Banishing Undereye Circles

Hi Guys and Dolls!

I have a lot of frequently asked beauty questions, both at work and though all the ways people can get a hold of me as a beauty goober-blogger-youtuber thinger. Basically, there’s a lot of need-to-know subjects and a lot of women (and some men) who want to know. So I’m going to start doing these frequently asked or “in-demand” type videos and blog posts as a go-to guide for these burning questions. For some this will only be review, but it never hurts to have a refresher!

“How do I get rid of dark circles under my eyes!? “

I probably get asked this a grillion times a day by clients at work. 1st, get at least 8 hours of sleep. I know I know, I never do either. But try. “Beauty Sleep” got it’s name from somewhere, and other than for vanity’s sake, you body needs time to recharge!

Another thing that sounds stupid, but a lot of people have this problem: COMPLETELY remove all of your makeup especially your eye makeup. If you’re using any type of long wear makeup (including primer) and you’re not using a eye makeup remover it’s probably not all coming off. Not only is that incredibly gross and unhealthy (hello eye infection!) but the residue is left on your eye area creating the appearance of dark shadows. Ick! So please use a eye makeup remover of some kind. I use the cheap Neutrogena dupe stuff from CVS and sometimes “take the day off” from Clinique. Any dual-phase (the oily looking kind you have to shake) should work fine, then wash with your regular cleanser.

AH, now doesn’t that feel better?

Still have dark circles? Try a brightening eye cream. I really like the Evening Primrose one from Korres. It visually brightens without shimmer, it has a small amount of SPF(6), and you get a WHOLE OUNCE for $38…it’s flippin’ sweet! The texture is nice and it also helps me with puffiness. Eye cream alone will probably not solve the problem, but a great eye-cream and SPF are super important, and it will aid the next step, so, just do it ok?

Still have darkness about your eyes? Many of us do, and you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that some under-eye discoloration is just hereditary. It sucks, but hey, maybe you have cute toes or something.

OK,  they’re here to stay, so what can we do about it?  Find an amazing concealer to be best friends with!! Now getting down to the nitty gritty: Are your dark circles the blue-purple variety, or the darker-skin-around-the-eyes sort? Different “imperfections” need different correction. The blue-purple variety are typically caused by very thin skin and very visible veins, and are neutralized with pink & peach/apricot toned concealers that are close to your overall skin-tone.  Truly dark circles, (skin that is darker than your overall skin-tone) etc are a little trickier. If they are a lot darker than the rest of your facial skin, you’d also do well with a  peach or pink toned concealer in a shade lighter than your skin-tone, BUT if they are gray or “ashen” in appearance, then you need to use a peach or yellow tone. This sort of discoloration also benefits from a concealer that brightens like Givenchy’s Mister Light.  This requires some testing for any type of under eye concealing, since these things aren’t always black and white, and many times a few different things are at work. I myself have a combination of blue veins showing though, and a bit of yellowish-darker skin closer to the outer edge of my eye. I use a peach or pink toned concealer to correct all of this. When I just use a highly pigmented concealer under my eye it gives me that weird too-light under eye look 🙂

Good to know/things to look for & avoid: If your under-eye is very blue, yellow toned concealer can give a greenish look, or make the darkness worse! If your under eye is gray or ashen, and darker than your overall skin-tone, a brightening eye concealer in a peach or yellow tone one shade lighter than your overall skintone will work wonders. Avoid using a concealer that is look too light. We’ve all seen women who do this, and I  think we can agree it’s not a good look.

What if you have the opposite problem, and your under eye is much lighter than the rest of your facial skin? That’s when you want to use a concealer that matches your overall skintone 🙂

Now let’s talk texture. So many women want one concealer that can do it all: cover blemishes, hyper-pigmentation, and undereye circles. Some do a good job of multi-tasking, but I aspire for Greatness, so I prefer different concealers for different issues. For my undereye I prefer a nice thin liquid concealer with a peach undertone like the Lift Concealer from Make Up For Ever. Other great options include but are not limited to: Makeup forever Full Coverage, Cover FX Camoflage Concealer, Clinique All About Eyes, MAC Select Coverup (the NW shades for the under eye) and Givenchy Mister Light. You’ll notice two things: All of these are liquid, and all of these are higher-end products. I’ll be honest, with the exception of the Hard Candy Concealer palette, I avoid drugstore concealers. I’ve had some bad experiences with them, and usually the shade options from brands I’d buy from (I won’t buy if I know they animal test) are unimpressive, and the ones that seem interesting are almost as expensive as the high-end ones. Also, the ones I suggest come with a lot of product, so you’ll have them a very long time, so it’s worth the investment. I’m going to shop around and if I find a good drug store under eye concealer, I’ll let you know.  The Clinique and MAC products are in the 15 dollar range, so they’re pretty close to drugstore prices.

SO why do I favor liquid/in a tube concealers over cream/cake/powder ones? Texture, Hygiene, & Convenience. Thicker concealers like Laura Mercier Secret Cover, Makeup Forever camouflage palettes, MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF35, and the Hard Candy Concealer palette are too thick and creamy for the under eye,  and  never fully “set” so they can cause creasing. However, this type of concealer can work wonders on uneven skin tone and blemishes. The concealers I favor are typically thin in texture but high in pigmentation.

