The Surprising Way To Apply Concealer On Under-Eye Bags, From A Makeup Artist 

mbg Associate Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
The classic triangle trick for concealer: Does it work? MUAs weigh in
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Prepare to be stunned: There are legitimately dozens of ways to apply concealer under your eyes. Depending on what, exactly, you're trying to conceal (discoloration, sallowness, eye bags, and so on), different techniques lend a slightly skewed payoff. There's the popular "triangle trick," where you'd draw on an inverted triangle to brighten up the face; the classic dotting technique, where you'd pepper a string of spots from the inner corners outward. Or you might just sweep the doe-foot directly on those dark circles and call it a day. Simple, low-maintenance, and foolproof—right? 

Not exactly. While the latter does turn out fine for some (if it works for you, it works!), those with puffiness may find applying the product directly on the swollen skin only accentuates the eye bags, especially if your concealer of choice settles into your folds midday. To help navigate this woe, we probed celebrity makeup artist Mary Irwin: "There's [a] much more effective way to conceal under the eye," she says. Prepare to be floored yet again. 

Exactly how to apply concealer on under-eye bags.

"Think about how you contour your face—you emphasize light and dark and create a shadow and a highlight. You can do the same thing under your eyes!" Irwin notes. All you need to do is choose a darker shade to add some depth. She adds, "For example, if you have puffiness, use a lighter color concealer directly underneath the eye bag and a slightly darker concealer on the eye bag. It's a visual trick that contours the under-eye." 

Essentially, you're using two shades to create definition and the illusion of lift, just like you would with a pearly highlight on your cheekbones. See, using a light, bouncy concealer underneath a puffy area can lift the surrounding skin, while a richer hue on top of the bag can help recede any ballooned creases. And there you have it: a radiant under-eye area, sans swollen half-moons.

Even if eye bags aren't your main offense (say, discoloration is more your gripe), using two tubes of concealer can also help you brighten up the area without looking flat. Considering you have a variety of undertones across your face (yes, even within the confines of your delicate under-eye), layering two shades can help you achieve a more natural-looking finish. As makeup artist Fatimot Isadare once told us about skin undertones, "Naturally, we have more than one color on our face. So when you're going in with your complexion products, you also want to use more than one color. That's what helps you bring back depth and definition."

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The takeaway.

There are myriad ways to apply concealer under your eyes, and what works for someone trying to mask discoloration won't always hold for those with puffiness. For the latter, though, treating your concealer like contour is your best bet: According to Irwin, this balancing technique lifts the surrounding area while minimizing swollen bags. 

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