Best Undereye Concealer: The Search is On

best undereye concealer

I have long sung the praises of Clinique Airbrush Concealer. I first noticed it on one of Lisa Eldridge’s videos, and immediately bought it. I figured it had to be the best, I mean, Miss Eldridge can do no wrong, right? I’ve used it for years, and I love it, I really do…it’s just that I was relatively well rested during those few years and now I’m…not. You guys, I look like a mess. (I CURSE YOU, INSOMNIA.)

While the Clinique concealer has been a loyal, trusty companion, it’s time to pull out the big guns for the time being. So, I’ve been doing some research (surprise, surprise) on some bestsellers and also put a call out on the Whoorl Facebook page last week. (We like to talk about makeup. Lots.)

Here’s what I’ve found so far.

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer, $33 – A front runner from the Facebook convo, but I noticed many negative reviews on Sephora. What gives? Here are some comments from my FB lady friends:

“In exhaustive research on dark circle concealing, most people recommend either Laura Mercier or Bobbi Brown’s concealer kit, which I really like and get at Sephora.”

“Two words. Bobbie Brown.”

“I love Bobbi Brown.”

“I have pretty dark circles so I use the corrector first and layer the creamy concealer on top. I set my whole face with her powder so just use that on my under eye area too. I say “set my whole face” like I wear makeup but most days lately I’m lucky if I get concealer on. Her BB cream if fantastic though too.”

“I also use Bobbi Brown, but not the kit. I use the corrector and then the concealer and then I set it withe Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder…”

NARS Concealer, $28 – I’m a NARS junkie, so I am hopeful this concealer could be great. I like that it’s a liquid – obviously easy to blend. Some comments:

“NARS has a stellar one.”

“I’m a huge fan of the NARS concealer. I am pretty hopeless when it comes to applying makeup and it’s so easy to use.”

“Nars’ newest concealer (Radiant Creamy Concealer) is pretty great.”

Benefit Boing, $20 or Erase Paste, $26 – I already have this in my arsenal, but haven’t been using it lately. Maybe I should bust it out again? I sure seemed to love it in 2010.

“I use a combo of Benefit products: Stay Don’t Stray and Boing. (I use) Fingers all the way.” (ME TOO. Have no time for concealer brushes!)

“I love Benefit’s “Erase Paste”, it can be a bit dry, but I put it on over my foundation and then blend it out and it works great. I’ve got light skin with olive tones but some wicked undereye circles and have found it to be the very best at covering. And a little goes a long way.”

“Another vote for benefit’s erase paste. i have fair skin and dark circles–works really well for me and i love the texture. very easy to blend with your finger, i never use the spatula provided, total PITA.”

Clinique Airbrush Concealer, $19.50 – Mah baby, but we need to take a break.

Amazing Concealer, $42 – I used this concealer back in the day when there were only a few shades. Goodness, this stuff is POTENT, but it really does the job. My only beef was that the color didn’t match well, however, now that they’ve introduced tons of new shades to the line, could this be the one for me?

Josie Maran Creamy Concealer Crayon, $20 – Now, no one mentioned this new product, but I have high hopes for this one. First off, I love Josie Maran, and secondly, a concealer pencil? COULD LIFE GET ANY EASIER?! Just draw right over those dark circles! (Please let this one be the one please let this one be the one.)

Laura Mercier Secret Camoflauge, $32 – I have a feeling this is too solid to blend well. Comments have been varied:

“I use the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage and love it. It is very easily blendable, doesn’t dry, and I like that I can adjust the colour to the season (and how much sun I’ve had). That said, I use mine more to cover my mild rosacea redness than dark undereye circles.”

“I used Secret Concealer for years, but it became too dry. I was constantly blending it with eye cream.”

“LOVE this concealer. love that you can blend the two colors to make it just right for either under eye or blemish concealing. I always use my finger too, because i feel like the warmth of my skin makes the concealer a better consistency.”

