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Published Oct. 31, 2008

This Halloween, treat yourself with a few beauty tricks sure to disguise your biggest beauty woes, from dark under-eye circles to beastly blemishes and wretched roots.

Under-eye circles

Anyone who has ever had 'em can attest that under-eye circles are downright scary. No need to quiver; even this most horrifying beauty problem can be solved with the right tools.

Dark under-eye circles can be caused by many things, from nasal congestion to fluid retention thanks to excessive salt intake. Then there are pure genetics: if your Mom has dark under-eye circles, you do too. Whatever the cause, there are things to cure your raccoon-eyed woes.

Getting solid sleep is an essential first step, as is drinking plenty of water. And since congestion can be the cause, be sure to stay on top of allergies. While you're addressing root issues, cover up those dark circles with a yellow-tinted concealer applied with a slightly moist foundation brush. Be sure to blend the concealer across the entire under-eye area and not just the dark circles. One to try is Alison Raffaele's True Concealer ($23 at; the paraben-free formula nourishes the delicate under-eye skin while serving as a high-coverage concealer. Bargain shoppers will love CoverGirl Smoothers Concealer, packaged in a tube akin to lipstick and ultra-affordable at just $5.79 at Walgreens.

Scary hairy

Keeping color up requires a significant time commitment. To cover dark, light or gray roots, go directly to your colorist, but for those times when an emergency color intervention is required, there are ways to make an at-home root cover-up less painful.

Clairol makes a cheap root touch-up option called Nice & Easy Root Touch Up hair color kit ($7.99 at drugstores). You can also ask your colorist to share your hair color concoction so that you can keep some on hand for emergency touch ups. You'll probably have to mix the color yourself before applying and use a clean mascara wand to apply color to the roots only.

Be sure to wear gloves, wrap a dark colored towel around your shoulders and apply Vaseline to the hair line around your face to avoid color from bleeding and staining your skin.

Blemish busters

There's nothing more frightening than an awkwardly placed pimple. But with the right tools, you can cure and conceal any zit.

While some experts recommend applying a moisturizer first, I've found that doing so creates a slick surface sure to see your makeup go south. Instead, opt for a thick concealer or foundation that will really stay put. My favorite, hands down, is Dermablend's Quick Fix Concealer ($17 at Macy's). Finish with translucent powder to "set" the cover-up, locking it in place all day long.

At night, cure breakouts with a clear treatment that ensures you'll still look lovely while banishing blemishes for good. Benefit's Ka-Pow! does just that, perfecting problem skin thanks to a formula that features salicylic acid and vitamin B to reduce and control oil production for a clear cure that works while you sleep. Get it online for $20 at