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Best dark circle concealer: Erase under-eye shadows in an instant

best dark circle concealer for under eye

Banish bags and achieve a flawless finish with the best under-eye concealers for dark circles

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then what do yours say about you? The skin around the eyes is super-delicate, and up to 40% thinner than the surrounding areas, making dark circles, fine lines, redness and eye bags close to unavoidable.

Genetics can play a significant role in the formation of dark circles, although factors such as eating too much salt, not drinking enough water and lack of sleep can exacerbate the problem. As such, if dark circles are becoming an everyday issue, your first port of call should always be assessing your lifestyle.

Poor circulation can also impact the under-eye area, but applying an eye cream can help to boost lymphatic drainage – simply use your ring finger to gently sweep from the inner corner of the eye to the outer area, using your brow bone as a guide.

However, in an era of no-makeup makeup looks, the right dark circle concealer can be a game-changer. In fact, many makeup artists prefer to forego a full face of foundation in favour of a good concealer applied in all the right places. Different concealers will do different jobs, but the best concealers will boost this delicate area to illuminate your overall complexion.

READ NEXT: The best eyeshadow creams, powders and palettes

How to choose the best dark circle concealer for you

“Look for a concealer that has a light consistency, but which offers full coverage,” says Kerry Hatton, bridal makeup artist at Mii Cosmetics. “You’ll want to go one-to-two shades lighter than your foundation to give a brightening effect.”

The eyes absorb water from the surrounding skin, so hydration is essential, too: “Hyaluronic acid is a great ingredient to look out for in a concealer since it attracts and retains moisture, which in turn keeps your makeup in place for longer,” adds makeup artist and IT Cosmetics brand ambassador, Rose Gallagher. “The more hydrating the product, the more flawless and comfortable the wear; a creamy consistency will reflect the light, which is usually only a good thing around the eye area!”

Which concealers are good for dark circles?

“If concealing dark circles is the priority, light reflection is going to help with that, so you might prefer an illuminating product or a concealer that’s slightly fairer than your complexion,” suggests Rose. “That said, most of the time I’d recommend going for a true-to-skin match and something that offers a natural, skin-like finish.

“If you suffer with eye bags – which are likely to be textured as well as slightly discoloured – note that any luminosity is going to draw attention to that area.”

“The best way to treat both dark circles and eye bags at the same time is to use a colour corrector for the darkness, then apply your foundation, followed by a brightening concealer,” says Kerry.

What’s the best way to apply concealer?

Every product is different, and it may depend on the formulation. However, it’s often recommended that you apply concealer with (clean!) fingertips, since the warmth from your skin helps to melt the product into skin for a smoother, more natural-looking finish. If you prefer to use a brush, an eyeshadow blending brush can work brilliantly, since it will blend out the edges for a seamless look.

“It’s personal preference, but I avoid layering both concealer and foundation, instead keeping as little product under the eye area as possible so it looks as natural as it can,” says Rose. “Finally, remember to set your concealer with a touch of powder to prevent it from moving into any fine lines.”

How much should I spend?

While most under-eye concealers sit within the mid-range price bracket of £20 to £30, you’ll also find some great budget-friendly options, as you’ll see below. Sure, there’s a wealth of pricier cult products out there (Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk and Tom Ford et al), but you almost certainly don’t need to spend more than £40 to fake an instant well-rested look.

How we test dark-circle concealers

To test the concealers you see below, they become staples in our testers’ makeup bags, so we can thoroughly assess their ability to cover dark circles and blemishes. During trials, we look at the texture of a product and how easily and well it can be applied, how it blends, the overall finish, plus the length of time for which the concealer stays put. Bonus points are given to those formulas that prove water-resistant and that contain skin-nourishing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.

The best dark circle concealers you can buy in 2023

1. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer: The best long-wearing concealer

Price: £26 | Buy now from Cult Beauty

If a stressful week or heavy weekend has left you feeling hollow-eyed, then this heavy-duty product will cover dark circles all day long. It’s thick without being cakey, and it blends beautifully when warmed between your fingers. And since it offers a real true-to-skin finish, it can be worn as a foundation, too. It’s thick, so a little goes a long way, which means that although it’s at the pricier end of the spectrum, it offers great value for money because it will last for some time. It’s also infused with skin-loving ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, collagen, antioxidants and peptides, so you’re counteracting wrinkle-forming free radical damage while faking a week of sleep. It’s a win-win.

Key specs – Pack size: 12ml; Shade range: 24; Waterproof: Yes

Buy now from Cult Beauty

2. Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer: The best multi-use concealer

Price: £27 | Buy now from Feel Unique

For the days you want to forego a full face of makeup, make this hardworking, all-in-one foundation, concealer and contour product your go-to. Not only does it cover dark circles and illuminate the eye area in an instant, but we found it great for disguising redness around the nose and T-zone area, too. It’s available in 16 shades – three of which are colour-correcting pigments (5, 9 and 14). We tested number 5, set with a little powder, and it lasted from morning until we hit the sack.

