How to Cover Up Dark Circles For a Wedding, Prom or Party with MAC Cosmetics Studio Finish Concealer

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Top Posts

Dark Circle Trubs, Volume 5,472

I suffered through a really bad bought of insomnia a few weeks ago, and my dark circles were extra terrible. My regular concealer, MAC Select Moisturecover, just wasn’t gettin’ it done.


My friend Jen’s wedding was right around the corner, and I didn’t want to show up looking like death warmed over. I needed serious coverage, and I needed it fast.


I spoke with Michelle, a lovely MAC makeup artist at a nearby counter, and told her what I needed…

  1. Complete coverage for my dark circles.
  2. Something that wouldn’t make my skin look ashy under flash photography.
  3. Something that would last a full 10 hours and wouldn’t look cakey.

She suggested three MAC products: MAC Fast Response Eye Cream, MAC Studio Finish Concealer and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.

MAC Fast Response Eye Cream

MAC Fast Response Eye Cream ($28.50) is a lightweight, moisturizing cream that smooths fine lines around the eyes and provides a better surface for the application of concealer.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer

MAC Studio Finish Concealer ($15.50), a very concentrated cream, straight up covers everything — dark circles, pimples, moles, tattoos and even birthmarks! I have it in the shade NW 25.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Pressed Powder

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural sets the concealer, helping it stay put all day long. It’s a low coverage (read: sheer) pressed powder and won’t look heavy or cakey applied around the eyes. My shade is Medium.

The MAC Concealer Triple Play Performed Great on the Day of the Wedding!

My circles stayed hidden all day long (and lawd knows they were still there!), and I think my makeup still looked natural in the pictures.

How to Cover Up Dark Circles for a Wedding or Big Event Using MAC Cosmetics Studio Finish Concealer

When applying MAC Studio Finish Concealer, lighting makes a huge difference. The product’s very pigmented, and I tend to over apply it in poorly lit rooms (like my bathroom at home), so applying the product in a space that gets good natural light yields the best results.

I begin the process with MAC Fast Response Eye Cream, applying a few dots under my eyes and patting them into the area with a fingertip until they’re thoroughly absorbed.

Next, I load a MAC 194 Concealer brush by swiping it across the pan of MAC Studio Finish Concealer. Because the concealer is so heavily pigmented, a little goes a long way.

Starting from the side closer to my nose, I brush the concealer onto the inner corner of my eye and under my lower lashline…

…eventually moving the concealer out toward the outer corner.

In the pic above, the area covered by concealer is in purple. I’ll use either one or two thin layers of product, depending on how bad my circles are.

Next, I blend away the outer edges of concealer with a makeup sponge. If I forget this step, the product looks too obvious on my skin.

Then, I set the concealer (to increase wear time) by swiping a MAC 217 blending brush across the pan of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder, blowing off the excess from the brush head and patting the powder onto the area covered by concealer.

Starting at the inner corner of the eye…

…and working out.

For good measure, I finish by blending out the edges one last time with a makeup sponge.

TOOT TOOT! All done! Zombie girl has left the building. 🙂

A Few More Helpful Hints…

For super dark circles (like SCARY dark), add a little more concealer around the inner eye .
After applying the powder, if my circles are extra dark, I’ll dab a small amount of concealer into the innermost corner of the eye with the tip of a 194 concealer brush.


Oily Skin? Use makeup primer first for even longer wear.
I have semi-oily skin, which reduces wear time for many products, so I use Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer ($30) on the under eye area first.

Dreaded fine lines…
Studio Finish Concealer rocks but it isn’t perfect. After a few hours it settles into the fine lines under my eyes. When it happens, I just pat my finger tip onto the lines, dispersing the makeup without disturbing the concealer. 🙂

Happy hump day!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 23 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Adriana says:

    awesome tutorial kate! thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Toma says:

    I honestly didn’t know MAC made eye cream. I’ll have to grab one. Thank you!

    Toma´s last blog post..Wax On, Wax Off

  3. Ellery says:

    This is a great tutorial but thankfully I don’t have dark circles!

