Which under-eye concealers are best?
If you struggle with dark circles under your eyes, you probably know that they can be difficult to cover up. Whether your dark circles are genetic or only show up when you’re sick or tired, under-eye concealers can help counteract the discoloration by brightening or color-correcting those pesky circles.
Highly pigmented creams and liquids provide buildable coverage that will blend well with your foundation. Under-eye concealers can help you appear younger, more well-rested and more awake.
What to know before you buy an under-eye concealer
Under-eye concealers differ in the amount of coverage that they offer. If you need something with more coverage, then you should choose a long-wearing, highly pigmented under-eye concealer. However, if you just need a slight correction, then you can select a lightweight under-eye concealer with a thin consistency.
The formula of the concealer can also impact how much coverage your under-eye concealer provides. Cream under-eye concealers typically come in pots and vary in consistency from thick creams to lightweight mousses. These concealers are perfect for buildable coverage for darker under-eye concealers.
Liquid concealers usually have a thin consistency like liquid foundation and are a great option for people with sensitive skin. Stick concealers are perfect for travel or touch-ups while you’re on the go, but they are typically thick and often dry, so they are not the best choice for those with dry under-eyes.
Choosing the right shade for your under-eye circles is important to achieve a flawless look. Many people select under-eye concealers that are one or two shades lighter than their foundation to develop a brightening effect under their eyes, but you shouldn’t go beyond two shades lighter, as this can create an unnatural-looking contrast between your concealer and your foundation.
What to look for in a quality under-eye concealer
Under-eye concealers feature a diverse range of ingredients, including alcohol, plant extracts, beeswax and silicones like dimethicone. They can have up to 40 ingredients, so it’s important to read the list carefully if you have any allergies or skin sensitivities.
Some under-eye concealers feature nutrients like vitamins C and E, aloe vera, retinol and collagen to treat dark under-eye concealers as you cover them up. You can find under-eye concealers with helpful nutrients at almost any price point.
You might need a beauty tool to properly apply your under-eye concealer, depending on the formula. You can apply liquid concealers and stick concealers directly under your eyes, then blend them out with a beauty sponge or brush. When using a cream concealer, you should use a clean brush or sponge to dispense the product.
How much you can expect to spend on an under-eye concealer
Under-eye concealers usually vary in price from about $5-$50, but it depends on the concealer’s formula, the quality of the concealer’s ingredients and the concealer brand. You can find basic under-eye concealers that provide a wide range of results for under $15, while mid-range under-eye concealers cost about $15-$25. High-end under-eye concealers cost between $25-$50.
Under-eye concealer FAQ
Can you wear under-eye concealer without any foundation?
A. Yes, you can wear under-eye concealer without foundation, but you need to use a concealer that properly matches your skin tone since a lighter under-eye concealer won’t look appropriate without any foundation. If you want to go for a no-makeup makeup look, you should choose a lightweight under-eye concealer and be sure to blend the concealer seamlessly into your skin to achieve that perfect no-makeup makeup look.
Can you use under-eye concealer to conceal dark spots or blemishes around your face?
A. Yes, you can use under-eye concealer to conceal blemishes and dark spots, but you need a concealer that properly matches your skin tone, since concealers that are lighter than your skin tone will only highlight your blemish. It might help to purchase two different shades of the same concealer formula, including one for concealing spots on your face and one for brightening under your eyes.
What is the shelf life of an under-eye concealer?
A. You should replace your under-eye concealer every six months to a year once you open the concealer. Most under-eye concealers will note on the package how long they last after opening. It’s best to throw out an under-eye concealer if you notice that the smell, consistency or color has changed.
What color concealer is best for under the eyes?
A. As stated above, you normally can’t go wrong with a concealer that’s one to two shades lighter than your foundation. However, the right color can also depend on what you’re trying to achieve with your concealer. If you’re trying to cover up dark under-eye circles, you’ll want to use a concealer with more yellow or orange tones. These colors can cancel out purple and blue shades of skin under your eyes. Some concealers especially formulated for this are branded as color-correcting concealers. If you’re just looking for a general brightness under your eyes, then stick with a concealer that has a similar coloring as your foundation, but lighter.
