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When it comes to concealing dark circles, TikTok is a fountain of knowledge. From the weird (placing banana skin on your under-eyes) to the wonderful (drawing on a pair of 'concealer glasses'), the app is jam-packed with DIY tips and tricks dreamed up by beauty obsessives and skincare experts. This week, nothing has gone viral quite like the white concealer hack.
Before we go any further, it goes without saying that dark circles are common and very normal. Whether you decide to treat them or leave them alone is a personal choice. Equally, it's okay if they make you a little self-conscious. There are a handful of reasons why you might have dark circles, with experts citing a lack of sleep, hormones, the natural ageing process, physical stress and genetics as contributing factors. Not to be confused with under-eye 'bags', circles are simply darker areas of skin.
DIY skincare remedies that claim to treat dark circles are questionable. Some skin professionals champion brightening vitamin C products (try Face Theory's cult moisturiser Amil-C Whip M5 SPF 30, $39.99) or eye creams containing caffeine (like The Inkey List's Caffeine Eye Serum, $15). But the long and short of it is that makeup is your best bet at blanketing dark circles entirely, though temporarily.
Recently, beauty enthusiasts have made a case for ditching their usual skin-toned concealer for bright white versions, claiming the colour helps brighten the under-eye area a lot better, while also providing a sculpting and lifting effect. Interestingly, it works for a multitude of different skin tones and shades. TikToker @nakitaglowup recently went viral for applying several layers of white concealer under her foundation, with amazing results. "Struggle to find your matching concealer? Just use a white one and apply your foundation over it!" she captioned her video, which has amassed 21k views and counting, not to mention tens of impressed commenters.
Nakita isn't the only TikToker to try the trend, with makeup artist Charlotte Hyatt-Willis and beauty content creator @hanstluce among those who love using white concealer to illuminate the under-eye area and to diminish blue and purple tones. There are two popular versions of the trend: Nakita's way (applying concealer underneath your foundation to blanket dark circles) and Charlotte's method (dotting the product over foundation and blending it in with a makeup sponge or brush). With skin-toned concealer, either way works, too.
No matter how much concealer I use, my dark circles tend to show through my foundation. (I'll never forget when a celebrity artist did my makeup and seemingly couldn't get enough of the stuff.) I also find it quite difficult to match concealer exactly so I thought I'd take a chance on white. TikTok has propelled L.A. Girl's PRO.CONCEAL HD High Definition Concealer in Flat White Corrector $6.95, to stardom and as a result it can be out of stock. Instead, I used Makeup Revolution's Conceal & Define Concealer in Pure White, $8, which is similar in tone and texture. I applied this in dots on one under-eye to see if it would make any difference compared to my usual technique. I won't lie — it looked like white out but blending for a good few seconds using a damp makeup sponge dissipated the colour quite evenly. Next step: foundation. I applied Il Makiage Woke Up Like This, $68, like normal and did the rest of my makeup, including blush and a little highlighter.
At first, I was sceptical. Wouldn't white concealer make me look ghostly and give awful flashback on camera? But I'll eat my words — because this is hands down the best makeup product I've tried for minimising the appearance of dark circles. (Trust me, I've used hundreds — a lot of them with eye-watering price tags.) White concealer certainly works to cancel out any dark blue and purple tones, and that side of my face looked more radiant and sculpted compared to the other side. The only way I can describe it is like a mini facelift, the effects of which you'll spot in this TikTok video. Somehow, that light veil of white concealer lessened my fine under-eye lines better than my usual skin-toned product, too. I had to ask a professional makeup artist for her expert opinion.
"White concealer is more effective for achieving a bright and lifted appearance," confirms Saffron Hughes, a makeup artist. "This concealer trick can be used on all skin tones because when blended together with foundation, it creates your own custom concealer shade. The only downside would be that you can't wear it alone like you might with your regular skin-toned concealer, as it needs the rest of your base products in order to blend and create the full look."
Saffron adds that not only does white concealer help to minimise any shadows or discolouration but it can also be used to 'colour correct' your skin. "For example, you can mix white concealer with a dark foundation to make it lighter, which you can then use to brighten the under-eye and contour. As well as creating custom shades, white concealer still looks good under a camera flash when blended properly with your foundation."
White concealer tends to look most natural underneath another product like foundation. It lends makeup more of a 'done' finish compared to skin-toned concealer but Saffron warns: "If applying white concealer after the rest of your base makeup, then apply a little bit at a time in layers to avoid using too much and potentially ruining the rest of your base." If you're not keen on heavy base makeup, there's nothing to stop you from layering the product underneath your usual concealer for a little more coverage; you could even apply it underneath a much lighter, tinted moisturiser. Its dark circle-erasing properties are second to none but you can go further and use it to hide spots and hyperpigmentation that you may find difficult to tuck away using foundation alone.
TikTok's worst-kept beauty secret really does work and for now, I've shelved my once trusty tubes of concealer for this shocking white version. It's hard to argue when the results are so convincing.