Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
I gave Harry Potter a run for his money when I put myself forward for the concealer glasses trick (using concealer to draw on a makeshift pair of glasses). I can't deny that it worked a treat to brighten my under-eyes but the pictures still make me laugh. Then there was the concealer face lift, which was kind of like abstract art for the face, the lines all connecting to hoist up cheekbones when blended in.
This month, TikTok's makeup artists are obsessed with what they have coined 'concealer geometry': strategically drawing little triangle shapes under the eyes, at the outer edge of the nose and at the side of the lower lip. It's difficult to tell who exactly propelled this trend to viral status but the likes of @l_dbeauty, @deborahruizglam and @lenkalul are all fans, using it to contour their features without bronzer and to brighten areas which are prone to uneven skin tone. One influencer's results are so convincing, some speculate a filter is involved.
I love minimal makeup trends like underpainting and mixing concealer with a hydrating serum, but concealer geometry takes complexion to a whole new level of simple. Aside from these cleverly placed triangles, TikTokers are enlisting a slick of mascara, gloss and a dab of blush to pull everything together. Having worn foundation most days for many years, I was sceptical. Could these little triangles really brighten my dull skin, blanket my dark circles and sculpt my face? I had to give it a go.
I reached for Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer, £26, after seeing makeup artist Sofia Schwarzkopf-Tilbury use it backstage at the Annie's Ibiza show during London Fashion Week AW23. Tilbury applied minimal amounts all over the models' faces and the result was natural and skin-like. Provided it's not too chunky, you can use the concealer applicator to etch on your triangles; I used a fine concealer brush for the ultimate precision.
I was never any good at geometry so I started at the top underneath my eyes, making sure that the longest side of the triangle almost cupped the area underneath my lower lash line. The key is not to get too close to your lashes so that the concealer doesn't bleed into any fine lines. The triangle was so small compared to the large swathe of concealer I would normally apply. I was convinced it wouldn't be enough to tuck away the darkness in the inner corner of my eyes, but I was wrong.
As I used my fluffy brush to blend up into the corner, over my lid and underneath my eye, it dawned on me that maybe I've been using too much concealer up until now. This small amount was more than enough to even out my eye area in a natural way, all without accentuating my skin texture or getting caught in the creases on my eyelids. I didn't need to rub any product away throughout the day.
I moved on to the area around my nose. I have a couple of broken capillaries and some redness here but once again I put my trust in the tiny triangle. Applying concealer to the lip area is meant to lift as well as brighten, and though I didn't notice any sculpting results, it made my face as a whole look smoother in tone.
Sometimes when I apply foundation all over, I feel as though it wipes out my features and facial contours, eliminating nuance. Then I'll go in with bronzer, blush and highlighter to enhance them again. Applying concealer in these specific places meant my skin tone was level but in a natural, more believable way. I finished off the natural look with a dab of lip gloss, the faintest swish of blush and mascara. It took me a couple of minutes and I was really pleased with the result. But I had to ask Saffron Hughes, resident makeup artist at FalseEyelashes.co.uk, for her take on the trick.
"The concealer brightens the area and covers dark shadows, whereas the triangle shape highlights a high impact area without the excess use of product," Saffron confirms. "The same effect occurs when drawing a triangle next to the nostril." And what of the triangle underneath either side of the lip? "This provides a lifting effect, almost giving a hint of a smile without moving your face an inch," said Saffron. "Brightening this area can create the illusion of a lifted mouth, too." The placement of the concealer is essential, adds Saffron. It's important to proceed with a light hand to make blending easy, and the triangle should be no bigger than a third of the length of your nose.
The great thing about this triangle concealer hack, adds Saffron, is that you can forgo your usual contour shade and blush and get the lifting benefits from where the concealer is applied. I feel naked without my blush, though, so I reached for my favourite: Jones Road The Best Blush in Berry, £26.
While I was pleasantly surprised by how effortless my makeup appeared, I do have a couple of issues with this hack. If you don't get your concealer shade spot on, you could be left with a few tide marks. The next day, I tried it with a concealer that was just a bit lighter and I could clearly see where I had applied it. For a seamless finish, try to find your best match. If you're on a budget, I love Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer, £4.99, for its creamy texture and excellent coverage. Also try L'Oréal Paris Infallible More Than Concealer 24H, £9.99, and e.l.f. 16hr Camo Concealer, £6.
I also have some hyperpigmentation on my jawline as a result of past spots, and applying concealer in those three places alone wasn't enough to minimise its appearance. You could spot-treat, of course, but that means more makeup. Next time, I'd use a bigger brush to blend the concealer triangles out towards this area for a bit more coverage.
If you were to ask me if I'd do this again, I'd say yes — but perhaps I wouldn't draw the triangles so exactly. I don't really think the sharp shape has much to do with the final result as the product ends up being blended into the skin anyway. But now I know that concealing these three areas works well to impart the illusion of a more even skin tone, achieving natural makeup has never been easier. I'll certainly apply the less-is-more approach heading into spring.
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