They say the eyes are the window to the soul, but let’s face it. If you’re looking into my soul, the only thing you’re going to see is exhaustion. We all know life can wear us out and the majority of the time, the proof lives under our eyes. In attempt [keyword: attempt] to hide the tired, I typically slab on more than a few layers of concealer to [you guessed it!] conceal the bags and dark circles that tend to hang out right beneath my eyes. But like any product in the makeup world, there are a million and one brands to chose from. So which one is REALLY the best? Which one is right for me? Never fear, Team LIY is here. We recently ventured out to our local Ulta Beauty store to get our hands on some of the most popular under-eye concealers on the market [both high-end and drug store brands] and put each of them to the test. Today we’re sharing our favorites and a little bit about what we loved [or didn’t love] about each of them.
- e.l.f. Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer
- NYX Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand
- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Treatment Concealer
- Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer
- It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer
- Tarte Shape Tape Concealer
- BECCA Ultimate Coverage Longwear Concealer
Erin: Normal Skin
Cassidy: Oily Skin
Claire: Combination Skin
Steph: Dry Skin
Tips for Application:
- Start with your daily skincare products as usual; moisturizer, primer, etc.
- Apply liquid foundation if applicable.
- Apply a small amount of concealer directly under eyes [you can make an upside-down triangle or half-circle shape] covering any dark circles or bags.
- Blend, blend, blend up and out! You can use a blending sponge, concealer brush, or just your finger tips– totally personal preference.
- Set the under-eye area with a translucent setting powder. This step is important to set the concealer in place, avoid creasing, and highlight this dark area. Using a powder with a dark tone [like your powder foundation for example] can create shadows and make this area of your face appear darker- which is exactly what we DON’T want.
- Apply your powder foundation as you normally would, avoiding the under-eye area that’s already set!
- Finish with your normal makeup routine!
How We Tested:
The process was simple really. Each of us tested every brand of concealer over a period of time and took several photos throughout the process. In each photo collage, you’ll see 3 images. These show a “before” image with ONLY foundation, an image directly after the concealer was applied, and an “after” shot with a full face of makeup! As we used each product, we took notes and rated them on how each individual concealer worked in these categories:
- Coverage [From sheer to full, did it offer the coverage we preferred?]
- Creasing/Caking [Did it crease into our fine lines?]
- Staying Power [How long did it last?]
Our Top 3:
No surprise here! Coming in at first place is Tarte’s Shape Tape. After comparing it with other brands, it’s obvious why this concealer is a favorite all around. It ranked highly in all categories for each skin type! A little bit goes a long way, less is more. The coverage is buildable, so start small and apply more layers to preference. The creasing was kept to a minimum and it seemed to last all day long. Four thumbs up from us! Here’s what we had to say about it:
- “Okay, Shape Tape really has created a name for itself and it is for a reason! This stuff isn’t going anywhere! I loved knowing that it would last all day! The only thing I didn’t like was how it felt almost sticky or maybe just thick when applying!” -Cassidy, Oily Skin
- “This has been my go-to under eye concealer for a little while and I love it! While it is a little on the heavier side, you just have to be cautious with how much you use. I know many people find this to cake / crease but I haven’t had that problem and it covers all day!” -Erin, Normal Skin
This was an unexpected win! Benefit recently released this concealer, so it’s fairly new on the market [or so we were told, new to us anyway!]. We weren’t originally planning on including it in the comparison, but the Ulta employee convinced us to give it a try since it was her personal favorite. Bottom line: it’s very comparable to the Tarte Shape Tape, but doesn’t feel quite as heavy or cakey. The consistency is very lightweight while still offering full coverage. Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer came in second place, just behind Tarte’s Shape Tape.
- “This lightweight and airy product is definitely cakeless as promised, but I did feel like I needed to apply several layers to achieve full coverage. I couldn’t believe how light it felt on, like it was barely there! It seemed to stay put all day and I didn’t have an issue with creasing.” -Claire, Combination Skin
- “I was pleasantly surprised by this one! The product went on so smooth and light while still getting that full coverage feeling! Throughout the day I didn’t notice much creasing or cakiness! I will say, because of my oily skin, it’s hard for product to stay all day but this one put up a good fight!” -Cassidy, Oily Skin
Introducing our favorite drugstore option! The Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Treatment Concealer ended up being fairly comparable to the Tarte Shape Tape with a budget-friendly price tag. While it may require an additional layer for the fullest coverage, it did seem to put up a fight in the creasing and longevity categories. This one was our top pick on the “save” end.
