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How to Use Under Eye Corrector

concealer and corrector review series

Back when I was entering my 3rd trimester, I was thinking about what topics I would be interested in covering shortly after my daughter arrived. I would need something interesting enough to spend a little time on it, rather than simply staring at the baby. (She’s super cute as she sleeps! Obviously I must watch this for hours!)

Anyways, I decided that the things I would be most interested in would be speeding up my routine to get ready in a jiffy (hence, spending even more time staring at the baby) and looking for ways to look awake while I do so. I started to work on a concealer review series. A lot of my favorite brands have decided to participate, from Revlon and Cover Girl to Estรฉe Lauder, Elizabeth Arden and even QVC favorite Dalton! The series currently has over 20 concealers, and will go on for quite a while. Watch for a new concealer review every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share what info I have in my brain about undereye circles and taking care of them to look more awake. I’ve accumulated a lot of little tips over my years of beauty blogging, but most of them came from being a beauty obsessed medical student and resident. So, this post is ~90% reviewing covering up undereye circles.

Under Eye Prep
More so than discoloration, what women usually complain about is the bags under their eyes. There are a ton of reasons for the bags, ranging from genetic (aka- just suck it up and deal) to too much salt intake. Basically, there is excess fluid there. You can help minimize this by sleeping with your head up a little or by monitoring your salt intake. If you have time, tighten up the area and sooth the skin with a cold Chamomile tea bag or a cool eye mask. Cold/cool to the touch is what you want, not something really cold as this could damage the area or actually impede the fluid drainage, which negates the whole purpose.

Next, you’ll want to moisturize the area to prepare for the next step- makeup. Everything will apply much more smoothly with the area well prepped. I admit to skipping this step and then always regretting it later. A well moisturized area allows the makeup to blend more easily and not look caked or sink into lines as easily. You can do this with a great eye cream (check out what Dr. Cynthia Bailey recommends in eye creams), I personally always look for caffeine as an ingredient to help tighten the whole area. I’m currently loving the Estรฉe Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye. If your preferred eye cream doesn’t help quite enough, consider a product like Per-fekt Beauty Eye Perfection Gel, which has a very light coverage, light reflection and prepares the area for concealer as well. I haven’t written reviews for either of these products yet, but watch for full reviews soon.

undereye correctors
Color Correction
This is definitely the step that about 95% of women skip. This is a big mistake. By correcting the color with a light layer of corrector, you will need a lot less concealer. It will look less cakey. It will last longer. It will look more natural. Oh, and it will take less time. Have I convinced you yet?

First, you’ll need to take a good look at your under eye area and be honest with yourself. What color are those circles? Are they purple? Orange? It really depends on your skin tone. Mine are frequently red, though on occasion they will appear a bit purple (which is what color the circles are for most white women).

Once you’ve picked your color, take a gander at the color wheel. You’ll want to color correct with the color that is directly opposite. The darker your skin tone or the more intense the underlying color is that you are trying to correct will require a more vividly colored corrector. Correctors shouldn’t scare you, the majority of them available are actually skin toned, but with a little tinting in one direction. And that little bit of tinting really does make a big difference!

You’ll find correctors at pretty much every price point, though they can be difficult to find in stores. My current favorite correctors are from NYX and FACE Stockholm. Cover Girl also has one with peach tinting available from their Ageless Line (I like it, but I need a green corrector usually, hence it isn’t my “favorite”). Simply apply with a light touch over the area that needs color correcting, patting lightly with your ring finger.

Finally, concealer! When looking for an undereye concealer, you want 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone or foundation, easy blending and long lasting. Obviously you also don’t want it to settle into fine lines and look cakey, but hopefully you’ve followed the previous steps and made this much less likely. Personally, I like a well pigmented undereye concealer as well, especially since I have a visible capillary under my left eye that can be very hard to hide. I like to use very light layers of concealer and build my coverage as I go.

The picture above is one I took a few months ago, I’ve blown it up to show you exactly where I apply each product. It has not been photoshopped, though I must have had some good lighting that day since I usually have a little more circle.

The dark pink area is where I usually apply my corrector, as this is the area of the most intense discoloration. You should apply this only in the area of discoloration, if you go outside of this area then you’ll be tinting the other areas. Not good!

I then apply light layers of concealer in the area of the lighter pink, patting with my ring finger and being sure not to smear or tug as this will just remove product. Notice that I bring the concealer up into my inner eye area, up to my lower lash line and even down onto the side of my nose. A makeup artist for Laura Mercier once told me that most women ignore those areas, but without applying concealer there and then blending it out you basically have wasted your time. The concealer will make you look most awake and look the most natural if you apply to these areas as well and blend outwards.

I didn’t really draw this area as a triangle (with the points being the nostril, and then each corner of my eye), but it almost is (yes, like all of those pins on pinterest!) The reason I didn’t draw it that way is that by the time you get down to your nostril, you really should have your concealer pretty thinned out and blended in. If you start out trying to get a lot of concealer in the nostril area and around your outer eye corner, the concealer is going to accentuate every little pore, blemish, wrinkle or dry spot. Not good! So, concentrate the concealer in the light pink area and blend outwards in that inverted triangle.

Finally, set the whole area with powder for staying power!

Concealer and Corrector Guide
Read more in my Concealer and Corrector Guide, you’ll find a lot of great tips, tricks and product reviews!

