Dark circles suck. Like, hey, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having some shadows under your eyes, and we think your little face is a beautiful, magical gem all on its own, but we’re also fully aware that looking perpetually tired, or exhausted, or “sick” can be hella frustrating, especially when that’s not the look you’re going for.
But here’s the bad news: There’s no tried-and-true, one-and-done method for treating dark circles, because unless yours are caused by a lack of sleep, you have only your DNA to blame. Or change. Which isn’t, you know, possible. Luckily, though, there are some legitimately effective products on the market that can both minimize and hide them, and they’re all pretty damn affordable and super-fast to use. And yes, we’ve rounded them all up for you right here, below.
Roc Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream, $14
Alright, so although this takes less than a minute to tap and dab beneath your eyes… the hardcore results won’t actually take effect for a few months. We’re sorry! We bamboozled you, but only a little. Because retinol is literally the best ingredient you could slather on your skin, since it stimulates your collagen production to thicken and firm your under eyes, which reduces the appearance of dark circles forever. Yes, forever.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Concealer, $24
Never underestimate the powers of a good, creamy concealer, with a bit of illuminating power, like this super-blendable formula that’s formulated with line-plumping hyaluronic acid, brightening antioxidants, and light-reflecting flecks, all working together to cancel out dark circles while making you look hella awake.
3. COLOR CORRECTOR
Sephora Collection Pantone Universe Correct + Conceal Palette in Light/Medium, $25
Don’t fear the color corrector…or this overwhelmingly large palette. Here’s all you need to know: Orange and red hues cancel out dark circles, thanks to the wonders of the color wheel. So for fair skin tones, blend a peach formula over your under-eye area, for medium skin, dab on an apricot-based corrector, for dark skin, use straight-up orange (which you’ll find not here, but in Sephora’s medium-to-dark palette, not pictured), and for deep skin, use red. Yup, fire-engine red. Start with light, sheer layers, and then blend on your usual concealer and foundation over it.
Ora Microneedler face Roller System 0.25mm, $20
This torture-device-looking thing is actually the very popular and very effective microneedler, which punctures itty bitty holes in your skin with a bunch of super-tiny needles to increase your collagen production, reduce puffy bags, and brighten skin. The discomfort and recovery time are minimal, though you may want to skip if your skin is especially sensitive (lookin’ at you, rosacea kids).