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Ask Belle: Dark Circles

Hi Belle,

Perhaps you’ve covered this before, but I wanted to see if you have any suggestions for a really good concealer for those pesky undereye circles. As I take on more responsibilities at work my eye circles get darker and darker. I’d love a product that is easy (to apply and afford) and accessible. Any suggestions?

Thanks, Molly

As I’ve aged, my under-eye circles have also darkened.  Some say it’s from dehydration or lack of sleep, but I think that, in my case at least, it’s genetics.  What’s a girl to do?

First, I treat my eyes with Kate Sommerville Cytocell Dark Circle Corrector ($75).  Does it work?  I think so, but I have no scientific proof to back that up.

Secondly, I cover my circles with a concealer cocktail.  I first apply Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage ($28) and then, a setting powder to stabilize the first layer.  Then, I apply Benefit Erase Paste ($10) and another layer of powder and blend until I can’t blend anymore.

But we’re still not done!

Lastly, I think that the secret (if there is one) to hiding dark circles is to distract from them.  I apply a little bit of highlighter (Anastasia Brow Duality $23) to the hollow near the tear duct.  This lightens and brightens a bit.  And to aid the distraction, I only apply eyeliner and mascara to my top lashes and lid.  

You said you were looking for a less expensive concealer, and I’ve heard great things about Age Rewind treatment and concealer from Maybelline.  This product is only $8, and several beauty bloggers are devotees, so it might be the product for you.

Any tips that you would like to share?



  1. Anon says:

    My dark circles are hereditary and I was born with them. They're so noticeable I wore tattoo concealer for years to cover them. When they stopped making the product I used, I was adrift for about 3 years, bouncing from product to product trying to find something to cover them. I used many of the products in this thread in an attempt to find something and was never satisfied. I now use the Maybelline Age Rewind linked above and like it a great deal. The click-sponge makes it super quick and easy to apply and it's super friendly on the wallet. My MIL, with just your average undereye circles, also likes it.

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. JB says:

    I second the Maybelline Age Rewind Under Eye Concealer. Its like magic, and great for a girl on a budget.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  3. B says:

    Benefit Lemon-Aid is the BEST, especially if you are fair-skinned. It's yellow-toned to block out the red tint in your dark circles. I usually cover it with a Tarte or Almay concealer.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  4. r says:

    I can't recommend Benefit Booing enough. I am extremely fair and have had dark circles as long as I can remember, and this is the only thing that hides them. It's really easy to apply with your fingers, then set with a little powder – stays on all day.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  5. MNE says:

    While this isn't solely for dark circles, it helps considerably with the issues that typically go along with them for me, including puffy eyes, which just enhance the circles. I love love love Clinique's All About Eyes Serum Depuffing Eye Massage (https://www.clinique.com/product/3799/9423/Splash-Pages/free48delivery/All-About-Eyes-Serum-De-Puffing-Eye-Massage/index.tmpl). Put it on after you wash your face in the morning and give it a few minutes to work its magic. It's a lifesaver during peak allergy season.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  6. E says:

    I am obsessed with MAC's Select Cover up: https://www.maccosmetics.com/product/shaded/157/278/Products/Face/Concealer/Select-Cover-Up/index.tmpl

    It works like a dream! Put some Clinique All About Eyes on first, use a brush to apply the MAC concealer and presto! You're done ­čÖé

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  7. Tiffany says:

    Belle, I thought you also used Kiehl's Eye Alert? Would you still recommend it?

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  8. DCM says:

    Where can you fine Benefit Erase Paste for ten bucks?!?!?!?!?

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  9. L says:

    I use Kiehl's eye alert to treat my dark circles in the morning, and use Benefit booing to cover them. It is seriously amazing. If I need a little extra (depends how tired I'm looking), I use Make Up Forever Full Cover concealer.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  10. Belle says:

    I was using Eye Alert. I loved it, but I develop a sensitivity to one of the ingredients. So my derm suggested the Sommerville.

    DCM: Ulta has a smaller size. The full size is $26.

    I also used to use Boing concealer from Benefit. It's pretty good too.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  11. AB says:

    I noticed that my dark circles are more intense if I do not take an anti-histimine regularly during allergy season. If you are allergy prone, make sure you are popping a claritin or allegra and your dark circles wont be so…well dark!

    Benefit Erase Paste is the best I have found also.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  12. EK says:

    Benefit Erase Paste is the best I've found, and you need so little that a jar lasts forever. I bought mine in October, use it liberally every day, and still have plenty left. I have fair skin and chronic, genetically inherited dark circles, and this not only hides them but also brightens up my face.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  13. KRF says:

    I am prone to dark circles and there are two products I have used for 10 years. The first one I apply is Dermologica Total Eye Care with SPF 15. It creates a highlighting effect under the eye and also addresses under eye wrinkles. While it is around $40 or so it lasts me for at least 3 months despite the small packaging. Second, I apply Clinque's All About Eyes concealor, which I found to be compatible with using the Dermologica product because it did not cause caking.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  14. LR says:

    Belle, I thought you used Bobbi Brown? I'd still suggest Bobbi's corrector, concealer and yellow powder. Can't beat it. Benefit's Boing is a good slightly cheaper alternative.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  15. Belle says:

    LR: I still like Bobbi, but I switched to Laura Mercier because it suited my skin tone a little better.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  16. M says:

    I've had dark circles since I was ten. Years of failed experiments proved that the only way to go is Mac Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer https://www.maccosmetics.com/product/shaded/157/314/Products/Face/Concealer/Studio-Finish-SPF-35-Concealer/index.tmpl

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  17. Diana says:

    I currently use Make Up For Ever's Lift Concealer, and I don't think I'm ready to switch just yet, but I'm definitely going to look into a dark circle correcting cream to supplement. Thanks for the tip on Kate Somerville, Belle!

    June 11, 2012/Reply