6 Concealers That Will Make Your Dark Circles *Disappear*April 07, 2020
Under-eye concealer is like the undergarment of makeup. At its best, it’s undetectable and gives skin a seamless, flawless finish. At its worst, it’s lumpy and bumpy (in beauty terms, that means cakey) and it looks really obvious. The difference between a good and bad concealer ultimately comes down to finding the right fit for you; finding the perfect texture and shade, and applying it correctly will determine just how good your concealer looks — and how well it covers those dark circles.
From creams to pens, light-reflecting to full coverage, there are a dizzying amount of formulas to choose from. So, how do you know which one is the best under-eye concealer for you? In the name of research, we brushed, tapped and swiped on tons of different formulas to help you narrow your search. Shop our favorite under-eye concealers below, plus get schooled in application tips from the pros.
First, a Primer on Dark Circles
“Dark circles can be caused by a variety of different things,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. For one, chronic inflammation can cause excess pigment. “This can be from things like aggressively removing eye makeup and rubbing your eyes because of allergies,” he says. Sun exposure can contribute to darkness, too. Sunlight triggers pigment-producing cells to produce melanin leading to under-eye pigmentation. Age also plays a role. Thinning skin can cause blood vessels just under the skin to become more visible, revealing a blue-ish tint, he says. Then there’s just plain genetics. Sometimes dark circles run in families. See your dermatologist to pinpoint the exact reason for your discoloration and for a customized solution. In the meantime, there’s makeup.
How to Conceal Dark Circles Like a Pro
Dark circles can be tricky to hide so we asked celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg for her best tricks. Here are her rules for a seamless application.
1. Consistency matters. Greenberg’s go-to under-eye concealers have a thin, yet creamy formula. They look fresh and healthy on skin, but won’t settle into fine lines. Sticks are typically drier than creams and are good for your blemishes, scars and splotches rather than under eyes. But a more moisturizing stick formula could do the trick, too.
2. Your eye cream can make a difference.If you’ve ever layered concealer over eye cream only to see it start pilling immediately, here’s why: “Eye creams should be made up of the same base as your concealer—oil or water—otherwise the two can clash,” Greenberg says. Check the ingredient list of both products to make sure they’re compatible (a form of water or oil will be one of the first few ingredients on the list). When layering under concealer, Greenberg likes eye creams that feel lightweight and airy on skin. “Really work it into your eye area and wait a few minutes before applying concealer,” she says.
3. Consider a color corrector.For really dark circles, layer a color corrector underneath your concealer, says Greenberg. Peach correctors help neutralize darkness and the blue-ish tint under eyes. If you have dark skin, go for more of an orange-red hue. Try NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Palette for a mix of shades.
4. Nail the right shade.The ideal color is one shade lighter than the rest of your face, says Greenberg. That will lighten and brighten without looking like you’ve swiped highlighter under your eyes. “The number one mistake most women make with concealer is going too light, which actually ages you more,” she says. Pros often mix multiple shades to find the right fit. If you can’t find the right shade for your skin tone, try blending two together, says Greenberg.
5. Skip the tools. Save the tiny brushes for small details like blemishes. Greenberg likes to dab on under-eye concealer with her ring finger to avoid any pigment-inducing rubbing and tugging. “The heat from your fingertip helps the product meld into your skin, which makes it look more natural,” she says. When using a concealer with a pen-like applicator or wand, dab it under eyes, and then tap it in with your fingertip.
6. Finish strong. Yes, dusting translucent powder under your eyes is an extra step, but it really does help set the product and make it last much longer, she says. We recommend the Dermablend Loose Setting Powder.
Ahead, we rounded up our favorite concealers that will help you kiss dark circles goodbye.
This full-coverage concealer is perfect for hiding dark circles for up to 24 hours and provides a soft matte finish you’ll love. It’s completely non-comedogenic making it suitable for all skin types, including oily.
There’s a reason this concealer is called Superstay — it really does not budge after application. The formula is waterproof, easy to apply with it’s paddle applicator and is smudge-resistant, ensuring dark circle coverage for hours on end
This formula is waterproof and highly pigmented, so it covers even the darkest rings. It’s also infused with skin-care ingredients like hyaluronic acid and collagen to plump up the skin, which not only makes dark circles less noticeable, but also smooths wrinkles.
For a concealer that not only cancels out, but literally brightens dark circles, try the YSL Radiance Perfecting Pen. It comes in 14 shades that are infused with micro-pearls, Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to help naturally and physically brighten your dark circles with each application.
For a creamy concealer with an easy-to-apply sponge tip applicator, try this formula by Maybelline. The collection was recently upgraded to include six more shades (!) and each one is infused with light-reflecting pearls. Start with medium coverage and work your way up to full as needed.
Stay Woke is one of our favorite full-coverage options if you need color correction and brightening benefits. This formula comes in a wide variety of shades to give your under-eye area the coverage it needs and deserves.