The definitive guide on how to get rid of dark circles for good

Including a genius concealer trick.

02 May 2019

From the late nights that turn into all-nighters to the 5am wake-up calls to kick off a hectic day, we can all attest that the sleep struggle is real.

When it comes to crows feet we know the best eye cream - including retinol eye creams - (or Botox) could be the answer, but tackling dark under eye circles presents a whole new (and more common) challenge.

Luckily, we enlisted blogger Katie Snooks to share her top tips on how to get rid of dark circles. Here, she shares her handy hacks for covering the tell-tale signs - from using a cold spoon, to the best concealer hacks she knows - in a simple video.

Now you've watched Katie's tutorial, here's our expert-approved guide to banishing the bags and cheating eight hours sleep.


The best way of overcoming something is to understand its causes. "Dark circles can be caused by multiple different factors," explains Dr Maryam Zamani, Oculoplastic Surgeon and Aesthetic Doctor and creator of . "When there is volume loss, it can be called tear troughs, which is inevitable as a part of the normal ageing process.  If it is caused by pigmentation, it is called hyperpigmentation."

“There is some genetic component to dark circles, too.  Some ethnicities, such as Asian and south east Asians, can have hereditary hyperpigmentation and some individuals have a family history of puffy lower eyelids from fat prolapse," she explains.


We all know retinol for its impressive anti-ageing abilities, but according to clinical facialist , the marvel ingredient can also be a godsend when it comes to treating dark circles.

“A retinol eye serum is necessary to help stabilise the melanocytes - the dark pigment-forming cells in the skin that contribute to dark circles - to prevent hyperpigmentation. It also thickens the dermis, improves texture, smooths lines and wrinkles and hides purple skin tone. I use .”


Caffeine doesn't just help us to feel more awake, it can help us to look more awake, too. "Caffeine or bark extract can help with pigmentation caused by vasculature and that is why they work.  Hydration can also impact the skin, hydrated skin is plump and therefore creates more volume, making dark circles less noticeable," says Dr Zamani.


A vitamin-rich skincare regime is always a good idea, but there are certain vitamins that can be beneficial to the skin around your eyes.

"I always recommend a serum that is rich in Vitamin C for clients with dark circles. It offers powerful antioxidant protection that fights free-radical damage caused by stress and can result in hyper-pigmentation," says Kerr.

She also recommends a daily dose of Vitamin K-infused skincare like Cernor XO Cream to help reduce the appearance of dark circles caused by leaky and collapsed blood vessels.


Filler isn't just good for the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge. In fact, it can be a safe and effective treatment when in the hands of a qualified and knowledgable professional.

“The fat pads under our eyes shrink over time leading to a loss of volume, which creates a hollow and a shadow under the eye," explains Kerr. "If this is the cause of your dark circles, the only way to treat this is by a little bit of filler injected under the eye."

According to Kerr, the filler lifts the skin and slightly diminishes the shadow-causing hollow. "Plus, filler will help to hide any purple skin tone due to leaky blood vessels. Dark under-eye circles can be caused by factors including hyper-pigmentation, leaky blood vessels or loss of volume,” adds Kerr.


According to MAC Senior Artist, Debbie Finnegan, a bit of brightening goes a long way when it comes to covering dark circles. "If you have subtle under eye discolouration and need just a touch of brightening, try adding a highlighter like to your normal skin routine. Apply a few dots starting from the inner corner of the eye right next to the tear duct; this is usually the deepest area and needs the most brightening. Pat the product in lightly using a ring finger or a flat brush, letting the product disappear approximately half way out from the lower eye."


Yellow tones will counterbalance the blue-hue of under eye bags so opt for a designanted colour correcting product like , or Finnegan suggests a makeup palette that contains a range of shades. "Choose a palette with cool and warm shades of concealer so you can address all skin concerns easily and effectively," she says. "Apply the colour correcting shades first, and add a touch of concealer to mask it."


While a makeup brush can provide precision, it's a good idea to ditch the bristles when it comes to concealing dark circles. "The warmth of fingertips helps to heat and melt the concealing product, helping it to blend seamlessly into the skin," says Finnegan.


A setting powder helps to keep your bags concealed all day long without the need for touch-ups. We recommend using a for ease, as it fits the contours of the eyes so perfectly, and a loose, transparent powder like .

Feeling awake yet?