    I really wanna try MAC concealer but I don’t have a counter near me so I can’t try on the colors or ask a mua for help. Is the lightest one almost white? The shade I wear right now is the lightest shade that Chanel does but the swatches on the MAC website suck (apparently) so I’m really confused. 🙁

    Ellery´s last blog post..Mini haul

  4. yadiq says:

    interesting I have hideous circles too always
    I use chanels concealer (the one in the clicky pen – sorry all the type wore off on it)
    It works wonders ESP cause skin under my eyes is very dehydrated 🙁
    I used to use chanels concealer the one with the doe foot wand great coverage but very drying even with a ton of eyecream underneath LOL that also settled into my fine lines fresh has a scary good concealer duo I got once when I got a black eye in capoeira it was hard to put on but no one at work ever noticed I had a black eye!!

  5. DJ says:

    How would you say the MAC concealer compares to Bo-ing? I’ve been using the latter for a while now but my circles have gotten bad lately, too, and I find it fades by the afternoon (though, I’m not good with remembering to apply finishing powder…)

    I once won a little MAC package and it had the eye cream. Made my skin so soft!

  6. Karen this is a seriously awesome post! Lately I have tried many different concealers and none seem to do the trick. Right now I am using Benefit’s BOING concealer but it settles into my fie lines within minutes, wah! I am definitely going to try these products!

    Vampy Varnish´s last blog post..Sephora by OPI Swatches

  7. Dao says:

    Awesome tips and tut! My dark circles also start to show, thanks to my night-owl sleep time. If MAC concealer does not do, I’m thinking of getting myself some theater makeup to cover them. Also, salmon concealer tends to cover dark circles quite well, you should give it a try.

    Dao´s last blog post..Budget Makeup Gift Sets at $25 and Below

  8. Marisol says:

    Great tips! I really like the eye cream and use the MSF Natural in Medium to as a finishing powder.

    Marisol´s last blog post..Look who’s back!

  9. ParisB says:

    I’ve never tried MAC but I’ll put your tips into play using my regular concealer and powders. Thanks Karen!

  10. charlene says:

    nice pic from the wedding! ur makeup looks soooo great!

  11. Indian Girl says:

    Inner corner of the eye is my bad spot. the dark circles dont seem so dark under my eyes but on the inner corners, they tend to look bad….I do the same thing you said. After setting my cncealer if it still looks bad, I add some on the inner corner and it tends to look better then…

    Indian Girl´s last blog post..Crabtree and Evelyn Aromatherapy Ditillations – Purifying Refreshing Body Lotions

  12. lesley says:

    I like the tutorial, Karen! I’m looking for a new foundation so I’m going to MAC soon to try the MSF powder =) I like sheer to medium coverage and I usually use mineral make up–any suggestions?

    Hope you’re having a beautiful day!

  13. yadiq says:

    i have a correction on my last response the concealer isnt by fresh its by Becca- forgive my bad memory!!

  14. Michelle says:

    This is great, I will definitely be refering back to this post. Thanks Karen!

  15. cloudburst says:

    MAC Studio Finish concealer is an HG product for me – for my eyes I mix it with DiorSkin Sculpt concealer to sheer it out, but for zits it’s a must have! Nothing covers red angry zits like this product.

  16. cloudburst says:

    One more thing – to help with creasing I take the edge of a latex sponge (I use the disc sponges) and buff the concealer out of the lines right after I’ve powdered the area.

  17. Daya says:

    Some great tips on concealer..I’m going to ask about this when I get to the MAC counter. My dark circles are bad! 🙁

  18. Jamie says:

    Heya!! I was just wondering what colour are you for MAC foundation?!?!?

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Jamie!

    I’m an NC 35. How ’bout you?

  20. sharon b says:

    I have tried all of the foundations by MAC. For some reason after 30 mins it turns my skin dark . Why??

  21. MJ says:

    No ones dark circles are worst than mine. People tell me I’m beautiful all day long. But when I come home and wash my makeup off I don’t even want to look in the mirror. I constantly rub my eye area at night. I can’t help it. I have been rubbing since I was a kid. I was bullied in school and called names. I’m about to get married in June and I want the pictures to be flawless. Sometimes flash photography makes me appear ashy around the eyes and ruins my pictures. I have been so stressed about this happening when people snap photos of me at the wedding and post on facebook. I almost want to just go to the courthouse instead of my dream wedding. Please help. Trust me you look beautiful without makeup.

  22. Amy says:

    This is great! Thanks! I’ve started using Studio Fix under my eyes because MoisturCover wasn’t doing it, but it’s been caking—especially by the end of the day. I may need to pick up a tube of this. Have you tried mixing Studio Fix with any other kinds of eye cream?

    Also, do you find that Studio Fix mixed with Fast Response is still fuller coverage than Select Cover Up?


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