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- Best Mac Concealer For Under Eyes
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Had a late night and want to look less tired? Or have dark circles that have set up permanent shop beneath your eyes? Either way, if dark circles bother you, you have two options: You can reach for your trusty oversize sunglasses or you can rifle through your makeup bag in search of concealer.
Concealer can be used to hide everything from blemishes to redness, and although it lives in the shadow of foundation, this concentrated pigment is magical when used under the eyes. So we've been left wondering, which formulas do makeup artists dub 'the best' when it comes to under-eye concealers?
After all, these pros spend their days using various formulas in multiple shades and textures, so they know what's up and can advise on which concealers are the best for those pesky under-eye areas. The best part is that a lot of them called out the same products, which makes shopping for this multitasker even easier.
Keep scrolling to read about the twelve best under-eye concealers for covering up dark circles, according to makeup artists.
If 'less is more' sounds like your makeup philosophy, look no further than this complement to Make Up For Ever's Ultra HD Foundation. Celebrity makeup artist Colby Smith swears by it. 'The great thing about this concealer is that it gives coverage without the thickness. Less is more!' Makeup artist Julie Harris agrees: 'I love it for under the eyes because they blend well and don't look cakey.'
For application, Colby uses just a bit followed by optional powder. 'My trick is to place the concealer in the little diagonal groove under the eye. By adding lightness and coverage to the dark area and leaving the outside of the eye clean, it allows you to pull the depth forward. This makes the under-eye look smoother and brighter,' he says. 'Tap a little transparent powder on top for a more natural appearance.'
When it comes to makeup for the average user, the easier it is to apply, the better. The shade selection is also a big part of what makes a concealer so great.
Rita Ora's go-to MUA, Kathy Jeung, is a fan of this cult favorite, pointing out its foolproof usage. 'This versatile concealer can give light to heavy coverage depending on how you apply it. Either way, you go, the results are long-lasting without any creasing or dryness,' she says.
Makeup artist Kirin Bhatty loves that the name does exactly what it says it will. 'It melts into the skin, creating a flawless finish that feels good on the skin; it gives it a soft glow,' she says. To up the glow factor, she uses a damp Beautyblender for the application.
Celebrity makeup artist Gianpaolo Ceciliato calls the concealer's new 16-shade range 'beautiful' and fellow Celebrity makeup artist Tracey Levy adds, 'There is a shade for everyone. The creamy formula can be sheer or built up to cover anything.'
Gianpaolo adds that it's easy to blend, so novices have no excuse. 'I use my fingertips for a natural light coverage or a concealer brush for more coverage followed by powder.' Makeup artist Sandy Ganzer echoes this, adding, 'It's great applied straight from the tube and melted into the skin with your finger or a damp beauty blender. It couldn't be easier.'
To strategically hide any darkness under the eyes, residual pigment around the nose, or pesky blemishes, (yes, models get them, too), celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney loves another epic under-eye concealer from Nars—the brand's Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($30). She likes to apply it with her fingers for extra bendability and precision. 'Just tap it on, melt it in, and buff away the edges,' told us firsthand during this Lived-In Liner Tutorial.
Celebrity makeup artist Vincent Oquendo recently used this lightweight concealer on me during a master class he hosted for our L.A. edition of Byrdie Beauty Lab. He ultimately applied foundation as well, but he just as easily could have just gone without after applying this magical concealer from Laura Geller. It's just that wonderful and stays true to its filter-inspired name. Oh, and our editorial director, Faith Xue, is also a fan. If you're looking to cover up haunting dark shadows, this one is one of the best, according to Oquendo.
If you're the low-maintenance type, you'll love this easy-to-use, dual-ended concealer. Celebrity makeup artist Tina Turnbow says that it is so foolproof, no extra tools are even necessary. 'It never fails to cover without looking cakey. I like the consistency and pigments. I dab it on with the firm brush it comes with, and then I tap it with my fingertips to blend and allow it to sink in.' Hay adds that this option is excellent for days when you don't need too heavy of coverage but still want to even out your skin tone.
Oh, and the highlighter tip is the quintessential finishing touch to look like you just slept for a full eight hours.
Makeup artists, celebrities, and editors alike adore Hourglass's infamous foundation/concealer hybrid. In fact, when I had a chance to interview Vanessa Hudgens a couple of months ago, she said she pretty much insists makeup artists use it on her to help diffuse any unevenness or problem spots.
'I've actually turned so many makeup artists onto the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick ($46),' she told me. 'With almost every makeup artist I've ever worked with, I'm just like, 'Hey, you should use this.' It's just beautiful, and the coverage is amazing.' Plus, what's better than a concealer that doubles as foundation and vice versa. We guarantee your glow will be unparalleled post-application.
