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These are the 11 best under-eye concealers of 2024 — tested and reviewed

Dark circles, begone! These best-in-class gels, creams and sticks will make you look more rested than you are.

Three undereye concealers
Our favorite undereye concealers include formulas from Kosas, Trinny London and Maybelline. (Images via Sephora, Amazon and Trinny London )

Of the many many beauty topics people ask me about, I get more questions about how to find the best under-eye concealers than any other. In fact, most makeup consumers seem extremely confused about which under-eye concealer to buy and it's easy to see why: there are hundreds on the market, in an array of delivery systems, textures, colors, coverage levels and even finishes. So many in fact that it can be tough, if not downright intimidating, to find the right option for your skin, your makeup style — and your budget.

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But a change in seasons is a good time to overhaul one's beauty routine, including re-evaluating your concealer choices, or, if you haven't yet, trying one out for the first time. When done right, a good concealer can disguise myriad facial blemishes, dark spots and circles; it can make our faces appear brighter and even more awake, particularly as we age. When done wrong, however, a bad under-eye concealer can make us look like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

To help mitigate the confusion, over the past year, I tried more than 40 different concealer brands. I tested them all on my 50-year-old under-eye area and rated them according to coverage, finish (did they settle into fine lines? did they make the area look dry?) and value. Finally, I asked professional makeup artists for tips on how to actually apply this mythical makeup workhorse, how to choose one's correct shade, plus the concealer mistakes we're all making and how to stop — starting today.

For the uninitiated, here are a few concealer basics. There are essentially five main categories of concealer: gel, liquid, stick, cream and cream to powder. Of these, the best for the under-eye area tend to be gel, liquid, stick and, to a lesser extent, cream.

Each category has its dark-circle/under-eye coverup advantages and, depending on your age and skin type, major disadvantages. Makeup artists I spoke with differed wildly on the "best" formula, but most all agreed that the area needs to be hydrated for any of these products to work effectively. This is especially true if you're trying to find the best under-eye concealer for mature skin.

Given this, and the fact that I'm lazy, there was one clear everyday concealer winner for me and my skin type (combination) and makeup preference (not much):

I love everything about this award-winning serum/gel concealer from Trinny London which, according to the brand, sells one tube every 15 seconds. I love that it's a highly hydrating skin-care/makeup hybrid, which means I don't need an eye cream when I use it. I love the applicator which is tilted and shaped to perfectly fit in the corner of my under-eye hollows. I love the coverage — light but buildable. I love that it brightens the orbital area without looking like makeup and I love that there are 12 shades to choose from and a clever "color match" quiz system to help you decide. I did not love how long it took to arrive (10 days) and that the shipping was $13, but honestly, if you have older skin and want a light coverage, natural "no makeup" look (my fave), this is for you. 

  • Zero creasing or settling into fine lines
  • Easy color-match system
  • 12 shade options
  • Moisturizing
  • Lightweight
  • Good for everyday wear
  • Contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and peptides
  • Shipping is expensive
  • Coverage is more sheer than liquid or stick formulas
$36 at Trinny London

"I recommend a concealer that will not only even out skin tone and blur imperfections but also help improve the skin," says celebrity makeup artist Rebecca Restrepo (her clients include Debra Messing, Lucy Liu and Jessica Williams). In our interview, Restrepo steered me toward the new (to me) category of gel concealers: "I like gel formulas because they tend to glide over the skin easily without pulling skin that may not be as taut. They also tend to not settle into fine lines, which is a concern as we age."

This gel formula serum + concealer goes on sheer and natural looking and the finish is satiny-smooth. It's buildable — layer more on days when you need heavier coverage. It's compact, comes in a dozen different shades and is — perhaps best of all — affordable (right now, under $10!). Full disclosure: the formula did settle into at least one or two of my fine lines, but I could easily blur it back out with a sponge or a brush.  

  • Moisturizing
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • 12 shade choices
  • Can be a bit creasy
$10 at Amazon
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$12 at Walmart$12 at Macy's

This lightweight gel concealer is not only Vanessa Williams's favorite, it's also the first one mentioned by makeup artist Rebecca Restrepo, who named it the best concealer on the market: "It’s a crease-free and buildable concealer in a gel form that applies smoothly over fine lines and wrinkles," she says. "It’s never cakey. The formula has skin-care ingredients like alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and caffeine to add moisture and reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffy skin."

When I tried it, I found the formulation to glide on just as Restrepo said, giving ample coverage and leaving a silky finish I liked. My only issue with this product is, while the shade I picked ("Luminous") worked for my skin and the brand says they use an exclusive "smart tint technology" that matches your skin tone by using the skin’s natural pH, there are still only four options to choose from, which — perhaps even with this technology — may be limiting for many skin tones. 

