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The Dos and Don’ts of Concealing Under Eye Dark Circles

Did you watch this season’s Project Runway All-Stars? As they neared the finale, the designers were taken to the Hearst Tower to meet with the editor of Marie-Claire. I wasn’t there to meet an editor, but recently did some men’s grooming for a video shoot there. I’m only mentioning it from Project Runway because I love that beautiful building and hope you have seen it too (even if only on TV).Anyway, most men don’t want makeup, so my job is usually to make sure their hair and skin look good and they are camera-ready. But like women, even non-makeup wearing men ask about what to do with under eye dark circles. It’s tricky because if you need coverage but don’t want to look like you’re wearing makeup, application has to be just right. So if dark circles and puffiness are a concern for you, here are some makeup application Dos and Don’ts:


Start by applying a de-puffing eye cream and let it absorb into skin. A lot eye creams contain cucumber and caffeine and both are said to reduce dark circles/puffiness. Apparently, drinking a lot of caffeine is bad for dark circles, but putting it on your skin is good for reducing them! Try Origins No Puffery. Honestly, I completely forgot about this product until just now. When I was with Origins, I remember how people would panic when they could not find their No Puffery. Panic! I’ve never had a problem with dark circles or puffy eyes so cannot personally attest to its wonders – but I have seen other people worship this product.

Use a good under eye concealer brush. A good brush helps you “paint” dark circles away. Using fingers is much more difficult because it’s harder to be precise and get concealer exactly how you need it so it looks smooth and natural. I have several concealer brushes, but bareMinerals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush is one of my favorites. Sometimes the bristles on concealer and foundation brushes separate and make application difficult. This one doesn’t.

Apply a peachy-pink/salmon shade of concealer. Why this shade works so well I don’t know, but it does. Since you don’t want concealer to show on skin, make sure it’s the right shade. Sometimes if the peachy/salmon shade doesn’t completely “disappear” on skin I use a slightly lighter concealer to blend it in. But, if you’re not a makeup artist with all different shades at your disposal, you can also just use a small bit of your foundation over the concealer to blend it in. I like Eve Pearl’s Salmon Concealer. 

Finish with a tiny bit of sheer powder on top of the concealer to set it. I always use the powder from Laura Mercier Undercover Pot. It has two shades of concealer and a little bit of powder you can use on top.


Don’t use too much concealer. You don’t want to trade one concern for another – if you put too much concealer in an effort to lighten dark circles it can get cake-y and creasy. A little concealer will still lighten dark circles – even if they are not completely covered, it’s still better than looking cake-y and creasey. If you are 18 or 20 or whatever age under eye skin is always perfectly smooth, you can probably use more than most people. Otherwise, too much is worse than too little.

Don’t use too much powder. Too much powder can also make the concealer look cake-y and unnatural. A very light dusting is just enough.

Don’t rub or be too rough with the eye area skin. Skin around the eyes is more fragile and more easily damaged. Be gentle to yourself, especially in the eye area.

Don’t forget about prevention. Like everything with health and beauty, taking care of yourself is essential. Most people are aware – from first hand experience – that dark circles and puffiness often are the result of stress and lack of sleep. So cut back on the partying!

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