Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
You’d think TikTok had invented concealer, considering the sheer number of trends, tricks and hacks to flood the platform. Who can forget concealer glasses? Using your concealer wand to draw a pair of specs onto your face is a ridiculous idea but when blended in, it actually works well to tuck away dark circles. Then there's the five-second face lift: joining up various lines of concealer spanning the under-eyes, cheeks, nose and chin for a sculpted effect. You've got to hand it to TikTok's beauty enthusiasts — they're creative.
This month, only one makeup trend has everyone talking: ombré concealer. It's likely you associate ombré (a gradient of colours to reveal a contrast between light and dark) with hair colour or nail art. But as TikToker Rosa Barz proves, the technique can be used under the eyes, too. The result is brighter skin and — when teamed with blush — a naturally flushed finish.
In their video, which has amassed 2.2 million views, Rosa takes a very light shade of concealer and swipes a line from the inner corner of their eye down to the bridge of their nose. Next to that, Rosa applies a slightly darker shade of concealer. They continue with a concealer in a peach tone and finish off with a dot of bright pink blush. The result is a pretty gradient of colours. Using a triangle puff like the Trigwell Velvet Powder Puff, £15, Rosa blends everything in and the result is seemingly flawless. Since then, countless makeup-lovers have followed suit, including Huda Kattan of Huda Beauty.
Before I go any further, I want to get one thing straight: under-eye darkness is entirely normal. Blood vessels and purple muscle beneath the skin can become more visible as we age, though genetics, hormones, physical stress, a lack of sleep and allergies can also contribute to under-eye circles. I'm not telling you that you must cover them up. In fact, TikTok has recently become a place for dark circle appreciation, where countless makeup trends exist to enhance them. However, I also understand that some people are bothered by their under-eyes. If that's you, then you might be intrigued by this.
Though it seems quite involved, I wanted to know whether this trend would mask my dark circles better than my usual single swipe of concealer (which often disappears throughout the day). Choosing a suitable shade of concealer is notoriously difficult so I also have a handful of concealer products that aren't quite right for me. Perhaps combining them in this way would put them to good use. I could only hope.
Here, I'm wearing a lightweight skin tint, though the blue tones around my eyes (especially in the inner corner) peek through. To achieve a true gradient effect, I started with a white concealer, namely Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer in CO, £2.99. It may look stark at first but when blended in and teamed with a sheer skin tint or foundation, it's excellent at minimising the appearance of uneven skin tone. Next I applied a little Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer, £26, followed by Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift Concealer, £40 (a peach tone), and Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Hope, £22, which is highly pigmented (you only need a tiny dab).
I soon encountered my first error: I didn't think through the blending process well enough. When damp, my makeup sponge swelled to twice its original size and made blending each individual shade quite difficult. Eventually it all melted into one peach hue and while it did work well to mask the darkness around my eyes and on my eyelids, the blush effect was nonexistent. Maybe I needed something much darker. On the other eye, I decided to double the amount of blush and pinch my makeup sponge to make it smaller. This was better. Not only did it camouflage any blue tones but it lent the tops of my cheeks a pretty, flushed finish. Just barely, though. As for the dark circles, of course three swipes of concealer would mask them — it's concealer after all.
Disappointed, I added an extra dot of blush and blended this all over my cheeks, which gave me the below result. All in all, it's pretty obvious that this has opened up my eyes slightly but it's much too fiddly for every day. I asked a couple of professional makeup artists for their thoughts, too.
"There is definitely some colour theory to this," says makeup artist Scarlett Burton. "Pink can help colour-correct blue shadows and help to 'bounce' the light for a brighter under-eye. Realistically though, if colour correction is the main goal, the pink shade should be closer to the inner corner of the eye as that's usually where someone would have most of the blue, dark circle tones."
So is there a benefit to applying the concealer and the blush in stripes? "Not hugely. You might get a nice gradient effect but if you don’t blend it well enough, it will look stripy," says Scarlett. Apart from that, she adds, it simply makes for a pretty blush look. "I love pink blush on the outer eye placement. It means eyes pop and means the cheekbones look higher." Scarlett says it’s likely to be easier to create the same look with a small amount of concealer blended into the skin first with blush on top, applied towards the outer corner of the eye.
Scarlett acknowledges that this tried-and-true technique won’t look as good on camera, for obvious reasons: It’s not exactly exciting. But we all know that even the simplest of makeup steps often become convoluted for clicks (and I’m afraid that ombré concealer might be one of them). I also put the trend to makeup artist Zoë Moore. "On fairer skin tones this might just look like the person has sore eyes," says Zoë. "If you were to try this, a small sponge would work best, as a brush is likely to smear all the colours together and create a light pink concealer."
Though this trend was a personal fail, it did reignite my love of white concealer. Best worn under the likes of a skin tint or foundation, it works a treat to cancel out any dark blue and purple tones, and you need very little.
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