Makeup Tip: How I Cover My Under-Eye Circles

Products I use daily to cover my under-eye circles, clockwise from the top: MAC Fast Response Eye Cream, Giorgio Armani Master Corrector, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, Real Techniques Setting Brush, and Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.

I am not a makeup artist. But after almost 20 years of doing my own makeup, I like to think I've learned a thing or two. When I was younger, covering my acne was my top priority. I had it pretty badly for a lot of years—but after three rounds of Accutane (yes, three—that's 12 months in total), that issue is, thankfully, under control. These days, I'm focused more on at least achieving the illusion of healthy, glowing skin—and Uncle-Fester-like under-eye circles are neither healthy nor glowing! 

It literally took me years of trial and error to figure out what worked best on me. I hope, that in sharing these lessons with you, I'll save you some time, and you'll be able to look young, awake, and well-rested by this time tomorrow!

Here are the lessons I've learned, and what I use to hide my under-eye circles:

1) Prep is key. The skin under your eyes is delicate and prone to dryness, and you've got to take care of that if you want your makeup to look right. You can hide colour, but not texture, meaning you want to start with a hydrated, smooth base. 

My weapon of choice: MAC Fast Response Eye Cream. It comes in a tube (so much more hygienic than the pot packaging of most eye creams, which I just don't get), and in addition to brightening and hydrating, it smoothes the skin under my eyes like a primer would. 

2) Do colour correct. Not colour correcting, in my experience, leads to two problems: a) Way over-highlighting your under-eye area, which is just not pretty. I have a few too many photos of myself with whitish stripes under my eyes. *Shudder* b) Making your under-eye area look ashy rather than healthy. The solution for ladies with noticeable under-eye circles is to counteract the colour first, and then conceal. If you're like me and you're fair with blue under-eye circles, you'll want to use a peachy or salmon-coloured tone. Have you seen the video going around that advocates using red lipstick under your eyes? Same idea—it's simple colour theory, but for darker-skinned ladies. Don't be swiping your Lady Danger under your eyes if you're fair. Stick to salmon. 

My weapon of choice: Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in Pink. It's a replacement for my beloved Chanel Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen. The colour is very similar, but you get more hygienic packaging (a brush instead of a pen) and more product for less money. 

3) Do not use the same concealer for under-eye circles that you do for blemishes. During my years of battling acne, I found the best concealer for pimples was, hands-down, MAC Studio Finish Concealer. It's easy to apply, long-lasting, and insanely pigmented. But it's also thick, and can absorb moisture. Good for pimples. Bad, bad, bad for under-eye circles. It can look cakey and dry, and we don't want that.

My weapon of choice: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla. It's brightening, hydrating, and all-around amazing for under-eye circles. 

4) Blending is vital. We don't want loads of products under our eyes—in addition to creasing, it can make us look older. Yuck. So the key is to apply very thin layers of product and tap them in rather than swiping them around. I've tried brushes, which are fine, but I find they absorb and move more product than I would like. Try a few different tools and see what you like.

My weapon of choice: My fingers, followed by the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I tap a thin layer of corrector followed by a thin layer of concealer under my eyes with my ring finger, and "bounce" to a natural finish with a dampened sponge. Remember to layer—simply mixing the products together won't work as well. 

5) Setting is also vital—but don't use the same powder you use for your face. Unless you're about 12 (or you use a lot of Botox?), the skin under your eyes is going to move throughout the day—smiling, scowling, shrugging, etc. It's normal for our faces to move. It's therefore not realistic to expect a cream or liquid product to stay put, crease-free, without a little help. This is where some well-chosen and well-placed powder comes in handy. Now, you don't just want to pick any powder—many of us use powders that aborb oil to keep our complexions matte throughout the day. You don't want anything that absorbs moisture under your eyes—you'll start to look crinkly and aged very quickly! You also probably don't want anything tinted—I've found that can look a little funky and over-pigmented. Go with something very finely milled and translucent—ideally something with light-reflecting properties. Then, apply a teeny-tiny amount with a soft brush. Not too much—over-apply powder and you'll end up with that dry, crepey look that no one likes.

My weapons of choice: Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder applied with a Real Techniques Setting Brush. The LM powder is translucent, finely milled, and brightens the under-eye area without being shimmery. The RT setting brush is soft and sparse enough that it doesn't pick up too much powder. First, I give the pot a bit of a shake—just enough for a very light dusting of powder to settle on the inside of the lid. Then I unscrew the lid and swipe half of the inside with my brush and pat gently for one eye. Then, of course, I repeat on the other eye. Make sense?

