I’m about to reveal something to you that very few people have seen.
Warning.. graphic image! My under eye circles…. AHHHH
I tried to warn you…
Even covered, they still suck. Here ya go, a crappy selfie in my office, earbuds still intact.
Where’s she going with this you ask? A powerful 2-day concealer quest.
This all started because, as I previously, stated, I’m addicted to beauty vlogs. I had been watching them all week long (for several weeks). Wait, actually, this started when I was 13 and got my first Maybelline Cover Stick–A bright yellow pudgy stick, promising to cover my dark circles of doom. I had no idea what I was doing and it looked like I had yellow cake on my face. But hey! Yellow cake is delicious!
So fast-forward 16 years and I’m still looking for something to cover up these panda eyes. After watching all these beauty vlogs and scouring blogs I knew I needed to get cracking on a new concealer search.
Here’s what I had been using:
- Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 25
- Revlon Photoready Eye Brightener and Primer (Very pink)
- And then I’d set it with powder or use this trick from Jaclyn Hill (Start at 3:15, that eye-roller would do jack-squat for me, but I do like the all over the eyes dusting of powder to set and brighten).
- Oh and I also had been rocking Neutrogena Retinol because I have milia (little dots under the skin that look like zits, but they aren’t zits), and I flippin hate them.
Here’s what I’ve tried and can remember trying (and no, I’m not going to link all of these because it would take me forever, if I get bored I’ll come back and link them)
- Neutrogena 3 in 1 concealer
- Bobbi Brown creamy concealer kit and corrector (decent, but EXPENSIVE for very little product)
- YSL Touche eclat (never bought just tried)
- Benefit Erase Paste (amazing but so thick it cakes easily)
- Trish McEveoy Correct and Brighten (I love Trish products but this one is super expensive and doesn’t last)
- Physicians Formula (the one in the tube, but not the new one in the toothpaste looking tube)
- Origins (the one with the doe foot)
- Clinique: Airbrush Concealer, Even Better Concealer, Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector (made the milia worse but dark circles better)
- Makeup Forever
- Body Shop
- and probably 15 other drugstore brands….
Ok so there we go. That’s it, I’ve used everything. And I decided, and said to myself, “this is the day I find THE concealer.” I had watched all the videos. I knew what not to get, I knew I wasn’t afraid of multiple steps. I could do this.
The following is a true story. Names have been changed because I forgot them.
Thursday, 4:30 p.m., Sephora.
I quickly went straight to the back and hunted down the Fresh Brown Sugar Roller Ball and put it on. (I’ve been craving this scent since Vivianna from Vivianna Does Makeup mentioned it in her Sephora Haul video). This scent is the only winner in this 28 hour story.
I then searched out the girl with the best looking under eye circles (UEC). You can tell fellow UEC girls. I got excited, she had similar coloring to me and her UEC looked covered and natural, not cakey. Then the shit hit the fan and she pawned me off on Gertrude. Go ahead, close your eyes, picture someone named Gertrude, that old lady with blue eyeliner you see, yup, she’s the one who was going to my makeup. Shit.
I went with it. But only because there was a gorgeous girl standing there too with the most natural and amazing face ever. I want her face (that sounds super creepy). I told her my story, told her what I’ve tried. She went at got Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (which is brand new) and Makeup Forever HD Concealer (which is different than the one I’ve previously tried). I wanted a setting powder, but Gertrude insisted I didn’t need it and that the Nars looked “so natural.” Listen Gerty, I don’t want it to look natural, I want them to look GONE. She took me out in the natural light, gave me the “so natural” speech again. I told her I wanted to walk around for a bit to see how it would settle.
5p.m. still at Sephora.
I didn’t like either. They weren’t covered up, they just looked dark. So I found this other gorgeous girl and she pawned me off too. Garh! But this time I thought we had a winner. Tina had purple hair but no UECs and swore to me that UECs were her biggest problem. She had me take off the other stuff and we put on Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer. BTW at this point my eyes were so red from all the on and off on concealer. This stuff worked. UECs gone. Then I got to the cash register and kinda yelped at the $30 price tag.
I went home. I was excited. Did I finally find the holy grail of concealers? NOPE. I’m 29, I don’t have wrinkles. But this stuff found them and settled in. I was disappointed, down trodden, I needed wine.
Friday, 12:45 p.m., a different mall, a different Sephora.
Returned my $30 product and found another makeup artist. She wanted to help, I could see it in her eyes, she was determined. She failed too. Lola was mid-30s. I told her my UECs were the one thing that I couldn’t stand, she told me hers was her weight. Sadly, we can’t cover that up with makeup. This trip was all a blur, let me think. I tried the new Benefit Fakeup Crease Control Concealer (barely covered) and Smashbox High Definition (creased instantly). I left, with two different colored and not covered, UECs.
