Hide in Plain Sight: Best Concealers for Black & Brown Skin
Black skin is a marvel: slow to age, rich in melanin. And maybe the greatest joy of passing from youth into the golden years is the self-acceptance that accompanies that blaze of candles on the birthday cake. We’re all about loving ourselves as we are, right here, right now– and yet there may be a few tiny things we’d like to change. Among these: under-eye circles.
Dark circles under the eyes may have multiple causes. The “darkness” under the eye is actually congested, pooling blood. Because the skin around the eye orbit is the thinnest on the human body, the pooling blood shows up through that delicate, translucent skin below your lower lashes. Some of us are genetically predisposed to this. Fatigue and allergies, which cause us to rub our eyes, also may contribute. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a blue shadow and an angular, pointed look under the eye are linked with poor kidney function.
So, drink some more water and get some more sleep! Then check out Danessa Myricks Vision Cream Cover available in 31 shades. Miss Danessa is a Black makeup artist who creates innovative, inclusive beauty products primarily for Black skin (although all are welcome!). To hide dark circles, look for a concealer with a warm, orange undertone to cancel out the blue and purple, bruise-like appearance of the congested area.
- Danessa Myricks Beauty Vision Cream Cover— really sort of a concealer-foundation hybrid–is available in 31 shades divided into warm, cool and neutral groupings, arranged by number. The colors range from majestically deep ebony through a yummy spectrum of bubbling brown sugar tones. Do as the makeup artists do: get 3 shades which are close, but slightly different in intensity and their place in the cool / warm spectrum, and blend. A technique often used by the pro’s is to cross-pollinate: try a neutral concealer and a warm-based foundation, for example. This blending creates a believable, wearable, natural radiance. And, karma points: Danessa Myricks products are cruelty-free and vegan.
- M.A.C. Studio Finish NW 40 to 55 — a range of deep tones — is great for undereye circles and can also be used to brighten around your lips and chin. This hydrating cream-powder is packaged in a round compact, and offers full, oil-absorbing coverage, with sunscreen, in 23 shades.
- If you prefer a creamy liquid format, check out NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, in 22 shades. Great for covering the occasional blemish as well as dark spots of hyperpigmentation. Applied with what’s called a “doe’s foot” wand, the oval sponge-tip applicator. In tones from Dark Coffee to Cacao to Café to Truffle, and lots more.
- The Tom Ford Concealing Pen with a chubby sponge tip is super for blending. Also check out the Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Concealer, a chunky twist-up crayon in twenty shades like 8CO Rich Mocha, 6W0 Terra, and 5C0 Caramel.
- If you prefer a needle-nose tube, check out Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Concealer in 16 shades. It’s especially good for dark skin because the color doesn’t oxidize, meaning leaving a pasty look even after a long day. The product is densely pigmented and long-wearing, in Bisque and Suede color collections. The brand also makes Effacernes Undereye Concealer– check it out in 555, a versatile shade that suits many complexions.
- Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer in 15 shades offers dense, quick coverage in a featherweight formula. This is a perfect combo to use around the eyes or anywhere, since you don’t want a product that will settle into creases and fine lines. In a tube with a lip gloss style doe-foot applicator, in Cool Espresso (deepest) to Walnut, Warm Almond, Golden, and lots of skin-loving shades to suit you. Concealer and Corrector sticks and cream-powder compacts also available.
- From your nearest drugstore, Ulta or Sephora: L’Oréal True Match Super-Blendable Multi-Use Concealer and Infallible up to 24H Full Wear are a bargain at $13 (most of the others are about twice that) and easy to use because of the large sponge-tip applicator for quick blending. The waterproof, non-greasy, matte finish lasts up to 24 hours, making this penny-saving selection great for travel. In 25 versatile shades, from bittersweet chocolate tones to toffee and latte.
- Even more budget-friendly: Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer in a tube with a doe-foot applicator, at $7. This classic mass-market brand recently added even more shades, so you truly can experiment with more than one and not break the bank. To make your nose look slimmer (if that’s even a concern), try a deep shade like 60-65-70 along the sides, and a lighter tone like 50 down the center for a sculpted look. To create a crisp lip line and prevent lip color from “creeping” into fine lines, trace around your mouth with a lighter concealer shade, then outline lips with pencil a smidge darker than your lipstick, followed by lipstick and gloss.