Here's what the finished product looks like on me.

Left (your left): Concealed using the products and steps mentioned above. Right: Au naturel. 

Note that the natural sunlight is making my un-concealed circle look much less blue than it actually is. (You can see more realistic depictions of my Uncle-Fester-ness here and here.) 

Here's the rundown:

I hope this was helpful! Please share your tips and tricks in the comments. If you try the method and/or tools above, let me know what you think! 

Disclosure: All of the above products except for the RT sponge were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. The sponge was provided by PR for my consideration.

Chanel Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen: My Review and Photos

Chanel Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen.

My friends, I'm writing today with news of a miracle. I kid you not.

It began a few weeks ago when I was offered a complimentary makeover at Chanel. (Um, yes please.) I signed up for a friend and I, thinking I'd never buy anything—Chanel's prices are just too much for me to purchase more than an item or two per year (and I'd reached my annual quota with Taboo nail polish and Le Volume mascara—oops). But who can resist getting their makeup done, right?

My friend watched as the associate did my makeup from scratch. Her face pretty much mirrored my feelings. "Grossly overpriced facial lotion. Ho hum. Grossly overpriced foundation. Whatever.... "

Then the associate whipped out Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen and applied it on and under my eyes. 

My friend's face immediately registered the dramatic difference. "Now that's impressive," she said.  

And it really, really was. My undereye circles, which are large and purple and probably my biggest complex, were GONE. And the skin didn't look flat or cakey or overly light. It skin. Luminous, beautiful, perfect skin. 

I felt sick to my stomach. How could I shell out more than $40 for a concealer—even a miracle concealer? Perhaps the more appropriate question was how could I not?  I made it out of the store, but I was sunk. I was back within hours shelling out $40 plus taxes for the product in 30 Beige Rosé. 

It still hurts a little. $40-plus for 1.2 ml of product is insane. Even insulting. But the stuff is incredible.  

It applies with a little brush at the end of a tube. You need to click to dispense the product into the brush. The first time you use it, you'll need to click quite a few times to push the product into the applicator, but once it's there, I find one or two clicks per eye is plenty.  I stroke it under each eye, wait a minute or two (the associate said that the longer I waited for it to set, the more coverage I'd get), and gently pat it in—it blends quickly and easily, virtually disappearing into the skin and leaving perfection behind.

Some aren't a fan of this application method for sanitary reasons. Personally, although I hate that you can't see how much is left (Chanel doesn't want us to see the pathetically small amount of product they're selling us), I like the applicator—it minimizes waste, which, for a product this pricey, is key. 

Let me show you: 


Chanel Éclat Lumière in 30 Beige Rosé.

Chanel Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen in 30 Beige Rosé.

My eyes, sans concealer. I prepped the skin with MAC Fast Response Eye Cream (love) and a very little bit of primer and foundation—my undereye circles are even darker than this. (It sucks.) 

Chanel Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen in 30 Beige Rosé applied under one eye. Normally, I wouldn't choose a concealer this colour—but the salmon tone really does a fabulous job of colour correcting.

Chanel Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen after a minimal amount of blending. See the crazy difference?

I truly wish I were a skilled enough photographer to make these photos do the product justice—but I'm not. The skin under my eyes looks beautiful and luminous—I haven't been able to find that with any other concealer. It also wears very well throughout the day with minimal creasing. I never feel the need to reapply.

I did try a similar product by Laura Mercier a couple of years ago—it was luminous, but far more sheer. It was meant to be used with concealer, but the two products just didn't play well together for me.

Note that Chanel Éclat Lumière works beautifully with my MAC Studio Finish Concealer, which I usually pair it with in an effort to use less of the Éclat Lumière. You'd better believe I'm hoarding every drop! The sales associates said it would last anywhere from a month (yikes!) to three months (slightly less appalling). It remains to be seen how I'll fare.

Would I repurchase? I want to say no. It's just so expensive. But if I can't find something else that performs similarly, I probably will. It's that good. 

Rating: Four stars out of five for the price ($40) and the small amount of product (1.2 ml). By comparison, Clinique's Airbrush Concealer, which is similar but doesn't cover as well, is $26 for 1.5 ml—about half the price.

Available: You can find it at, Hudson's Bay, Holt Renfrew,, and anywhere else Chanel cosmetics are sold. I paid $40 Canadian, but I've seen higher prices reported elsewhere.

Have you tried Chanel Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen or anything else by Chanel? Is it worth the hype and the price, in your opinion?

Disclosure: This product was purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. This post may contain affiliate links.


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