Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our daily recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.
Until I discovered MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer, dark under-eye circles were the bane of my existence. I'm not just talking about dark smudges below my eyes, but a full circle that extends up to my eyebrow. My mother has commented that I'm wearing way too much brown eyeshadow right after I washed my face.
My efforts to deal with the situation started in middle school when I still wasn't allowed to wear makeup. Thus, my concealer of choice was a Maybelline Cover Stick my mom bought in the wrong color and abandoned in the medicine cabinet. My application technique involved quickly smearing the stick across my face in the girl's bathroom while I should have been changing into a skankier ensemble. Luckily, my giant, pink plastic glasses distracted from the mess happening on my face.
In high school I graduated to contacts and whatever makeup Clinique dispensed at Bonus Time, as I'm a sucker for free shit. The only product I was willing to spend money on was a good concealer, but every visit to Macy's poorly-lit cosmetics department went down the same way. I'd describe my issue, and the lady at the counter would say she had just the thing (clearly she knew what she was talking about, because she was wearing a lab coat). After 20 minutes of applying various products to my face, her forehead would start to wrinkle. Then she'd stand back, give me a hand mirror, and and awkwardly exclaim, "You look great!" It was pretty much the teenage version of the Joker scene from Batman, only with less demented cackling and more insolent adolescent eye-rolling. (The clownish makeup was spot on.)
Most concealers I found were designed to provide light coverage and look natural. I wanted to smear on another layer of skin. Finally, I discovered MAC Studio Finish Concealer while sharing makeup with my best friend, just like magazines tell you not to do. It's thick enough to entirely cover serious dark circles, but blends so well that for years I wore it without any other face product (recently I've started dusting on MAC Studio Fix Powder to discourage the slight creasing that may occur, but that's a tale for another time).
The lady at the MAC store often suggests that I should be applying the concealer with an expensive brush, which the store just happens to sell, but I just dip my ring finger straight into the little pot and start building up a thick coat of the stuff on my skin. (If you've read Bossypants, what Tina Fey told Monica Lewinsky was right: The ring finger is a fine tool for applying products to the eye area.) Studio Finish Concealer is a bit pricy for my drug store makeup tastes, but aside from being totally "worth it," it's eligible for Back to MAC. Bring in six empty containers, and you get to pick out a free item. (The website says it's a lipstick, but I've also been offered my choice of eye shadow.)
Admittedly, many people don't need extra-strength concealer under their eyes. However, everyone from the 16-year-old constantly covered in hickeys to the dude with his ex-girlfriend's name tattooed in a highly-visible area can find a use for this product. If Johnny Depp would just invest $17 in a pot of NW20, he wouldn't have to tell the world that he's a "wino forever" every time he wears a tank top.
Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer, $17 for 0.24 oz at MAC.
Worth It only features things we paid for ourselves and actually like. Don't send us stuff.