No matter how much sleep I get or what top-of-the-line eye cream I try, I always wake up with heavy purple under-eye circles that seem impossible to hide. When I started working in magazines, everyone advised me to try Clé de Peau because it’s the “holy grail” of concealers. After seeing the $70 price tag, I felt especially lucky that, thanks to the magazine-world gods, I was able to try it for free. And yeah, it’s good. Really good. The twist-up tube applies smoothly with or without a brush (I’m partial to blending with my fingers) and melts into my skin. It’s thick but doesn’t feel heavy on. My dark circles vanished.
More options slid across my desk: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Tarte Shape Tape, Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Concealer. But the only one I would actually buy for myself is Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer.
It caught my attention mostly because of the sponge. Pressing it directly under my downturned eyes, the little round applicator bounces seamlessly across my pale complexion. Unlike Clé de Peau, where it takes a bit more finagling (or a brush) to apply exactly where I want it, the Maybelline sponge easily follows the contour of my under-eye. It’s definitely not as thick as other beloved concealers (you couldn’t squeeze Clé de Peau through a sponge), but I don’t mind because it does the job, possibly even better.
It does not have SPF like Clé de Peau. But it is considered a “treatment” concealer, infused with an ingredient called Haloxyl that is said to rid the skin of the colored pigments that make for dark circles. I’m not sure if I’ve noticed any permanent changes in this regard (although my eyes seem not to look so heavy even after I take it off). What’s especially impressive about the Maybelline, though, is its range of 18 different shades — admittedly not as vast as the 40-plus options you get from the Fenty line, but still much more than the mere six different color tones you get from Clé. I have cool undertones, so many concealers look too yellow on my skin, yet I can easily find my correct match with this concealer. My sister’s fiancée describes herself as mixed-race (half-white, one-quarter black, and one-quarter Japanese) and typically has to combine different colors to get the proper look, but she says Maybelline is the first where she has found her color right away. Because of the price, she even buys multiples in different shades for different seasons, like when she’s come back tan from a trip home to Hawaii.
She and I have bonded over this concealer; it cleans up our complexions and wakes up our eyes. My dark circles don’t creep through midday, and if I ever need a rare quick touch-up, it’s just a refresher; I’m not starting over as if I never applied anything to begin with. Plus I can feel more liberal in applying the stuff — I can purchase seven of them for the price of one Clé de Peau.
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