Expert Advice: How to Cover Up Dark Circles & Brighten Eyes

concealer options for dark circles
A few months ago we asked you to put your questions to makeup artist Zoe Clark. She's back with the answers to selected queries and we'll be rolling them out over the next few weeks. First up, a question we never seem to see the back of; just how do you deal with those pesky dark circles?

Q: I'm feeling a teensy bit reverse panda today so how so I cover dark circles effectively and what do I use? Can you give me some advice on the best products and application tips for brightening the inner corners of the eyes to make them appear brighter and bigger?

zoe clarkeA: The trick for covering dark circles around the eyes is to use as little product as possible to achieve the maximum effect. In other words less is most definitely more. There are two things that you should consider when purchasing a concealer for around the eye area. The first is the colour/shade and the second is the texture.

Yellowy toned concealers are great at covering purple/redness and more pinky concealers do a great job at covering blue-ish shadows. Also use a concealer that is, if anything, slightly paler than your natural skin-tone (but only slightly paler as you don’t want to look like you’ve been wearing ski-goggles!)

Remember that darker colours recede and lighter colours will bring things forward. Also don’t be tempted to use something thick and heavy around the fine-skinned eye area as this will only emphasize any lines. Instead go for a more moisturising sheer concealer such as MAC’s Select Moisture Cover (4).

Then either apply a little of the concealer with a synthetic brush (1 - try E.l.f for bargain options) or pat it on over the offending area with your ring finger. Remember not to go overboard and avoid any laughter lines if you can!


My biggest tip is to then gently and finely apply a tiny amount of a light reflective pen over the top of your concealer where you are darkest, normally around the inner corner and perhaps along the lid - I still love YSL’s Touché Éclat pen (2).

Then take your finger and gently remove any creases in the product, before setting with a small amount of a very sheer, almost silky textured powder rubbed into a puff. MAC’s loose powder (5) is perfect with a Make Up For Ever puff (6). Then to open the eye, run an ivory/pinky white eyeliner such as Benefit’s Eye Bright Pencil (3) along the tear line. Don’t use a bright white pencil as it can look very artificial. This also has the affect of brightening and opening the eye.


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