It Takes More Than Teint Miracle Instant Retouch Pen to Tame My Dark Circles

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

To sleep, perchance to dream of disappearing dark circles with the new Lancôme Teint Miracle Instant Retouch Pen ($29.50).


Lancôme calls this illuminating instrument a multipurpose foundation in a pen. Micro-fluorescent particles in the formula supposedly mimic a surge of natural light to illuminate and smooth the skin while reducing the appearance of imperfections on the face.

Brilliant! So does it work?

Well, I think that depends.

Do you adore YSL’s Touche Éclat? It looks like Lancôme does. The similarities between YSL’s award winner and the Teint Miracle Instant Retouch Pen are recognizable from a mile away — the pen packaging, the brush tip, the whole illuminating angle. It’s Touche Éclat déjà vu in a less expensive ensemble ($29.50 vs. $40 for Touche Éclat).

YSL Touche Éclat garners a huge following, and I have friends who swear by the stuff. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t do much for me. I’ve tried using it as a highlighter, as well as a concealer, but I think my under-eye circles are like Touche Éclat kryptonite. They’re too dark for it to completely cover.

Lancome Teint Miracle Instant Retouch Pen

Lancome Teint Miracle Instant Retouch Pen


The same goes for Lancôme Instant Retouch. I’ve been wearing shade No. 3 at the inner corners of my eyes to brighten, beneath my eyes to conceal dark circles and on my lids as a base, but I haven’t really seen a significant improvement in any of its core claims, from illuminating, to smoothing, to concealing imperfections. With or without Instant Retouch, I still look exhausted.

I do really like one thing about it — it doesn’t settle into my fine lines, but it’s not enough to make me an overall fan. That said, if you’re a fan of Touche Éclat, you may have just found a less expensive option.

PRICE: $29.50 (available in six shades)
AVAILABILITY: At Lancôme stores, counters and also online

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 37 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Even Lancome joined the illuminating pen bandwagon! These types of pens just don’t work for me and I don’t like the packaging either…it not the most sanitary.
    Kajal Couture recently posted … MAC Surf Baby Eye Looks

  2. Kaelin Chan says:

    Haha another makeup product that only works for people with perfect skin. When are my vampire ladies with epic dark circles gonna get some attention?
    Kaelin Chan recently posted … Click Clack- Living

      • Adrienne says:

        I work in department store cosmetics, and my co-worker, who works for Clarins, has darker skin and sometimes gives me products she gets at school/for gratis, that she can’t use. She gave me the Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base in 00 (please note that i am paa-aale!), and i used it once not only has an eye shadow primer (for which my oily eyelids have found it about average, but nice and lightweight), and then popped it under my eyes as a concealer. WOW! It has the coverage of a concealer and a bit of the “radiance boosting” effect of all those pen illuminators out there. My girlfriend (who is rather oblivious to skincare/makeup/etc) looked at me and said “Wow…everyone has those dark areas under their eyes, but it’s like you…just don’t”
        I think it only comes in like 3 colors, so like much of Clarins makeup, the skin tones are limited, but if you are lucky enough to fall into their spectrum, this stuff rocks under the eyes!!

  3. Eileen says:

    Illuminating pens–no matter which brand–simply don’t help you gals with serious dark circles, redness, or boo-boos that need covering. These are illuminating and use light to divert the eye from minor imperfections, the operative word being minor. For those of us who just need a bit of brightening in the eye area, they are the perfect solution. My favorite is Dior’s Skin Flash because it has just a bit more coverage than Touch Éclat. Teinte Miracle was a complete failure for me. It applied beautifully and looked good for about an hour, but then it just faded away into nothingness. On me, Teinte Miracle’s cheaper price becomes irrelevant because of the need to frequently reapply throughout the day whereas Skin Flash applied in the morning is good for the day. For those times when I need serious coverage, I bring out the big guns–Clé de Peau.

  4. I’ve longer wanted to try the Touche Éclat but it’s too expensive! Good to know this cheaper alternative!
    Bun Bun Makeup Tips recently posted … Stage Cosmetics Moving Out Sale!

