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Here’s a fun fact for ya—did you know that dark undereye circles are largely caused by genetics? Yep, just like your hair color or shoe size, whether or not you have to deal with constant dark circles ultimately boils down to your DNA. (Though yes, things like a lack of sleep can absolutely exacerbate the situation and make any undereye shadows you have all the more noticeable.)
Meet the Expert
Tobi Henney is a bicoastal professional makeup artist. Her client list includes celebrities like Megan Fox, Ellie Goulding, and Ashley Graham, and brands such as Chanel, Dior, and Victoria's Secret.
When it comes to camouflaging raccoon eyes, at the end of the day, a concealer is by far your best bet. Eye creams can help—to a certain extent—but it takes time to see those effects. A good undereye concealer, on the other hand, can give you complete coverage and make you look bright-eyed in seconds. For better context, we enlisted the help of celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney to contribute her two cents regarding undereye concealer.
Here, the best dark circle concealers on the market now.
Best Overall: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer
There’s arguably no concealer out there more beloved than this one. Beauty editors swear by it (Hallie Gould, Byrdie’s Senior Editor, is just one of many Byrdie staffers that are obsessed). Influencers post about it on the reg. And people buy it—and rave about it—time and time again. While it works great all over your face, it’s especially choice for under the eyes, thanks to an extra hydrating and creamy formula (credit mango and shea butter) and complete coverage that never creases or settles into fine lines.
What Our Testers Say
“The biggest takeaway from wearing shape tape is how my skin looked lifted immediately after applying, and the fact I was able to use it to highlight my features too, was a big win in my opinion.” — Ashley Rebecca, Product Tester
Best Radiant Finish: UOMA Beauty Stay Woke Concealer
On the flip side, if you’re looking for a little luminosity, this concealer can’t be beaten. Despite the fact that it packs full coverage, it still has a featherweight, nearly skin-like texture—no easy feat. Creamy and smooth, it also has the perfect amount of radiance to leave skin looking fresh and healthy, without veering into sparkly or shimmery territory.
Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer
This drugstore staple is a best-seller—one of the top-selling ones in America, NBD—for good reason. The creamy formula completely covers up not only dark circles but also helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well, while working to tamp down puffiness in the process. Bonus points for the built-in, sponge-tip applicator that ensures silky smooth blending.
Best Shade Range: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Concealer
It’s a simple beauty fact of life: Concealers always come in fewer shades than foundations. That’s why this particular pick is so noteworthy. There are, wait for it, a whopping 50 shades with an extensive range of undertones to pick from, offering a hue for pretty much any and every skin tone. Long-wear and sweat-resistant, one swipe offers medium coverage, though it’s easily buildable if you need more.
Best Matte Finish: NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer
This one is a personal favorite of Tobi Henney, a professional makeup artist based in New York City. The oil-free formula packs plenty of coverage and has a velvety finish that strikes the perfect balance between being matte but never coming across as dry or flat. It’s also nice and creamy, instantly melting into skin, and works just as well to conceal blemishes as it does dark circles.
"The matte finish definitely helps cover any darkness under the eyes," says Henney. "I like to use a soft fluffy brush to apply and then blend with a damp Beauty Blender." Bonus points for the addition of protective antioxidants—vitamins A, C, and E—which are always a good thing for the delicate skin around your eyes.
Best Long-Lasting: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
This one is the recommendation of Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue. Reach for it when makeup touch-ups aren’t going to be feasible; the formula offers medium coverage that stays put for up to 16 hours. It also boasts a mineral tone balancing powder to optically correct, not just cover, discoloration, plus a light-diffusing mineral powder as well to create a radiant finish.
What Our Testers Say
"Everything I wanted to be covered, was covered. I noticed my skin looked glowier which is a nod to the radiant aspect of the formula. The concealer held up all day and didn’t crease on me." — Ashley Rebecca, Product Tester
Best Brightening: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat High Cover Radiant Concealer
The OG Touche Éclat highlighting pen first launched nearly 30 years ago; it too can be used to brighten the area under the eyes, though to score both the brightening and concealing benefits, reach for this take on the classic. With more coverage, it helps camo discoloration, but still offers the same Optical Brightening Technology that works to deflect the light away from the eyes to diffuse darkness and increase radiance.