  • Gel formula glides on smooth over wrinkles
  • Doesn't cake or crease
  • Buildable for sheer or heavier coverage
  • Contains under eye skin boosters like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and caffeine
  • Makeup artist favorite
  • Limited shade options
$29 at Hi Beautiful You

After gel, the best category of under-eye concealer (and, honestly, concealer period) I tested on my own skin is the stick. Concealer sticks are versatile, super easy to apply (no mess!) and blend. Plus, unlike matte cream versions, they won't highlight your under eye wrinkles or soak into fine lines.

Makeup artist Jillian Dempsey also favors the stick concealer, explaining that the key to successful application is using it in tandem with a moisturizer. Dempsey, whose A-list clients include Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Winslet (along with her husband, McDreamy/Patrick Dempsey), uses her own line to achieve the desired result. "Everyone's preference is different but I like to add a thin layer of Mixturizer under my eyes and allow it to soak in a couple of minutes. Then I warm up my Spot Stick Concealer, which has a matte finish, and I tap and blend it out. I use [the shade] #05 and sometimes mix it with #03 for the best results. I’ll add more as needed but I like to only cover my dark circles under my eyes and on the inner corner area of my eyes."

I tried Jillian Dempsey's concealer stick after applying an ample layer of Tatcha's Eye Brightener Serum. The combination made my dark circles all but disappear. The finish of the JD concealer is smooth and matte which balanced the more greasy serum. What I especially liked about this product was how it stayed on most of the day and, when I wanted a little extra coverage later, was super easy to apply on the go. One caveat: On another day, when my under-eye area was dryer/without serum, the stick was a bit crumbly and harder to apply and blend. 

  • Easy to apply and blend
  • 13 shade options
  • Simple color match
  • Medium coverage
  • Gentle product, good for sensitive skin
  • Works best with a moisturizing product
  • Texture can be a bit crumbly
$32 at Jillian Dempsey

This cleverly designed face pencil is part of makeup artist extraordinaire Bobbi Brown's line Jones Road. It's a surprisingly excellent replacement for traditional liquid concealers — ideal for zeroing in on any place you want coverage (under eyes, redness around the nose) and blends beautifully without any kind of caking or settling into fine lines. I love using it to color in my under-eye area almost in the same way you would a lip liner for lips. The pencil blends easily and the effect is super natural — this is an innovative product and a stellar concealer for all areas of the face. The only downside I found through testing is it melts off fairly quickly on combination skin, requiring that you reapply. 

  • Supple, non-drying texture
  • Ultra-precise application
  • Goes on smooth
  • Medium coverage
  • 25 shades, easy matching
  • Not as long-lasting as others
$25 at Jones Road

Merit's Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick provided all the under-eye/blemish/age-spot camouflaging I was looking for while also gliding on super-smooth and adding moisture back into my skin. The coverage is light for sure, but if that's what you're looking for, this easy, creamy jumbo stick can be applied all over, blends well, feels natural and is essentially aces. I like the coverage, but if you're looking for medium to full coverage, this isn't your pick.  

  • Easy to use
  • 20 shade options
  • Moisturizing
  • Dewy finish
  • Light, natural coverage
  • Feels good on the skin
  • The light coverage may not be enough for some users
  • Pricey
$38 at Sephora

Liquid concealers are the most common of all concealer types — if you've used this makeup staple before, this is most likely the version you've tried. They go on wet (obviously), but once dried, range in texture from dewy to matte. They work especially well when you're in your 20s, 30s and even 40s to disguise blemishes and dark spots but I found them less impressive in my 50s, as many emphasized wrinkles and crepey-ness and it was harder to find a color match.

If you're using this type of concealer for the under-eye area, it's important to note that while the product itself may be creamy, the final effect can look dry, so, if you're older — as with concealer sticks — it's crucial to moisturize the area first.

This e.l.f version is makeup artist Restrepo's second favorite concealer and it's easy to see why: It's weirdly non-creasy while also being full coverage and it has long-wearing power — mine stayed put for the whole workday. It contains hyaluronic acid and caffeine to nourish the under-eye area and reduce the appearance of dark circles while you wear it. Last, you can't beat the price: $7. 

Not to be the concealer Eeyore, but... even with all these wonderful qualities, this formula was a bit thick for my taste, more paste than liquid. Still, with 26 shades to choose from and 33,000 5-star reviews, it's absolutely worth a try.

