What 1 product would you recommend to a pale dude with undereye circles?
April 17, 2017 9:09 PM   Subscribe

I'm not a dude, but I am an incredibly lazy and picky woman who will never spend more than the time it takes to quickly shower and air dry my short hair on a morning routine, so work with me here. If a stereotypical 30something cis white guy with otherwise ok skin asked you for just one lightweight makeup product that he could buy and then apply in 30 seconds (or less, 10 seconds would be ideal) to reduce the impact of dark undereye circles in photos and in person, what would you recommend?

I know enough to think concealer is probably the wrong choice because it's meant to be paired with other products, but beyond that I'm out of my depth and into "last time I had concealer on my face it felt completely disgusting but also I was 16" territory. In general, I have a very low tolerance for makeup texture (liquid or powder) or really anything on my face besides the sheerest of scent-free sunscreen, which I apply only on days when I'm planning to be outside for more than an hour and can tolerate because it absorbs quickly and almost completely. Aside from the occasional combination sunscreen/Eucerin application, I do not moisturize, don't plan to start, and would be trying out this product, if such a thing exists, in combination with zero other products.
posted by deludingmyself to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (34 answers total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
There is nothing like you describe (a product you apply to your eyes only) but a BB cream might work. You do have to apply it to you whole face, not just your eye area but it's basically a tinted sunscreen and they are made to go on smoothly and be very light these days.

You might also try a nasal spray antihistamine which is the only thing that works on my under eye bags which are due to a dust mite allergy.
posted by fshgrl at 9:17 PM on April 17, 2017 [5 favorites]

I have had very good luck with Vitamin K cream, just a cheap version, applied twice a day. Its not make up, it's a clear gel/ cream. But it only took about 2 weeks to see a noticeable differences. There are some pictures online where people just do one side of their face so you can see what kind of a difference it can make.
posted by Rapunzel1111 at 9:18 PM on April 17, 2017 [8 favorites]

L'oreal photoready does the trick for me, but I use dermablend in the summer because it has more staying power. I don't use it with other stuff.
posted by thesockpuppet at 9:21 PM on April 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you don't apply moisturizer before the concealer it will look crepey AF
posted by jessca84 at 9:52 PM on April 17, 2017 [12 favorites]

Fellow lazy woman with dark under-eye circles here. I often use concealer as the only thing on my face. You want one that is lightweight and has moisturizer in it. You may have to try a couple to see what works best with your skin, but it's very doable. Currently using this (just the concealer end) but have also used and liked this. Dot it on, pat it in with fingertip, go.
posted by leeloo minai at 9:54 PM on April 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have use bareminerals "Well-Rested". It isn't really a concealer but a "brightener"- it is sheer but has some luminescent properties that make my bags disappear. It's got a little brush applicator, and you twist the bottom of the tube, the product appears on the brush, apply and go.
posted by momochan at 10:01 PM on April 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

I use this on my whole face because as someone else suggested, it's a BB cream, but man it is goooooood. And cheap!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 10:13 PM on April 17, 2017

Super dark circles here. Sometimes I go all out with concealer and makeup; sometimes I can't be arsed. Missha M Magic cushion is great, my favorite cheap base makeup. Less than $10 on Amazon - just pat pat pat on your face and you're done.
posted by ortoLANparty at 10:15 PM on April 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

SPF 25 Rose Tinted Face Sunscreen daily face sunscreen. Because that is what I use for the same problem—it doesn't completely conceal but I have no problem wearing it everyday. This company (Badger) also has a waterproof scent-free tinted sunscreen.
posted by rai at 10:37 PM on April 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

You can wear concealer on its own but you will have to start with moisturised skin. Moisturising will also improve your undereye area. The are tons of lightweight moisturisers that will feel lighter than sunscreen. A good undereye concealer is Maybelline Age Rewind.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:56 PM on April 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

This works wonders for me. I, too, am a lazy person who only takes about 30 seconds to ensure I look not-completely-terrible before I walk out the door, and that weird caffeine roller ball thingy has won me over.
posted by BeeJiddy at 12:12 AM on April 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

Cheap. Awesome.

Rimmel Perfect Match Concealer.

I am so fair skinned, I must change my makeup every season, depending on sun exposure. I hate hate hate makeup and prefer spot correcting. THIS CONCEALER IS THE TITS.

It was only matched by a stick concealer by Smashbox, that of course, they no longer make. Except this Rimmel Concealer is waaaay more shear! And covers just as well if not better!!

Seriously. This is your jam. No one will know you are wearing it. Will hide what you want to hide. Go forth and enjoy!
posted by jbenben at 12:16 AM on April 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

I think you should use a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen and then a concealer. I like mayballine pro age rewind. It'll be like the first thing that comes up on amazon for concealor because it's amazing and cheap.