1:15 p.m. MAC Cosmetics
This had potential. I walked in and a tall, skinny blonde, Tiffany, asked if I needed help. “Yes!” I said and plopped down in the chair. Some of my favorite vloggers swear by MAC so I thought this would be where I’d find IT! I told her the story. She did my whole face. (The eye shadow she used was a little bit too much for day time, but nice). The face and body, btw, came off on EVERYTHING. For the circles she started with Prep and Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose (which is just like the Revlon photoready) and then ProLongwear Concealer. She finished it off with a powder, first person to do that, despite my asking. I looked good. I bought everything. (Had to go to Nordstroms to get the Highlighter because the MAC store was out.
3:15 p.m. in the car
Insert lots of foul words here. Creased. Settled. Agony. Back to the first mall.
4:30 p.m. Nordstroms
Returned the highlighter and sat down with a “beauty stylist” her name is Nikki. I told her the problem. She grabbed Laura Mercier, and I got excited. She kept wanting to cover my once-every-four-years chin pimples and I had to stop her. Back on track. She grabbed something else, I think it was secret camouflage. Which is not the right product. I thanked her and moved on. It just didn’t cover right for me. Also, my eyes were in agony from all the on and off of concealers. She did inform me of an upcoming beauty trend show, more on that later.
5 p.m. MAC
Returned all the other stuff and fell in love with the check out girl’s nail polish: MAC Spirit of truth (didn’t buy, just drooled).
5:15 p.m. wandering
Downtrodden, I wandered into Aveda. Nope. That’s not going to work, but I did find a new friend in the really funny sales girl.
5:20 p.m. about to leave…
Then I spotted Bare Minerals. My friend Dana is a Bare Mins wearer and has fantastic skin. So I said what the heck and went in. The store was empty, which was odd and I was approached by Hillary (her real name because she’s awesome). I told her the dilemma, she asked me which mascara I wore. First person to ask that, “smart girl,” I thought. (Trish McEvoy High Volume, btw, and I’ll never wear anything else). My mascara is tubes, that’s not the culprit, genetics is the culprit. We talked about my love of makeup, my obsession with beauty videos and how most of the time I like a very natural face but, sometimes, I love a perfect red lip and a cat-eye.
First thing she did was have me take everything off with Renew and Hydrate Eye cream it felt sooooo good. Then she plopped on Stroke of Light and Well-Rested. It felt pretty good. But she knew it wasn’t going to look as good as it could because my eyes had been tortured all day. She said “hold on” and disappeared into the back. I fell in love with a blush while I was waiting. (The Tease, it will be mine).
When Hillary came back she had an entourage. The entire staff had brought out the new line of lipstick for me to see and it is GORGEOUS. It doesn’t come out until May 10 but when it does you’ll want it. She also gave me a whole bag of goodies. A small tester of the Stroke of Light and Well Rested to take home. Plus the Renew and Hydrate Eye Cream that I loved and facewash AND serum. She’s a gem and I signed up for a free makeover on the night of the lipstick launch.
6 p.m. I give up.
I walked out of the mall. Having returned all of my products other than the Fresh Brown Sugar perfume (I also still need to return a Sephora eye crayon that is simply CRAP), I left. I had a bag of hope though in that Bare Minerals goodie bag.
The Bare Minerals had kinda settled unfavorably, but I’m still using the sample a week later (it was free after all).
So I didn’t find the holy grail of concealers and I don’t know if I ever will. But there are a few good things to come out of this epic tail.
1. I found a new perfume
2. I’m getting a free makeover at Bare Minerals (watch out “the tease” blush, I’m coming for you.
3. I ruled out a TON of concealers
4. I signed Vanessa, my gorgeous sis-in-law, and I up for a sister date and Nordy’s. We’re going to the Spring Trend Show on May 4 and then getting our makeup done by some big-name folks. Vani is having her’s done by Kevianno at Nars and I’m having mine done by Jeffrey Tasker at Laura Mercier. Jeffrey Tasker is the MASTER of tightlining your eyes and the natural face.
5. And this is AWESOME. The Renew and Hydrate eye cream has transformed my eyes. The retinol was getting rid of my milia but drying my eyes out so much. There’s this fine line where if you moisturize too much more milia, but if you don’t moisturize enough, the dark circles look worse. Overnight I noticed my undereyes were plumper, not baggie, just not as sunk in. And sooo much smoother. I’ll for sure be buying that product when this giant sampler runs out.
Dear Under Eye Circles,
We will meet again. You may have one this epic battle but I will win this war!
Have any UEC concealing tricks or recommendations for me? Leave it the comments!
OK this may not be the holy grail of concealer, but I’m really loving the CoverGirl and Olay concealer. I think I need a second color because I’ve kinda got that Kim Kardashian white-eyed thing. But! it is super moisturizing and has pretty darn good staying power. I think using a beauty blender would help… I need one of those.