  5. Nina says:

    if i really wanted to try a pen type of deal, there’s a drugstore one by olay that is cheaper. but ive converted to mac’s pro longwear concealer for my superstubborn undereye circles! i apply it in a small triangle and blend down. i set it w/ BE”s well rested and im good to go!

    • Karen says:

      YAY! Team MAC Prolongwear! 😀 I haven’t tried BE’s well rested… do I need to get on that?

      • Nina says:

        i like it because it makes me look like i slept for 12 hours. if you find yourself in Sephora, ask for a sample. its less shimmery than the LM Secret Brightening Powder.

        but yessss — i <3 mac prolongwear!

  6. Alexutza says:

    I might give this one a try. My dark circles are not too bad.

  7. snoopysteph says:

    I use Clinique’s Airbrush Concealer (same idea as this Retouch Pen) and it’s DEFINITELY not a concealer. I don’t have dark circles to cover so it really works as a highlighter/brightener. I even put it on my lids as a eyeshadow primer. PS: Clinique’s version is only $19.50 🙂

    • Instant Karma says:

      While my circles are sadly way too dark to use it on its own, I’ve found that the Clinique one has a little more coverage than Touche Eclat. Also, the illuminating pen by Boots is pretty good (better than Touche Eclat, in my opinion), and even cheaper than the Clinique one. The last time I bought it, I think it was somewhere between $8-9 — definitely somewhere in the single digits. I always keep one in my purse for brightening on the go!

  8. voodoogirl says:

    have you tried the one from the body shop? i believe it’s an even more affordable alternative 🙂
    voodoogirl recently posted … Chanel Rouge Allure Emotive Glossimer Myriade

  9. gio says:

    I have really bad dark circles so I’ll pass on this. Thanks for the review.
    gio recently posted … Benefits of Glycerin In Cosmetics

  10. My dark circles can make me look like I have 2 black eyes! I use the Touch Eclat over my concealer for the highlight effect and in the inner corners of my eyes. I think it helps turn my high duty concealer into a more illuminating one
    productdoctor recently posted … Go for the Glow! NARS Laguna Body Illuminator

  11. Thanks for the review Karen, I’ve been wondering about this, I can save some money now.

  12. Kim says:

    I have Smashbox’s brightener (the one you pair with MAC Pro Longwear concealer) and I don’t find that it does anything for my eyes either. I don’t really have dark circles but I don’t notice any brightening. I know it will make a difference layered over Pro Longwear but I haven’t dragged myself to the MAC store yet. 🙂 Is this the same kind of thing?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim,

      The Smashbox product is more, like, a very light peachy pink sheen. It lacks the pigment of these pens have, so it doesn’t really cover up much at all — it’s more just to add extra glow to dark areas.

      I’ve actually been skipping it lately (too lazy!) and using Pro Longwear on its own, and Pro Longwear seems to do just find by itself too. Get thee to a MAC store soon, woman! 😀

  13. Trisha says:

    Aww, sad. It’s too bad it didn’t work out that well. I’ve found most pens like these are too…watery, I guess.
    Trisha recently posted … Prom Eye Shadow Palette Sale at BH Cosmetics

  14. a friend has recommended touche eclat to me but i doubt it’ll make any difference. my dark circles are ridiculous!

    i’ve been using revlon photoready, though. and out of all the concealers i’ve tried, it does the trick the best. i’m eager to try your beloved pro longwear concealer, though :).
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Ive Found An Amazing Combo In Revlons PhotoReady Foundation &amp Concealer!

  15. Rica says:

    Thanks Karen, I’m not gonna try this then. I’ve finished my Chanel ÉCLAT LUMIÈRE Highlighting Pen, which is basically like the YSL one. It was quite good, but I would like to explore more. I’ve heard that the Clinique Airbrush Concealer is pretty great, I think I’m gonna try that next.

    Rica recently posted … Winner of My 1st Bloggaversary Giveaway 3 – Lip Slot

  16. Ginger says:

    I love the Clinique Airbrush Concealer! I call it my nap in a stick. I can be lacking in sleep, but that concealer does a great job of covering the dark and brightening the area. 🙂

  17. Janice says:

    My favorite item like this is the Mary Kay facial highlighting pen (shade 1). I normally purchase them from ebay for about $5, but the retail is $18. 🙂

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