I’d like to nominate dark circles to join death and taxes as the only inevitabilities in life—well, my life, at least. While not severe by any means (who do you think I am, James Franco?), the problem with my particular case is that it’s constant. They’re always there, these permanent residents of my face, unchanged by the amount of sleep I get or how much water I drink or how much wine I don’t drink.
So I employ a kind of “toolbox” of strategies that are key to achieving under-eye normalcy. Yes, plenty of sleep and good hydration levels provide the foundation, accompanied by brightening eye creams and Franco-favorite patches for the area to get things on the right track. Concealer, of course, is absolutely critical; that shit is so necessary. But, as I’ve learned from experience, too much concealer has the opposite of the desired effect, creating a caky finish that draws attention to the problem rather than distracts. Whoops.
The color-correcting craze put me well on my way to discovering that to really do away with dark circles, you need a little extra help. Would I ever fuss with a pot of bright-orange cream every morning to make it happen? No, never. But a simple one-click pen that’s faster and easier to apply than anything else in my routine? Yes, please.
That’s where the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Neutralizer in Abricot Bisque ($38) comes in. It is genius and practically effortless, just like the beloved, beyond-cult-favorite concealer/highlighter hybrid with which it shares a name. It’s a simple click-pen with a brush tip that you swipe under your eyes and blend, and then move on. It’s that easy.
A brief lesson in color theory: Abricot Bisque is effective in canceling out the purple tone of dark circles because of its orange-leaning hue—given their opposing sides of the color wheel, one works to undo the other. A lightweight, slightly creamy texture makes the formula super easy to blend, and while you can wear it alone as a perfecting beauty routine that spans literally 30 seconds, it’s particularly effective under other makeup.
I apply it post-skin-care, dotting it in a triangular shape from the inner corners of my eyes a few inches down toward my cheekbone and back up again, then blend with a sponge and top it off with foundation followed by a dab of concealer—and then I look restored to humanity, a functional breathing rather than someone who’s been cultivating cavernous eye sockets in an opium den for weeks. The only annoying thing about it is the approximately 500 clicks it takes to get the product to come out the first time you use it, but after that it’s smooth sailing. Highly recommended to all, including James Franco.