Get rid of dark under-eye circles

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Those dreaded dark under-eye circles happen to the best of us – even when we finally attain the mythical 8 hours of sleep. It turns out, the dark colouration under your eyes is not specifically caused by a lack of sleep, in fact, a whole host of factors contribute to panda eyes. Causes include genetics, age, sun damage, seasonal allergies or a result of constricted blood vessels, which cause a reddish-purple hue to develop under your eyes.

And while we may not be able to prevent dark under-eye circles, we can minimise them.

Tips from the experts…

We chatted to Lucoh Mhlongo, Elizabeth Arden Celebrity Makeup Artist and got a few expert tips:

* Invest in a great eye cream that will assist in eradicating the darkness over time.

For a quick fix …

* Use either an orange colour corrector or a concealer with an orange undertone. This creates warmth and helps to cancel out the darkness.

* To lift the colour, use your foundation over that area to match the rest of your face. You may even use a slightly lighter shade if you want to create a highlight.

* Lightly dust some powder over that area to set the concealer and foundation ,and you’re good to go!

David White from L’Oréal emphasised, “Skincare first!”.  After cleansing and toning, eye cream or serum should be the first product to be applied before make-up. This allows for proper absorbency as well as adequate time for the active ingredients to prep and settle in the delicate eye area. Once your skincare routine is done, the makeup can start.

Products to try:

Prevention is better than cure

A great eye cream will help revive and plump the skin, thereby making the veins underneath a little less visible. Look for products that work to correct, firm skin and strengthen capillary walls – depending on your needs.

Products to try:

* BioNik3 Defence BB cream Anti-Dark Circles Corrective Treatment, R175.

* Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex, R990.

* David recommends Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, R415, is a “fantastic all-rounder”.

Colour theory FTW

Colour concealer is the future and when used correctly, based on your skin tone and imperfections you want to cover up, it yields great results. Using the colour theory, we use opposite colours on the colour wheel to effectively cancel each other out. The orange and peach tones neutralise dark spots and bruising, and cancels out blue shadows that under-eye circles reflect. Green neutralises redness and helps to cover spots. If all the colours seem overwhelming, Physicians Formula Super CC Color-Correction and Care, R274,95, is a product that seems to offer it all. It uses the colour theory and works to cancel out spots, darkness, signs of ageing and redness in one product! It also contains added SPF 30.

David states, “Apply a tiny amount with a concealer brush on the innermost corner of the eye area, blending outwards. It is very important that the bulk of the product is applied to the darkest areas”.

Products to try:

* NYX Professional Makeup Concealer, Correct, Contour Palette, R224,95.

* L.A Girl HD PRO.Concealers and Correctors, R59,95.

* Catrice AllRound Concealer palette, R74,95.

Cover and conceal


Used correctly, your concealer is your BFF. Concealer has a higher level of pigmentation than your foundation and works to mask those dreaded circles. Most of them offer a supple texture and great coverage. Look for products with a plumping effect that work to minimise the appearance of dark circles and marks to help you do away with panda-esque eyes.

Products to try:

* L.O.V: COVERStorySerum Concealer, R229,95.

* Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Correcting and Highlighting Perfector, R345

* Youth-Boosting Physicians Formula, R254,95

David recommends Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer, R395. It contains a special Light Diffusing complex.

Once you have your concealer, time to cover up like a pro

Simply draw an inverted triangle with the base drawn under your eye and the point toward your cheek. You may recognise this from contouring techniques, but it’s just a really smart way to conceal marks and remove puffiness while shaping the face. Use a fluffy concealer brush to help you apply just enough product and avoid caking.

Tip! Always wear your SPF. The damaging sun rays could be contributing to your panda-esque eyes. It’s also bad for your skin, overall.

Tip! Contact your doctor if your allergies are getting out of control and force you to rub your eyes. Your under-eye area is very sensitive and excessive rubbing could cause swelling and constricted blood vessels, A.K.A dark coloration.

Tip! Use your ring finger to gently pat it into place (Its your weakest finger and applies less pressure). When you’re done applying, blot with a tissue to remove the product from the creases around your eye. Must. Remove. All. Evidence. You woke up like this, remember?

Written by

Tatum is an all-round digital being with a penchant for lipstick and a slight shopping addiction. After completing her Honours in Communications and Media she was thrust into the world of publishing and has since worked for some of the biggest magazines in South Africa. As a writer, editor and social media consultant, she’s all about spreading body positivity and a revised attitude towards beauty.

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  1. Salma Bhomat

    very helpful information , will definitely try them out

    10 months ago •

  1. Fana_kw Karani-wookey

    wonderful tips.Dark circles really get me down.

    11 months ago •

  1. Demishka Maharaj

    LA Girl all the way… The products are amazing, I cannot rave enough about them.

    1 year ago •


    I can definitely vouch for the LA Girl Pro Concealers. So effective, lightweight, non-greasy and so easy on the pocket.

    2 years ago •

  1. mabdullah

    I will most definitely make a decision as to which of the concealers to use. I have asthma and allergies and have very dark patches around my eyes.

    2 years ago •

  1. Mialise Tolmie

    I love the NYX colour correcting palette! I use the salmon colour under my eyes before concealer and it works like a bomb! Makes you look like you slept 12 hours even when you’ve only managed 2.

    2 years ago •


    I finally know what the colour concealer is for! I always wondered about the green, peach and purple shades. Thank you.

    2 years ago •

  1. Sammy

    I do love those CC creams, they work wonders.

    2 years ago •

  1. Feli0017 CHEYANAND

    I need this! I just didn’t know what products to purchase there’s tons in the market its hard to tell which will work, I will give these a try.

    2 years ago •

  1. Tanya Lawrence

    Thank you for all those handy tips. I love the last line.. You woke up like this, remember? (Priceless)

    2 years ago •

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