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About Me

Iโ€™m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

Leave a Comment


  1. 4.20.11

    Whoo-hoo! What a great series Christine! I look forward to reading all of your posts! Oh, and of course, I adore your cool graphic!!! My dark circles fall in the blue-purple range so I always look for a peach-tinted concealer/correctors. Great and informative post! You rock! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 4.20.11
    Christina said:

    I'm super excited for this set of reviews! I have broken blood vessels all over my face and have the hardest time finding how to cover them up. I always feel like a green corrector/primer is too much to use all over my face when my redness is fairly individual spots, but maybe I will give it a try. Looking forward to future reviews!

  3. 4.20.11
    Liz said:

    Im really looking forward to seeing more reviews for this series! This post was really informative, for years I've always been worrying about my under eye circles. I have under eye circles due to genetics. My under eye circles are kind of red so Im going to give using green correctors a try. Thanks!

  4. 4.20.11
    Lindsey said:

    I'm so excited for this series! I definitely want to try using a corrector. Is NYX sold in drugstores, or is it a Sephora/department store brand?

  5. 4.20.11
    Christine said:

    I'm happy everyone is so excited about this series! I'm trying a huge range of products out, from Revlon, Almay and Hard Candy up to MAC, Estee Lauder and Elizabeth Arden!

    Lindsey- NYX is a mass market/drugstore brand. I've found they have the biggest selection at ULTA, but I've seen them sold at places like Meijer as well. I've never seen the correctors in store though, I bought a set of them on one of the Sample sale sites a few months ago. Your best bet is to order from NYX's web site directly (the link above will take you directly to the product), but for $5.50 you will get a lot of corrector!

  6. 4.20.11
    Anonymous said:

    I found this entry so helpful! I have always wondered about concealer, but had no clue how to use it. I'm very excited for your reviews and trying things out!

  7. 4.20.11

    Great post! I am looking forward to reading all your concealer reviews…..thanks!

  8. 4.21.11
    janelle said:

    Awesome post THANKS!

    My concealer is my life!!
    Although all my year sdoing makeup I never put moisturizer on before the concealer..I wll do that!!


  9. 4.21.11
    Anonymous said:

    I am very much looking forward to your concealer reviews. I am presently using Bobbi Brown corrector and MAC concealer. Both are very good products, but I am always looking for the holy grail of concealers. I am always on the lookout for a better product.

  10. 4.21.11

    This post is the absolute definitive how-to for concealing under eye circles! The color wheel and graphic are fantastic illustrations and I'm eager for your review series. I'm sending my readers and patients who have under eye problems here to become their own pros. It's also a treat to see you reference the post with my comment too. Cheers!

  11. 4.21.11
    Santica said:

    Good post about concealers. I think a number of woman will probably appreciate your section on color correction.

  12. 4.21.11
    Christine said:

    I'm so happy everyone loves this post! It took me forever to write, though that was partly my fault. I may have accidentally erased it once! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Cynthia- I am constantly referencing that post! For something that really was you just leaving a comment on one of my posts, it's become one of my most popular posts and I'm constantly looking at it myself. Hope you're doing well!

  13. 4.23.11
    Amy Lynn said:

    Well I am a little late to the game here, but I agree with everyone that this sounds like a fantastic series and I am really looking forward to reading it! If you are still soliciting ideas for what to include in these review, I think it would be very helpful if you provide information about other benefits these concealers include, such as anti-aging ingredients, caffeine, sunscreen, etc. And/or claims the manufacturer makes about the product and whether you think it lives up to them! Thank so much for this valuable series!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 4.23.11

    This sounds like a great series! I'm always on the lookout for a good concealer, and hopefully you'll save me some trial and error!


    Lipstick Musings

  15. 4.23.11

    I've just discovered your blog and this series… it looks so interesting so I guess you gained a new follower ๐Ÿ˜€
    Concelear is one of my best friends, but I've got a dry area under my eyes and this makes the usage not so simple… so I've tested tons of stuff too ^^

  16. 4.24.11
    Leslie said:

    This sounds like an exciting series! Here's a question though, what if your undereye circles are primarily brown? Since brown is a mixture of all the primary colors, it doesn't have a complementary color, so what would work to correct it? I have a light to medium skin tone with yellow/olive undertones and I've always wondered this but have yet to see anyone address it.

  17. 4.24.11
    Jo said:

    Found your blog by accident, loved this article and have now added you to my Google Feed Reader so I don't miss the concealer reviews. My biggest issue is dark circles with fine lines (age 51). So looking forward to the rest of the posts!

  18. 5.23.11
    Donna said:

    I'm dying to find out what the level one concealer is, although I'm guessing it's Touche Eclat. I hope you review Hard Candy Glamouflage and Revlon Age Defying Moisturizing Concealer, since those are my two favorites. I'd just like to see what you think of them.

    Leslie, You might have to skip the corrector and just use a good concealer, or use one of the "correctors" that's called an eye brightener to lighten the brown area before using a medium coverage concealer.

  19. 5.23.11
    Christine said:

    It is Touche Eclat! I used Glamoflage today, and I do like it (I think it's a 4.5 on my coverage scale). My problem is that the box said light, so I didn't really look too closely, but I actually have a medium concealer. ๐Ÿ™ That is strange. I'll have to pick up that Revlon the next time I'm at the store!