Aside from the annoying cycle of breakouts I experience whenever my skin decides to be on extra-bad behavior (or, ahem, when I'm on my period), dark circles are my number one nemesis and complexion-related concern. I'm not sure if it's genetics, prioritizing Netflix or late-night writing over beauty sleep, or a practically inhuman level of coffee consumption, but I can always count on shadowy under-eyes that would make a blood-starved Edward Cullen look comparatively bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Annoying, yes, but c'est la vie. We all have that one trivial beauty drama that irks the eff out of us, right?
My main point here, however, is that as a beauty fiend and editor, it's become my ultimate objective to find all the best antidotes to better the situation, namely via a stockpile of under-eye concealers, eye creams, eye masks, etc., that would make the backroom of Sephora look depleted. (I'm a product hoarder. What can I say?) After years of trial and error, I've found quite a few magical skincare and makeup formulas that have made a difference. From eye creams that instantly help hydrate and diffuse stubborn shadows to the best under-eye concealers that instantly camouflage the worst of sleepless nights, I consider myself an unofficial under-eye whisperer. I've already talked quite a bit about my favorite eye creams and face brighteners, so today I'm focusing on the best under-eye concealers I personally swear by (both drugstore and spendy!) in addition to revealing the other top formulas reviewers and beauty editors rave about. Here, I'm sharing all my bright-eyed secrets. Keep scrolling!
My Favorite Expensive Concealers—and Their Drugstore Dupes
There aren't too many makeup products I'd deem life-changing, but this miraculous concealer from Charlotte Tilbury might be one of them. I was turned onto it by my former boss at Byrdie, Faith Xue (Hi, Faith!), and my under-eyes haven't been the same since. Despite how luminous and featherlight the consistency of this formula is, it offers a surprising amount of coverage, and I find I need way less concealer than I do with some of my other picks (which saves me both time and product). It's my current favorite, and I always—I repeat, always—receive compliments on my makeup when I wear it. The name doesn't lie, folks!
For an under-eye concealer that's similar in design, finish, application, and consistency to the above, this pick from Maybelline is a stellar option. Makeup artists always talk it up as one of their budget-friendly favorites, and it also takes the competitive spot as Amazon's best-selling concealer. The award-winning formula is infused with goji berry and haloxyl for an extra hit of illumination, and the soft applicator sponge deposits the perfect amount of product.
As much as I love the radiant finish the Charlotte Tilbury concealer offers my dark under-eyes, whenever I want something a bit more matte and dependably long-wearing, I reach for my Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer—no questions asked. After trying an exorbitant amount of formulas, I'm convinced it's one of the best concealers on the market. It offers full coverage (for a full 16 hours!) without feeling heavy or cakey, and I also love that it doesn't crease, pill, or do any of those other annoying things so many concealers do. It even stays put through my sweaty post-work workouts.
Recently, I put my expensive taste in makeup to the ultimate test by replacing all of my spendy faves with reasonably priced drugstore picks. To be honest, I wasn't expecting to be impressed, but post-experiment, I was eating my words. This under-eye concealer form Nyx isn't quite as wonderful as my fave from Laura Mercier, but if you're strapped for cash or just don't like to spend a lot on makeup, this is one of the closest formulas I've found for less than $10 a pop.
This is perhaps the most famous and cult-loved concealer of all time. Being the makeup snob I am and the beauty-obsessed teenager I was, I've had it in my rotation since high school. I kid you not. It's not my absolute go-to, but I love it's versatility for coverage anywhere on my face or eyes, and I appreciate how seamlessly it blends and buffs into my foundation for an invisible and durable finish. It's one of those iconic makeup products you definitely need to try in your lifetime. Plus, it's a no-brainer accessory to pop in your bag before a long and late night out in which touch-ups are inevitable. It's $73, but it lasts (literally) forever. I've had the same tube for years, so rest assured that you get your money's worth.
Dare I say it? As much as I love the Clé de Peau, this might be the closest dupe I've ever come across within the beauty realm. The consistency and coverage are eerily similar, and I apply it anywhere and everywhere in a pinch. Oh, and once, when I lent it to a co-worker (who is notoriously anti–drugstore beauty), she exclaimed, verbatim: "What IS this stuff??! It's amazing!!" It is.
A top pick from our beauty-obsessed friends over at Violet Grey, this full-coverage pot is an investment, true, but you can also use it as a concealer or a foundation. So technically, you're getting two products for the price of one. (So justifiable!) And it makes your face look practically airbrushed.
For just $7, this dark-horse under-eye concealer effortlessly camouflages dark circles without settling into fine lines or creasing come 2 p.m. It's a top pick at Ulta, well-reviewed, and offers an impressive 24 shades.
This is Sephora's best-selling concealer, and we've never met a makeup artist or fellow beauty editor who doesn't rave about this cult-favorite formula. It's a nice, lightweight consistency while still offering full coverage for under-eye circles. It also blends like a dream, and we love patting and blending it with a Beautyblender.
After Clé de Peau, Nars, and Charlotte Tilbury (which we covered above), this is Nordstrom's best-selling under-eye-correcting concealer. It has some shock value in terms of price, but it also incorporates luxe skincare perks which help treat fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, and puffiness, in addition to stubborn dark shadows.
If you're looking for under-eye relief in the long-term, this drugstore formula from E.l.f has your back for a full 16 hours. It's high-coverage, crease-resistant, and can also be patted atop blemishes to boot.