For some people, dark circles are inevitable. Whether you’ve had a consistent lack of sleep or simply have genetics to thank, under-eye pigmentation is common, especially for those with darker skin tones. According to board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss, MD, genetically predisposed under-eye pigmentation is hard to minimize entirely, so that’s where products that mask their appearance—like under-eye color correctors—come in handy.
Byrdie Tested & Approved
The Stila Correct & Perfect All-in-One Color Correcting Palette is a catch-all color-correcting palette that targets all sorts of discoloration on the skin. For a more targeted approach, we love the Smashbox X Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector for brightening and the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector for neutralizing redness.
In case you’ve never tried one before, here’s the deal: Under eye color correctors are a type of concealer containing pigments like red and yellow that cancel out the look of dark circles. Typically, these formulas are used before concealer and foundation to neutralize discoloration. There are plenty of options (and colors) to choose from, so to narrow down the most effective ones on the market, we tested 15 different formulas in The Lab, our Manhattan testing facility. Testers evaluated each under-eye color corrector on the basis of feel, coverage, and consistency before determining the best of the best.
Keep reading to find the best under-eye color correctors, according to our tests.
Stila Correct And Perfect All In One Color Correcting Palette
Contains seven colors
Easy to blend
Good color payoff
Brush or applicator not included
Although one shade (like pink, for example) can help diminish the look of dark circles, having a bunch of colors to play around with makes finding a perfect match easier. Our tester was impressed with Stila’s Correct & Perfect All-in-One Color Correcting Palette and its array of shade options ranging from neutralizing pink and red to tone-enhancing green and lavender. Though the color and coverage are key, consistency is just as important—the last thing you want is for your color corrector to be hard to blend. But fear not: According to our tester, each color felt pliable, hydrating, and, best of all, easy to control.
Price at time of publish: $38
Format: Cream palette | Colors: 7; Beige, pink, red, green, lavender
What Our Testers Say
“The color corrector settled onto my skin beautifully and virtually eliminated my perpetual dark circles. The application was even, and the final product looked lovely even on my delicate skin around my lower lashes and inner corners.” —Alison Green, Tester
Makeup Forever Ultra HD Underpainting Color Correction Palette
Contains four shades
Good for layering under concealer
Can be very pigmented if you use too much
For a color corrector that stays put for hours on end, you can’t go wrong with the Makeup Forever Ultra HD Underpainting Color Correction Palette. It comes with a few shades of beige and the option of either lavender or green (depending on the palette you get). Though it doesn’t come with an applicator either, this palette glides well and smooths out easily under the eye area. At first glance, our tester admitted that she was worried the formula would be too powdery and hard to work with. To her surprise, however, the texture was creamy, malleable, and hydrating. In fact, it settled “nicely” on her skin, leaving behind a finish free from creases or fine lines. Keep in mind that the formula is buildable, but if you use a lot, it can end up being too pigmented. Our advice: Take it little by little and blend everything out before going in for more.
Price at time of publish: $42
Format: Cream | Colors: 4; Shades of beige, plus lavender or green
What Our Testers Say
“The color corrector definitely helped prevent the ashiness that typically crops up under my eyes. The combination of this product and a concealer erased my dark circles completely.” — Amy Kwan, Tester
Best for Redness
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector in Green
Can crease over time
Green color correctors are known for their magic ability to neutralize redness related to acne and rosacea. Believe it or not, green can also be really helpful in covering darkness around the eyes, too. This ultra-pigmented, long-wearing color corrector from Lancôme seamlessly camouflages redness in seconds, laying the groundwork for concealers to follow. Our tester was pleased with how well the formula neutralized the appearance of her dark circles—specifically their natural dark red, purplish tone—before adding any concealer on top. Though it blends into the skin nicely, too much pigment can leave skin looking green, so be careful to use just a dot at a time.
Price at time of publish: $31
Format: Cream | Colors: 1; Green
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish Color Corrector
Creamy and hydrating
Can be intimidating at first
As the name suggests, this color-correcting formula from Charlotte Tilbury is pure sorcery. Each of the four shades—pink, peach, orange, and red—looks intimidating at first (understandably so) but actually transforms the look of under eyes after a few pats of a makeup sponge. The warm colors work to even out dull, purplish skin, thus, covering up dark circles. Our tester was really happy with the results, sharing that the formula provided the perfect amount of coverage to her under-eye area.
Price at time of publish: $32
Format: Cream | Colors: 4; Pink, peach, orange, red
Smashbox Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector
Contains light-reflecting illuminators
Smoothing and nourishing
Small shade range
If your under eyes need a little pep, consider the cult-favorite Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector, which has now found its new home at Smashbox. The one-of-a-kind formula relies on light-reflecting illuminators to deflect light away from dark circles and discoloration. It also contains vitamin E, which helps to smooth the delicate skin around the eyes, creating a soft-focus base for concealer and foundation. The brightening color corrector comes in three peachy shades, each designed to suit a different skin tone. We wish there were more options available aside from Medium, Medium/Dark, and Dark.