Basically put on the bb cream on like your sunscreen. Spend an extra 10 seconds here to makesure it does not look streaky. Right now I use supergoop for this because a lot of drugstore bb creams make me breakout. Then put on the concealor and pat it into the bb cream. This all should take 30 seconds extra.
posted by Kalmya at 3:13 AM on April 18, 2017

If you wear concealer under your eyes, how are you going to remove that? Anything that covers well and holds up during the day may be difficult to remove, which means after removal you should probably moisturize.

Have you tried a vitamin C solution under your eyes to lighten the dark circles? Or are they caused by facial structure?
posted by LoonyLovegood at 3:15 AM on April 18, 2017

I find that if I use concealer, no matter how well matched to my skin tone, it looks like I'm wearing concealer unless I also use a BB cream, tinted moisturizer, or foundation on the rest of my face. This stuff solves that problem because it is sheer. Yet it also appears to cover really well because of its yellow tones that counteract the purple in the dark circles. I also find it's brush applicator easier to use than the standard sponge tip applicators that come with concealer which usually result in uneven coverage that requires the extra step of blending and perhaps the purchase of a separate concealer brush.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 3:45 AM on April 18, 2017

In a similar vein as BeeJiddy, I'm here to recommend Clinique's All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage. This product doesn't have a concealer component, but it disappears my dark circles almost immediately. I usually only apply it in the morning, but on days when I am both super tired and need to look put together, I take it with me and swipe it on at lunch. It takes about 10 seconds to apply and less than a minute to take effect. I'm also a very pale lady.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 5:37 AM on April 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

I don't know a damn thing about makeup and I don't even know if the thing I use is a concealer or a powder or a foundation or what. I'm a pale woman with dark, dark circles under my eyes. I don't moisturize in the morning (it makes my face sweaty) and I don't use liquid anything because I live in a very hot place and liquid anything will just melt/sweat right off my face.

The thing I use is a matte foundation powder (I just googled it). The brand is Bare Minerals and the product is "Matte Foundation" - the one I have looks like this.

What I do in the mornings:
- wash my face with cold water
- dry my face
- dab some of that powder stuff on my ring finger, smear it on under my eyes (where the darkness is), and then blend it/smooth it so it's not so obviously just a bunch of powder under my eyes

If I do a decent job of blending it, it doesn't look like I have weird stuff under my eyes or that I forgot to apply makeup to the rest of my face.

I will note that it helps to decrease the darkness under my eyes significantly, but it doesn't make it go away. I'm told to completely hide dark circles you have to do a proper makeup routine and I'm just not up for that.

I don't remember if the Bare Minerals stuff was expensive but I got it at Sephora, they probably have samples of it in store, and the one I bought has lasted a very long time (probably because I only use it under my eyes).
posted by gursky at 6:46 AM on April 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I like makeup, and I often wear it, but you don't need to do the whole thing. I sometimes use just concealer, and it's fine. The bye bye undereye illuminating thingie by IT cosmetics is really nice, but needs to be worked in carefully.
For easy, I have a nudestix concealer pencil, that's a big pencil crayon. I kind of draw a u under my eyes and blend it with a finger. Takes under a minute and it's fine.
posted by Valancy Rachel at 7:07 AM on April 18, 2017

I use wet n' wild's illumi-naughty (I had to google for that monstrosity of a name) for dark circles. It's light concealer mixed with highlighter that comes in a clicky pen applicator. I usually use a bb cream too when I bother to use it, but I have used it on its own (blending is important if you do this) and I think it's been fine and does make dark circles less noticeable.
posted by snaw at 7:26 AM on April 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Fellow bare bones 30-something clean face lady here. If I'm feeling fancy I toss on mascara and a lip stain. That's about the breadth of my routine.

I had pretty massive undereye circles that were magnified 100x every time I wore my contacts. Two small changes without makeup assistance that have helped have been : making sure I am getting enough hydration (during the day but also before bed) and throwing on a moisturizer before bed. I've been using a sample size called Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet Cream but I've also seen quality results with the Olay Regenerist line of potions and lotions available at the drugstore. I realize you don't want to start moisturizing, but it only takes the 10 seconds you want to spend covering up the circles and isn't gross feeling if you use the right amount... so there you are.

In my family, my parents and their parents didn't have pronounced under-eye circles, so hereditary traits were not at play with me. On the days I've lived a bit too much the night before, I've patted on NYX Dark Circle Concealer. Use a small brush or makeup sponge instead of your finger to apply for ultimate control of product. Helps to smack down the gloopy feeling of something ooey being on your face.
posted by missh at 7:48 AM on April 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I must recommend Origins VitaZing. Lightweight and very mild tint that at least on my sort of "average but tans easily skin" gives just that hint of coverup that is sometimes needed.
posted by annabear at 9:34 AM on April 18, 2017

I am also bare-faced, but I've heard (and experienced) that under eye circles have more to do with nasal congestion than anything else? Idk man bodies are weird. But as mentioned upthread, anti-histamine nasal spray could do it, as could a Neti pot. or neti pot followed by the spray.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:12 AM on April 18, 2017

I was going to recommend BB cream, but then I remembered Smashbox makes a BB just for undereyes. I haven't used it, but love their regular BB cream, so it would be worth a try.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 11:08 AM on April 18, 2017

Not sure how gender comes into this, but I use Clinique combined foundation and concealer, which I got after Urban Decay destroyed my face.
posted by actionpotential at 11:14 AM on April 18, 2017

Are you sure your problem is really under eye circles, or is it bags/puffiness that cast a shadow? For years, I thought I had the first problem, and couldn't figure out why concealer seemed to make it worse from certain angles.

