Depending on the type of discoloration you’re dealing with, you might reach for a different pigment–for dark circles, you’ll likely grab an orangy-peach shade to warm up those cool shadows. Exa includes four shades in the orange family–a pink, peach, deep-peach, and red-orange–depending on your skin tone; for me, the peach number instantly brightens my under-eyes without looking too “done,” almost as if I clocked nine hours of sleep. And with antioxidant-rich brightening actives, like marshmallow root, rice bran, and licorice extracts, it even helps treat those dark circles simultaneously.
It has a matte finish (thanks to kaolin clay), but trust me, it doesn’t dry down caky. I’ve always had dry, sensitive under-eyes, which means I gravitate toward the creamiest concealers I can find–for those with perennially parched skin, rest assured this formula is still very plush and doesn’t settle into fine lines. In fact, the matte finish is what actually makes the brightness appear much more natural since you wouldn’t necessarily shine underneath the eyes.
As for the application, you’ll want to spread some of the pigment on the back of your hand first, then take your ring finger (or a small concealer brush) and tap it onto any areas of discoloration. As celebrity makeup artist Delina Medhin tells me over Zoom, it’s helpful to diffuse some of the product before blending so it can really melt into your skin. Plus, the doe-foot applicator is a bit too large to reach precise areas, like the inner corners.
Then if you’d like an extra hit of brightness, you can either layer your regular concealer on top or (my new favorite hack) use Exa’s yellow corrector as a highlighter: I take a teeny bit on my fingertip and dot it in the middle of my under-eye (right below my pupil), in the middle of my brow bone (right above my pupil), and on the outer corner. I find it adds a bit more dimension and makes the orbs really pop.