Who likes concealer? Does anyone really?
I hate it. I deeply resent it. I find it a necessary evil, yet another step in my morning routine I wish I didn't need. I actually did not need concealer until I hit my mid 40s, when I began to notice that the skin around my eyes appeared darker. At first I thought it was sleep deprivation, but then I learned that the dark hollows were due to thinning skin, a process that occurs as we age.
I get dark sockets at the inner corners of my eyes, closest to my nose, and I also have a little purplish depression at the outer corners. And, of course, underneath, just like the rest of you.
So if I don't want to look tired or petulant, I need to apply something to that area that visually lifts and lightens without drawing additional attention to it.
In trying to find the right color with the right texture, I have almost frenetically played the field. Everything I tried was too dark or too warm or too heavy and cakey or it creased or it made my skin look like crumpled tissue paper. Through experimentation, I discovered that I prefer the finish of concealer/highlighter hybrids, like Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat or Estee Lauder's Ideal Light Brush-on Illuminator, because they look more natural on me. Instead of leaving an opaque wash of color on the skin, these products feel weightless and are nearly translucent. The luminous particles they contain make it appear as though the skin under my eyes and at the inner corners near my nose is not as dark as it really is. But this isn't a review about illuminating concealers.
With a goal of streamlining (I don't need more than one concealer), I retrieved some of the concealers I rarely used in order to compare them to the one I actually do use, though not every day. I immediately saw that Jane Iredale Circle/Delete Concealer #1 ($30) was the best of the bunch, as far as matching my skin.
Below is a swatch of Circle/Delete compared to the other concealers that have not yet gone into the Purgatory Box (though they get virtually no use):
- Laura Geller Real Deal Light
- Edward Bess Platinum Concealer in Soft Beige (reviewed here)
- Ellis Faas S201 (reviewed here)
- Jane Iredale Circle/Delete #1 (swatched both sides of the pan)
|Circle/Delete comes in a split pan, with a darker and lighter shade, to use individually or to mix|
Mineral based, Circle/Delete has a cream-to-powder finish. It feels a bit sticky at first, but it quickly melts into the skin and does not cake or crease on me. Set under the thinnest layer of my beloved Jane Iredale PurePressed mineral foundation (reviewed here and here), the concealer lasts all day.
I use the lighter color around the inner corners of my eyes, a blend of light and medium underneath, and the medium shade alone as a skin tone evener, especially around my nose where I get redness. I apply Circle/Delete with a synthetic paddle-shaped concealer brush (by Jane Iredale). A little goes a very long way, and it has never caused a single breakout.
Minimizing dark circles naturallyAlthough concealer provides suitable "smoke and mirrors," I prefer to resolve issues at the source, rather than slapping a Band-Aid on top. There are some things we can do (barring deep circles and bags we inherit genetically) to ameliorate dark circles:
- Don't smoke
- Eat healthy
- Drink plenty of water
- Get adequate sleep—at least 8 hours, preferably 9—and sleep in complete darkness (use an eye mask, if necessary)
- Use sunscreen and wear sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection
- Treat allergies (my allergist called my circles "allergy shiners")
- Use a Vitamin K cream on the skin (but NOT if you are on blood thinners)
- Keep a gel compress in the fridge and place over your closed eyes; alternatively use cold, wet tea bags or cucumber slices
- Sleep on your back with your head elevated
Bottom line: Though I don't often wear real concealer, Circle/Delete is still my favorite, more than 10 years after my first purchase.
What is your favorite concealer?
Ingredients: Isopropyl Jojobate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Beeswax, Silica, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ozokerite, Syringa Vulgaris (Lilac) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Pinus Strobus (Pine) Bark Extract, Bisabolol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Algae, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides.