After Over 100 Hours of Testing, We Found the Best Under-Eye Concealers

Watching just one more episode from the new season drop of your favorite Netflix show or staying out for just one more glass of wine are a few reasons you might stay up way too late. But your eyes don't have to give it away the morning after. When your usual concealer doesn't hide the dark circles under your eyes, switch things up with an under-eye concealer. That's easier said than done, though; we know all too well that finding the best under-eye concealer is no cakewalk. Some concealers are too drying, others are cakey and thick or —the exact opposite— so sheer that they're just plain useless against raccoon-like bags. 

That's why we enlisted the help of seven beauty editors to put 23 of the most popular under-eye concealers to the test. Each tester was instructed to wear the concealer for a full eight hours (at minimum) and share their feedback. Each concealer was graded on a scale of 1 to 5 on texture and feel, coverage, staying power, and creasing

After sifting through the results, here are best under-eye concealers that are the next best thing to clocking in a full eight hours of zzz's.

  • Best Overall: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer
  • Best for Dark Circles: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer
  • Best Light Coverage: Milk Makeup Sunshine Under Eye Concealer
  • Best Medium Coverage: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
  • Best Full Coverage: Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer
  • Best Splurge: Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer

Our Take

Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer is ace at concealing all types of imperfections from acne to dark circles. The beloved formula —which sells every 12 seconds— really wowed our testers in coverage, staying power, texture, and more. We also love that the shade range is expansive (35 shades, to be exact) so it's easy to find your match. Prefer to spend a little less? Reach for Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Concealer instead. It's a drugstore staple, celebrity makeup artist-approved, and checks off all the boxes — there's a reason it's America's most popular concealer, after all.

Best Overall: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

What We Love: It brightens the whole under-eye area without creasing or drawing attention to fine lines.
What We Don't Love: It dries down fast so you need to blend it out quickly.

One tube of this beloved concealer sells every 12 seconds. It sounds shocking, but we have zero doubts after conducting our own comprehensive testing on the formula. In our testing, this concealer earned a perfect 5/5 score on all attributes—texture, coverage, staying power, and creasing. It truly is that good. 

It's a full-coverage formula with a soft matte finish, meaning your skin won't look shiny after it's applied. You can concentrate it on your under-eye area to make it look brighter and more lifted, or dab a bit on blemishes, redness, or other imperfections as needed. One of our testers likes to use this formula to contour in addition to concealing her dark circles. There are 35 shades to choose from, so it's easy to find the right match for concealing, contouring, and highlighting alike. 

The staying power of this concealer is worth calling out as well. It stays put for a full 16 hours and is crease-proof for 12 of them. "This formula lasted all day without creasing or giving me extra wrinkles," says one of our testers with mature skin. Another tester called it a must-have, both for everyday wear or when you're trying to go full glam.

Coverage Level: Full | Finish: Matte | Shades: 35 | Size: 0.3 fl. oz

View at Ulta; $30

Best for Dark Circles: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer

What We Love: The coverage, texture, and wear is phenomenal, especially at its price point.
What We Don't Love: The shade range is not as substantial as some other drugstore concealers.

This concealer is labeled the most popular concealer in America. Credit its affordable price point, easy-to-use applicator, buildable formula, and natural finish.  Our testers loved it too; the formula scored a perfect 5/5 on every attribute it was tested against. 

It's great at concealing all types of imperfections, but—as its name suggests—it's an all star against pesky dark circles, thanks in part to ingredients like goji berry and haloxyl. "This is my daily go-to," says one of our testers with mature skin. "The applicator is targeted specifically for my under-eye circles and I don't get creases."

It wears for a full 12 hours and multitasks as a highlighter and contour in the right shades, of which there are 18 to choose from. It's also celebrity makeup artist-approved. Maybelline's Global Makeup Artist Erin Parsons turns to this concealer time and time again for her clients, including supermodels Gigi Hadid and Emily DiDonato. She once said in a statement: "Maybelline Instant Age Rewind is my all-time favorite concealer! It provides amazing coverage and keeps the eye area hydrated and radiant."

Coverage Level: Full | Finish: Natural | Shades: 18 | Size: 0.2 fl. oz

View at Amazon, Ulta; $7-10

Best Light Coverage: Milk Makeup Sunshine Under Eye Concealer

What We Love: It's a 99% natural formula, free of parabens, silicones, and fragrances.
What We Don't Love: It is only available in seven shades.

