1. Apply Foundation--I suggest applying foundation first so that's less area you have to cover up later. I used Bare Minerals Brightening Serum Foundation.
2. Brighten--If you need more coverage than just foundation, then try brightening the area underneath eyes. FYI--I skipped that step here. I like to use a liquid or creamy brightener, like the Instant Age Rewind Eraser for Dark Circles from Maybelline. I apply it in an upside-down triangle from underneath my eyes to a little less than halfway down my cheeks. Blend it in using clean fingers, a face brush, or dampened makeup sponge. Also Try: Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Pen ($), MAC Primed for Perfection ($), YSL Touche Eclat ($)
3--Correct--For many, brightening will suffice, but not me! It's time to get serious and do some color correction. This is a crucial step is covering those circles. You'll want a corrector in a salmon, peach, or orange shade, depending on your skin tone. These look like concealers, but will be in the colors mentioned previously. When I was younger, I used to try to make my own using a coral lipstick and concealer. Luckily, there are several options that deliver with results:
I have not found a drugstore version of these that I have found suitable, so a corrector is a splurge item. To use, simply apply on just the dark circle and blend to counteract the darkness. You are not doing any sort of highlighting here, like in step 2. Don't forget the inner corners. For fair skin, try the salmon-colored corrector from Pixi Beauty ($$), available at Target. Also Try: Bobbi Brown (huge range of shades $$), Eva Pearl ($S), Bare Minerals ($$), Benefit Erase Paste (best for light, medium, and dark $$). For very deep skin, try the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk.
5--Set--If you have oily or combo skin, you'll definitely want to set all of that work, using a loose powder, like one from Laura Mercier ($$). Dust a small amount amount under eyes to set. I like placing a layer of tissue or napkin under my eyes and dusting the powder on top of that. Sounds crazy but it works. Also Try: ELF HD ($), Maybelline Mineral Powder ($), Ben Nye ($$), NARS ($$)
- Don't forget the inner corners of eyes near the top of the nose--those can be dark too!
- While my pinkie is pictured above, try using your ring finger to blend in. I am pictured here with my pinkie, but the ring finger is most gentle. I also suggest a dampened beauty sponge.
- I don't recommend yellow to brighten unless you have a very dark complexion.
- If you're going to be around flash photography, skip any HD powders. These photograph well as long as there is no flash involved!
Here's the before and after. My circles are much worse than pictured! My skin was not Photoshopped in any way (I think that's pretty obvious, but just stating it). I specifically used--
- Smashbox Pore Minimizing Primer
- Bare Minerals Brightening Serum Foundation
- Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach
- Note: This can crease, so be sure to blot with a tissue after applying.
- Also, there is a BB Concealer Kit that has a concealer and corrector.
- MAC Concealers (I mixed a couple to get my skin tone)
- ELF HD Powder
- Pla Beauty Fall Collection