"One more?" might just be the most-asked question in my household. In my early 20s, that same query might have related to the possibility of another vodka tonic before calling it a night, but as a pregnant 30-year-old, it now relates to one thing: whether I can justify watching another episode of my latest boxset binge despite having sat sedentary on the sofa for the entire night already. Spoiler: The answer is always yes.
Of course, the downside of binge-watching shows is that it's 1 a.m. before you know it and you're frantically calculating how many hours sleep you can squeeze in before your alarm is set to go off for work. Then, if you're anything like me, you'll wake later that morning, look in the mirror and be faced with an immediate sign that you definitely stayed up way too late again—aka very dark under-eye circles.
For me, there's no greater giveaway that I'm feeling totally shattered than the grey shadow that settles under my eyes when I'm feeling tired. Add in a little unwanted puffiness and I've lost count of the number of times that I've headed to work bare-faced only to be asked whether I'm feeling okay by colleagues concerned that I've come down with the lurgy.
With a baby on the way at the end of the year, the days of my boxset binges might soon be behind me, but I've cranked up the search to combat dark circles in anticipation at the many sleepless nights to come. In fact, a skin expert recently told me that there actually are proven ways to get rid of dark circles under your eyes. (Hallelujah.)
But you can't always predict when you're going to stay up late. On mornings when even the best eye cream just isn't going to cut it, there's one product I always rely on to disguise dark circles: concealer. And there's one in particular that's the best under-eye concealer for very dark circles…
Drumroll, please: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Concealer (£24) is my weapon of choice when dealing with major darkness under my eyes in the morning. More pigmented and with a much thicker texture than my usual concealers, it manages to completely cover any greyish-purple shadow beneath my eyes while brightening up my entire eye area. Plus it contains plumping collagen and protective antioxidants to diffuse lines and nourish dryness—another giveaway of tiredness.
Trust me when I say that a little of this goes a long way too. I find that it's best applied with fingertips. The texture of this under-eye concealer is quite thick, so I find that the warmth of my hands really helps to melt it into my skin for a natural, radiant finish. I use a drop about half the size of a pea to completely conceal dark circles under my eyes and often have enough left to camouflage any redness on the rest of my face.
For me, the only downside about this product is the shade range. Currently, there are only six shades available in this concealer (I'm in the shade Light—the palest option), and although it is really blendable, you might struggle to find your perfect shade match. Worry not, though—I've found some other contenders for the best under-eye concealer for very dark circles and there are plenty of others that do an amazing job too. Keep scrolling to shop my picks, and then go ahead and enjoy that extra episode on Netflix tonight.
This product a bit of a makeup-artist favourite thanks to its versatility. You can use it as a foundation, a highlighter (if you choose a shade lighter than your skin tone) and, of course, a concealer. Much like the It Cosmetics formula, it's insanely pigmented so you only need a touch to cover even the darkest of under-eye circles. However, it always looks so lightweight and dewy on the skin that nobody will even know you're wearing concealer.
As the name would suggest, coverage is the name of the game when it comes to this concealer from Becca, and it really does cover. Whether it's dark under-eye circles, breakouts or pigmentation, a few finger taps is really all you need to even out skin tone for an almost airbrushed finish.
This concealer was created with on-the-go application in mind, hence its swipe-and-go approach and formula that manages to be both creamy and full coverage. Yes, it will definitely disguise any signs of tiredness, but the thing I love most is that it contains snow mushroom, so it actually moisturises your skin at the same time.
For shade range, you really can't rival the 50 shades offered up by Fenty Beauty. Luckily, though, it's not just the skin tones that they've got right with this concealer—it's the formula too. It's lightweight with a soft matte finish that you can build up from medium to full coverage, depending on how much of a helping hand those under-eye bags need.
Both beauty editors and makeup artists swear by this concealer for its heavy-duty, industrial-level formula. Essentially, this concealer is good enough for TV presenters and red carpet events, so you can bet that it will cover up dark circles with ease. In fact, I love this for its ability to cover up blemishes in a flash too. It comes with two shades so you can create a perfect custom colour.
At first glance, the shade range of this 99% natural concealer might look a little off, but it's actually a really intelligent formula that adapts to your skin's unique undertones for an undetectable finish. A great option for dry under-eyes, it's enriched with jojoba oil to moisturise throughout the day as well as doing away with dark under-eye circles.
If you hate the feeling of wearing makeup on your skin, I can't recommend this concealer more highly. Despite the full-coverage finish, it's incredibly lightweight thanks to its water-based formula. Plus, if you're concerned about dry skin or fine lines, know that it's also infused with hydrating hyaluronic acid and skin-smoothing resveratrol.
This high-coverage concealer is an affordable dupe for makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes's favourite Make Up For Ever concealer, which can be tricky to get hold of in the UK. As well as flesh-toned shades, it also comes in colour correcting shades like yellow to neutralise the purple tones that come with dark under-eye circles.
If I'm not wearing my favourite It Cosmetics concealer, chances are I'll be wearing this one from Nars on tired days. It has a much more luminous finish and really does an amazing job at reflecting light away from the eyes to brighten up darkness and create the appearance of big, wide-awake eyes.
I think of this little pot of concealer as the experienced older sister of my illuminating favourite from the same brand. Much like my go-to, you only need the smallest dot of product to completely make dark circles disappear. It's less glowy than the other version, but it contains caffeine and green-coffee extract to really invigorate tired eyes. Plus, I've found that mixing a little with your moisturiser works as a great makeshift base to rejuvenate your entire complexion.