Why Your Concealer Could Be Aging You “Beyond Your Years,” According to a Pro Makeup Artist

Why Your Concealer Could Be Aging You “Beyond Your Years,” According to a Pro Makeup Artist

Out of all of the areas on our faces, the undereye area is perhaps the most difficult to treat. There are no oil glands around our eyes; as a result, this skin is one of the first areas to lose elasticity and show our true age. Add that to the fact that the area can look shadowy when we clock in too little sleep, puff up when we treat ourselves to salty snacks, and become parched when we skimp on skincare, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a hodgepodge of issues — issues which can detract from your eyes themselves.

It’s for these reasons that — as a professional makeup artist — I rely heavily on full-coverage concealers. These formulas can make the undereye area appear younger and/or more well rested in a few swipes. Better yet, many concealers contain skincare ingredients, so they’re simultaneously treating and camouflaging the undereye area in one fell swoop. The ideal lineup contains hydrating ingredients (to pamper the thin skin) as well as ones that help treat puffiness, darkness, and fine lines. For how to find one of these multitaskers — plus a few more tips — read on!

Deflate Puffiness

If you frequently wake up with bloated undereyes, consider a concealer with caffeine, aloe, and/or green tea, such as Jane Iredale® Disappear Concealer ($30). These ingredients all have soothing and depuffing properties to help improve the look of bags. However, it’s important to consider your skincare routine when attempting to alleviate this concern — learn professional tips on deflating puffy undereyes here

Diminish Dark Circles

Unfortunately, there’s not one miracle ingredient to completely nix dark circles, as they can be attributed to many causes — including allergies, lifestyle, lack of sleep, and genetics. However, vitamin K and vitamin C are two topical ingredients that can alleviate dark circles. Says Brooks, “Vitamin C is an antioxidant [and skin brightener] that is known for being very beneficial for the undereye area.” Get your fix with the Juice Beauty® Phyto-Pigments Perfecting Concealer ($25), which also contains hydrating glycerin. Of course, it’s also important to opt for a high-coverage concealer to camouflage the darkness. One of my all-time-can’t-live-without favorites is IT Cosmetics® Bye Bye Undereye Concealer ($24). It provides amazing longwear coverage in a plethora of shades. Plus, it’s infused with peptides, vitamins, hydrolyzed collagen, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid — making it ideal for solving a slew of undereye issues. (Looking for more permanent techniques to reduce undereye circles? Try these plastic surgeon-recommended tips.)

Fade Fine Lines

Many women choose their concealer based on coverage and tone, and pay little attention to the formula itself. This is the number one mistake I see people making when they are choosing an undereye concealer. In fact, the formula is just as important as the coverage. If you choose a product that is dry instead of plumping and hydrating, it will age you beyond your years. That’s because drier formulas are more likely to settle into fine lines and accentuate undereye creases. Instead, look for products that contain plumping ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and nourishing oils. My pick: The Glossier® Stretch Concealer ($18), which provides dewy, buildable coverage and contains hydrating jojoba and avocado oils. Additionally, it contains cocoa butter to promote elasticity. Not to mention, the price point is decent for such a luxe concealer.

For longer-term line reduction, look for concealers containing hydrolyzed collagen and peptides. These time-honored anti-agers can work to fade fine lines over time. (For that reason, that’s why I’m such a big fan of the aforementioned Bye Bye Undereye.)

Don’t Skimp on SPF

According to Glen Brooks, sun protection is the most important ingredient to look for in an anti-aging concealer. Unfortunately, concealers containing SPF are difficult to find. One of the few is the Cle De Peau Beaute® Concealer SPF 25 ($70) (skip your daily PSL fix for a week, purchase this little luxury, and consider it money well-spent). This product is considered the holy grail of concealers among many makeup artists, thanks to its creamy, high-coverage formula. In addition to SPF 25, it also contains contains antioxidant-rich green tea extract.

If this is too much of a splurge or you already have a favorite concealer (and it wasn’t formulated with SPF), consider layering your makeup with sunscreen (SPF first, then makeup). You want to ensure your skin stays protected!

Consider Quality

I always tell my clients who want to buy drugstore concealers or foundations to save money in the mascara or blush aisle instead. Splurge on complexion products — better quality ingredients  are less likely to cause skin irritation around the eye, and can nourish the eye area.

Think twice before making your next concealer purchase: the most coveted products on the market right now are multi-taskers! Consider choosing one that has anti-aging benefits as well as coverage — you and your undereyes will see the difference.


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Some products were gifted to the author for the purpose of writing this article.