Some people love an out-of-this-world highlighter or a bold contour to define their face, or fierce liner and lashes to accentuate the eyes and that’s what’s wonderful about makeup – everyone can get different things out of it. And although I’m partial to a blinding highlighter and lots of lashes every once in a while myself, my ultimate must-have each time I do my makeup is bright, dewy skin – particularly in the under eye area, to hide my ever-present sleep deprivation.
For me, it’s a three-step routine. A little over-the-top? Maybe. But when you find a system that works for you, that adds the illusion of an extra 5 hours of sleep to your face, you just go with it. Correct any blue tones, providing an even canvas, conceal the area and set it down to make sure it doesn’t make it’s way halfway down your face by lunchtime.
I start off with a peachy-salmon formula to correct blue tones. Sometimes this step is less necessary. It normally depends on how much sleep I got the night before. But it really can make all the difference on some mornings. I like to focus the corrector on the inner corners of the eye, in that tear trough area. A little often goes a long way so I pat it in lightly or tap it in with a BeautyBlender. Including this step in my routine means I use less concealer later on and overall, it leads to a more put together look.
My faves: Urban Decay, Becca, Bobbi Brown, Savvy, Bare Minerals.
I have plenty of long-standing favourites in this category. The Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener is a lightweight liquid that adds a subtle brightness under the eyes. My go-to for days when I don’t need that much extra help. Becca’s Under Eye Brightening Corrector* sits on the other end of the spectrum – a little goes a long way with this creamy pot of goodness but it does an incredible job of correcting blue tones. Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Colour Correcting Fluid in Pink is a similar formula to the famed concealer but I find this pink shade is very hard to get wrong. I love this one and reach for it a lot, I actually need to pick up a second tube soon.
Everyone goes on about Bobbi Brown’s Corrector* and since trying it for myself, I can understand why. Again, you only need the tiniest bit on the finger to pat into the skin and it instantly corrects without ever creasing or drying out. My latest addition to the gang is the Savvy CC Concealer in Anti-Dark Circles. It reminds me a lot of the Bare Minerals Stroke of Light but doesn’t have quite as much coverage. Nevertheless, I’ve been loving this one because it’s incredibly lightweight and blends in beautifully. Another win from Savvy, and for the price how can you say no?
Bobbi Brown (Extra Light Bisque), Becca (Under Eye Corrector), Urban Decay (Pink),
Bare Minerals (Luminous 1), Savvy (Anti Dark-Circles)
The next step is the obvious one. Concealing to make sure that everything looks put together. A lot of the correctors have a bit of a peachy undertone so would look a bit out of place if you just left it at that. Concealing over the top brings it back down to earth. Pretty much every time, I find myself using a BeautyBlender for these first two steps, because the last thing you want is excess product hanging around, creasing and shuffling around all day. Using a damp sponge blends in the product seamlessly and ensures that there’s no more concealer than you actually need.
My faves: Urban Decay, Tarte, Bobbi Brown, Colourpop, MUFE, Cover FX.
Lately, I’ve been loving the Colourpop No Filter Concealer, even more than I thought I would. Although it looks too dark when first applied, it blends in much lighter and adds plenty of coverage with no heaviness. Tarte’s Shape Tape needs no introduction, of course, and I’m happy to say it’s just as good as everyone says it is – you don’t need much but this will cover everything and wear beautifully all day long. It’s definitely my go-to when I’m going for a fuller coverage base. Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Concealer is a great, lightweight formula that, again, doesn’t need much work – a tiny bit blended in with a BeautyBlender works beautifully.
Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer remains a huge favourite for me, even though it sort of got left behind by a lot of people when Shape Tape was released. It’s a thin formula that blends in beautifully but really packs a bunch when it comes to concealing. Bobbi Brown’s Instant Full Cover Concealer* is one of the thicker, drier under eye formulas I tried and at first, I wasn’t sure it was going to be for me, but I’ve actually found myself reaching for this a lot. It pats in beautifully with a finger or a sponge and a little goes a long way to really conceal and brighten. My final pick is a new one to my stash, the Cover FX Cover Click Stick. The teeny creamy stick is a great travel option, I find. It takes a bit more effort to blend in but the results are worth it. Not my top pick from this bunch (I prefer the glowy Enhance Clicks from the line-up) but a good one nonetheless.
Tarte (Fair), Colourpop (Fair 5), Urban Decay (Fair Neutral), Bobbi Brown (Porcelain),
Make Up For Ever (R20), Cover FX (N10)
The final step is one that I never miss. Setting down the area makes sure that all the hard work you put in stays on your face. Nobody wants makeup to be creasing, drying out or moving around. I also find that setting down the area makes the tear duct trough less pronounced, too. It’s amazing what a difference that can make to your eye area and your face overall. I love using a tapered, slightly fluffy powder brush to make sure there’s an even coverage of powder while ensuring that it never looks too over the top. If things look a little heavy, a quick tap with a BeautyBlender can ensure that there’s no excess product.
My faves: RCMA, Kat Von D, Cover FX, Laura Mercier.
For a while there, all I used was the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. It was my first true setting powder love. I have heard it’s not as good for those with drier skin types, however. I don’t actually own it at the moment but a full-size purchase is definitely on the cards. For the last year or two, though, RCMA’s No Color Powder has taken pride of place in my collection – the hype is real with this one, too. It’s such a no-fuss powder that sets everything beautifully in place and stays put all day without looking cakey.
But lately, I’ve been enjoying mix and match with the powders in my collection. I particularly love collecting travel sizes to see if I like them enough to warrant a full-size repurchase. Kat Von D’s Lock-It Setting Powder has become a favourite in the last couple of months, so a full-size is definitely on the wishlist. It does a brilliant job of not only setting the undereyes, but the entire face. It really smoothes the skin, making everything look more put together. My latest addition is the Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder which is also seriously incredible stuff. Again, it sets the under eye area well and makes the skin look flawless.
What’s your favourite makeup step?
*some products in this post have been provided for editorial consideration, honesty as always!
*this post contains affiliate links