Now that the endless reams of Coachella OOTDs are done and dusted, we can finally get back to the TikTok videos that we know and love: beauty hacks. Don’t get me wrong, I was as invested in the snippets of Harry Styles and Shania Twain’s glorious double act as the next person, but it’s time to get back to deciphering whether the TikTok-viral beauty buys and techniques that are dominating my feed are as good as they seem.
Next up is an unusual method that has been all over my FYP as of late: under-eye blush. In a quest to achieve the ultimate baby doll make-up look, made famous by the likes of Kim Kardashian’s make-up artist, Ariel Tejada, TikTokers have been dotting a small amount of pink liquid blush under their eyes before adding their concealer and buffing both products in.
This technique aims to achieve two things: a bright under-eye, thanks to the pink blush acting as a color corrector to counteract any dark circles, and a seamlessly blended cheek blush. Subtly continuing this pink hue all the way up to the under-eye will – in theory – help avoid any harsh, unblended lines between your cheek products and your concealer. It’s a technique that comes at the same time as pink setting powder being a huge trend on the platform for the same reasons: to color correct and brighten.
This technique is particularly relevant given the recent shift from applying blusher to the apples of your cheeks to the highest points of your cheek bones, where you’d usually place a highlighter.
Make-up artists have been recommending this blush placement in order to lift the face rather than drag it down, and I for one am a complete convert, so couldn’t wait to see how this concealer hack could elevate my look even further.
After make-up artist @PaintedbySpencer shared this concealer hack on TikTok, hundreds of make-up lovers followed suit, with big name beauty creators including @MakeupbyAlissac and @DanielleMacran going viral with their re-creations. It sounds like an ingenious way to create that bright, soft-focus finish that all the celebrity MUAs achieve, but does it actually work? Read on to find out.
How we tested
After watching endless videos of others using this method, I gave it a go, applying two small dots of liquid blush under my eyes before adding concealer straight on top and blending in. I then set my under-eye and applied my blush as I usually would, at the highest points of my cheeks, blending up gently to the edge of my under-eye to merge the two together.
To give my final verdict, I considered whether both the concealer and blush blended well, whether my under-eye area looked any brighter than usual, and how seamlessly my cheek blush blended with the under-eye make-up.
The method and products to use
There’s one product that everyone has been using to try this under-eye blush trend: Rare Beauty’s liquid blush (£19, Spacenk.com). Selena Gomez didn’t come to play when she created this formula: it’s one of the most pigmented I’ve ever tried, yet buffs in effortlessly, drying down to a semi-matte, blurred finish that looks like a natural flush of colour. I can see why TikTokers have been leaning towards this type of formula, as it offers serious color pay-off with minimal product, meaning you won’t feel too many make-up layers under the eyes, nor will you experience creasing (caused by said cakey layers).
I plumped for the most popular shade, “happy”, a classic cool-toned pink that gives a fresh-faced look when applied to your cheeks. As mentioned, a little goes a long way with this blush, so we tentatively applied two small dots under our eyes, using the handy applicator on the wand.
Readmore: The viral skincare and make-up trends from TikTok that we’re keeping for 2022
While I understand the logic here: the pink hue acts as a color corrector would. But with two bright pink dots under my eyes, concealer wand in hand, I started to question whether this was going to be a disaster.
I then chose Benefit’s boi-ing cakeless full coverage concealer (£20, Cultbeauty.co.uk) for my next layer, as it’s a lightweight but pigmented formula that gives me the brightening effect that this look is all about, without feeling too heavy under the eyes. I’d recommend staying away from pot concealers for this technique, as you want to keep the same consistency as the liquid blush for seamless blending. And as the Rare Beauty blush dries down quickly, I was sure to act fast, dabbing the concealer on top of the blusher before buffing in with a small blending brush.
After gentle applying pressure with the brush, blending in small circular motions, both products blended relatively easily. It definitely took a bit more work than just buffing in a concealer, as the pink blush needed to melt into the skin, but it was hardly laborious. Both products merged well, but I did have to go in with the warmth of my finger to finish the final blend between my under-eye and cheek to ensure it was seamless.
My dark under-eye circles certainly looked brighter straight off the bat, but I felt as though the pink hue was accentuating the natural indent around my under-eye, which wasn’t the look I was after. Everything looked far more put together after I set my under-eye using my forever favorite Laura Mercier loose powder (£31.90, Feelunique.com), before applying the same blush to the tops of my cheeks and blending right to the eye. But the final look still felt a bit too pink for me, I was lacking the bright finish that I was used to as too much of the darkness from the pink was showing through.
Readmore: 10 best natural and organic makeup products that your face will thank you for
I was frustrated at not getting the same brightening results that I’d seen on TikTok, so I tried the method again, this time with less of the under-eye blush (one dot rather than two) and this gave me a far better result .
The main learning from this trend is that less is more. I loved the colour-correcting finish and how seamless it made my cheek blush look, but to avoid looking like you’ve got rabies, don’t over-do it with the blush under the eye.
The verdict: Under-eye blush
This one was partially successful. While it didn’t completely erase my under-eye bags (only surgery would do that, let’s face it) I loved how lifted my face looked by continuing the blush color right the way up to the cheeks, and found that blending the liquid blush under the eye with my concealer was surprisingly easy. I’ll definitely be playing around with this technique in my routine, as it’s a clever way to achieve the soft-focus, fresh-faced finish without overdoing it on the cheek blush.