Beauty Clinic: Dark circles S.O.S.


Q. I have dark circles under my eyes and quite a few lines as my skin is ‘mature’… I am struggling to find a concealer that doesn't go into the lines and look cakey. I’m using a serum concealer now but that still settles in the lines. I do prep first with moisturiser, sun screen and eye serum.

A. For the delicate under eye area our view is that you need the lightest concealer possible, which you apply in very small amounts, dabbing and patting on. Less is invariably more with make up and absolutely always when it comes to round your eyes.

Our Beauty Bible testers found that Temple Spa Glint Shadow Concealer, £20, was an impressive shadow-targeting product that really hid dark circles and brightened the eye area. One tester commented that ‘the light formula blended very easily to conceal dark shadows and made puffiness less noticeable’. Another had had the same problem with products caking and also irritating her eyes: ‘this was really good for sensitive skin, sits well and … evens out the skin tone under the eyes generally but not in an obvious way.’.

We really like Erborian BB Eye Cream and Concealer SPF20, £34. This Korean/French brand offers some wonderfully sophisticated formulations – they don't pretend to be natural but do contain some powerful natural ingredients.

Clinique offers a range of concealers especially for the eye area and really the best thing, if possible, would be to go in and have a chat and consultation at a Clinique counter. You would get the best product for your particular situation and skin tone, as well as tips on application.

An SPF is important to help prevent more lines. We wrote about this topic in Beauty Clinic recently. The key thing is that if you find your eyes get irritated by chemical sunscreens, experts suggest opting for a mineral UV barrier (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) as it’s less likely to cause sensitivity. Try SkinCeuticals Mineral Eye Defense SPF30, £28 for 10 ml But don't use too much, do pat it in carefully and let it sink in and settle before you apply concealer, which may take some minutes – allow ten, say.

Also: rather than your current serum layer, do consider using a lightweight primer such as Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance, £30.50 for 50ml, to fill in fine lines and create a smooth canvas for the concealer. Again you only need a titchy bit although of course you may want to use the primer all over your face, under your foundation or tinted moisturiser.