The formulation arrives in a little pot, which means it’s best applied using a brush to dab it onto the skin (for hygiene reasons) and then blending with clean fingers to get it to a workable consistency. It’s formulated with jojoba oil, vitamin E and honey, so it nourishes your complexion and enriches it with moisture, while leaving skin looking smooth and radiant.

Key specs – Pack size: 10ml; Shade range: 16; Waterproof: Yes

Buy now from Feel Unique

3. Typology Tinted Concealer: The best concealer for puffy eyes

Price: £21.20 | Buy now from Typology

As fans of Typology’s Tinted Serum, we were excited to give this concealer a try. Boasting medium-to-high coverage, this product is enriched with caffeine, which is great for instantly reducing puffiness. It also includes niacinamide and decongesting cornflower hydrolate, to help reduce the appearance of dark circles long-term by evening out the skin tone and promoting blood microcirculation. The lightweight cream blends beautifully, and a little goes a long way. There’s enough coverage to disguise any dullness or dark circles, but it still delivers a natural, dewy finish. The shade we picked was slightly darker than we expected, but it still blended well; if you’re struggling to choose the right colour, Typology has a great guide on its website.

Key specs – Pack size: 15ml; Shade range: 6; Waterproof: No

Buy now from Typology

4. Morphe Filter Effect Soft Radiance Concealer: The best concealer for easy application

Price: £12 | Buy now from Boots

We were really impressed with this super-buildable, super-hydrating liquid concealer. Not only does it come in a great range of shades, but it offers excellent coverage, feels light and the precise sponge applicator makes it easy to apply. Since it’s so lightweight and creamy, it blends well and has a definite brightening effect while gently concealing imperfections. The formulation is infused with hyaluronic acid and promises to be sweatproof and water-resistant. We can confirm it survived a stint in the gym, and its handy size and convenient applicator are perfect for keeping in your bag for emergency top-ups!

Key specs – Pack size: 3.8ml; Shade range: 20; Waterproof: No (water-resistant)

Buy now from Boots

5. Erborian CC Eye: The best brightening concealer

Price: £34 | Buy now from Space NK

Packed with anti-ageing tiger grass extract, smoothing tara fruit and red seaweed, alongside anti-fatigue peptides, this anti-inflammatory concealer from Korean skincare expert Erborian works just as hard at being an eye cream as it does blurring dark circles and fine lines. It’s alarmingly white at first – but like all good CC creams, it adjusts to your skin tone upon application. It’s incredibly lightweight, so super-easy to blend, and instantly brightens the delicate under-eye area. We loved this product for evening out any discolouration on the lids, which makes it an excellent primer for eyeshadow.

Key specs – Pack size: 10ml; Shade range: 2; Waterproof: No

Buy now from Space NK

6. e.l.f Hydrating Camo Concealer: Best budget concealer

Price: £6 | Buy now from Superdrug

A small dot of this creamy concealer using the large doe-foot sponge applicator will pretty much cover your entire under-eye without looking cakey. While it has a more matte finish, it’s in no way drying, and has the added advantage that we didn’t feel the need to follow up with a setting powder. It promises 16 hours of coverage – and it certainly has staying power – but we did find it was prone to creasing by the end of a long day. Note that the formula contains mattifying kaolin clay, which is definitely a good choice for oily and combination skins, where fine lines aren’t so much of an issue. We also salute the whopping 26 shades in the range – not so common with more-affordable high-street brands. In our opinion, this is probably the best £6 you’ll ever spend on a make-up product.

Key specs – Pack size: 6ml; Shade range: 26; Waterproof: No

Buy now from Superdrug

7. Milk Makeup Sunshine Under Eye Tint & Brighten: The best concealer for lightweight coverage

Price: £24 | Buy now from Cult Beauty

This highly blendable concealer is a dream to apply and delivers a beautifully radiant finish. It’s marketed as a tint – but still offers brilliant coverage while feeling super-light. It has a serum-like consistency, and the massaging rollerball applicator feels really cooling (keep it in the fridge and it’s a brilliant solution for Monday-morning puffy eyes). One click should prove sufficient for both eyes: use the rollerball to apply and gently pat with your fingertips or buff with a brush for a flawless, barely there feel. It’s also packed with skincare benefits, including vitamin C to brighten and firm, squalane and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, and caffeine to dramatically reduce puffiness.

Key specs – Pack size: 6ml; Shade range: 7; Waterproof: No

Buy now from Cult Beauty

8. Maybelline Instant Anti Age Eraser Eye Concealer: Best concealer for mature skin

Price: £9 | Buy now from Boots

Okay, so this won’t actually rewind the clock; but it will do a brilliant job of making you look like you achieved your nine hours of sleep – and then some. Hydrating products are key for older skins, which tend to be drier, but this formula contains an enriching combination of hydrating goji berry and Haloxyl, which helps to boost blood flow and reinforce the fragile under-eye area at a deeper level. The sponge applicator makes blending easy – just be sure to not add too much. It’s lightweight, glowy, and works wonders on fine lines.

Key specs – Pack size: 6.8ml; Shade range: 12; Waterproof: No

Buy now from Boots

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