“I used to love secret concealer but I found it to cake and dry some.”

“I feel like LM secret camo is more for blemishes and kind of dry.”

“I will say I do NOT like Secret Camouflage, and do not find it easy to blend especially under the eyes. If you like Laura Mercier, they have an under eye concealer, called Under Eye Perfector.”

YSL Touche Eclat, $40 – I’ve wanted to try this for years, but always wondered if the formula was similar to Clinique since they are both in click applicators. Mixed reviews as an undereye concealer.

“I used to love secret concealer but I found it to cake and dry some. Now I’m loving this – I put on with brush and then wait a few min before I blend with my fingers. Best I have found and my dark circles are epic.”

“The YSL Touche Eclat is a fantastic highlighter, but is not actually a concealer, so sadly it won’t help any more than your Clinique airbrush (my personal favorite light-reflective concealer).”

MAC Select Cover Up, $18 – Love me some MAC, and these comments sound promising:

“M.A.C. Select Cover Up is the only thing that can hide my raccoon eyes. It’s heavier, and dries quickly so you have to work fast but I love it. And I only use my fingers.”

“I’ve tried many but I always come back to MAC Select Cover Up. It’s creamy, blendable and stays on stubbornly.”

Cle de Peau Concealer, $70 – One of my best friends swears by this, and she’s usually right on when it comes to skincare and makeup. Hey, I’ll pay the price tag for results! (Although, SEVENTY DOLLARS?)

“Cle de Peau…hands down the best! Yes, it is expensive BUT it lasts forever!!!”

“Yep, definitely Cle de Peau.”

“If you have an extra arm and leg to spend, you won’t be disappointed with Cle de Peau.”

Other notable mentions:

Kat Von D

Laura Mercier Secret Concealer – the pot version

T. LeClerc Correcting Fluid Pen

I’m headed to Sephora very soon with the hopes of finding my next companion. Will report back. In the meantime, have I missed any major contenders?

  1. jen

    August 19, 2013 at 10:51 am

    throwing in my $0.02.

    I currently use the NARS one and I love it. it’s smooth, rich, provides good coverage and easy to apply. sometimes I use the brush and sometimes I tap it on and use my fingers to blend.

    I have used Bobbi Brown in the past and I felt it wasn’t blending well. Laura Mercier felt creamier but didn’t provide enough coverage.

    I love YSL, but as a highlighter, not as a concealer. it’s not heavy duty enough to really perform as a concealer.

    I hear good things about Benefit’s boing.

    looking forward to the results!

    • whoorl

      August 19, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Love this – thank you. Do you use the original NARS concealer or the new radiant creamy one?

      • jen

        August 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm

        the new one that comes in a long lipgloss-like tube. I love the consistency. happy hunting!

  2. Luisa

    August 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I use the Clinique (thanks to you, who introduced to me La Eldridge!) pretty religiously, but really also like Benefit’s Boing, if that helps at all. My circles are EPIC and nothing really totally hides them, but those two (not used together!) get me at least looking human. Touche Eclat indeed only highlighted my circles back in the day when I used it. One of my BFs is the beauty director at a big, glossy women’s mag and she says Cle de Peau really is worth the money – it’s what she uses.

    • whoorl

      August 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

      I used Boing a bit this morning and was reminded how much I like it! It does a good job covering for sure, and I want to pull the trigger on the CdP but man, 70 bucks!

      • Alexandra Aimee

        August 19, 2013 at 7:05 pm

        Agreed– It’s the one I’ve never tried. I honestly don’t care how it preforms, it’s more than I’m willing to spend on a concealer!

      • karly

        August 20, 2013 at 11:36 am

        Boots at Target has a concealer that is really similar to the cle de peau. It’s not too expensive, and i’d say it’s worth the money. I like it quite a bit, but the color I have is a little too light right now so I haven’t used it in a couple of months.

