How to Get Rid of Dark, Under Eye Circles - Even if You Didn't Sleep Last Night

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Dark under eye circles are the worst, making you look older and more tired even on a full night of sleep. I would know: The circles under my eyes look so bad, people will ask me if I'm sick if I'm not wearing makeup (No...I just look like this naturally...). My purple bags initiated my most epic makeup quest, and through years of sampling and returning all types of concealers and correctors, while scouring the Internet for the most helpful tutorials, I have found the solution. And the best part is, it works for just about anyone.
under eye concealerThere I am, au naturale, looking pretty darn depressed because I am exposing my dark circles to the world. But for the sake of the makeup goddesses, I will let you gals see my before and after.

Step No. 1: Always, Always, Always Moisturize
under eye moisturizerJust like you moisturize your face, underneath your eyes deserves some due moisturizing love as well. Not only will it help your makeup go on smoother, it can reduce the sunken-in look of your eyes. I use Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Correcting Eye Cream ($45, Clinique) because it has brightening agents that make my eyes lighter from the start, but #youdoyou.

Second, It's Time for the Corrector
bobbi brown correctorNow if your under eye circles aren't as bad as mine, you can skip this step and go straight for the concealer. But if you have darker hues that are often not covered by concealer alone, you might want to consider a corrector. The trick to a corrector is to find a shade that will counteract the color of your circles, rather than looking for something that matches your skin tone. Orange or pink will help to conceal blue-purple circles, while green can help reddish discoloration. My go-to is the Bobbi Brown corrector in Light Bisque ($25, Sephora), but be careful with this product. It's extremely thick, and a little on top of your darkest spots goes a long way.

Tip: To prevent your corrector from getting too thick, and having your concealer settle into your fine lines, apply the corrector with a dab of moisturizer on your finger to thin out the product.

Looking better already, right?

Time for Your Trusty Concealer!
IT cosmeticsIf I look excited in this picture, it's because I've just busted out my secret weapon. I've searched long and hard for the perfect concealer, and I found it with It cosmetics' eye lift in a tube ($29, Ulta). If I could have a lifetime supply of one product, it'd be this one right here.

But I digress...

When it comes to concealers, they always say find one that is two shades lighter than your natural skin tone so that it brightens underneath your eyes. Be sure not to go too light though; if you get a color that's too light, the dark purple hues will automatically shine through.

When applying your concealer, do it in triangle shapes under your eyes like I have here. This way, it's almost like you're putting a little spotlight over your focal point (your eyes of course) that brightens your face. Use your finger or a fluffy concealer brush, and stipple the concealer into your skin. Don't wipe it on because you will wipe off some of the product with it.

Thanks to my trusty eye lift in a tube, my next step brightens under my eyes even further.
under eye concealerThe other end of my concealer has a highlighting formula. I put that on top of my blended concealer in a few light dots under my eye, and go back in with the concealer brush (stippling of course) to add more light under my eyes.

Now, the Final Step We've All Been Waiting For
beauty blenderTake your beauty blender (you can find a cheap one at your local dollar store), and go in with a translucent finishing powder lightly over your concealer. My personal fave is Laura Mercier's Secret Brightening Powder ($25, Sephora) but E.L.F.'s High Definition Under Eye Setting Powder is a great, less expensive dupe for this ($6, Target). Some suggest to wet your beauty blender before dipping it into the setting powder, but I always found that takes off some of the concealer. I dip it in dry, and put only a tiny bit of product on to set my concealer. If you put too much, under your eyes will look white rather than simply highlighted.

Love this step for a few reasons: It helps set my makeup (which you always should do), prevents my eyeliner from running down and mixing with my concealer to give me raccoon eyes, and it also makes a shiny concealer formula more matte.

And here's the finished look!
under eye concealer
Look how happy I am, now that my dark circles are gone! Using this method, your makeup won't look too cakey (which can often happen when dealing with the under eyes) or settle too much into fine lines. I've tested it many times, and it lasts all day!

Want us to do another how-to makeup guide? Sound off in the comments below!

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