“The reason why this works is because, typically, bronzers are warm, and the warmth of a bronzer is going to counteract any blue—aka, dark circles—around the eyes,” Hughes explains. Essentially, think of a warm-toned bronzer as an under-eye color corrector: The former contains orange under-tones that neutralize any cool blue hues.
That’s actually the main difference between bronzer and contour; while both can bring definition to the face, contouring formulas tend to read much more cool-toned. So make sure you do have a proper bronzer before tapping it into your under-eyes, as a contour will only exacerbate any shadows.
Hughes uses the Rose Inc Solar Infusion Soft-Focus Cream Bronzer in the shade “Seychelles,” but feel free to scroll through this list of favorites to find a formula you love. Saie’s Sun Melt would also be a gorgeous option to try. Regardless, you may want to choose a cream product over powder, since you’ll be using it in place of concealer.
On that note, you totally can layer a concealer over your bronzer for a brighter look, or you can stick to a bronzer-only application. The latter is perfect for days when you just want a bit of oomph, but even if you do apply concealer, it will still appear pretty natural.
Hughes swipes on her go-to formula on her inner and outer eye corners, then stipples it in with a fluffy concealer brush. “Pat in [the formula], because you don’t want to merge the concealer too much with that bronzer,” she notes. “You want them to be sitting on top of one another.”