  3. Kyla

    August 19, 2013 at 11:46 am

    At 32 I suddenly developed dark undereye shadows. I splurged on Cle de Peau. It’s lasted me 2 years and I used it nearly daily. I also use it around my nose where I have broken cappilaries. I always use a good eye cream first, which makes it easier to blend without tugging the skin. It lays on the skin beautifully, covers and never creases on me. Good luck!!

    • whoorl

      August 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Let me ask you this…do you need to apply eye cream first for the product to blend easily? I don’t want to add another step to my super fast routine.

      • kyla

        August 19, 2013 at 12:24 pm

        I have used it without eye cream and while it worked ok, it definitely works better with cream underneath. The CdP lady actually recommended it. Having said that, I do have dry skin, and I’ve never used a concealer that I didn’t need eye cream first. I don’t let the cream sink in or anything. I literally slap it under my eyes and follow with concealer immediately. Around my nose I don’t bother with anything underneath, I just rub it in. I’m not great with the whole patting thing.

        • whoorl

          August 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm

          Thank you!

  4. debby

    August 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Oh I LOVE my Josie Maran Creamy Concealer Crayon. A+.

    • whoorl

      August 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Bought one today! Will report back.

  5. Liz

    August 19, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I’d add Benefit Fake Up to your list to try. I think it is even better than Boing – hydrating, and it doesn’t budge. Love it more than Bobbi Brown’s and Laura Mercier’s too.

  6. Anna

    August 19, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Apologies for the long comment – I could go on and on about concealers!
    I have got pretty terrible baggage under my eyes…both the dark discoloration as well as the physical dented in half circle. ICK!
    So I’ve gone through my fair share.

    – Bobbi Brown was a let down. It took a lot of work to blend both the corrector and concealer and overall felt too heavy and creasy.
    – I used Boi-ing years ago and was never blown away. Felt a bit dry and the color was off.
    – You’re right about Clinique Airbrush! I caught onto it from Lisa’s videos as well and love it for those days when you’re feeling very well-rested, but it often doesn’t do the job when you need more coverage.
    – Kat Von D was good if you’re looking for a highly-pigmented full coverage liquid . It didn’t give any kind of brightening effect though, which was the overall turn-off. It seemed a bit dull and was not at all light-reflective.

    I’m currently using MAC Pro-Longwear concealer on spots, but hear it works very well for undereyes. This stuff lasts forever! If you’re looking for something that just will.not.budge. this is it.
    On the lower-end, I highly recommend Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind! I use the Light color (for olive undertones) with that inverted triangle trick and the brightening effect is wonderful, while still having enough pigment to cover the dark circles! It never looks cakey or obvious so I’m quite pleased. The only con is its sponge tip applicator. It doesn’t seem to be too hygienic, but for how well this stuff works I’m willing to look past it!

    Good luck with your search! Please let us know what you ultimately settle on.

    • whoorl

      August 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Oh, I love all this info. Thank you! (And I’m a huge fan of the inverted triangle.) Going to pick up some Maybelline for certain – if I could find a great drugstore concealer, I’d be in heaven!

  7. Breeza

    August 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve used the stick Nars and the new creamy one and the new one is much, much better. The stick one just doesn’t work very well in my opinion. I’ve tried the Sephora brand concealer that looks like YSL’s, but didn’t think it provided long-lasting coverage. I feel your pain! Good luck!

  8. whoorl

    August 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Okay, ladies. Picked up the NARS radiant creamy concealer and the Josie Maran concealer crayon. Will report back soon. Might check out a few more…

  9. Lisak

    August 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Wow. I don’t know how you all spend the big bucks on department store products. Way too spendy for me. Anyone want to comment on drug store products? I do like the Maybelline product mentioned above.

    • Alexandra Aimee

      August 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      I’m all about splurging where you need to and saving where you can, and for me concealer is a splurge item. I have never found a drugstore one that can meet my demands for my under eye area. However, I use Maybelline Super Stay on blemishes and it is AMAZING! It blends out well and will actually truly stay put even on an oily spot.

