I Think I've Finally Figured Out the Best Way to Apply Under-Eye Concealer

Let's call it "The Big Brush Theory."
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Let's call it "The Big Brush Theory."

The beauty basics that I slack on generally have to do with complexion makeup. I figure my skincare routine is so extensive, why cover up all that effort with heavy foundation? I mean, I still wear a BB cream or cushion compact pretty much every day to even stuff out, but I'm trying to wean off that a bit as well. 

My main concerns have to do with the natural shadows I have under my eyes (and around my nose, if we’re being thorough). They aren’t bluish, sleepless circles so much as they are reddish or brownish shadows that look like I always just came out of the bathroom crying. And I wake up with them every morning.

They're subtle... but not subtle enough that every time I see my mom she doesn't remark, "Are you sleeping enough?"

They're subtle... but not subtle enough that every time I see my mom she doesn't remark, "Are you sleeping enough?"

My experience with under-eye concealer has generally had me giving myself a bit of a strange topical raccoon effect around my eyes because the formulas I was using were too unnatural-looking or I didn’t blend it in the right areas. All it took actually was a few rando products that were sent to me that made me go, “What have I been doing without you this whole time?”

It all started with an unsolicited delivery from Sigma: a handful of their brushes, which are by and large pretty great. One of them perplexed me—this supersized concealer brush, their “soft blend concealer” brush. Why so comically large? How big do they think my face is? Or my zits? Seems aggressive.

sigma soft blend concealer brush

It resembles the kiddie brushes from my elementary tempera paint days.

OK, remember that. Big floofy brush. We’ll come back to that because it’s quite important to this concealer journey. 

Now, let's visit the whole K-beauty innovation of cushion-everything, delivering makeup via cushiony sponge. It's pretty genius. It eliminates the need for you to touch your makeup or your face and it applies everything evenly; you can’t really overdo anything or mess it up too badly. 

Laneige’s Cushion Concealer is a concealer pen with a little cushion ball for you to dab it on your face ever so delicately. It makes me feel like Bob Ross, making happy little clouds of concealer under my eyes. No more glopping on concealer only to have it sink into tiny lines or run rogue all over my upper-cheek area.

laneige cushion concealer

Happy little under-eye concealing clouds.

Now here’s the super-genius part. 

Originally, I had been dabbing this on and blending with my fingers, which was OK, I guess. UNTIL! Remember that big Sigma concealer brush? Using that thumb-sized brush to blend instead of my fingers blended the already-pretty-evenly-distributed concealer to PER-FEC-TION. 

Seriously, it was like an airbrush finish. I was stoked! I know y’all are pros with this and have probably already clicked off because you came here to learn new things and I’m just telling you DUH technique things you already knew, but one’s beauty knowledge is never finished, OK?!

This is some legit IRL photoshopping—er, makeupshopping—here.

This is some legit IRL photoshopping—er, makeupshopping—here.

Speaking of fat brushes and K-beauty innovations, here’s a product that covers both grounds. It’s Korean, for one. Makeup brand Son & Park’s Glow Ring Foundation Stick is kind of like any foundation stick, but the overachieving kind. Most notably, there is a core of essence in the stick to deliver some skin-treating goodness as you make-up. 

son & park glow ring foundation stick essence

My essence *said in Gollum voice*

On the other side is a firm mini Kabuki-esque brush to blend the creamy foundation down to a velvety, dewy finish. Yes, it’s foundation; however, I tend to use it as an under-eye concealer since its deepest shade is a hair too light for my full face. Unfortunately, as lots of Korean complexion makeup tends to go, innovations abound but the shades remain woefully limited.

Believe it or not, this is the deeper shade of the two that this foundation comes in.

Believe it or not, this is the deeper shade of the two that this foundation comes in.

Good thing it blends seamlessly to a skin-like finish so the effect is like I’m barely wearing makeup at all. I love that this foundation stick makes application pretty much fail-proof since its blender is built in—no rubbing your grimy fingers on your face, no having to moisten beauty blenders before using. It’s a great travel-friendly product probably, if I went anywhere ever.

son & park glow ring foundation brush

So what have we (read: I) learned here? Simplest way to apply under-eye concealer? A big fat brush (or cushion). I have little patience to blend-blend-blend my makeup, so I hardly do any looks that require sniper-like blending. I’m not neurotic about many things, but when it comes to having sloppy-looking makeup on my face, I just cannot abide.

What dark shadows?

What dark shadows?

  • As far as actual under-eye shadows go, what does everyone even do? 
  • Am I just going to wake up with these forever? 
  • AM I?!