Be careful when using a super pigmented full coverage concealer unless your circles really are that bad, or you’re doing full cover foundation as well. If you love the color of a highly pigmented concealer like say, the Cover FX or MUFE Full Coverage concealers, but don’t need the in-your-face coverage, try mixing in some eye cream. I prefer tubes or a click pen brush applicator for hygienic reasons, and for it’s on -the-go portability. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have oily skin, so my concealer fades, even with primer, so a lunch time touchup for me is usually a must. I like a concealer I don’t HAVE to worry about being clean with!  That said, for application I prefer a brush to apply and my finger to blend it. For more on application and other best-practices, I now will turn you over to my video on the subject!

I hope this blogpost and tutorial will help those of you who had questions about those pesky under eye circles!

<3 Cora

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Cora (vintageortacky)


  1. Victoria
    April 28, 2010 / 3:56 pm

    Thanks! This is really helpful 😀

  2. kelly
    April 28, 2010 / 3:56 pm

    i am very very fair and have the bluish-purple kind. it is sooo hard to find make up light enough that does not have a lot of sunscreen in it (it makes me break out) that fits in my budget. i really hate feeling like i am cakeing on the conceler to cover my circles 🙁

    • camille
      April 1, 2011 / 5:38 pm

      Try the fresh complexion concealer by covergirl in classic ivory. Really light shade, light coverage. Crease a little bit but when you put your powder on it’s ok. (for me) i really love this concealer, and i think that it is a formula for undereye circles. So you can put layers. I also use it as my foundation when i feel that i need some coverage on my redness, really good 🙂 Hope i help!

  3. ariana
    April 28, 2010 / 4:03 pm

    thank you so much for this
    my undereye circles are so bad

  4. Nicole
    April 28, 2010 / 4:13 pm

    guess i’ll have to invest in a concealer. thanks for the tips. i’ve had really (i mean really, like i’ve been punched in both eyes if i don’t get enough sleep of have rubbed them too much) really dark circles under my eyes since i was a kid. i long ago accepted them, but it would be nice to disguise them a bit. Thanks!

  5. Ana
    April 28, 2010 / 5:36 pm

    Great video-lesson, Cora. My skin tone is similar than yours, but i do have BAD under eye circles, due to lack of sleep and allergy! I recently bought the MAC Studio Finish SPF35 Concealer in NW20… and it’s nice but it does settles into my fine lines!!… maybe i should have waited and i would have gotten the MAC Select Cover up, awww! Oh, also i bought the Fast Responde eye cream recommended by you. And i love it!It leaves my skin very silky, smooth, reduces my fine lines and my puffiness 🙂 Anyway, next time, i’ll try the Select Cover up. Thanks for all the tips. Love ya XOXO

  6. April 28, 2010 / 5:40 pm

    Thanks so much for this Cora! I have really bad under eye circles (the blue-ish type) so this was very informative.

    “so, just do it, ok?” haha love your videos!

  7. Steph
    April 28, 2010 / 5:50 pm

    just watched your video. golly gee you’re cute! Why can’t all make up salespeople be so helpful? Lucky lucky ladies (and gents) that come into your store. Thanks for the help.
    Do you (or anyone else) know if Lancome does any good under eye concealers? (even if nobody answers I have some good tips for colour and consistency!)

    • vintageortacky
      April 29, 2010 / 10:40 am

      I don’t really even look at Lancome. Sorry!

  8. Anjel
    April 28, 2010 / 6:02 pm

    Awsome Blog and video like always! (:

  9. Ashleigh
    April 28, 2010 / 6:48 pm

    Hey Cora, I read your blog and I saw that you said you won’t buy something if you know it’s tested on animals. So i just wanted to let you know that Neutrogena & Lancome do in fact test on animals Maybelline & Olay does as well. I’m really happy that other people take that into consideration when looking for products.

    • vintageortacky
      April 28, 2010 / 7:47 pm

      I don’t think Lancome tests, but their parent company L’oreal does. I’m glad you appreciate my consciousness about it. Every time someone asks why I don’t use L’oreal/cover girl/maybelline I feel like I have to get on my soap box about animal testing. It’s one of the #1 reasons I avoid most drugstore makeup.

  10. Sharon
    April 28, 2010 / 9:43 pm

    How does the powder-flauge from Benefit work? What are you opinions on it?

    • vintageortacky
      April 29, 2010 / 10:41 am

      I don’t have it, but it works the same as the Laura Mercier powder I used in the video 🙂

  11. April 28, 2010 / 10:11 pm

    Great tips, I always thought a yellow concealer under the eyes would be good :X

    • vintageortacky
      April 29, 2010 / 10:43 am

      A lot of people think that, and it is good for SOME types of correction:)

  12. April 28, 2010 / 10:27 pm

    The hollows of my eyes are always either red or purple, regardless of what I do, so I’ve sort of given up on it. Under eye concealers help I’m sure, but I can’t afford to try all the different ones out there until I come across one that will work properly. The ones I have tried, have made me look either green or only slightly less purple.

