Here's how to correct it.

By Anneke Knot
November 06, 2018
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Credit: Getty Images

We rely on concealer to cover up our dark under eye circles, disguise our puffiness, and hide our redness. All in all, it's got a pretty tough job. 

Finding the right concealer is hard enough without the added pressure of the right way to apply it. For years, I thought I knew how to put on my concealer. Somewhere along the way, every girl has heard the alleged beauty hack "Buy a concealer lighter than your normal shade to counteract dark spots."

With that advice in mind, I would head to the drugstore, pick out a shade a much lighter than my complexion, apply it to my problem areas, and done. Simple as that.

After having the opportunity to speak to Nick Lujan, the MAKE UP FOR EVER Pro Educator, my entire makeup routine fell into question. Nothing like meeting with a makeup artist to discover what you have been doing wrong. Spoiler alert: I have been applying concealer all wrong.

That's right, all these years, all the dark circles, all the redness, and all the unwanted blemishes: Despite my best efforts, I was not doing myself any favors. 

"Finding the correct color [concealer] can be difficult. People tend to think that they need to go a lot brighter to mask dark circles. It is actually best to match as close to the skin tone as possible," Lujan advises, "Going too light with concealer can create the illusion of puffiness and also make the dark circle appear gray."

His tips don't stop there. He also advises, "Pinpoint the darkest shadows to cover with concealer. I have my clients drop their chin toward their chest while staring directly into the mirror. In this pose, I apply dots of concealer in the deepest parts of the shadows." 

He also reminds us that less is more. "Because we often use too much concealer, I use the back of a clean concealer brush to roll gently under the eye area. This will melt the concealer into the skin and remove excess product onto the handle. Wipe the handle on a clean tissue and repeat on the other side."

After hearing all of this, I knew I had to try for myself. I started with a makeup free face. 

Makeup Free Face

I grabbed my Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in Vanilla 5 ($34,, a shade that matched the rest of my complexion. I looked down into my compact and, sure enough, the darkest shadows revealed themselves. I dabbed a little concealer on (about half of what I normally do). 

Face with concealer

After just one application, I was amazed at the difference. Just a little dab of concealer made it look like I had my entire face done. Plus, I was using less product *praise hands emoji*.

Make your concealer work for you rather than the other way around.