The 6 Best Under-Eye Concealers for Your Designer Dark Circles
By Franki Hanke
You can have smooth, bright under eyes on any budget.
The beauty world is overwhelming. Between It Cosmetics’ newest Bye Bye byline, Laura Mercier’s next glossy ad, and Youtube makeup artists’ numerous recommendations, it can be hard to make a choice staring down at the aisles at Sephora or Ulta. Which ones really are the best under eye concealers for dark circles?
“Should concealers be an eye cream, too? What does hyaluronic acid do? How do antioxidants help? What the hell is haloxyl?” The sell points are plentiful to the point of overwhelm!
Instead, remember, your concealer has one, simple job: to conceal dark circles. Let your skincare pack the punch for ingredients, and buy the concealer that does that one job the best. But which one to buy? Pick from our six, best under-eye concealers for dark circles.
Drugstore Dark Circle Saviors – Best Under Eye Concealers for Dark Circles on a Budget
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer – $8
Winner of Allure’s Best of Beauty Award in 2018, Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Concealer is still a fan favorite in 2021. With a sponge-tip applicator and a relatively spreadable consistency, this concealer provides light to medium coverage. This one is very buildable, so it’s safe to apply a second layer for more coverage.
The effect is natural. Plus, the subtle finish makes it easy to use, even with only concealer for dark circles and no foundation. This is a favorite for pre-Zoom because it color-corrects and conceals without caking into fine lines.
This is the best concealer option for anyone with a natural style, dry skin, or minimal discoloration in the under-eye area. If you fluctuate between skin types, Instant Age Rewind is the most forgiving formula to fit to however your dark circles are acting day-to-day.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind’s shade range includes 16 shades plus a color-corrector “Neutralizer” for canceling dark circles and a Brightener for luminosity.
Catrice Liquid Camouflage – $6
For a super affordable option, Catrice Liquid Camouflage still packs a punch. The creamy, medium coverage formula is pigmented and reportedly waterproof. The doe-foot applicator is precise and simple. The texture is on the thicker side, but blends out and sets well with a powder product.
On top of being a great, budget option, Catrice is vegan and cruelty-free. The one drawback is the scent. A perfumed, chemical-y scent is present on first dab but dissipates once on.
This is the best concealer option for anyone trimming their beauty budget down or shopping cruelty-free.
Catrice Liquid Camouflage’s shade range includes 13 shades, when picking yours you may opt to go one lighter as many users report that it oxidizes darker on the skin.
Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Under-Eye Concealer – $9
With a thicker coverage, Maybelline’s Super Stay Concealer is the step-up from the lighter look of Instant Age Rewind. With a paddle applicator, the dense texture covers even the three hours of sleep dark circles with a medium to full coverage.
To avoid emphasizing lines or looking cakey, apply a hydrating moisturizer to the under-eye area well before applying a thick concealer. To minimize creasing, set the concealer lightly with a setting powder after application.
This is the best concealer option to cover up dark under-eye circles with a long wear, matte finish for normal to oily skin. Plus, use it for blemishes and gently pat out to blend!
Maybelline Super Stay’s shade range includes 12 shades. Many users pick a shade lighter than usual to counteract slight oxidation on the skin and to brighten the under eyes.
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High-End Eye Bag Battlers – Best Under Eye Concealers for Dark Circles for a Price
Tarte Shape Tape – $27
A cult-classic on launch, Tarte Shape Tape was hot when it first came out. Now, we know the formula is not one-size-fits-all. Shape Tape is a full-coverage concealer not fit for dry skin. However, for those with dark under-eye circles, you’ll achieve an “I got nine hours of sleep”-look with a mere dab. The pigment pay-off is enough to blend out the under-eyes and out onto the cheeks.
When applying, practice restraint. Less is plenty. Pair this with a moisturizing prep routine to counteract the risks of looking cakey or creasing.
This is the best high-end concealer option if you’re shopping for vegan or cruelty-free options. Tarte doesn’t test on animals.
Tarte Shape Tape’s shade range is the best listed with 35 shade options to fit your skin tone and undertones flawlessly.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer – $30
A quiet competitor, the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer has been a favorite again and again without going viral. Nar’s creamy formula lives up to its name with a rich, multi-use texture. For the eye area, highlighting, contouring, or spot concealing this buildable, blendable option is supremely easy to use.
The applicator is precise but on the smaller side. Thankfully, a little goes a long way to cover up with a subtle, matte finish. Re-use a light, under-eye shade for brightening on your cheekbones and the top of the nose for a multi-functional product. This is the best high-end concealer option for a multi-functional, subtle option you can employ across your face.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer’s shade range has 30 shades.
Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer – $31
My go-to option for travel, the Lancome Effacernes Undereye Concealer is a powerhouse for pigmented color payoff. The formula is dense and a little bit goes a long way. While the coverage is medium to high, the texture leans lighter than other products without a cakey finish.
Especially for sweaty, hot weather, this product lives up to its waterproof claims with a no-budge stick on the face that doesn’t break up as you sweat. It will last in muggy weather without sinking into fine lines or revealing your dark circles.
Ultimately, only you carry your under-eye baggage. Pick a concealer from our best under-eye concealers for dark circles that fits your needs, but pair a superstar concealer with plenty of sleep and a nourishing skincare routine to cut down on those oversized bag fees!
Bonus Tip: If you’re battling puffiness alongside darkness, use Patchology’s FlashPatch eye gels for a hydrating boost before makeup. They contain caffeine and hydrolyzed collagen for smooth, awake skin. Start with the 5-pack from Amazon before you upgrade to the jar once you’re in love.
After you’ve got flawlessly concealer under eyes, you’re nearly ready to wow everyone on Facetime. For the rest of the routine, read Put Your Best Face Forward for Facetime.
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