Exactly how to hide dark under eye circles without getting concealer in your wrinkles.

This wonderful nugget of beauty wisdom comes courtesy of Mamamia’s shiny new beauty podcast, You Beauty. Each week, hosts Leigh Campbell and Kelly McCarren will answer your burning beauty questions, share their favourite exxy and budget beauty buys, and rummage through the beauty bags of famous women to see what they’re loving.

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Covering dark under eye circles can feel like choosing between the lesser of two evils.

Yes, you want to cover the particularly dark spots in the inner corners of your eyes to give the illusion of having slept. But, and it’s a big but, you don’t want that heavy duty concealer to take up residence in your under eye wrinkles, making you look… tired.

Gah, the conundrum.

Thankfully, beauty editor of 15 years and Mamamia’s executive editor Leigh Campbell has the answer.

According to her, you’re actually stabbing yourself in the foot by using lashings of thick concealer like Kim Kardashian and beauty bloggers on Youtube and Instagram.

“I blame this concern on Youtube. If you watch a beauty Youtuber, they apply concealer in these humungous, ginormous triangles and then they blend that all in, and that’s about six years’ worth of concealer in a regular person’s life,” Leigh told Kelly McCarren on the You Beauty podcast. (Get it in your ears below…)

“If you’re using a thick concealer, and especially that much, it’s definitely going to sit in your wrinkles and it ain’t gonna look good.”


Leigh’s advice is instead of caking on layers and layers of concealer and powder, use a light, light-reflecting concealer product.

Scout’s honour, the answer to covering your dark circles is using a lighter concealer.

“For women that do have concerns about lines around their eyes and want to conceal their circles and bags, go for a light-reflecting formula,” she said.

YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch Concealer ($70) is a great option, it’s the product that comes in a gold pen and it’s very light in texture. The light reflecting particles bounce light off and away from the area, so it looks luminous, but you’re not wearing heavy concealer.

This cult favourite won't fall into your under eye wrinkles. Promise. Image: Myer.

"For me, what I do is I use a light reflecting one Monday to Friday when I'm going about my life, but if I'm going somewhere special and I'm doing 'spesh' makeup, I use a heavy duty one but only in the very inner corner, that dark area. Then from under my pupil, outwards, I'll use the lighter one because that's where my lines are so it won't fall into them."

Another tip is to use a hydrating eye cream 10 to 15 minutes before going in with concealer - "that's going to make sure the under eye area is nice and plump and the product on top won't settle into those lines," Leigh said.

She also added, "I would steer clear of any powder, frosted highlighters on your cheekbones, if you've got lines there, go for creams and liquids because they're not going to fall into the lines the way a powder would. It's like wearing a disco ball on your wrinkles."

And while there's nothing wrong with wrinkles, none of want that, do we?

You Beauty Cheat Sheet

Other questions Leigh and Kelly answered, as well as products mentioned in passing, and their ‘spendys’ and ‘saveys’ (and where you can buy them).

'How do you reapply face sunscreen when you've got a full face of makeup on?'

  • Leigh says she's been asking this question of scientists at beauty events for years - best practice is to reapply, but that ain't gonna happen if you've got a full face of beautiful makeup on.
  • First step is sunscreen under your makeup, but no, that won't last all day - the sunscreen you put on in the morning isn't going to protect you from when you leave for work until you get home.
  • In Australia we have the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) and we have very strict guidelines for importing and selling sunscreen here - it's a good thing because the products need to do what they say, but over the in US you can get setting sprays that are SPF 30 or 50.
  • Leigh hasn't found any good products here in Australia, but there are two brands she likes that you can get in the US (and there are websites that ship to Australia).
  • You could try Pixi Sun Mist SPF 30 or Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30 from Sephora US, both are applied after makeup.
  • Mineral powders that contain SPF are OK, but you'll need a lot of product to get enough protection.
  • Leigh's best tip - avoid the afternoon sun, wear a hat or go indoors, depending on how much you worry about pigmentation.
Pixi Sun Mist SPF 30. Image: Pixi.
Coola Makeup Setting Spray SPF 30. Image: Sephora US.

Spendy and Savey

Leigh's Spendy: Rationale Immunologist Mask, $188.

Image: Rationale.

Why she loves it:

  • It's a pot face mask, not single use like a sheet mask.
  • By Rationale, a very high end, very fancy skincare brand.
  • Comes in a glass tub, lasts for at least a year.
  • Thick, gold, iridescent, sticky texture.
  • Use once a week, pop a thin layer on your afce and leave for 10 to 15 minutes, wash off with warm water.
  • Brightening and evening, skin feels smooth after use.
  • Side note - the first time Leigh bought it, she dropped it on the pavement and it smashed...

Kelly's Spendy: Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, $70.

Image: Mecca.

Why she loves it:

  • Kim Kardashian's makeup artist uses it.
  • An oil-based spray (not good for women with oily skin).
  • Gives you a dewy, glowy makeup finish.
  • Can use before or after makeup.
  • Kelly avoids spraying on her chin where she gets acne.
  • Wouldn't use on a sweaty, humid day.

Leigh's Savey: Designer Brands Lip Boost Plumping Treatment, $11.99.

Image: Designer Brands.

Why she loves it:

  • Leigh's favourite shade is 'Sweetie Pie'.
  • Designer Brands Cosmetics is one of Leigh's favourite affordable cosmetics brands.
  • Looks and feels like a regular gloss - a soft pale nudey pink.
  • Subtly plumps for finish like a polished balm.
  • Essentially, makes your lips look like 'your lips but better'.

Kelly's Savey: Weleda Skin Food, $22.95.


Why she loves it:

  • Natural brand.
  • The most nourishing, hydrating cream she's used.
  • Kelly uses it as a hand cream, and on dry patches like elbows and ankles before tanning.
  • Leigh uses it as a night cream when her skin is feeling dry.

Until next week, stay lovely.

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