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Louise McSharry: ‘Excess concealer won’t give you a flawless finish — it will probably emphasise exactly what you want to conceal’

Our beauty expert explains how to tackle darkness under the eyes with a ‘less is more’ approach

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‘Build the coverage via thin layers of product, which will look more natural and are less likely to look cakey’

‘Build the coverage via thin layers of product, which will look more natural and are less likely to look cakey’

La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Baume B5 Repairing Balm

La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Baume B5 Repairing Balm

Emma Hardie's Lotus Flower Treatment Serum

Emma Hardie's Lotus Flower Treatment Serum

Sculpted by Aimee's Brighten Up Concealer

Sculpted by Aimee's Brighten Up Concealer

Kosas' Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer

Kosas' Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer

Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer

Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer

Sculpted by Aimee's Brighten Up Colour Corrector

Sculpted by Aimee's Brighten Up Colour Corrector

LA Girl’s Pro Conceal HD Concealer

LA Girl’s Pro Conceal HD Concealer

LA Girls

LA Girls

LA Girls

LA Girls

Úlla Vitamins

Úlla Vitamins

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‘Build the coverage via thin layers of product, which will look more natural and are less likely to look cakey’

If you read this column regularly, you’ll know that at the heart of my makeup manifesto is a belief that everyone should do what they want with it. I don’t believe in rules, and if you want to lather an entire bottle of foundation onto your face, or draw a big blue line across it every day, I support that. As a result, I tend not to focus on ‘mistakes’. However, sometimes the internet shows me a technique that people seem to be adopting wholesale which simply won’t give most people the result they desire. Currently, it’s lashing lots and lots of liquid concealer under the eyes.

I can’t be certain of where this originated, but my recollection suggests that the Kardashians brought this kind of makeup to the mainstream. Heavy brightening concealer and intense contouring go hand in hand, and probably deliver well if you’re on camera in terms of projecting a flawless, sculpted face. You can understand, so, why so many TikTok and YouTube girlies have adopted the technique.

Aside from the fact that you’re seeing their faces beautifully lit and behind the lens of a camera, most of them are young, and yet to be introduced to a fine line. In the real world, away from the cameras, and with a bit of life behind you, excess concealer is not going to give you a flawless result. In fact, it will probably emphasise exactly what you’d like to conceal by looking unnaturally bright, with product sinking into any texture or fine lines.

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Kosas' Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer

Kosas' Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer

Kosas' Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer

Instead, I suggest adopting a ‘less is more’ technique. Rather than applying the concealer directly onto the face with its wand, take a fluffy brush and pick up the tiniest bit of product before buffing gently onto the areas of discolouration around your eyes. I like (1) Kosas’ Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer (€29.30 via cultbeauty.com),

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Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer

Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer

Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer

(2) Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer (€31.50 via brownthomas.com) and Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer (€8.99 via boots.ie) for this purpose. You can build the coverage via thin layers of product, which will look more natural and are less likely to look cakey, but if you are still unhappy with the coverage, you may need to consider a colour corrector.

Unlike concealer, which aims to mask discolouration, colour corrector uses colour theory to balance it out. For most people, a peachy/orangey shade will work well to neutralise darkness under the eye, but if your skin tends toward a greenish hue, a pink colour corrector will work best, while yellow will cancel out purple/red tones.

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LA Girl’s Pro Conceal HD Concealer

LA Girl’s Pro Conceal HD Concealer

LA Girl’s Pro Conceal HD Concealer

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Whichever colour you select, it should match your skin’s overall tone. (A light shade of peach for fair skin, a richer shade of orange for darker skin.) (3) LA Girl’s Pro Conceal HD Concealer (€5.95 via cloud10beauty.com) is well-priced and comes in an excellent range of colour-correcting tones.

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Sculpted by Aimee's Brighten Up Colour Corrector

Sculpted by Aimee's Brighten Up Colour Corrector

Sculpted by Aimee's Brighten Up Colour Corrector

(4) Sculpted by Aimee’s Brighten Up Colour Correctors (€14 via sculptedbyaimee.com) are excellent and work beautifully with the brand’s liquid Brighten Up Concealer (€16 via sculptedbyaimee.com).

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Sculpted by Aimee's Brighten Up Concealer

Sculpted by Aimee's Brighten Up Concealer

Sculpted by Aimee's Brighten Up Concealer

Again, less is more here. Using a flat concealer brush, tap on a thin layer of product only on the areas of discolouration. Set it with setting spray or a tiny amount of powder, before applying a thin layer of concealer using a tapping motion. The result should be evenly toned under-eyes, without caking or heavy product sinking into fine lines!

Buying Irish

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Úlla Vitamins

Úlla Vitamins

Úlla Vitamins

I’ve been reading about the benefits of apple cider vinegar for years, from boosted energy levels to improved gut health, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to take a shot of the stuff. Alison Hogan and her husband, Paul, were taking the shots, but couldn’t help but think there was a better way to access the benefits, so Úlla Vitamins was born. These apple cider vinegar gummies (from €22.99 for one month’s supply) are handy to eat, and come in three formulas — original, one with Vitamin D and one with an emphasis on immunity.

Something old…

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La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Baume B5 Repairing Balm

La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Baume B5 Repairing Balm

La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Baume B5 Repairing Balm

Whenever a friend asks me for product recommendations for stressed skin, I always say the same thing. Have you tried La Roche-Posay? The French pharmacy brand specialises in mild but effective formulas which don’t aggravate skin conditions like dryness, eczema, rosacea or acne. Cicaplast Baume B5 Repairing Balm (€8 via lloydspharmacy.ie) can be used all over the face and body, from feet to lips, soothing irritation wherever it goes. If your skin is feeling sore and irritated, this is your gal thanks to ingredients like soothing shea butter and vitamin B5, which aids healing. Elsewhere in the La Roche-Posay family, the Toleriane range (from €9.50 via boots.ie) is ideal for sensitive or allergy-prone skin.

... Something new

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Emma Hardie's Lotus Flower Treatment Serum

Emma Hardie's Lotus Flower Treatment Serum

Emma Hardie's Lotus Flower Treatment Serum

Most of us came to know Emma Hardie skincare via the gorgeous Moringa Cleansing Balm (from €10.95 via cloud10beauty.com), which has reached cult status thanks to its effectiveness in removing all traces of makeup and grime from the face. The brand’s latest launch is the Lotus Flower range. Originally formulated with oily skin in mind, it includes a Treatment Serum (€50), a Targeted Blemish Treatment (€22m) and a Treatment Cream (€45, all via cloud10beauty.com). Ingredients include Egyptian and sacred lotus flower, Aquaxyl to boost hydration, and calming wild indigo.


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