I now use Yves St. Laurent Touche Éclat on the area just below the puffiness, and in the corner of my eyes. It takes a bit of practice to find the right spot but once you get the hang of it, you can definitely be out the door in under thirty seconds.
posted by rpfields at 12:42 PM on April 18, 2017

I use a concealer in stick form after moisturizing the under-eye area. My concealer is yellow because I'm covering purplish marks; green is a good color to conceal reddish marks. Use sparingly and the touch of color will be enough to neutralize the problem.
posted by Knowyournuts at 1:14 PM on April 18, 2017

I like this cheap Maybelline concealer - I used it alone, and I liked that the applicator is on the end so I don't need to use my fingers to smear it. It's pretty lightweight. I use a heavier concealer with powder these days but the Maybelline one did the trick. I didn't notice any age-rewinding... but it's nice and sheer and liquidy.
posted by noodel at 3:48 PM on April 18, 2017

I use this Glossier Stretch Concealer and it's great for me. I apply it with my fingers, leave it to melt into my skin for thirty-sixty seconds, and dab it in.
posted by coldbabyshrimp at 8:08 PM on April 18, 2017

Not sure how gender comes into this

I totally own this critique and agree with it in principle, but I also read through several other Asks by women looking to add one very small change to improve their everyday look and saw a bunch of replies suggesting things like "just go to a beauty counter and have them demo products on you!" or "all I use for a simple everyday face is a foundation, lipliner, mascara, and these two other things!"

I really appreciate being able to ask this question to a mix of people who dig makeup, are squicked out by makeup, or feel somewhere in between. But I also really didn't want to redirect a bunch of "just pop round to the Sephora counter!" and then I realized basically no one would suggest that to a straight guy asking the same question, so why not make the patriarchylulz work for me? Plus I hoped it'd save me some time Googling stuff like "what the fuck is a BB cream," although evidently not so much. BUT! I'm at least Googling things because a bunch of you engaged with the question despite my weird framing and seem to have some great ideas, so now it's just a matter of like, prioritizing these suggestions.

For anyone who still wants to chime in, I'll just note that I am not congested and my skin is really happy and hydrated, so I'm 100% not going to moisturize no matter how much anyone evangelizes unless possibly the moisturizer is the one cool face product trick we're talking about. Also as LoonyLovegood smartly pointed out, any makeup product I put on my face I'll probably need to take off, and I basically never use soap on my face unless it has dirt or paint or grease on it (which is probably why not moisturizing is working well for me), so like... extra points for anything that I don't actually need to wash off, I guess?
posted by deludingmyself at 8:53 PM on April 18, 2017 [5 favorites]

Also it may not work at all but I am currently thrilled at the "buy this roller ball thingy and swipe it under your eyes then go about your business" suggestions because that is precisely the kind of weird beauty product shit I would never, ever have found on Amazon but also possibly the exact thing I've been looking for without even knowing it.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:20 PM on April 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Yes, you have to remove makeup before you sleep or you will get eye infections, and the makeup is also going to dry out your skin. Jojoba oil is the shit for makeup removal+moisturizing in one go. You can also try this with other oils probably lying around your house right now (google "oil cleansing method" for a ridiculous range of options -- you can ignore the fussy instructions, for makeup removal it's just going to be smearing it on, rinse with water, pat dry).
posted by veery at 1:52 PM on April 22, 2017

As far as easy and effective removal goes, nthing jojoba oil. Also microfiber washcloths are great. You can get them on Amazon for not much money, and they're very effective at removing makeup. Given the way microfiber works, they work best if you use warm water and not much pressure – just keep the cloth moving to gently scour away the makeup particles.
posted by Lexica at 5:24 PM on April 22, 2017

Coming in to report that I (a fellow non-makeup-wearing, pale-skinned person) just tried the Garnier product on BeeJiddy's recommendation. It works great and it really can be worn on its own, without moisturizer or foundation.
posted by 8603 at 10:00 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I too remain super satisfied with that product after purchase! Definitely not a daily wear thing for me, but on the 1-2 times a month when I really feel like the eye circles are bothering me enough to feel even the slightest bit makeup-y, I now reach for it!
posted by deludingmyself at 6:43 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

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