Live long enough, and you’ll see something that you’ve disliked about yourself for years become a beauty trend.
In my 24 years on this earth, it’s already happened a few times. Firstly, in my teenage years when my bushy brows became ‘fashionable’ (which at the time I’d plucked into oblivion), and more recently when TikTok users started faking the same under eye bags I’d been trying to disguise for years.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my dark circles. I’ve come to make peace with the fact that they’re a part of how I look, and they even have their benefits come Halloween.
There are times, however, when a messy sleep schedule and too many heavy nights start to take their toll and I bear a more than passing resemblance to a Tim Burton character.
What are genetic dark circles?
Dark circles stem from a plethora of different causes, from tiredness to diet and simple genetics. While the first two can generally be reversed with a change in lifestyle, the latter means dark circles are part of your genetic make up and can’t be gotten rid of so easily.
If you find your dark circles come and go, it’s likely these are due to environmental factors (cough cough, late nights, I’m looking at you).
Genetic dark circles are inherited and can be related to physical traits such as darker pigmentation, thin skin under the eyes or poor circulation. If, like me, you’ve always had them, but find they get more obvious at certain times, you’ve likely got genetic dark circles.
While there are certain invasive procedures you can get done to semi-permanently or permanently remove dark circles, such as tear trough filler, this isn’t always practical or necessary.
So, for the days where my under eyes are looking very Addams-family-esque, I’ve found myself a handful of reliable products that act like a cup of coffee for my under eyes and make people less likely to wonder if I just broke out of my crypt.
6 of the best products for covering dark circles
Below, find my holy grail skincare and makeup products for battling my dark circles.
Patchology FlashPatch Illuminating Eye Gels, £14
I always make sure I’ve got these hydrating patches to hand before a night out or when my under eyes are in need of a jump-start; not only do they plump up my skin (which tends to get thin and dehydrated when I’m tired) but the slightly pearlescent serum leaves my dark circles brighter too.
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright™ + Eye Crème, £35
This eye cream’s reputation precedes it, but I was always wary of it being able to live up to its claims after being disappointed by ‘brightening’ eye creams in the past. It turns out, my pessimism isn’t always founded; this eye cream works beauty miracles.
It’s got a thicker consistency than other eye creams (a bonus IMO), and one swipe of it immediately helps to counteract dark circles. It also contains collagen and vitamin C, so over time that area of skin appears brighter and more plumped.
You also only need a tiny amount so for me, the price is justifiable for how much I get out of it.
Fenty Beauty Bright Fix Eye Brightener, £19
As simple as putting a colour corrector under my eyes sounds, I’ve always struggled to find one that worked for me. Too thin and they made no difference, too thick and they settled into my fine lines.
This product from Fenty actually shook me to my core; it’s super lightweight (it has a fluid texture similar to a foundation) and disappears into the skin without a trace, but not before creating a super smooth, brightened canvas under the eyes.
ByTerry Hyaluronic Setting Powder, £42
One makeup product I will always regret not embracing sooner is a setting powder. This one from ByTerry is expensive, yes, but I’m extremely picky when it comes to setting powders and it’s the one that’s 100% worth the investment in my opinion.
It’s untraceable, doesn’t cling to my dry patches and acts like an airbrush filter for my skin. I can’t remember how long I’ve had this (we’re talking a few years at least…) and there’s still easily 95% of the product still left to go.
When used under my eyes, not only does it prevent creasing throughout the day, it brightens and sets too, meaning my dark circles won’t come peeping through again after a few hours.
Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream, £9.99
This eye cream is an everyday affordable answer to dark circles that delivers on results; the formula contains caffeine, which helps to boost circulation and constrict blood vessels, and I find it really helps to plump and hydrate the thin skin under my eyes, making my dark circles less pronounced with daily use.
Maybelline Eraser Eye Corrector, £8.99
This concealer has remained one of the reigning high street concealers for as long as I can remember, so if you’ve not tried it, get down to your local Boots now.
It features a nifty built in sponge, perfect for blending into the small under eye space, and has buildable coverage, which sits nicely without settling into fine lines.