If dark bags and stubborn acne are what you're looking to hide, this concealer is not it. But if you want to look refreshed in a natural, no-makeup-makeup kind of way, you'll really like this one. It's formulated with vitamin C and light-reflecting powders which help brighten the eye area, as well as plant-derived squalane and hyaluronic acid to hydrate. 

Our testers gave this formula a 5/5 on coverage. It does have a serum-like consistency, which makes the formula feel light and airy on the skin. "Most full-coverage concealers get cakey, but a hydrating, lightweight formula like Milk's brightens my under-eyes without oxidizing and flaking during the day," one tester noted. 

One of the most unique aspects of this concealer is its antimicrobial glass rollerball applicator. It offers a cooling benefit to tired eyes, but not all of our testers were huge fans of it. While some testers thought the applicator was very cool (pun intended), others felt it was hard to control how much product was deposited from the tip. If you click the pen too many times (once is enough for both eyes), things could get a little messy. 

If we had just one wish for this product though, it would be that the brand increases the shade range. At seven shades, it leaves much to be desired right now. Milk Makeup, if you are reading this, make it happen—pretty please.

Coverage Level: Light | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 7 | Size: 0.2 fl. oz

View at Sephora; $28

Best Medium Coverage: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

What We Love: The wand applicator is small and deposits just the right amount of product onto targeted areas.
What We Don't Love: Multiple coats are needed to cover very dark bags.

One of our testers called this concealer "an old reliable" in her makeup collection, and we think that's a perfect description. The formula has won over the hearts of many and, in our opinion, can really do no wrong. It brightens, corrects, highlights, contours (you name it) and it does so pretty darn well. 

It has a smaller applicator which allows you to target specific areas without applying too much product. The texture is creamy and blends really nicely, per our testers, and the coverage is medium, though you can build it up to full if you wanted to. 

No surprise here, but this concealer also has the seal of approval from celebrity makeup artists. Allan Avendaño, who works with clients like Chrissy Teigen and Sarah Hyland, once told InStyle this is his favorite concealer to use. "I love this because of how easy it is to melt into the skin," he says. "The wand applicator makes it simple to apply to target areas. Then, you can blend with a warmed-up finger or brush. It gives a sheer to medium coverage—and it's buildable so you decide on how much coverage you want. The best part is its light-diffusing technology that blurs imperfections on the skin."

It's worth mentioning that our testers also tried another concealer from Nars, the Soft Matte Complete Concealer, that they liked just as much (it scored a 5/5 on all attributes!). Unlike the Radiant Creamy Concealer, the Soft Matte option comes in a pot and offers fuller coverage from the jump.

Coverage Level: Medium | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 30 | Size: 0.22 fl. oz

View at Sephora; $30

Best Full Coverage: Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer

What We Love: The formula is waterproof and leaves behind an airbrushed finish.
What We Don't Love: The formula may be drying for dry skin types.

Sometimes you really want to just cover everything—the bags, the blemishes, the veiny lines, the dark spots—and that's when you should lean on this concealer. It's really full coverage but it doesn't look or feel that way on the skin. When blended, the result is natural with an airbrush-like effect. 

We love that this concealer is waterproof for those days when you're not sure what life will throw your way. It features ​​microsphere powders that assist with that airbrush finish, working to diffuse the look of imperfections and pores and reflecting light so it works in your skin's favor. The applicator is uniquely designed for precision, an aspect our tester really appreciated for application under the eye area in particular. 

The only downside we noted is that the formula may be too dry for drier skin types. Our tester with combination skin had no trouble with this concealer, however.

Coverage Level: Full | Finish: Natural | Shades: 22 | Size: 0.2 fl. oz

View at Sephora; $36

Best Splurge: Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer

What We Love: The 24-hour wear promise isn't a gimmick. This concealer boasts awesome staying power.
What We Don't Love: The formula is on the thicker side. Some may wish to thin it out a bit for easier blending.

The first thing our tester recorded about this concealer is that it's her new dream concealer. Need we say more? Probably not, but we will. "I used this concealer two days in a row and was shocked at how great my skin looked from the moment I put it on until I washed it off at night," she says. She especially loved the full coverage (which she scored a 5/5) because it was smooth and didn't require multiple coats. Whether you're covering acne scars, pimples, or dark spots, a little bit is all you need for the job. 

