10 best under-eye concealers

Hide dark circles and discolouration with a clever cover up

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The Independent Online

The skin under your eyes gives everything away: ageing, dehydration, not enough sleep, too much alcohol, too much salt. Sadly, some are more genetically disposed to dark circles than others, but a well-concealed under-eye lifts and brightens your whole face. We put old-faithfuls and new releases through their paces, judging coverage, finish, durability and any make-up transfer (because no one wants to end up with half their mascara down their face by the time they get to the office). These are our favourites. 

1. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer: £22.50, Nars Cosmetics


We’ve used little else under our eyes for the past five years and, until recently (on which, more later), it stood head and shoulders above the rest for us. It’s moisturising, buildable and easily blended, and lasts at least eight hours. It’s available in 15 shades and leaves skin looking luminous.

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2. Clarins Instant Concealer: £21.50, Boots


This is going straight in our beauty hall of fame. It is the thinnest, most easily blended and yet highly pigmented concealer we’ve tested and rivals Nars for our personal top spot. The only problem is that the tube releases more product than needed, leaving waste in the lid.

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3. Mac Pro Longwear Concealer: £18, John Lewis


This is an old faithful from our teenage years and still stands up to testing. It comes in a wide range of shades (16 to be precise), gives great coverage and dries to a matte finish – perfect for flawless looking skin, though older skins may find it settles into lines. Our only quibble is that the pump dispenses a little too much product.

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4. Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Corrector: £28, John Lewis


We can’t say that we noticed any lasting changes from the ‘serum’ properties of this concealer, but its instant effects are excellent. A lovely thin, moisturising concealer that gives medium but natural coverage and doesn’t settle into fine lines, meaning it’s well-suited to older or drier skins. Cleverly, the excellent range of shades are divided into “bisque” for correcting blue or purple undertones and “peach” for correcting brown or grey undertones.

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5. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer: £19.50, Space NK 


Our tester first used this concealer while doing a friend’s make-up for her wedding and absolutely loved it. If your eye area is a little on the dry, papery side and you prefer a dewy finish, this creamy, highly concentrated concealer is a dream. A tiny bit goes a long way. Those with oilier skin may get some mascara transfer though.

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 6. Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum Concealer: £28.50, Estee Lauder 


We initially worried that the double application would be too time-consuming, but this one actually took the least effort to get a beautiful finish of any concealer tested, needing minimal blending. Run the brightening serum (with the doe foot applicator) under the eye first to moisturise and blur, then pat over the stick concealer to provide excellent coverage. Those with oilier skin may get some mascara transfer.

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 7. Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher: £25, Charlotte Tilbury


The Retoucher is everything we hoped YSL’s Touche Eclat would be. It has the same twist and click brush applicator, but lighter and with far better coverage. Our tester found it particularly effective on older skin, for smoothing over and blurring out fine lines.

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8. Benefit Boi-ing Concealer: £17.50, Benefit Cosmetics


If you’ve gone too heavy in the pub on a weeknight and night-bussed it home, nothing will do the trick but Benefit. It lives up to its ‘industrial strength’ tagline, covering even the very worst dark circles, but go easy on the layering as it can become cakey.

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 9. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer: £5.99, Boots


This is the only cheaper concealer we tested that held its own against more expensive options. It is light, easily blended and glides smoothly over the delicate eye area, faking a gorgeous, dewy night’s sleep. Not as long-lasting or highly pigmented as most listed here, but it punches way above its price weight.

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10. Chanel Correcteur Perfection: £27, Feel Unique


Where Chanel is involved, the packaging is always perfection, and this frosted glass and black gloss tube is no different. It’s also richly pigmented, so you don’t need a lot of product to get good coverage and dries with a natural, satin finish.

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The Verdict: Under-eye concealer

For highly pigmented all-rounders that work on all skin types and cover a multitude of sins, you can’t beat Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer and Clarins’ Instant Concealer – choose the first if you like a thicker, creamier texture and the second for a lighter, more easily blended finish.

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