- “I loved the applicator of this. While I didn’t feel like it covered as much as some of the others, it stayed on pretty well all day and didn’t crease. Great option for the price!” -Erin, Normal Skin
- “This applicator definitely took some getting used to, but after I tried it out for a few days, I feel it gives the most control of how much product is applied and where it is applied of the products I’ve tried so far.” -Steph, Dry Skin
What We Didn’t Love:
The expectations were high for It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye concealer. In fact, several of us girls on the team use this product regularly! After comparing it with several other brands, we decided it was a bit on the cakey side and overall challenging to build for fuller coverage. It did seem to crease more than the others! Adios, Bye-Bye Under-Eye. You won’t be missed!
- “This is a tough one for me because Bye Bye Under Eye is the concealer I was using before this test. I thought I was happy with it until trying several other products and realized this one is much more cakey than the others. Becase of the thickness I can’t build coverage on for days I got a little less sleep, but I don’t feel like the coverage accounts for a single layer on rougher looking mornings.” -Steph, Dry Skin
- “This product was one that I had used before so I was really comfortable with it! I have always thought it applied well while lasting me through the day! I will say that after taking photos and comparing them all, it didn’t actually look the best! I felt in the moment but the picture really shows that it wasn’t as full coverage as I thought!” -Cassidy, Oily Skin
The BECCA Ultimate Coverage Longwear Concealer was the most expensive of the bunch! While Becca brand is well known for a handful of their beauty products, we weren’t overly impressed with this concealer. It was on the sticky side and didn’t offer as full of coverage as we typically prefer! TIP: if your skin is on the dry side, this one might be worth trying out. Steph [who has Dry Skin] enjoyed the illuminating and dewy look of this concealer, while the rest of us found it a bit too oily for our preference. If your skin is on the oily end of the spectrum, we advise avoiding this one!
- “My expectations were high for Becca brand, but I was ultimately disappointed. I ended up applying several layers to get the coverage I preferred, which ended up creasing throughout the day. For the price, there are better options!” -Claire, Combination Skin
- “It is thicker than some others and it seems to have a shine to it when applied. I like how it feels, however when I applied I did notice instant creasing and as the day went on my eyeliner and mascara smeared all over [I think because it’s an oilier formula?] Not good on my skin.” -Erin, Normal Skin
Switching gears to the NYX Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand— one of the two most affordable options from the list. Ringing up at only $6, our expectations were fairly low to begin with. While there weren’t any major complaints, we weren’t blown away after using this product by any means. I guess in this case, you get what you pay for!
- “I tend to love NYX products, and for the price I was impressed with this one! For only $6 I thought it provided good enough coverage and I didn’t see a ton of creasing. That being said, I think I would spend a little more for a product I love!” -Cassidy, Oily Skin
- “A middle of the road, you probably won’t hate it but I also didn’t love it product.” -Steph, Dry Skin
Last and least on our list is e.l.f. Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer. Once again, for only $6 the bar was set pretty low. Although we typically love ELF products, this one just didn’t quite get the job done for any of us. In this case, we would encourage you to spend just a little bit more for a longer-lasting product.
- “This somehow managed to be cakey and illuminating without actually covering my dark circles. Definite no for me!” -Steph, Dry Skin
- “This product was not strong enough for my oily skin! From the start I didn’t really feel like it provided enough coverage and by the end of the day I couldn’t really tell if I had applied any!” -Cassidy, Oily Skin
And that’s a wrap! To recap, we loved Tarte Shape Tape [no surprise there] and we were pleasantly surprised with our newly found love for Benefit Cosmetic’s Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer. Honorable Mention goes to Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Treatment Concealer as the best drug store [under $10] option. Which brand is YOUR favorite? Be sure to drop a comment and let us know!
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Founder and creator of LIY, Erin turned her dream of a hobby blog into a full-time career which she now runs alongside the LIY team! When not in front of her computer screen [with a La Croix or wine in hand] or in front of a mirror taking mirror selfies, you can find Erin spending time on the water, cuddled up with her two pups and husband most likely watching the latest Shark Tank episode, or getting lost in an easy beach read.