the A team
the A team

Concealing dark circles has been part of my makeup routine for about 15 years now, but successfully adding brightness to look fully rested is something I’ve only just recently achieved. Let me start by showing you what genetics gave me.

5 Ways to Brighten Undereyes bare face

A radiant concealer like Tarte Maracuja Creaseless or NARS Radiant Creamy does wonders for every day covering up, but today I want to focus specifically on the extra bonus of brightening.  First and foremost I’m going to state the obvious:  Before any makeup can be applied, moisturize moisturize moisturize! Then get down to the nitty gritty.

1.  Correct.  Correctly!  The biggest problem I found previously was finding products that didn’t appear ashy on my olive skin.  Most pink (for counteracting blue tones) and peach (for counteracting purple tones) correctors look funky against my green skin.  I even dabbled in green correctors for awhile because of my red-brown circles, which did help with concealing but did nothing for adding brightness.

It wasn’t until last fall that Cindy Rodriguez of NARS cleared things up for me.  Correctors should only be used where needed and in relation to the skin’s undertone.  She introduced me to NARS Honey and it was a total game changer.  When applied only over areas with blue undertones, Honey corrects the discoloration.  I apply the stick version to the inner corners and blend outward before covering with my skin-toned concealer.  I’ve also used Radiant Creamy Concealer in Honey and it works just as well.

corrector is focused at the inner part of the eye and blended toward the center
corrector is focused at the inner part of the eye and blended toward the center

Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift in Shade 1 is a fantastic choice for fair skin and NARS Honey (even though it is listed as Light 3) continues to do the trick even as my skin deepens during the summer.

2.  Set.  Along the same ashy lines as correctors, I find brightening setting powders to draw negative gray attention to my undereyes.  A couple months ago I starting using Becca Perfect Skin Mineral Foundation to set my makeup.  Someone needs to clue me in on how this works, but mineral powder is so natural and radiant looking and it is perfect on top of concealer.  I love it!

3.  Bright Blue-Toned Lips.  A vivid lip color will definitely awaken the entire face which is why I love wearing bolder lipsticks.  But to keep things bright and cheery, try a cool fuchsia or magenta. Warmer lip colors can cause skin to look sallow so I opt for something like Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Berry Blast for that illuminating pop of color.  Worn over Too Faced Perfect Lips Perfect Pink Liner, I get gorgeously intense color.

5 Ways to Brighten Undereyes before inner corner highlight
Oh, hello, brilliant skin and distracting lips!

4.  Inner Corner Highlight.  It’s fairly common knowledge that the inner part of the eyelid “should” have a lighter colored eyeshadow.  But using something reflective with slight pink tones makes a world of difference.  Makeup Geek Shimma Shimma is my favorite choice to apply to my tear duct area.  The pink continues to correct and the reflective quality literally reflects light.

5 Ways to Brighten Undereyes inner corner highlight
Shimma Shimma

5.  Nude and Navy Eyeliners.  Sometimes the problem is with the waterline.  Tiredness or allergies can cause it to redden and I’ve had both cause my waterlines to ruin an otherwise awesome eye look.  Unless you’re doing a graphic look or editorial makeup, stick to a beige or nude color to clean things up.  There are plenty of options out there, but only NARS Larger Than Life Rue Bonaparte Eyeliner has looked natural on me.

For the upper waterline, try navy.  A creamy formula worked across the waterline and into the base of the lashes makes the lashes look thicker to distract from the undereyes and the blue brightens.  I prefer Too Faced Perfect Eyes Eyeliner in Perfect Navy because, like Rue Bonaparte, it stays put and is long wearing.  Running Perfect Navy above the lashes kicks things up one more notch.

5 Ways to Brighten Undereyes nude and navy eyeliner

What are your top tips for brightening your undereyes?

Disclosure: Products in this post were provided by PR for consideration. More information on my posting policies can be found here.