Two shades might sound intimidating, but hands down, Laura Mercier's cult-favorite formula is one of the best under-eye concealers. Celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff swears by it: 'This palette has two shades, so no matter where on your face it's used, it will match impeccably. It also stays put without looking dry.' Makeup artist Vincent Oquendo notes that he likes to pair the rich cream formula with a luminous finish foundation for balance.
Makeup artist Vera Steimberg is also a fan of the two-shade combo. 'Layering the concealer on top of the neutralizer works really well. I tried it on different people and always works!' Makeup artist Lisa Aharon adds that the consistency of the formula lends versatility. 'It's heavy enough to cover spots, bruises, and even tattoos in a pinch. Yet it's light enough to use under the eyes or as a sheer foundation,' she says.
Steimberg applies the neutralizer before the concealer: 'Sometimes I add a little moisturizer to thin it out.' And Aharon seconds that notion: 'It will help you blend and distribute the product more evenly for that even and light coverage you desire.'
While most artists all agree that this is a great product to use with a fluffy brush, Aharon has a two-option system depending on coverage needs. 'This concealer works wonderfully with a brush. For smaller spots and more coverage, I like to pat it on with a small, dense concealer brush and finish with a little translucent powder. Under the eyes, I'll use something medium in size and a little fluffy.'
Kelli J. Bartlett, GlamSquad VP of makeup and new services, has a genius trick for dark circles: 'I layer Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer first, let it sit for a moment, and then go in with Clé de Peau Concealer and pat down with a Beautyblender. The combination of the lavender undertone of the Maybelline gives a lift and brightness to the face, while the Clé de Peau corrects to the perfect shade.'
Mac Under Eye Concealer
'If you have redness or shadows, this concealer is the dream because it's incredibly neutralizing,' celebrity makeup artist Sir John told us when we asked if he had favorite under-eye concealers for those with sensitive skin. 'During this time of year, it's very common to have redness around the eyes and nose from things like broken capillaries—that's when you want to go with a product with cooler undertones like Urban Decay's. If you're looking to conceal, this is my number one recommendation.'
Kevyn Aucoin's versatile concealer is in every makeup artist's kit. Celebrity makeup artist Linda Hay chooses to use this for heavy coverage, and fellow makeup artists Samuel Paul and Tym Shutchai Buacharern agree that a little bit of this pigment-packed concealer goes a long way, making it one of the best under-eye concealers money can buy.
'I love the color range and the coverage this product has,' raves Tym. 'It's a buildable product, so you could go from sheer to full coverage without looking cakey.' Samuel's application technique is as follows: 'Pat on with the index finger, which helps warm the concealer and melt it into the skin.' Tym adds, 'The warmth from your fingers will give you a smooth finish.'
Makeup artist Fabiola notes that this product's color range makes it easy for anyone to find a match, and Kristee Liu says that although she carries many concealers in her kit, she always comes back to this one. 'It has the ability to cover everything! It is versatile, blends easily, and stays put all day. I like to use a round, flat brush to apply it, and then I use a wet Beautyblender to press it into the skin.'
Hay's application advice is essential, given this concealer's thick consistency. 'Always apply moisturizer before applying concealer, and be sure to blend it with your foundation. I use a small, flat brush to apply and finish with my finger to make the perfect blend,' she says.
'The texture of this concealer by EX1 is what makes it a great option. It has great coverage, but since it's not overly creamy, it will never clog pores. I love the velvety texture, which covers blemishes and helps hide dark circles without looking caked on,' says Oquendo. 'For the application, I like to use a soft medium-size eye shadow brush to buff the product on the skin. A brush that is too firm might deposit too much product and can also irritate the skin.'
Selfie lovers will want to take a page out of makeup artist Michael Anthony's book, because this compact concealer is way more than a space-saving luxe find. 'It has a velvety texture and gives off medium- to full-coverage, which photographs incredibly natural,' he says.
Celebrity makeup artist Quinn Murphy also notes that the coverage is gorgeous. 'The colors are great for realistic skin-like colors. It's creamy and easy to apply, which gives good-looking coverage.'
When it comes to application, either one of Michael's techniques makes buildable coverage easy. 'I use this with a Beautyblender sponge or a fluffy brush so that I can build light layers to perfect a complexion or fix dark circles.'
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Erin Jahns.
Next: 15 Life-Changing Concealers You Can Actually Use as Foundation
If you wake up every morning with some major smudges underneath your eyes, then you'll be happy to know there are easy and surefire ways to hide your tired bags. There are all sorts of concealer tricks to hide dark circles out there that will turn around even your most exhausted of mornings. No longer will you have to put spoons in the freezer or try to stay still as cucumbers soothe your eyes. After all, who has that kind of time when you're rushing around the house, trying to get out the door on time? Instead, what you need are some easy makeup hacks that will wipe away any tired purple from underneath your eyes.