Our tester also called out the concealer's success at blurring the look of her large pores. "I have large pores, especially on my nose, and this has been the best concealer I've used to minimize the look of my pores for a successful "airbrush" effect while still looking natural," she notes. Considering there's no way to get rid of pores altogether, this concealer may just be the next best thing to making them disappear.

The formula is thicker than some of the other concealers out there, which is to be expected to a degree because it offers full coverage, so it may not be an everyday go-to. Our tester plans to use it on special occasions, date nights, or when she really needs to hide a blemish quick. And while it is on the pricier side, it is the biggest concealer out of this entire list.

Coverage Level: Full | Finish: Natural | Shades: 28 | Size: 0.37 fl. oz

View at Nordstrom; $36

Our Testing Process

We spent about a week researching different under-eye concealers, as well as talking to experts and industry pros about the formulas they like to use on their own skin. This information helped us determine our initial selection of 23 under-eye concealers. While we did not disqualify any concealers based on shade range alone, we noted the brands that we felt could do a better job at making their ranges more inclusive of all skin tones. 

Each of our six testers was asked to wear the under-eye concealers for a full day — morning to night— and jot down their insights along the way. Did the formula cake up at any point during the day, or settle into fine lines? Did it dry down fast, or was it difficult to blend? Was the applicator easy to use? These are just some of the questions our testers were tasked with answering. In addition to sharing their specific feedback, our testers rated each concealer on a scale of 1 to 5 on four attributes: texture and feel, coverage, staying power, and creasing. We felt that these attributes were among the most important to consider when deciding if a concealer is worth it. 

Once all of the data was collected, our editor assigned specific categories to the concealers that performed the best based on what testers felt about each product overall.

Concealers That Fell Short

L'Oreal Infallible Full Wear Waterproof Concealer: None of our testers were a fan of this applicator, which they thought was too large for a targeted area. They also felt the formula was dry and difficult to blend as a result. 

Ilia True Skin Serum Concealer: The applicator on this concealer is nice, but it has a serum-like consistency so the coverage level is very minimal. It did little to cover up the dark circles of one of our testers. "Layering the product on doesn't build up the coverage, but rather accentuates lines and creates a cakey finish," our tester says.

Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer: This concealer comes in 18 shades, which is low compared to the competition. Multiple testers had trouble finding the right shades for their skin tones. The lightest shade was too dark for our tester with fair skin, and our tester with dark skin could not find a shade that worked well for her. One tester also took issue with the texture and feel: "This is a goopy consistency that needs some blending," she says. "I prefer a thinner formula since that usually doesn't crease as much."

What to Keep in Mind

When purchasing an under-eye concealer, here are some factors you should keep in mind: 

Shade

For the under-eye area, most makeup artists recommend reaching for a shade that is one to two tones lighter than your natural skin tone for a bright-eyed look. Many brands and retailers offer shade finder quizzes and virtual assistants to help you find the perfect shade without swatching them in person. If you are reaching for a concealer for your face excluding the under-eye area, try to match it to your foundation shade. 

Coverage

Concealers are available in light, medium, and full coverage. If you're concealing very dark circles, a fuller coverage concealer will do a better job of camouflaging the area. Keep in mind though that the thicker the formula, the easier it is to cake up. If your under eye area has many fine lines, a lighter, serum-like concealer will be less likely to settle into those creases.

Finish

This is mostly up to personal preference, but experts recommend reaching for a concealer with a radiant finish under the eyes if you want the area to look brighter. Concealers with a matte finish often last longer and look more natural, though drier skin types should generally avoid products with a matte finish since they tend to be more drying.

How to Apply Under-Eye Concealer

There are a few different ways to apply under-eye concealer—with clean fingers, a sponge, a brush, or — as celebrity makeup artist Sir John once told InStyle —with a fluffy, synthetic eyeshadow brush for an airbrush effect.

One way to apply under-eye concealer is to place three or so dots directly onto the under-eye area and gently blend it out with your tool of choice. Sir John recommends then taking your ring finger and gently tapping the under-eye area after the concealer is blended to warm it up and ensure a natural, lived-in look. Another way to apply under-eye concealer, especially if you want an all-over brightening effect versus a targeted application, is to dot the formula under the eyes and work it downwards into an inverted triangle that hits the top of your cheek. Blend it out as your normally would and top with a setting powder.





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