Price at time of publish: $28
Format: Creamy | Colors: 1 per pot; 3 shades available
Best for Lighter Skin Tones
Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector
Good color payoff
Feels fresh and smooth
Can settle into lines
Those who have lighter skin tones might notice their dark circles looking green or blue, like the color of veins. To help counteract that, Bobbi Brown created her fan-favorite Under Eye Corrector, which is available in pink- or peach-based shades. The water-, sweat-, and humidity-resistant formula is designed to be layered underneath concealer and foundation for hours of wear. According to our tester, the color payoff is excellent, and she didn’t have a hard time finding a “perfect match.” Just be sure to wear a moisturizer or eye cream before applying; she noticed the product settling into lines after a few hours.
Price at time of publish: $32
Format: Cream | Colors: 1 per package, 11 shades available
Best for Darker Skin Tones
Live Tinted Huestick Corrector
Warm and cool tones available
Can be dry
A personal favorite of Dr. Idriss, these easy-to-use color-correcting sticks from Live Tinted are a great addition to any makeup kit. Sure, they’re comparable to a cosmetic crayon, but they do a fantastic job of disguising pigmentation on darker skin tones and serve as a nifty multi-stick for a wash of color on eyelids, cheeks, and lips. Take your pick between five orange-y red shades and dab some color on your under eyes. Then, blend everything out with either your fingertip or a sponge. Our tester shared that the crayon tip made it easy to apply, and loved that she didn’t need to rely on a specific applicator or brush to get the product out.
Price at time of publish: $24
Format: Cream | Colors: 1 per stick; 5 red-toned shades available
The best overall pick is the Stila Correct & Perfect All-in-One Color Correcting Palette, a catch-all color-correcting palette perfect for anyone worried about discoloration. For brightening, we can’t get enough of the Smashbox X Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector, which our tester said “illuminated” her face. And if you’re looking to blur the appearance of redness, the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector can’t be beaten.
How We Tested
Byrdie editors did extensive research on under-eye color correctors, taking expert recommendations and consumer reviews into account before choosing 15 to try out first-hand in our Manhattan product testing facility. Testers considered the coverage, feel, and consistency of each color corrector before deciding on a rating from one to five. Those with the highest scores made the list.
Testing the Best Color Correctors for Dark Circles
What to Look for in Under-Eye Color Correctors
As far as coverage goes, under-eye color correctors fall into two different categories: Full or light. If you have a lot of discoloration and want to camouflage it entirely, a full-coverage formula (like the Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector) is your best bet. For those who desire a formula to help brighten and hydrate rather than hide, a light coverage product, like the Smashbox X Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector, is an excellent choice.
According to Dr. Idriss, some formulas containing skincare ingredients can help target overall pigmentation. “Ingredients like vitamin C and licorice root are great for brightening the under-eye area while vitamin E helps condition and hydrate,” she explains. The Live Tinted Hue Stick Corrector contains vitamins C and E (as well as squalane and hyaluronic acid) to help nourish the under-eye area as it conceals dark circles.
Determining the color to use can depend on a few things. According to cosmetic chemist Julie Pefferman, a basic color wheel explains it best. “When looking at a color wheel, you choose the opposite color to reduce whatever you’re looking to target,” she says. “For example, orange, yellow, and pink cancel out the blue, purple, and green hues of under-eye circles, respectively.” The same goes for redness due to acne and rosacea, the opposing shade of green works wonders for camouflaging.
What are color correctors?
According to product developer and president of SOS Beauty Charlene Valledor, color correctors, like those meant for dark undereye circles, are cosmetic products that use the principles of color theory to neutralize the appearance of certain tones in the skin.
What colors are used for color correction?
It depends on what you’re looking to correct. “Green is used to help neutralize the appearance of redness in the skin, so it’s great to use when trying to camouflage a breakout,” Valledor says. “Red or orange tones are great at helping to neutralize deep blue or dark gray tones, such as very dark under eyes or dark acne scarring.”
How can you apply under eye concealer to cancel out dark circles?
Apply an under-eye color corrector to your dark circles before concealer and foundation. Depending on the color or if the color corrector is enough coverage, you can skip, but it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to add concealer or foundation on top.
What Is Byrdie Verified?
Did you notice the Byrdie Verified seal of approval at the top of this story? This seal means that our team has researched and tested every product on this list using a unique methodology that’s designed to focus on what our readers really want to know—and to deliver insights that you can’t find anywhere else. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us samples for coverage consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are fully our own. If you visit links within our content, we may receive commissions from your purchases, but we never receive any compensation or consideration for the content of our recommendations. In short, the Byrdie Verified seal stands for product recommendations you can trust.
Why Trust Byrdie
Caitlyn Martyn is an experienced beauty writer and product tester. She has tried a number of color correctors—including several on this list from brands like Lancôme, Charlotte Tilbury, and more. Caitlyn has been a staff writer at Byrdie since 2022, where she covers all things beauty and style.