After Over 100 Hours of Testing, We Found the Best Under-Eye Concealers
When your usual concealer doesn't hide the dark circles under your eyes, switch things up with an under-eye concealer. The right formula isn't drying—read: cakey and thick—covers discoloration, and lasts throughout the day.
We tested 23 of the most popular under-eye concealers amongst seven beauty editors, who graded each on coverage, staying power, texture and feel, and creasing. The unanimous winner coming off those tests is Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer because it scored a perfect 5/5 on all attributes and is available in an expansive 35 shade range.
After sifting through all of the testing 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 Top Picks
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
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.
What to Keep in Mind
When purchasing an under-eye concealer, here are some factors you should keep in mind:
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.
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.
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.
Your Questions, Answered
How do you 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.
How do you pick a shade of under-eye concealer?
Finding the correct shade of concealer is similar to how you find your foundation shade. There are color families (fair, light, medium, tan, dark, and deep) as well as undertones. Once you identify the category you're in, it'll narrow the list down to fewer options. Next, consider your skin's undertone. One of the easiest ways to find your undertone is to look at your veins, if they are blue or purple you have cool undertones (a pinker concealer), if you have green you're warm (a more golden concealer), and a mix of both is olive (a greener concealer). While concealer to cover a pimple or discoloration should match your skin tone, under-eye concealer can be worn one to two shades lighter for a brightening effect.
What Is InStyle Picks?
Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it's really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we've put them to the test to be sure you will too.
Want more product recommendations? From best-in-class concealer to the black pants you need for work, check out all of our InStyle Picks content.