Best Hydrating: Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Concealer
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of their best-selling Luminous Silk Foundation, Armani recently launched this guy, the concealer variant of the beloved base. Both have that same silky feel and subtly radiant finish and this concealer delivers up to 24 hours of hydration. There’s also caffeine in the mix, choice for helping to combat both dark circles and puffiness.
Best Sheer Coverage: Glossier Stretch Concealer
Those who crave coverage, but don’t love the look and/or feel of concealer, will appreciate how undetectable this formula is. Credit elastic micro waxes in the formula that move with your skin, rather than sitting on top of it (and end up resulting in caking or creasing).
For best results, warm up the product with your fingertips before blending it in.
Best Natural: ILIA True Skin Serum Concealer
Those looking for clean ingredient lists will appreciate this formula, free of a long list of potentially questionable chemicals. In fact, the first ingredient is aloe juice, imparting plenty of soothing hydration. Per the serum part of things, it also contains brightening and protective vitamin C and has a serum-like texture that melts and blends seamlessly onto skin, even in areas where there might be some fine lines or crepiness (like around the eyes).
Best for 40+ Skin: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Anti-Aging Concealer
Byrdie Associate Editor Holly Rhue raves about this full coverage, waterproof, long-lasting formula. A new variant on the OG (and also very popular version), this one boasts more of a luminescent finish, ideal when you want a little extra brightness around your eyes. But like its predecessor, it too contains hydrating hyaluronic acid, plus anti-aging collagen and peptides to help smooth out the look of fine lines and wrinkles over time.
Best Cream: Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer
No matter whether you’re dealing with dry skin or want to make sure you have plenty of coverage, reach for a cream concealer. Often housed in pots, they’re a surefire way to get plenty of creamy color. This one, another one of Rhue’s picks, packs plenty of color. So much so that you truly need only a tiny dot (about the size of the grain of rice, per the brand’s recommendation) under each eye. Jojoba oil in the formula ensures it’s nice and hydrating and never creases or cakes, and we also love the intensely pigmented pick for strategic covering of pimples.
What Our Testers Say
"This concealer showed me two things: this product is beyond amazing, and it’s possible to find a full coverage concealer that doesn’t take a lot of manipulating to look natural." — Khera Alexander, Product Tester
"I love Kevyn Aucoin Soft Skin Enhancers—they are buildable and definitely have staying power. They won’t move if you’re prone to sweating." — Tobi Henney, Celebrity Makeup Artist
Best Stick: Marc Jacobs Accomplice Concealer & Touch-Up Stick
Stick concealers are choice for easy application—all you have to do is swipe on and blend in with your fingertips, no extra tools or brushes required. This particular one is a fave of Karli Bendlin, Byrdie’s Email Editor, and touts an extra creamy consistency that glides beautifully along the skin. Use it as your AM concealer, but, as the name suggests, keep it on hand for touch-ups, too. It layers nicely over existing makeup if you realize you need a little more coverage mid-day.
What to Look For in a Dark Circle Concealer
A Smooth, Blendable Consistency
Your undereye area is a very sensitive one, so looking for a concealer that doesn't take too much work to blend is important. Seek out a smooth, creamy formula that can easily be blended with your makeup sponge, brush, or finger without any tugging.
Want to give your undereye area some extra love while also concealing dark circles? Look for a formula that incorporates skincare ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, shea, caffeine, or Vitamin K, which can act as sidekicks for your eye cream in helping to boost brightness.
We're not talking all-out disco ball sparkle here, but some subtle radiance goes a long way in creating a more awake look in an instant. Seek out a formula with the slightest amount of pearl pigment—the matte finish of your concealer should cancel out any excessive shimmer, and instead, impart a brighter, more refreshed appearance.
How should I apply my undereye concealer?
Should my undereye concealer be lighter than my foundation?
While Henney recommends opting for a slightly lighter hue to impart a brighter, more-awake appearance, veer no more than 2 to 3 shades lighter than your foundation so the effect doesn't impart too dramatic of a contrast.
How can I prevent my undereye concealer from creasing?
Once you've blended the concealer into your complexion, set the area with a small amount of translucent powder.