    I’ll keep the names of the ones you mentioned for when I next stop by Sephora, see if I can try them on there.
    Thank you!

    • vintageortacky
      April 29, 2010 / 10:42 am

      Next time you’re at sephora, get samples. We can sample just about everything. That way you can try a few out and find your Holy Grail concealer 🙂

  13. April 28, 2010 / 11:59 pm

    I learned a lot from this post and the video as well. I have some truly dark circles, like the ones that are darker than my overall skintone, like you mentioned, and reading this helps. I’ll keep going back to this post as reference to what I should try next! Thanks 🙂

  14. Melinda
    April 29, 2010 / 12:36 am

    Hey! thank you so much for this blogpost and video.
    they are the best ones out there and really help out.


    • vintageortacky
      April 29, 2010 / 10:43 am

      thank you darlin!

  15. April 29, 2010 / 1:48 am

    X with WHITE PEN!!!!!!
    Do you know the trick? You write littles X with a white pen under your eyes, everywhere under lil WHITE X where your skin is blue… the put your concealer, the blend it together, and Here we go, you have total coverage of your dark circles! 😉

    April 29, 2010 / 4:02 am

    Hey Cora, what do you think about the Kat Von D concealer? have you tried it? Have you heard of the timebalm concealer? I was thinking of buying one of these two and wanted your opinion on them if you have one. I asked in the video, but for some reason it never showed up in the comments section. Thanks.

    • vintageortacky
      April 29, 2010 / 10:45 am

      We don’t have thebalm at my store, but we have Kat Von D and I like her concealer a lot too. it’s not “optimal” for the under-eye, so it didn’t make my short list, but it’s “good” for any type of concealing. except tattoos. Anyone who’s tried it knows it will NOT cover tattoos.

      • REDDRAGON45
        May 1, 2010 / 1:15 am

        Thanks for answering back!!!

  17. Teri
    April 29, 2010 / 6:01 am

    Thanks so much for this post & tutorial. I’ve been using the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage without even thinking it was too thick. Now I feel like a moron but its the only one that covers my icky dark circles. But the only thing is is that it doesn’t crease on me. Maybe its because I don’t put a ton under my eye? Idk but I just love that stuff!!

    • vintageortacky
      April 29, 2010 / 10:46 am

      Hey, if it works, then rock it out! this was a basic guideline, not a rules book 🙂

  18. Serena
    April 29, 2010 / 8:32 am

    Hey Cora-
    Great post. I was not sure where you prefer question so I posted on youtube, but decided here might be better, so not trying to talk you lol.

    I have under eye circles and I use the same approach you use. But I have one small additional problem and hoped maybe you could address this common skin care issue in a post.

    I get small random patched of really dry and flaky skin. Not overall, just small patches, for example now its in between my brows, under one eye, forehead and one cheek, totally random.

    I use moisturizers, and follow skin care tips, but nothing helps.

    So when I apply any products on top even cosmetics I have these horrible chalky, caked, and flaky spots.

    Any tips?

  19. caitlinRose28
    April 29, 2010 / 3:48 pm

    Could I use BE mineral vail to set the concealer?

  20. Jackie
    April 30, 2010 / 5:35 am

    I just started using the Korres eye cream as well and I’m really liking it. I feel like it has at least reduced my puffiness (like you mentioned). I went on a trip last week and was SUPER happy to have it since I didn’t get much sleep. It was actually amazing the difference it made on my just-woke-up-and -look-like-a-zombie face. Have you used any of their other products?

  21. Ashleigh
    May 1, 2010 / 12:28 pm

    lancome actually does test on animals, i used to love their products, now i won’t touch them.

    • May 8, 2010 / 4:54 pm

      good for you girl!
      I have never bought anything from Lancome and I never will 🙂

  22. Brittany
    May 1, 2010 / 9:06 pm

    Benefit powderflauge is made just for the undereye area and I think it is better than any setting powder for the undereye area. You should try it because it is AMAZING!!

  23. May 2, 2010 / 6:51 pm

    I wish I could watch this video! For some reason, my youtube videos are not playing. Anyone know how to fix this?

  24. May 8, 2010 / 4:53 pm

    thank you sooooo much, this post is extremely helpful.
    I have ridiculous under-eye circles.
    your a huge help!

  25. Scarlet
    June 30, 2010 / 8:59 pm

    Thanks for focusing on the technique & stressing eye creams 🙂 I’ve used the Korres cream you recommend and I like it, but currently I’m totally in love with Philosophy’s “Eye Hope” cream- it’s made a HUGE difference in my puffiness & circles…

    I’ve been eyeing the Bobbi Brown concealer/corrector for a while, but was wondering if you’d had any experience with it…

  26. July 11, 2010 / 3:29 am

    with regard to your own excellent submit. Extremely informative along with My personal enjoyed looking this with your other content articles. pertaining to giving as well as continue the great function.

  27. Cosplay
    December 7, 2010 / 5:14 am


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