Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best under-eye concealers

Do you struggle with dark circles under your eyes? For some people, darkness appears under the eyes when they’re rundown or sick. For others, dark circles are genetic. Everyone can agree, though, that dark circles are challenging to cover up and usually foundation on its own is not enough.

That’s why so many people turn to under-eye concealers, which counteract discoloration either by color-correcting or brightening. These highly pigmented liquids and creams offer buildable coverage that blends well with foundation. With the right shade and strategic blending, under-eye concealer can make you appear more awake, well-rested, and younger.

If you’re ready to add an under-eye concealer to your makeup bag, our buying guide tackles all the key considerations and features to take into account before you buy, from coverage to shade to formula to price. For our picks for the best under-eye concealers on the market, see the matrix above.

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In the summertime, your skin tone may darken. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a few different shades of your favorite under-eye concealer on hand.

Key considerations


Under-eye concealers vary in how much coverage they provide. If you’re looking for the most coverage, highly pigmented, long-wearing under-eye concealers are usually your best choice. Conversely, if you only need slight correction, choose a lightweight under-eye concealer with a thinner consistency. Those with more mature skin may want to choose a light-reflecting under-eye concealer for the most flattering coverage that doesn’t draw attention to fine lines.


Formula often plays a role in how much coverage an under-eye concealer offers. Some formulas are also better suited to certain skin types.

Cream under-eye concealers usually come in pots. They range in consistency from lightweight mousses to thick creams. Cream concealers are often preferred for buildable coverage for pronounced dark circles. They have a stickiness that helps keep them in place, so you won’t require too many touch-ups throughout the day. However, cream concealers have a thick consistency and often include oils, which makes them less than ideal for acne-prone skin. If they’re not set with a powder, they’re notorious for creasing after a few hours of wear.

Liquid concealers usually come in tubes with doe-foot applicators or sponge tips. They have a thin, liquid consistency like liquid foundation. Liquid concealers are easy to apply, and they are often lightweight and breathable, making them a top pick among those with sensitive skin. Liquid concealers may require more building up than cream formulas, however. They also almost always need to be set with powder to avoid creasing.

Stick concealers are cream concealers in a handy stick form, like stick foundations. They are less messy than pot concealers and ideal for travel or touch-ups on the go. However, stick formulas are usually thick and sometimes dry, which is not the best combination for those with dry under eyes or mature skin.


To achieve a flawless finish with under-eye concealer, choosing the right shade is key. Most people choose an under-eye concealer that is one to two shades lighter than their foundation shade to create a brightening effect under the eyes. However, it’s best not to go more than two shades lighter. Otherwise, you risk an unnatural contrast between foundation and concealer.


Some under-eye concealers are color-correcting concealers that combat discoloration by neutralizing it with an opposite tone on the color wheel. These concealers are usually yellow, peach, or orange in tone to neutralize the purples and blues of under-eye circles. Most color-correcting concealers are meant to be used under a skin-tone under-eye concealer for the ultimate discoloration correction.

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For your safety
If your under-eye concealer starts to give off a strange odor, toss it immediately as it’s probably expired.



Under-eye concealers include a wide variety of ingredients. It’s common for them to contain beeswax, plant extracts, alcohol, and silicones like dimethicone. Given the complexity of their formulas, under-eye concealers can have as many as 40 ingredients. If you have any skin sensitivities or allergies, read the ingredients list carefully.


There are also under-eye concealers with infused formulas, which tout skincare benefits in addition to their coverage. Some contain vitamins C and E as well as collagen, retinol, and aloe vera to treat dark under-eye circles as you cover them. If you’re looking for a clean beauty under-eye concealer with natural ingredients, you’re in luck since they’re available at virtually every price point.


Depending on the formula of an under-eye concealer, you might need a beauty tool to best apply it. Stick concealers and liquid concealers can be applied directly under the eyes and blended out with a brush, beauty sponge, or your fingers.

Cream concealers can also be blended out with a brush, sponge, or your fingers. However, since these under-eye concealers are usually in pots, makeup artists and skincare experts recommend using a clean brush or sponge instead of your fingers to dispense the product. This prevents your fingers from coming into contact with the product, thus minimizing the risk of contamination.

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Did you know?
Most under-eye concealers need to be set to avoid creasing. Opt for a translucent setting powder to lock the coverage in place without heaviness.


Setting powders: Clinique Blended Face Powder and Brush
Keep your under-eye concealer in place with setting powder. We like this one from Clinique, which even comes with a retractable brush. It leaves a photo-ready, poreless finish by absorbing oil and reflecting light for added radiance.

Eye creams: Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate
Fight dark circles with an eye cream. We like this one from Clarins, which minimizes damage from free radicals and gives the skin under the eyes a lifted, youthful appearance. The organic formula is free from sulfates, phthalates, silicones, and mineral oil, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin.

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Expert Tip
If you want to try out a new under-eye concealer, opt for a travel size to try as a tester.

Under-eye concealer prices

Under-eye concealers range from about $5 to $50, mostly depending on the brand, the quality of the ingredients, and the formula. Concealers priced below $15 include drugstore under-eye concealers that offer a wide range of results. If you’re considering under-eye concealers in this bracket, you might need to try a few before you find one that is effective.

Under-eye concealers priced between $15 and $25 include those from premium beauty brands. These concealers usually have better pigmentation and last longer through daily wear and sweat.

Under-eye concealers from high-end beauty brands cost between $25 and $50. These tend to offer the best coverage and stay put the longest. They are often your best bet if you’re looking for an under-eye concealer that photographs with a flawless finish.


  • Try more than one. To find your perfect match, it’s best to try more than one under-eye concealer. That means experimenting with formula types, shades, and color-correcting.

  • Store your makeup at room temperature. Heat can affect the formula of under-eye concealers and potentially cause color deterioration, so always store your makeup in a cool, dry place.

  • Take your time during application. To achieve a natural, flawless finish, take your time when applying under-eye concealer. These concealers work wonders, but only when they are blended well.

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Cream under-eye concealers can dry out, making it quite difficult to spread them. If you notice cracks in the formula, it’s probably time for a replacement.


Q. Can I wear under-eye concealer without foundation?
A. You can. However, in this case you’ll need to use a concealer that matches your skin tone. A lighter concealer won’t look right without foundation. For a no-makeup makeup look, choose a lightweight under-eye concealer and be sure to blend it seamlessly into your skin.

Q. Can I use under-eye concealer to conceal blemishes or dark spots around my face?
A. Yes. However, for blemishes and hyperpigmentation you’ll want a concealer that matches your skin tone. If you use a concealer that’s too light, it will highlight the blemish. If you find a concealer formula you love, buy two shades: one for brightening under the eyes and one for spot-concealing on the face.

Q. What is the shelf life of under-eye concealer?
A. Under-eye concealer should be replaced every six months to a year once opened. Most under-eye concealers indicate on the packaging how long they will last once opened. If you notice that your under-eye concealer’s color, consistency, or smell has changed, it’s best to toss it.

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