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Finding Concealer Zen: Under Eye Cover Ups, Tools and Techniques from a Tired Girl

Finding Concealer Zen: Under Eye Cover Ups, Tools and Techniques from a Tired Girl

What a time to be alive and also be in love with concealer. 

Extinct are the dry, rock-hard, gluey spackle tubes with the exciting color range of “Light, Medium, Tan, Deep” and lets not forget, “Bland”.  Today, a good concealer delivers major beauty and skincare dividends and is the boost many of us need to put our face forward and put the very well-known fraise into action, Carpe Diem

Here, we share some ephemeral cult favorites, personal favorites, and some unexpected products that help the process along.

Basic Rules: A Surprise Lesson at the Makeup Counter


The right color is every bit as important as the right texture/formula in concealer success. I was so sure I was choosing the right colors, and it took a second set of eyes to tell me I was gravitating to the wrong color and the wrong hue! I weakly protested, but then this expert applied an alternate color, blended, and BAM – I looked fresh and awake.  At a different makeup counter, I also was surprised to learn that thick, dense concealer texture is not the be-all-and-end-all for dry skin. A consultant at the counter insisted that I try a lightweight formula, and again I weakly protested. But the overall effect was subtle and lovely, not opaque and oily. My takeaway here: Even if your makeup self-service skills are decent, enlist a pro, be humble, listen, and try what they suggest. Be sure you’re buying the right color and consistency before you invest! 

So, What Are Some Great Concealers?


For a good while now, there are two at the top of my mind as having ultra-cult status: Clé de Peau and YSL Touche Éclat. The former, at $70, is simply one of the most luxurious cover-ups out there. If Kate Moss sings its praises, well, I’m interested. Touche Éclat has been making the rounds for years and is a double-duty highlighter but I’ve always used it as a concealer with super results. It smells like paradise found, and it’s light as a feather. My personal favorites actually branch out past these icons.  Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer is my stubborn protest against ONLY featherweight concealers; it’s a heavy one and it a little goes a long way. But as its name boldly states, it doesn’t settle into any mini lines, and it’s moisturizing and very eco-friendly. A new favorite lightweight, multitasking concealer is Lancôme Maquicomplet. It truly offers buildable coverage, too.  Exhibit A’s editor Charlene has a Tarte favorite as well: Shape Tape, which delivers matte coverage, smoothing and shaping (!) and advanced natural skincare benefits. Wow!

Products to Help Your Concealers Live Their Best Life


The concealer brush is a wonder tool! The first brush I bought was from Shiseido. With a brush, you can control your concealer application a lot more, and really place and blend product where you need it to go. Use a light touch. Practice brushing. E.l.f.’s concealer brush, at $3, does not disappoint either. Next, some effort at a primer is key; unless you’re blessed with gorgeous oily hydrated skin 365 days year, try not to apply concealer (even a hydrating one) straight onto the area. Believe it or not, I use Blistex Silk and Shine lip balm to prep my desert-dry under eye skin. Or, go for a more high-tech primer like Smashbox Photo Finish or Lancôme La Base get you started off right; a little primer goes a long way. Blend your primer and concealer and it’ll be a successful application. Finally, e.l.f. strikes again with their undereye high-definition powder, which can go on as a final step and makes the entire eye area look amazing. Somehow, your concealer looks its most natural and undetectable, yet a little ethereal, under this ultrafine powder. It’s $1.20 FYI so.. try it.

Veteran Undereye Tips

  • Be not afraid to add on that second layer of concealer a little while after the first for a boost. Your 10am coffee break? Sneak away and sparingly add some more concealer. I even smooth on a second layer of primer over the first layer of concealer, and always admire the refreshed results.  On couple of hopelessly tired days, around 2pm, I’ve unapologetically applied a third – yes, a third – primer and concealer dose and thanked myself for it.  
  • I also swear by Garnier’s de-puffing under eye roller at least five minutes before I even think about applying concealer; it evens the canvas. You can hide dark under eye color, but you can’t hide puff, trust me I’ve tried. Or, use Madonna’s trick: the de-puffing power of a frozen metal spoon.    
  • As far as WHERE to put your concealer exactly, less is often more. Do not feel compelled to cover your entire under eye real estate with concealer.  Play around and take a few selfies in different lights, to determine where you only truly NEED product. Too much concealer, covering too much space can absolutely make us look more tired, and more made-up.
  • Lastly, I suggest putting your own body temperature to work, for a great concealer application. Let the concealer ‘melt’ on your skin a little before blending. A theory and practice similar to makeup baking, dot on that first layer of concealer and let it sit for a few minutes. The warmed concealer ends up a much more spreadable texture, and seems to look better as it spreads around. 

There you have it: some high end and inexpensive tools and ideas to boost your morning beauty game! Walah!


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