If you're anything like me, then you and your concealer might have been losing that war for awhile now. If your tired bags persist no matter how much concealer and foundation you glob on, then it might not be the product, but your technique.
To get the low down on what we've been doing wrong, below are 9 tips and tricks from makeup artist experts on how to wipe those sleepy bags away first thing in the morning, letting you step outside of your apartment looking fresh and flawless.
1. Skip The Serums And Miracle Creams
Rather than spending your money on under eye repairing creams, put those dollars towards an excellent concealer instead.
'Often times, dark circles are hereditary. In this case, no amount of Vitamin C serums or heavy night creams are going to completely erase them. They are also sometimes caused by lack of sleep and dehydration. Get your beauty sleep and carry a refillable water bottle with you everywhere instead,' Erin Thomas, a MAC makeup artist with four years experience, shares with Bustle.
2. Create An Under Eye Arsenal That Isn't Just One Product
Travel Size Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer, $10, Ulta
'If you need an express solution, there are some full coverage concealers on the market that really work wonders for covering dark circles in one step. Some of my favorites are It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye, Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, and MAC Studio Finish Concealer,' Thomas shares. Creaseless concealers are great to make sure the lines underneath your eyes don't get amplified, and the finishing concealer will keep it matte and smooth.
3. Make Sure The Color Is Right
'When trying to hide dark circles, color is the most important thing,' Sarah Coffin, a NARS Stylist with nine years of experience, tells Bustle in an email. 'There's a common misconception that you should use a concealer that is one to two shades lighter than your skin. This is almost always untrue, and will likely leave your under eye looking grey and tired. Make sure your concealer is a bang on match to your skin.'
4. Don't Rub The Concealer In
If you want the best coverage, pat the concealer in rather than rub it. 'Patting makes sure you're getting the fullest possible coverage. When you rub it in, you're essentially rubbing it right back off again by sheering it out. This is especially true for cream formulas,' Thomas points out.
5. Keep An Eye On Undertones
In order to cancel out the blue and purple hues underneath your eyes, choose a foundation who's undertone will nix those tired shades.
'Yellow, peach and rose tones are most common color correcting shades to use as a base under your concealer,' Andrea Whittle, a makeup artist at KARMA Salon with 20 years experience, shares in an email. 'If your under eyes have more of a purpleish cast, stick with something that has a little more yellow to correct. Khaki/olive under eye colors require a more peach tone. Soft rose correctors are great under the eyes of someone with a little more sallow/greenish tone and will brighten just beautifully.'
6. Pay Attention To The Labels On Your Concealer
NARS Concealer, $25, Sephora
Best Mac Concealer For Under Eyes
You put on your concealer after your foundation, but if you feel like it's not doing much in the concealing department, you might have purchased the wrong one. For example, does it say it has sheer or opaque coverage? 'I'll never forget the day I explained opacity to the young lady working in hosiery at Macy's, 'you can see through sheer pantyhose but you cannot see through opaque tights.' A concept easy to grasp for a trained artist but not always as straightforward for the layperson trying to understand and figure out what kind of coverage they're looking for in their concealer or foundation,' Whittle shares. If you feel like you need more coverage, bump up your product to 'opaque.'
7. Don't Just Apply Concealer To Your Under Eye
Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer, $14, Sephora
'Apply your concealer to the inner corner of the eye and continue onto the eyelid,' Coffin says. 'This will brighten your eye even more and leave you with a clean, even toned base for eyeshadow!'
8. Consider Buying A Color Corrector
Concealer - Pear (Correcting Shade), $25, NARS
'If you're still finding that your under eye area is still looking blue-greyish after applying your concealer, a color corrector is going to be your best friend. Lighter skin tones will have luck with pink toned concealers, folks with medium skin tones should look for salmon toned concealers, and those with deeper skin tones will want to use an orange toned concealer,' Thomas explains. These are applied after your foundation and prior to your concealer.
9. You Might Need To Skip The Setting
Best Mac Concealer For Under Eyes
Laura Mercier Transluscent Setting Powder, $23, Sephora
Often times people set their makeup with a loose powder, but according to Whittle, you need to pay attention to your skin before deciding to do that. Sometimes, setting products bring more attention to our under eyes thanks to their creasing.
'I believe it is dependent on the product you choose and the type of skin you have when deciding whether or not to set your concealer with powder. My oily skinned lassies usually don't leave the house without setting their makeup with powder, for fear of it sliding off by noon. But if you have a dry skin type, my advice to you is not to powder as it can look cakey or even dry,' Whittle shares.
Mac Makeup Concealer
The next time you wake up feeling exhausted, keep these tips in mind and you can turn that sluggish, morning look around — all while cancelling out your dark circles in the process.
Mac Under Eye Concealer Reviews
Images: Manu Camargo/Unsplash; Sephora (3); NARS (1); Ulta (1); @sara.mua/ Instagram