  10. Andria

    August 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I, too, suffer from insomnia.
    I use Laura Mercier mauve/rose under eye corrector to counteract the blue veins/circles, blend that in… and then use Bobbi Brown’s foundation stick on top.

    Works like a charm.

  11. Kaitie Tee

    August 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I’m a two-stepper on days when I’m not well rested. I use the Pixi Brightening Peach corrector on my darkness (from what I can tell it’s nearly identical to Erase Paste). I smear it on with my finger and then blend at the edges by lightly tapping with my ring finger. Then I cover all the undereye with my Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer. Again – just using my finger, no brushes. The peach Pixi counterbalances the purple undereye circles and the Bobbi Brown is just an awesome concealer.

    But on days when my darkness is less pronounced I’m still rocking the Clinique Airbrush Concealer – which I started using on your recommendation years ago. I’m excited to see if you find something else you love.

  12. Courtney

    August 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I love the NARS radiant undereye concealer. it’s quite good coverage. i have bobbi brown creamy concealer, but it does tend to crease. MAC’s prolongwear concealer is very good. very good coverage, just a little goes a long way.

  13. Alexandra Aimee

    August 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Ok– We are in the exact same boat! I picked up airbrush a while ago fro the same reason (Lisa is my makeup oracle), and loved, loved, loved it. What I adore most is that I haven’t really had any “OMG you can SEE my concealer!!” moments with it. Buuuut, there are also days when it doesn’t get the job done and I have “OMG I look like death” moments. Here’s my full history:

    + I’ve recently tried Tarte, but it’s heavy and unless I really am on my A application game you can see it.

    + In the past I was quite happy with Benefit erase paste, but it didn’t seem to have staying power. My cirlces would be back by 6PM.

    +I tried Laura Mercie and had the same complaint you worry about… it was too stiff. A nightmare to apply, and as a result I had a lot of those days where you blend out TOO much and end up looking like you both have concealer on AND have under eye circles (worst of both worlds… No thanks!)

    +Bobby Brown… Holey Creases, batman! It’s one of the only ones I’ve ever straight thrown out.

    (Sidenote: I know people love Bobby Brown, but I have been VERY unhappy with every one of their products I’ve ever owned… Skin foundation looked oily on me, their BB broke me out, their last nude eye pallet was terribly pigmented and chalky, and their lip glosses are super sticky… Seriously, what do people like about them?! Which products are good? Also, what is wrong with my brain that I keep buying more BB even though I’ve hated every product of theirs I’ve ever owned?!)

    I’ve just neared the end of my latest tube of Airbrush and have a desire to explore my options so I will be following your hunt closely :) I’m going to make due with one of my old castoffs until the search is complete! I have my fingers crossed for the Josie Maron… A concealer pencil sounds like heaven to me too!

    • Alexandra Aimee

      August 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Oh!! One more to add to your possible list.

      My wedding makeup artist told me to use Dior Skin Nude. She said it had the highest pigment ratio of any of the concealers on the market. I got a tube and totally loved it. It covered AND blended. I didn’t re-buy it simply because I wanted to try Airbrush on Lisa’s rec. Now that I think about it… I may simply go back to that!

      • whoorl

        August 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm

        Oooh, added to the list!

  14. Pamela

    August 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    I love when you get obsessed like this. It’s like a second me has been dispatched, except that you seem to have more cash. ;) Keep us posted! By the way, I’m working my way through the reading list on the blog post you wrote about books (with suggestions from readers). Some great reads on there! I’ve read The Paris Wife, Night Circus, The Rules of Civility and The Forgotten Garden. I’d love to read a follow-up if you are reading in your sleepless nights.

    • Alexandra Aimee

      August 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      Me and one of my best girlfriends have to keep secret “hidden” pinboards that can’t be publicly searched on Pinterest because, honestly, the level of obsession we reach over things like this is publicly shameful :p

  15. gorillabuns

    August 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Lorac in a push pen. I love it!