Ombre was everywhere for a while in the 2010s. Ombre hair, clothes and makeup were all the rage. While the trend has somewhat simmered, the alluring gradient effect still has its moments. We love a well-done ombre hair or eyeshadow moment, and now ombre concealer is trending. The ombre concealer technique going viral on TikTok probably isn’t what you think. Rather it’s a brilliant way to streamline your routine and brighten the under eyes.
What is ombre concealer?
Ombre concealer refers to a technique that employs multiple shades of concealer and liquid blush applied under the eye, says celebrity makeup artist Emily Gray. “The blended look gives a lifted, brightened under eye with a touch of blush on the outer corner.” Gray says she loves this technique as “it adds the perfect amount of dimension and color to the center of the face.”This trend is “all about embracing gradients and focusing on the eye area, particularly the inner concerns and under-eye region” allowing you to enhance specific areas, says MAKE UP FOR EVER regional manager of education and artistry Randi Orlinsky.
How to achieve the ombre concealer look
Have on hand two concealers, one that’s two shades lighter than your complexion and one that’s your skin tone, and two liquid blushes, a lighter blush and a slightly darker option, says Gray. She notes that you can create any color story you want with the blush—pink, peach, rose, etc.
“Place one dot of the lightest concealer in the corner of your eye, then a dot of the concealer that is your complexion, followed by a dot of the lighter liquid blush, and finally, the darkest blush will be near your outer eye,” explains Gray. It will look like a pretty rainbow of dots under your eye, she adds. Then blend it all with a dense concealer brush or beauty sponge—celebrity makeup artist and executive director of artistry and education at BUXOM David Birdwell recommends moistening the sponge. “The end result will give this gorgeous bright under eye with the perfect amount of blush,” says Gray. Pro-tip: set it with your favorite setting powder.
The unique benefits of the ombre concealer technique
By using two shades of concealer, you’ll create a more seamless brightening and lifting effect without a harsh demarcation line, says Birdwell. “The two shades will create a gradation together to keep the brightening focus near the inner eye area where darkness and shadowing from the tear trough area is more present, and the shade that matches your skin tone will blend out any additional discoloration near the outer eye area while softening the brightening as you blend towards the outer part of the face.” Orlinsky notes that when done on the right face shape, this technique can offer a diffused bright under eye leading into a draping blush technique with a pop of color for a unique look.
Gray also loves that this technique makes it really easy to blend the products. “Liquid products do not tend to set themselves, or they at least dry more slowly, so you have ample time to perfectly blend together the concealers and liquid blushes,” she says. She adds that it’s basically foolproof if you place the products correctly.
Additionally, “you use less product because you are combining a lot of the steps of makeup into one layer,” says Gray. “Usually, you would do concealer all over the under eyes, then go in with blush on top of that,” but this combines those steps into one.
How to pick the right blush and concealer shades for you
As mentioned, the products for this technique should be chosen based on your skin tone. One concealer should be one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone—this is the brightest shade. The other concealer should be your actual skin tone.
When picking a concealer, Birdwell recommends thinking about your undertone and what would best cancel out your under-eye darkness. “Use yellow for more purple darkness or a pinkier or peachy shade for blue darkness,” says Birdwell.
Gray suggests also taking into consideration your skin type. For example, she prefers a hydrating concealer because the under eyes need the extra moisture, especially under makeup. It can also help “the makeup last longer and help your under eyes from looking dry and flat.”
As for the blushes, Gray says, “You can either go by your skin’s undertone or the overall color story for your makeup that day.” If you’re using your skin’s undertone as a decision-driver, Gray notes that “peach and orange blushes go better with warm undertones, while pinks and rose shades go better with cooler undertones.”
Expert-recommended products for the ombre concealer look
Birdwell’s personal preference is towards a more sheer concealer for this trend, which allows more control and less excess product to avoid creasing. He recommends bareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Concealer ($28). “It’s lightweight and buildable to adjust the coverage amount and all-day wear that’s crease-resistant.”
For concealer, Gray likes to use NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($32) or Hourglass Vanish AirBrush Concealer ($36) for this technique. “NARS is going to be super emollient, full coverage and blend easily under the eyes,” she says. “The shade range is absolutely beautiful, and every skin tone will be able to find their ombre concealer shades.” She loves the Hourglass concealer for how thin and hydrating the formula is. “It’s definitely one of the most lightweight concealers on the market, and I love how it sits on top of the skin instead of sinking in any fine lines or wrinkles,” says Gray. “And it still manages to be full coverage on top of being so thin? Magic!”
Some of Gray’s favorite blushes for this technique are Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush ($23) and Milk Makeup Bionic Liquid Blush ($24). “Rare Beauty’s blushes are extremely pigmented (I’m not joking, put the smallest amount on for the ombre concealer technique), and they blend perfectly into the skin.” She adds that Rare Beauty blushes last all day, especially the matte shades, and they’re ideal for the ombre concealer technique. The difference between the Rare Beauty blush and Milk’s blush is that Milk’s starts off pretty sheer, which makes it a great option for those who aren’t looking for major pigment, says Gray. However, it is buildable, so you can dial it up if you want.
Orlinksy says the MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Skin ($29) is the perfect concealer for this trend. It’s hydrating, easily blendable, works for all skin types and promises 24-hour wear. It also comes in three different undertones, red, neutral and yellow, “which helps create that dimension under the eye with less product.”