Nobody is immune to dark under-eye circles. All it takes is one late night, one too many glasses of wine, or one slice of post-drinking pizza, and they’re right there to rear their ugly heads—it’s like they were waiting in the wings the whole time, ready to appear as soon as you slipped up. It goes without saying, then, that for most of us, a trusty under-eye concealer is a nonnegotiable.
This rings especially true as we head into the holiday season. Let’s be straightforward: It’s holiday party season, and we’re guaranteed to be staying up late, sipping on cocktails, and showing no restraint when it comes to the passed hors d’oeuvres tray (or, better yet, the buffet). Don’t waste your precious time worrying about what you’ll look like in the morning—we certainly won’t, because we’ll be armed with our 12 (!) favorite under-eye concealer picks.
“I don’t wear under-eye concealer, ever—it makes me feel like I have on too much makeup! Instead, I religiously use Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe ($175), which is ultrahydrating and light but also gives me a little of the evening effects of concealer.” –Jessica Teves, editor in chief
“Any time I see a skin product that’s even remotely pink or peach, I run far, far away. Blame it on one too many high school mornings slathering on whatever foundation I found in my mom’s medicine cabinet, but I’m now a strict proponent of color matching, even if it means spending more on products. So you can imagine my surprise when I tried out Pixi Correction Concentrate, which is legit peach and only costs $12.
“Made with rose hip extract for cell regeneration and a host of key vitamins (A, C, E), it erases dark circles, neutralizes redness, and blurs lines on my fair-medium skin. One thing to note: It tends to look a tad thick under eyes if you’re not diligent about blending, but that’s nothing a warm finger or a great brush can’t fix. The makeup artist behind it, Petra, has called it her secret to looking like she’s had a restful night’s sleep, and I’m inclined to agree.” –Perrie Samotin, site director
“Depending on the severity of the under-eye circle, I use either Tom Ford Concealing Pen ($52) or Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer ($70). They both do a great job of concealing without getting cakey—and I’m terrible at makeup, so that definitely means they’re pretty user-friendly.” –Melissa Medvedich, creative director
“Up until two years ago, I exclusively used Max Factor Erace Concealer for the sole reason that it’s what my mom has sworn by for as long as I’ve been alive. So what, you ask, has dethroned my lifetime loyalty to this drugstore product? Benefit Fakeup Undereye Concealer ($24). The color is embedded at the center of a clear moisturizing stick, which makes everything glide on and blend super easily. The extra dose of hydration also means my concealer never creases—something I couldn’t say about my previous pick.” –Cristina Velocci, managing editor
“I’m not huge on heavy concealer—or heavy makeup in general, for that matter—which is why Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch ($39) is the only one I use. I recently had my makeup done for a friend’s wedding, and after the makeup artist raved about this product (and then used it on my face), I immediately snagged a tube for myself. The concealer is very light, and while it doesn’t give a heavy coverage, it’s a good everyday product that won’t dry in weird lines around your eyes and will stay put for hours. The applicator is also incredibly targeted, so it’s perfect for hiding small blemishes.” –Jasmine Garnsworthy, editor
“Thanks to some nifty Eastern European heritage, I have some serious dark circles every time of the year, though they get pretty bad around the holidays. But through some in-depth beauty researching, I’ve found a two-step process that lets me check my bags at my bathroom sink. I start with Bobbi Brown Corrector ($25), which uses pink tones to neutralize those dark circles. Then, I use Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand ($45), which, as the name implies, works some minor miracles by evening and brightening skin tone and reduces any unwanted puffiness from yet another holiday party.” –Beth Stebner, lifestyle editor
“I cannot leave the house without makeup on under any circumstances—not because I’m insecure about my appearance, but because I’m so fair my skin is practically translucent. I almost feel like I need to spare others from being subjected to the sight of my visible veins, mole-person under-eye circles, and general demeanor of having just seen/become a ghost. That’s right: I’m so pale, it’s offensive.
I don’t wear foundation, partly because I hate it and partly because it’s a struggle to find one that’s light enough for me, so concealer is very important to me, especially in the deep, dark violet grooves under my eyes. The area desperately needs a bit of brightening up first, so I dot on the “light reflecting” end of the Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand ($45) (in Shade 1, natch) in a triangular shape and use my ring finger to blend. I frankly have no idea whether or not this actually does anything, but I like it, and it’s quick and easy to put on so I’m good. Then I dab on some bareMinerals bareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer ($20) in Fair, which is stupidly great for all concealing needs, and hope for the best.” –Rachel Krause, associate beauty editor
“My dark circles are the worst—yes, even when I get plenty of sleep. I don’t normally wear foundation, so I really rely on my concealer to do all the work of covering them up. Maybelline FaceStudio Master Conceal ($8.99) works wonders for me. It provides amazing coverage and makes my circles almost undetectable. I also turn to it to hide minor blemishes and even out the skin on my chin and in the T-zone.” –Victoria Moorhouse, associate beauty editor
“I have very dark circles under my eyes—like, Victorian-era maiden-aunt-level dark—and the only thing that covers them up is MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer ($32). Thick enough to cover up even my Lydia Deetz purple rings, yet delicate enough to still look totally natural, it saves my life all holiday season. Apply it by tapping it onto your skin with your finger (rather than using a brush or sponge), then set with a thin layer of translucent powder, and you’ll fool everyone into thinking you’ve gotten a full eight hours of sleep.” –Alle Connell, senior beauty editor, Daily Makeover
“I bought a (no longer available) ‘flawless face’ kit at Sephora, and Laura Mercier Undercover Concealer Pot ($35) came with it. The ‘Secret Concealer’ on the top of the pot is specifically designed for under-eye circles and the sensitive skin under the eyes, and the bottom of the pot is filled with a translucent setting powder. It has everything you need in one travel-friendly jar.” –Candace Napier, editorial designer
MORE: Refreshing Eye Patches That Fight Puffiness, Dark Circles, and More