need a peach-tinted concealer to neutralize the bluish tones
- Those with medium skin should try the orange tinted concealer
- If you have dark skin, you can try the dark orange or red tinted concealer
- You may need a yellow tinted concealer if your dark circles are kind of purple
- Try using a concealer stick which is usually thick and creamy, as it is capable of covering dark areas better; however, if you have oily skin, you’d do best to stay away from stick concealer and try a liquid concealer instead.
- Those who need more coverage need to purchase a concealer that provides opaque coverage – others can opt for sheer coverage concealers if they want.
Bonus Tip: Use a bit of powder to set the concealer. Use a puff and dab powder generously, and then very gently, press the puff over the region where you have used the concealer – it helps to improve the coverage, and also makes the concealer last longer. However, if your skin is very dry, you may want to skip this step.
Blending is Important
Make sure that you blend really well – especially at the edges. Check and double-check to ensure that the concealer is not visible at the edges. If you feel it is peeping out, continue applying the rest of your makeup, and blend once more. Try using a different concealer shade on your forehead and cheeks – something that comes between your actual skin tone, and the eye concealer.
Liven it up with Eye Shadow
Why stop with just concealing your dark circles? Create additional drama with shimmering beige or white eye-shadow . Apply this to your ‘tear duct’ area – the corner of your eye close to the nose. This gives the appearance of brightness, and makes you look lively and fresh – and you’ll make heads turn. It helps that this little touch draws attention away from your under-eye darkness.
Bonus Tip: Apply a teensy bit of white eyeliner underneath the shadow for long-lasting effect.
Don’t Ignore your Lashes and Eyebrows
Eyebrows help to frame the face – make sure your brows are plucked into shape; use an eye pencil and brush to define them and make them prominent. Likewise, use mascara or eyelash curler to make your eyelashes more prominent and beautiful. Well defined brows and lashes help to draw the attention away from under-eyes.
You may not always have the time for an elaborate makeover, so here are some quick and easy methods to hide those unsightly blemishes:
Use bright red or orange lipstick
I kid you not! This particular method was suggested by beauty vlogger Deepika Mutyala; she found out that it has been used by beauty pageant contestants and models for years. It’s pure genius actually – and uses science! Of course, you need to be prepared to look like a scary horror movie character when you’re actually putting on the lipstick . So she recommends that you use a clean makeup brush, dab it on your lipstick and apply the color under your eyes; you may need to go through a trial and error method before you find out the right amount of coverage. The science behind it is that, as red/orange are directly opposite blue/green on the color wheel, they cancel each other out! (your dark circles are actually bluish green, because of the veins that puff up and appear prominent). Once you’re done with the lipstick, you can continue with concealer and blender to lock in the color.
Full Coverage Concealers
If you’re in a hurry, travelling, or so on , keep a full coverage concealer. The creaseless concealer ensures that the dark lines are minimized and the finishing concealer renders a matte, smooth finish. Of course, be prepared to shell out some extra bucks for these wonder concealers.
Don’t let dark circles spoil your beauty sleep – attack them with all the ammunition we’ve just given you, and look your beautiful self again!