Momma was my neighbor in Ecuador, and I never asked her first name. She was without a doubt one of the most loving and kind people I have ever met. She reminded me of an angel and I told her so in broken Spanish, which led to us becoming close friends with Google Translate (my Spanish still needs work).
Momma was (very) reluctant to sit in my makeup chair, so her artist daughter, Vero, stepped in and managed to persuade her into my studio. Momma perched uncomfortably in the chair and I kept worrying she would jump up and declare she forgot a Fritada de Chancho cooking on the stove. To off-set her obvious uncertainty, I showed Momma the step-by-step process of the makeover in a mirror (I don’t normally do that), and if you watch the video, her transformation from being uncomfortable to gorgeous diva and her reactions throughout the process are priceless.
With that in mind, Momma has red and brown dark under-eye circles that hide her large, expressive, and watery eyes. The challenge, as many of you know, is that foundation and concealer can set in fine lines and look, well, bad. In this article, I will spell out how I covered her circles so that it looks natural and brought out her best features.
There must be a zillion eye creams on the market, and only about two do anything useful. If I sound cynical, I am. There are about six active ingredients in skin care that benefit your skin, and if an eye cream doesn’t contain even a modicum of one of these you just as well toss it in the trash. To save you money (always a good thing) I’d recommend not buying eye cream, and instead buy an oil soluble vitamin C (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate or THDA), and use it around your eye area as well as your face and neck. It will do more to strengthen your skin barrier, add much needed nutrients, and provide antioxidant support on this ultra-sensitive area.
In the video, I toss on a combination of the above product, plus hyaluronic acid and fulvic acid to plump and hydrate so that the makeup doesn’t crease up or do anything else gross. Many of you probably don’t use foundation or concealer for this very reason, but take heart! Momma’s makeup held up beautifully with no issue.
Medium Coverage Foundation
Here’s another product for the trash; full coverage foundation. If you want to cover things like discoloration, age spots, hyperpigmentation, etc., use a medium coverage like I did in the video, and then use a concealer on top to better control the quantity. Look for foundations that use words like hydrating, emollient, and moisturizing in the title and description to find a brand that works. For more information on how to shop for foundations watch this video. In the end, you will want to buy a quality product as the cheap ones look that way.
How to Shop for Concealer
I love the technical aspects of makeup. When I really get going talking about the right color tones to cover dark spots and circles, my close friends get that glazed deer-in-the-headlights look that I am all too familiar with. Because of this, here is my basic run-down of color theory that is (hopefully) understandable.
In order to cover under-eye circles, use the opposite color on the color-wheel (shown above). For example, find the purple on the wheel, and look opposite it and you will see yellow. Therefore, buy a warm (yellow) under toned concealer to cover purple/pink under-eye discoloration. The opposite/complementary shade will automatically cover the discoloration. If you have a lot of brown around your eyes, use orange as brown is a mixture of all colors. If concealers turn ashen on you, it’s because they have too much pink in them and you need to use a peachy tone instead. Peach, or orange, covers cool-toned under-eye discoloration as you can see on the wheel. (Please let me know any questions in the comments below.)
Back to Momma. Not to be irritating, but I used two separate concealers on her circles 🙄. The first was a peachy toned shade to cover the brown, and the second was a yellow toned one to hide the purple/red. I know that sounds complicated, but the result was that you couldn’t see any of her under-eye darkness, and because I used a good product, it doesn’t crease up or look over-done.
Momma is Beautiful and so are YOU! I loved making-up Momma. This was one of my all-time favorite makeovers, and I’ve done a lot of them. Having said that, the word makeover can imply that we are not beautiful as we are, in our natural state. For me, I think we women are gorgeous and that we don’t need to add anything to that picture. What I love about makeovers, is the transformational quality of using makeup, hair, and style to be creative and discover different sides to our femininity.
The goal is not to always spend an hour a day with perfect makeup, that’s boring and heaven knows I don’t live that way. What’s interesting is the ability to look however we chose, whenever we chose. My advice is to be just as confident with zero makeup on, as when you create a full-face look, and to do it because it’s fun and you feel amazing not because you are in some way better. That’s just another thing to toss in the trash.