  • Long-wearing
  • Full coverage
  • Affordable
  • Non-creasy
  • Contains skin boosters hyaluronic acid and caffeine
  • Thick consistency
  • Can be drying on mature skin
$7 at Amazon
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$7 at Ulta Beauty$7 at Walmart

I first heard about Kosas's cult-favorite concealer from TikTok makeup queen Hailey Bieber: “I just love that it’s creamy and hydrating and leaves this dewy finish on the skin,” she said in this Vogue “Beauty Secrets” video from last year. When I tried it I found it to be those things, yes (especially when applied over eye cream) but also just a wee bit gloopy for my (admittedly heavy-makeup adverse) preferences. Still, this is a quality, full-coverage concealer; beloved by makeup artists, TikTok and celebrities alike. If you're looking for a classic liquid concealer in a high-quality formulation (including skin-health-boosting ingredients hyaluronic acid and caffeine) and with 28 (!) shade options, this is a good bet.

  • 28 shade options
  • High-quality ingredients including caffeine and hyaluronic acid
  • Long-lasting
  • Blendable
  • Product separates and may need to be mixed
  • Gloopy consistency
$30 at Sephora

OK, so at first you're going to think the sponge applicator on this concealer is a little weird. It is. But it's also kind of perfect for swooshing on the under-eye area, though, strangely not great for blending (it was fine, I used my fingers). The product itself is moisturizing and non-creasy, which is honestly a feat at this price point. It offers smooth, medium coverage that's ideal for dark circles. Keep in mind the finish is matte, which I REPEAT Is not always flattering for mature skin, so you may want to generously hydrate the area before you apply.

  • Super affordable
  • Works for most skin types
  • Smooth, medium coverage
  • Non-creasy
  • Can be drying for mature skin
$9 at Amazon
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$9 at Walmart$11 at Ulta Beauty

Though not a skin-care/makeup hybrid per se, Ami Colé's concealer contains loads of skin-nourishing ingredients like baobab seed, hibiscus flower and vitamin E extracts which soothe delicate undereye skin and help it retain moisture. It's a lighter coverage liquid concealer (maybe more like a gel?) that leaves behind a dewy finish — which I happen to like, though other users I spoke with felt they needed powder after applying to thwart the shine. 

  • Gentle, all-natural formula
  • Available in 12 shades
  • Creamy, but not too thick coverage
  • Packed with antioxidant ingredients
  • Is shinier than most concealers
$24 at sephora
Concealer shades applied to a woman's arm
Pro tip: Cover the blue of dark circles with warmer peach and orange-ish tones. (Getty Images)

"To find your best shade, step out into the daylight with a mirror," advises Jillian Dempsey. "This will tell you everything you need to know." In terms of undertones, Dempsey says choosing warm tones (peach hues for lighter skin and orange tones for darker skin) work best for the under-eye area as they cancel out the blue in dark circles. "Orange covers blue," she explains.

And, while most experts suggest using a tone one to two shades lighter than the rest of your face to brighten the under-eye area, Dempsey cautions: "The biggest mistake I see people make is using a concealer with too much white pigment that bounces the light. A makeup artist’s worst nightmare is the white bounce back!" Instead of cool whites, go for warm, neutral tones closer to your natural skin color. Everyone's skin is different but two tricks have worked for me: matching my concealer to the inside of my wrist and to the skin on my neck.

Woman applying concealer
Experts say the best way to apply under-eye concealer is to start with a drop in the darkest corner. (Getty Images)

Here's Rebecca Restrepo's expert technique for applying under-eye concealer: "Lightly dab a few dots of the concealer under the eyes. Pat and smooth with your fingertips. The warmth from your fingers will help blend the concealer into your skin so it looks natural. I like using fingers to blend on mature skin versus a brush so that you don’t pull at the skin. I like to start at the inside of the eye first as that is where the dark circles start at the hollowing, then moving towards the outside of the eye. The outside of the eye doesn’t need as much concealing and needs to be sheer as possible so it’s a veil and no collection of product in the fine lines. This way there is exact placement of product and amount for what is needed."

Woman applying concealer
Over-applying, along with using the wrong tone for your skin, are among the biggest concealer mistakes. (Getty Images)

Mistake #1: Using too much. "You should always start with a small amount and add additional product if necessary," says Restrepo.

Mistake #2: Applying concealer in a room with low light — or too much light. Restrepo says natural light is best for applying concealer, so you know how your skin will look like in most situations throughout the day. "Applying in the wrong light tends to mean you apply too much, or too little product, and not in the right areas where you actually need coverage," she says.

Mistake #3: Applying to the wrong parts of the face "Mature women should wear less concealer and only in the areas in need of coverage, or else you make the wrinkles look too obvious," says Dempsey. "I suggest sticking to covering just the dark circle areas and not the 'smile lines' for a more youthful look. Moisturize first too and let it soak in for a hydrated look and feel."

Jillian Dempsey, Hollywood makeup artist

Rebecca Restrepo, Hollywood makeup artist