In case the new year hasn't been treating you kind: we've got under-eye reinforcements
Who knew sleeping would end up becoming such a rare privilege?
Growing up, I was under the impression that come adulthood, I'd have full control of my hours. I'd get to dictate when I worked and when I rested, get to call it a day whenever I so pleased. If the dark vortexes that have found a home under my eyes are any indication, I was sorely mistaken. Clocking in six to eight hours of shut-eye in a single night seems like a dream itself and while a part of me wants to believe that I can still fix my wretched body clock, the first couple of months of 2020 have taught me to believe otherwise. Besides, my dark circles are already very real, very unfortunate realities. Tell-tale signs of my bad sleeping habits live right on my face. What's worse? It can be a real task covering them up.
Knowing fully well that the night owls on our team can't be the only ones suffering from ghastly, sullen-looking eyes, Wonder went on yet another quest for our Test Drive Diaries series. This time, we zero in on the best under-eye concealers to cover up those dark circles. Spotlighting one product per budget range, we tried out three concealers first-hand. Keep reading for the full scoop: pros, cons and prices!
Affordable: Perfect Eye Concealer by Ever Bilena Advance
Shades: Light and Medium
First Application (9 AM): I'll be honest and admit that even I, lover of all deals and steals and discounts, was iffy about putting a product that costs P100 on my face. Ever Bilena's Perfect Eye Concealer, packaged in the form of an unassuming flesh-toned stick, falls exactly at this price point. I won't lie––I did worry about how my skin would react to this stuff, but thankfully, my fears amounted to nothing. This concealer performed far better than I'd hoped! Creamy enough to blend out with your fingers, the product gives a decent amount of coverage. At the time of this challenge, I'd been sporting souvenirs from three days of little to no sleep, but it covered those dark pockets up well enough for foundation to be ruled out as unnecessary.
I did have a few complaints, though. Ever Bilena definitely needs to come up with a shade to fall in between the existing Light and Medium. The lighter shade was too pale-looking so I went with Medium, but the nude-brown tone was too dark to use for the under-eye area. The goal for the under-eye region is to brighten, and while it did a fine job with coverage, I felt like the shade dulled down my eye area. One more gripe, the stick isn't retractable. Once you churn product out of the tube, you won't be able to backtrack––not exactly the most efficient design for people who like checking on how much product they have left!
End-of-Day Check-in (6 PM): After nine hours of squinting at my computer screen and desperately trying not to rub at my eyes during meetings, Ever Bilena's concealer seemed to have stood its ground. I don't think anyone else noticed really, but upon closer inspection, I could see that the product had begun to fall into the fine lines below my eyes. For a P100 pesos, though? I'd still repurchase this stuff, only maybe in the lighter shade next time. A pro tip: this stuff makes for a great quick-fix concealer for the rest of the face. I now carry the Medium in my pocket whenever and wherever.
Shop the Ever Bilena Advance Perfect Eye Concealer (P100) instore at Watsons or the SM Department Store.
Mid-range: Good To Go Five Minute Fresh Face Summer-Proof Foundation & Concealer by Happy Skin
Shades: Light and Medium
(Please excuse the sorry state of my brows on this day. It was a particularly rough morning, a bad time for me and my brows.)
First Application (9 AM): I had high hopes for Happy Skin's candidate. Anything designed to be a handy two-in-one excites me and the local brand's newest foundation-meets-concealer hybrid was no exception. Small enough to fit in your hand and designed to store liquid foundation in a tube, cream concealer in the lid? Genius. I couldn't wait to try this stuff on––but that's where things got tricky. The concealer housed in the pastel yellow lid of the tube wouldn't go on my skin without a fight. It was a struggle even picking up product using the pad of my finger. When I finally did get it to go on my skin, though, even blending it out was a task––which shouldn't be the case with products used on sensitive spots like the under-eye area.
Not without a considerable amount of effort, I was able to conceal the circles below my eyes with Happy Skin's product. The finish was smooth, definitely smoother than the Ever Bilena eye stick's, but even after combining both the watery foundation and dense concealer, this product's coverage wasn't nearly as impressive as some other brands I had tried––at a cheaper price point, no less.
End-of-Day Check-in (6 PM): Despite proving its name wrong earlier in the day (it definitely took longer than five minutes for my face to be good to go), my under-eye makeup stayed put for the entirety of the day. No funny shifting around, no greasing up, no sinking into creases. Pretty summer-proof indeed. If zero touch-ups throughout the day is your beauty game, then this product might be a match––just make sure you can set aside more than five minutes to apply the stuff in the AM!
Premium: Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer by Dior
Shades: 10 Ivory, 20 Light Beige, 30 Medium Beige
First Application (9AM): The general criteria I consider when assessing the quality of concealer typically boils down to three tenets: application, coverage and longevity. The Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer is the first product I've had the luxury of testing that has delivered on all three. Imagine this: I dot below my eyes with the product's doe foot applicator, blend it easily with a Beauty Blender and look up at my officemates who stop mid-way through chugging their morning coffee. It's a true story, I promise. “You look like you slept!,” my officemate exclaims, and well, I guess you could say I've been sold on this stuff since.
In all seriousness, this product is a godsend. It blends smoothly with bare skin and foundation alike, only needing a little assistance from a damp sponge. It doesn't only do a great job at concealing––it brightens. In fact, in my opinion, the impressive brightening effects of this stuff make it a subpar concealer for blemishes on other parts of the face. It just draws too much attention, although that may just be me falling head over heels for the luminosity this stuff leaves in its wake.
End-of-Day Check-in (6PM): Come evening, I was doing my best to spot flaws in Dior's product. We've established that I'm a beauty skeptic, so I was no less than swept off my feet when I found that the Diorskin Forever concealer hadn't budged after a tiring nine hours. It had a perfect run: beautiful application, no transferring and not a trace of darkness peeking through at the end of the day. I'm in love with this stuff, in case it isn't obvious. My sole gripe is with regards to its price tag. P2,600 isn't an easy amount to drop on a single tube of concealer, but when you consider the fact that you only need two to three dots of the stuff below each eye, this product could easily give you a run for your money.
Shop the Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer (P2,600) instore at Rustan's The Beauty Source Shangri-la Plaza.
Despite varying results, each of the concealers used during the course of this test drive delivered positives. Which you ought to commit to really depends on what you're looking for: Ever Bilena for day-to-day reinforcements, Happy Skin for a smooth finish that can withstand the toil off a full day of work, Dior for an all-around under-eye elixir. Whichever you gravitate towards, one thing's for certain: it's a relief knowing there's a quick fix for every budget to fall back on when a good night's sleep just isn't a possibility.
Art Alexandra Lara