Running out of my favorite lipstick or facial cleanser always calls for a trip to Sephora. One of the things I love most about shopping there is that the employees (aptly named skincare, makeup, and fragrance advisors) seriously know their stuff, and I feel that I can get genuinely honest product recommendations. Case in point: I went into the store with the hopes of finding an under eye concealer that, um, you know, actually works, and came out with a holy-grail product that makes me look a thousand times more awake and polished—even if I feel the total opposite. Spoiler: It’s Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector ($31; sephora.com).
The Sephora staff member I confided in about my zombie eyes whisked me away to a beauty aisle I was not familiar with: Lancôme. She squeezed a tube of product onto the back of my hand, and I was shook. Why, you ask? Because the liquid looked straight up yellow—like, jaundice yellow. She asked me to close my eyes, and began to dab the flaxen yellow-colored goop beneath my eye, beginning at the innermost corner. While I anxiously awaited for the results, Coldplay’s infamous “Yellow” started humming in my brain. “There’s no way I’m buying this,” I thought.
“Okay, take a look,” she said. I opened my eyes and turned toward the mirror to assess the damage. Yes, my under eye area was slightly yellow, but not in a sickly way (like I had anticipated). My skin actually had a slight gold glow to it, and the purple crescent moons beneath my eyes were drastically lightened. Who would have thought? But we weren’t done—this was just the first step. She then selected a Lancôme concealer ($31; sephora.com), which she layered on top by gently tapping her finger over my yellow tinted skin. As she stepped away from the mirror to reveal the final look, I literally could not believe it—my dark circles were visibly lighter, to the point that they were almost completely gone. Poof.
Prior to this encounter, I had attempted to hide my purple bags for years without much luck (pro tip: enlisting a hard-working eye cream can help). Working for several magazines in the fashion and beauty departments, I had tested countless products—and while I did like how some concealers hydrated my dry skin (like Onomie Bright Concealing Elixir and Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer), they just didn’t offer enough coverage for my sunken, skeleton-like eyes.
Enter: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector, a super pigmented, long-wearing formula that helps to mask any kind of skin concern, including dark under eye circles, sallowness, discoloration, dark spots, acne, and more. The texture is much thicker than a typical concealer (kind of like putty, but don’t let that deter you), so that it sits on top of skin, brightening and creating a more even canvas for makeup application. While it might be a splurge, this corrector is so worth it. Not only does it last forever (I’m still on my first tube, which I purchased at the start of this year), but it actually helps the concealer I typically apply over top of it camouflage my dark circles even more. On top of eye bags, I'll also dot a few places on my forehead where I have discoloration from melasma—it's a true face saver!
The best news is that Lancôme’s magical under eye color corrector comes in seven different shades, so there’s an option to suit every skin tone. For light to medium skin tones: yellow helps to brighten dullness and conceals dark spots and circles, green neutralizes redness, and lavender illuminates sallowness. For medium to deeper skin tones: peach, orange, and red minimize dark spots, circles, discoloration, and acne scars. And the universal highlighter hue can be used on any skin tone to achieve a subtle glow.
To buy: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector ($31; sephora.com and nordstrom.com)
A little bit of this corrector goes a long way, so I squeeze the tiniest amount onto the back of my hand (you can always add more), and then use my finger to rub the putty-like product around to warm it up into a more fluid consistency. You can use a brush or blending sponge to apply the corrector, but I like using my finger so I can control the pressure and be more precise with my application. I gently dab the product onto my under eye circles until they appear covered. The corrector is sticky on the skin, so I usually wait a minute to let it set, before following up with concealer. I use the camouflage corrector’s sister product, Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Concealer ($31; sephora.com), on top of the color corrector, taking care to blend the edges into my skin (especially where it meets my cheeks). Once done, you might notice a bright glow under your eyes—if you’re not a fan of shine, you can brush a finishing powder over your face and eye area to tone it down.
While I may forego mascara sometimes (mostly out of laziness and not wanting to scrub it off later), dabbing Lancôme's camouflage corrector under my eyes is the one step in my makeup routine that I will never skip. Is it absolutely perfect? No, but the fact that it’s long-wearing and drastically lessens the dark purple color under my eyes makes it a total game-changer in my book.