As a beauty editor with two divorces and thirty-six relationships under her Hermes belt, my expertise on makeup camouflage won’t come as a surprise — certainly to those who know me, it isn’t.
Like the Oracle at Delphi, my pronouncements on concealers, eye brighteners, and face-masks have saved many of my chums from anguish before, during, and after the D-word.
E-mails at 3 AM and frantic cell-calls or text messages from Sephora and the beauty floor at Barneys are the background music of my life. “Lo, my eyes look like raisins floating in dumplings, I’m blasted on anti-depressants and I have a meeting with my new lawyer at ten-thirty, clients at two. Help!”
My current (and hopefully last) husband, #3, has actually never seen me without concealer. Discretion is the best part of vanity, I think.
With that in mind, check out these tips:
If you’ve been up all night, mad with worry or just mad and have dark deep circles.
Try to think like a French woman — to them, a little blue-tinged eye is sultry. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been pouring over The Secret, or glued to TiVo’d Oprah; the suggestion of up-all-night is O.K.
Don’t aim for perfect coverage here. Just counteract the darkness with an orangey-toned concealer on the discoloration — peach or bisque, not a skintone-match shade, neutralizes brown, blue, or purple shadows.
Going one shade darker than skintone deflates any puffiness via optical illusion if that’s also an issue. I’ve found Bobbi Brown Corrector ($22 at bobbibrowncosmetics.com) to be the best. Most celebrity makeup artists I’ve worked with like Julie Tussey (her clients include divorced women Tory Burch and Christie Brinkley!) rely on it as a staple in their kits.
If you look tired or stressed (don’t worry, you’ll know because your friends will always tell you)
Get your hands on Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat ($40 at www.yslbeautyus.com). It’s the original click-pen, brush-tipped eye brightener that’s launched a hundred copycats, but none comes close to the magic of this one. Get the pinky shade #2 and apply at inner and outer corners in a V-shape before blending with fingers. You’ll look well-rested and fearless with a luminous sparkle.
If you have a mid-day melt-down
Pat a creamy blue-white concealer like Tricia Sawyer Eye Slept ($21 at www.sephora.com) under eyes and on lids directly over makeup. You only need the tiniest bit, but a big-deal beauty industry pro passed this on to me as her best-kept secret — even though she works for a rival brand.
If you’re manic about hiding brown spots or just want to lie about your age
Nothing short of laser beats Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer ($68 at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus). It’s the one stick makeup that dabs down to a skin-like texture, won’t reveal itself in daylight, and covers like nothing else. It can be used in the eye area too, but I mix it with a tiny dab of eye cream for a slightly dewier finish where skin is crinkled or dry.
Stock up and splurge on a big pair of Tom Ford sunglasses and some dark chocolate and save your therapy money for that new business you’ll be starting tomorrow.
Lois Joy Johnson is the former beauty & fashion director of More magazine