Banish Tired-Looking Eyes

Our experts weigh in on eliminating bags, dark circles, and more

how to get rid of bags and dark circles under eyes

Photo by: Stuart Tyson/Studio D

Here’s what the pros said in response to your questions on the best turn-back-the-undereye-clock strategies:

Q: Help! No matter what concealer I use on my under-eye circles, I always wind up with mascara and liner smudges, which make me look tired.
First, don’t apply eye cream in the morning—doing so can contribute to smudging. Second, try using waterproof mascara and liner on your upper lashes only, skipping your lower lashes and lashline. These precautions should prevent smudging for the most part, but if you’re ever in a pinch, keep a supply of Almay Oil-Free Makeup Eraser Sticks in your purse. One end of each swab houses eye makeup remover, so with a quick, gentle swipe, you’re smudge-free.

Q: I have really dark circles under my eyes, and concealer doesn’t seem to cover them. Is there anything else I can try?
It’s frustrating, but stubborn “raccoon eyes” often show through even the best of concealers, which is usually because its pigments simply aren’t the right tone to cancel out dark circles. To remedy this, you need to use a yellow- or orange-based corrector; Bobbi Brown makes a wide range of them. Yellow cancels purple tones and orange minimizes blue.

Apply one with a brush—it’s easy to layer on too much if you use your fingers. Next, apply a thin layer of your usual concealer on top. Not sure how to do it? It’s worth a trip to the makeup counter for a demonstration. It can take some time to get the hang of it, but the results are so good, it’s worth skimping on the rest of your routine (just curling your lashes and brushing on some blush) until you do.

Q: This is really basic, but what’s the best way to use and apply concealer?
Instead of saving it to disguise the occasional blemish or splotch, use concealer daily to smooth the look of your skin and add polish to your complexion. Look for a water-based concealer formula that dries to a sheer finish. Creams have a stronger hold than liquids and won’t settle into fine lines or be detectable at the thin-skinned inner eye, where most of us have shadows.

Match the shade to your skin tone, and apply with a light hand. You can use your finger—tapping gently until the makeup blends into your skin—but a small angled brush will give you the most precise coverage. Stroke concealer from the inner corner of the eye to the midpoint beneath the pupil then feather it out, blending away demarcation lines.

Try these recommended products:

Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser

Laura Mercier Eye Basics

Rodan+Fields Anti-Age Eye Cloths

Biopelle Auri-derm Illume Eye Crème

MAC False Lashes

Olay Professional Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex