Wednesday, 13 April 2016

How to conceal purple under eye circles

Excuse the creepy peeping eye (left)!
One of the trials and tribulations of us make-up and beauty obsessed individuals is the curse of dark under eye circles. Let's put things into perspective before I begin: this is a real first world problem. A completely vanity-induced issue- but then again, having the knowledge to correct (or improve) this area of make-up application can give you a lot more confidence and project that you are actually part of the living world, even when you feel like a bit of a hag!

I have purple under eye discolouration which shows up splendidly through my pale skin. Using colour theory, I have learned that yellow concealer can brighten this area and counteract the purple tones. Equally, bluish tones can be corrected using peach or orange-toned concealers which I also use. I have experimented successfully with two yellow concealers recently and wanted to share my results because colour correcting is currently being talked about a lot in the beauty community. Make-up artists have been using this theory for decades, but what can the average consumer achieve with it? 

As you can see, the colour wheel shows how skin tone issues can be corrected with the opposite facing colour. There is much hype about this technique at the moment and many products are now on the market that suggest they have the potential to correct redness (green concealers), sallowness (lilac tones) and under eye circles (orange, yellow and even red shades). For under eyes, I have found a cream concealer works best for me. This is because they adhere well to the skin and pack plenty of pigment- something I need! Saying that, I am a bit crepey under the eye, so careful application to the area of concern only is how I apply. I find that careful blending with the heat of my ring finger and a small dab of powder once I have applied some Nars Creamy Radiant concealer in Vanilla works well. 

So what brands do these yellow concealers come from?


In terms of consistency, the Isadora concealer has a little more slip to it compared to the Mac Pale Yellow concealer. This can make it more wrinkle-friendly although there isn't really a lot in it. Both can crease if plastered on and not blended or set properly. The Mac is paler, but still does a lovely job at both brightening and counteracting purple discolouration. I was not really making use of the Mac yellow shade until I started using it under my eyes recently, but this palette is so cute and useful for concealing anything from blemishes to dark patches. Isadora is a Swedish brand which is available at Feel Unique. The 'Neutral' palette is lovely and even contains a cream highlighter. Other colour options are available, including tones for darker skins from Mac and ones with green and lilac-toned correctors from Isadora

You can see my concealing process to the right. The first picture shows my skin before any retouching. Bear in mind that my under eyes can look quite a lot darker in person, particularly in artificial lighting conditions (the natural daylight photography has been kind to me!) In the second photo the Mac concealer is on the left and on the right is the Isadora. The bottom photo shows the correctors blended out before I applied some skintone colour concealer (Nars) and powder over the top.

Having experimented a lot with concealing my under eye area, a few conclusions I have come to are:
  • The right consistency of product is key (too watery and I needn't bother; too heavy and I can come off looking cakey and wrinkly)
  •  Orangey tones can 'knock out' blueness but require layering with skintone coloured concealer over the top; yellow tones are the most brightening and require less product to be applied over the top- therefore less 'creping'
  • The trend for under eye 'baking' (applying heavy doses of powder and leaving to set) is not for those with laughter lines, unless you want to look like Miss Havisham
  • No amount of product can completely turn back the clock and give me the under eyes of my youth- but that's ok with me!
Do you use any products to conceal your under eye circles?
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