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How To Get Rid Of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

The “You have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé' mantra is always a cruel reminder, but it's true: Be productive now, sleep when you're dead. We've discussed REM a fair amount in these parts, but what's really important—especially if you're a busy person with a life to live and a decent understanding of makeup products—is how to quickly make it look like you got your Arianna Huffington-required eight hours without actually spending the time. Need a refresher? Never fear; that's what Vincent Oquendo is here for. He's got a tutorial on how to brighten just about anything, and your under-eye bags are no exception. Here's how:

Treat The Problem First

Makeup is fun and all, but you know what's really fun? Needing less of it because you have less you want to cover up! Start fresh with an SK-II mask (a luxury even if you're not dealing the curse of under-eye circles) so that skin is hydrated. Not only will his will prevent any creasing or caking that screams “I'm tired and applied makeup to hide my problems!” but it will also plump up the skin so you can pretend you're well-rested. Follow up with a spritz of thermal water (Vincent recommends Avène) and Perricone MD Firming Eye Cream, tapping with your fingers as you go to increase circulation. Let it all soak in; if there's any excess sitting on the skin, wipe it off with a tissue to prevent your makeup from pilling.

Cover Up Two Ways

Just about every makeup artist we've ever encountered (including Vincent) swears by the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage palette (here he's using shade SC2). The consistency is drier, so it stays where you put it all day. But the real key is that the palette comes with two shades. There's a warmer color to correct, and a cooler color meant to emulate the look of your real skin. “Skin should look like skin—it should be luminous and it should be natural!” Vincent says. Start with the pinker color to mitigate any darkness on your face, and then cover that with the cooler tone to make it look as natural as if you had nothing on. This can be done with a small-but-fluffy brush without much resistance. Stay fairly centered on the the dark part under your eye—don't get too close to the lashline yet. That comes next.

Finally, Brighten

The real trick here is to not stop with concealer. Vincent then breaks out the YSL Touche Éclat in 2.5 (which you've finally learned how to use correctly) and brightens the whole eye area, from inner corner to under-eye, and yes, right under the lashline. This kind of product is much more like a luminizer or a liquid highlighter, so it'll be more forgiving in terms of tone and texture. You've already concealed; this is about faking the fact that you don't have a makeup light shining in your face all day. Oh, and don't worry about layering too many disparate textures of product, Vincent says. “Skin isn't just one texture—skin has depth. So you need to build the depth!” In a pinch, tinted moisturizer would work too for a touch of creaminess.

Set with another spritz of Avène Eau Thermal and ask yourself: Am I Beyoncé yet?

Featuring Vincent Oquendo (The Wall Group) and Michelle Salem. Video produced by Maya Margolina.