While the actual prospect of under-eye bags is a disappointing concept, the name is even worse. Bags? Lexically, it's a distinctly un-sexy word—bag lady, baggy, baggage. Then, take the concept of an empty, crumpled bag and all the associations that come with it, and apply it to the area underneath your eyes. It's bad enough having puffiness there—it doesn't need to be made worse with such a fowl-sounding word.
Now that we've gotten that off our chests, let's focus on how to deal with them. You can try microneedling or injections if they're enough of a nuisance that you're up for an invasive treatment, or you can opt for a more temporary trick like putting tea bags or cold compresses over the area to reduce puffiness.
But if you're in a real pinch, especially after a long night of working (or pizza and Bravo), you're going to want a concealer. To use it most effectively, apply an eye cream like Ole Henriksen's Banana Bright Eye Creme ($38) first. It'll prep and plump the area. Then, use your ring finger (it's the least powerful) to delicately pat in the concealer. Don't rub it or smear it, not only will it look less natural but it can actually damage the skin around the eye. Make sure to apply it all the way up to the lash line, but press lightly. As for product, we've found the holy-grail concealers that help diminish their appearance. They're so good, in fact, that celebrity makeup artists swear by them.
Are you someone who likes products with double-duty features? Meet your new best friend. This two-in-one concealer/eye cream is ideal for on-the-go application. "One end houses a brightening, light-diffusing eye cream, and the other has a concealer pen," says Honey Makeup Artist Suzy Gerstein. "The peach and pink tones of the concealer are key for correcting the blue aspect of darkness underneath the eyes." Skincare and makeup in one? Say no more–we're sold. Gerstein suggests that after applying any concealer, "setting with a Tatcha blotting paper or a tiny bit of light-diffusing powder, like Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder ($28)," maximizes and sets the wear and coverage of your makeup. The soft and lightweight dust creates the appearance of naturally perfected skin, so no one but you will know how late you stayed up binge-watching Netflix last night.
When you're on day two or three of a saga of sleepless nights, you don't want to have to worry about your makeup. This full-coverage color corrector's smooth, creamy texture is easy to blend and won't crease. Plus, it's formulated with skin conditioners that protect the delicate under-eye area—an indulgence that your skin will thank you for after one too many all-nighters.
If you're into the whole color-correcting thing, you know how useful it is for under eye bags. Hailey Bieber-approved Makeup Artist Aidan Keogh suggests using "warmer colors or pink/rose tones to neutralize blue undertones and cooler colors or yellow tones to neutralize red undertones." Since the skin under the eye is thinner, using liquid hydrating formulas like this one from Lancôme ensures a more natural feel and finish than creamier color correctors.
"Once you neutralize darkness, it's time to create the optical illusion with highlighters," Keogh says. "My go-to is YSL Touche Éclat." If there's any under-eye brightener that could be described as "iconic" or This light-diffusing, smooth formula reflects light to create a brighter, more youthful under-eye area. Keogh's beauty hack? Use sparingly and in conjugation with concealer.
While not exactly a concealer, Honey Makeup Artist Daniela Gozlan likes to use this foundation for her under-eye care to totally eliminate any trace of tiredness. "For under-eye bags, I would use two shades: a darker one on top of the actual 'bag' and a lighter shade right underneath, and they must be well-blended." Make Up For Ever's ultra-lightweight formula is crafted specifically to melt into the skin and give off a flawless, unfiltered finish.
"These Dior concealers give great matte-but-not-flat coverage," says Celebrity Makeup Artist Daniel Martin. "From dark under-eye circles to a pimple, this covers without using a lot of product." Eight hours of sleep in a single swipe? *Adds to cart.*
To talk about a cult-fave, this concealer is an enduring makeup artist top pick and has been for years. Celebrity Makeup Artist Tina Turnbow loves the award-winning product, saying it "stays in place and is great for spots and blemishes because it's on the drier side," though she assures that it's definitely still creamy enough to blend well. She praises the range of shades, specifically Almond for warm skin tones.
This concealer is formulated with turmeric extract and camellia seed oil (from Jeju Island, Korea), both of which have skin-calming and anti-inflammatory properties to nourish and moisturize your skin. The sponge tip allows for easy and seamless application, which is perfect for those of us who prefer applying with our fingers or on the go. Turnbow says it has "amazing coverage for spot concealing a huge range of colors." We'll take three.
Next, check out the one concealer models swear by.