Does under-eye concealer go on before or after foundation?
A. While this is largely a matter of personal preference, most people recommend putting under-eye concealer on after your foundation. This ensures that your under-eyes don’t get too cakey with excess makeup. Putting on your foundation first allows you to make an even canvas on your face and identify which spots need a little extra coverage. Putting your concealer on before foundation could result in either putting too much makeup in that area or accidentally wiping it off when you put your foundation on.
Best overall under-eye concealers
Top overall under-eye concealer
What you need to know: This customer favorite under-eye concealer from Nars improves your overall skin tone and brightens your skin.
What you’ll love: This fan favorite under-eye concealer is crease-resistant and features natural ingredients like vitamin C and turmeric root to brighten your skin. It also comes with two different tones to create the best match for your skin. If you’re just trying out the concealer or want a smaller product for touching up on the go, it also comes in a mini version.
What you should consider: This under-eye concealer feels fairly matte once it dries. If you’re not looking to have a matte look, you should look for a more dewy concealer instead.
Top overall under-eye concealer for the money
What you need to know: This budget-friendly under-eye concealer from Maybelline New York is the perfect long-lasting concealer that won’t break the bank.
What you’ll love: This affordable under-eye concealer offers full coverage and brightens your eyes to keep your dark circles away. There are also many different colors and shades available, and the concealer lasts for up to 24 hours.
What you should consider: Some customers say they thought there would be more concealer, based on the size of the container.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Best full coverage under-eye concealers
Top full coverage under-eye concealer
What you need to know: This Too Faced concealer hydrates and brightens your skin so you can look your best.
What you’ll love: It’s long-wearing, full coverage and feels weightless on your face. It also pairs well with the foundation from the same line â€” the Too Faced Born This Way Natural Finish Longwear Liquid Foundation.
What you should consider: Some people had trouble with the concealer creasing under their eyes.
Top full coverage under-eye concealer for the money
What you need to know: This under-eye concealer is perfect for daily use with amazing waterproof coverage.
What you’ll love: This daily under-eye concealer from It Cosmetics works best when blended and applied minimally, but you can wear it for hours on end without fading. The waterproof formula stands up to moisture and offers reliable coverage. It also comes in a smaller travel size.
What you should consider: This under-eye concealer tends to settle in fine lines if you apply too much product.
Best under-eye concealers that can also be used for contouring
Top under-eye concealer that can also be used for contouring
What you need to know: This popular Tarte concealer offers full matte coverage without creasing.
What you’ll love: While you can use this Tarte concealer under your eyes, you can also use it as a contouring product. All you have to do is pick a darker shade for your contouring. It’s well known for not creasing and offering fuller coverage.
What you should consider: Because it’s pretty thick, it can sometimes feel a little bit heavy under your eyes.
Where to buy: Ulta Beauty
Top under-eye concealer that can also be used for contouring for the money
What you need to know: You can get this long-wear, creaseproof concealer without spending more than 10 dollars.
What you’ll love: This concealer provides 16 hours of wear and provides a lovely matte, crease-free finish. It comes in 23 shades, including some darker ones that some people can use for contour if desired.
What you should consider: Some customers thought the shades they got didn’t match the advertised shades very well.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Other under-eye concealers worth checking out
What you need to know: You won’t have to worry about creasing under your eyes with this full coverage creaseproof concealer.
What you’ll love: This Tarte concealer is formulated to prevent creasing. It’s also very hydrating and can double as an eye cream. It’s vegan and comes in both full-size and travel sizes.
What you should consider: The concealer is a little bit heavy. A little bit goes a long way.
What you need to know: This Saie under-eye concealer brightens your under-eyes and blurs fine lines to give you what the brand calls a “radiant finish.”
What you’ll love: While this Saie under-eye concealer is less well known, it does a fabulous job of brightening and smoothing your under-eyes without being too heavy. It’s also hydrating, vegan and made without silicones. In fact, it’s certified as “Clean + Planet Positive” by Sephora, so if sustainability is important to you, this is a great pick.
What you should consider: It’s marketed as “light coverage,” so if you’re looking for something more full coverage, this might not be the right product for you.
Where to buy: Sold by Sephora
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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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