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How To Reduce the Look of Puffy Eye Bags With Makeup

No one will know you stayed up past your bedtime.
  • Rachel MacPherson
June 10, 2024

Under-eye bags are a common but pesky beauty concern that can show up even when you’ve prioritized your beauty sleep. When you spot that puffiness, your first instinct is probably to consult Google for advice on how to get rid of bags under the eyes. The problem: For many, bags are genetic—meaning there’s nothing you can do to eliminate them entirely. Targeted skincare and strategic use of under-eye makeup, however, can help. Ahead, we’ll review some of the common causes of under-eye bags and puffiness and offer advice on how to hide under-eye bags for a fresher, more youthful appearance. Find it all—plus tips on keeping puffiness at bay—below.

What Causes Under-Eye Bags?

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several things that can contribute to under-eye bags. Your genetics, as mentioned, are one of the biggest factors: if under-eye bags run in your family, chances are good you may develop them at some point, too. It’s also common to develop under-eye bags with age, as the muscles and tissues that support your eyelids can weaken, giving your under-eye area a saggy appearance.

Other possible factors include sleep deprivation, eating a lot of salt, and allergies. All of these stressors can lead to fluid retention, giving your face and eyes a puffy, tired appearance.

How To Conceal Under-Eye Bags With Makeup in 4 Steps

While the best way to get rid of under-eye bags is to stop them from appearing in the first place, that’s not always possible. Thankfully, you don’t have to start hitting the sheets at 8 p.m. or give up your favorite salty snacks in order to achieve a brighter, more alert appearance. If you’re wondering how to hide the bags under your eyes, keep reading: we’re sharing our best tips and techniques ahead.

Step 1: Smooth on a hydrating eye serum

De-puffing your eyes before applying makeup can help ensure your makeup goes on smoothly and temporarily reduces any puffiness for a brighter, more awake look. We recommend de-puffing with an eye serum designed specifically for that purpose, such as L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Derm Intensives 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid + 1% Caffeine Eye Serum. It’s formulated with caffeine and hyaluronic acid and helps de-puff, brighten, and hydrate the eye area. Plus, it features a unique roller applicator that massages the eye area, leaving the skin visibly less puffy.

Pro tip: The Mayo Clinic notes that applying a cool compress to the eye area can help minimize the appearance of puffiness. For similar de-puffing benefits, try popping your eye serum in the fridge for about 15 minutes before applying it to help refresh and “wake up” your eye area.

Inarticle How To Conceal Under Eye Bags CaffeineEyeSerum

Step 2. Color correct

Under-eye bags and dark circles often go hand-in-hand. If you have dark circles, consider using a color-corrector before applying concealer. These tinted products come in a range of shades and help neutralize the appearance of discoloration—which, in many cases, means you can use less concealer.

As for which shade to use, it depends on your skin tone. Those with fairer skin tend to have bluer-toned dark circles, which can be neutralized with a yellow or peach-toned color corrector. If you have deeper skin and more purple-tinted dark circles, consider reaching for a deeper orange or apricot color corrector. Keep in mind that with color-corrector, a little goes a long way: in many cases, one dot is more than enough to help cancel out visible discoloration.

Step 3: Apply a hydrating concealer

A guide on how to hide eye bags would not be complete without concealer. But when it comes to concealing puffiness or under-eye bags, less is often more. A heavy application can cause your concealer to settle into fine lines, accentuating the area you're trying to conceal. As such, we recommend using a lightweight, hydrating concealer, such as L’Oréal Paris True Match Radiant Serum Concealer. The caffeine and hyaluronic-infused formula helps minimize puffiness, smooths fine lines, and neutralizes dark circles, all with a radiant, crease-resistant finish. Dot the buildable formula onto your under-eye area and blend it with your fingers, a makeup sponge, or a brush for brighter-looking eyes.

If you prefer full-coverage concealer, try L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Up to 24H Full Coverage. The pigmented formula comes in 25 shades and provides up to 24 hours of waterproof, crease-free matte wear.

Pro tip: For a natural brightening effect, opt for a concealer one shade lighter than your natural skin tone.

Inarticle How To Conceal Under Eye Bags TrueMatchRadiantSerumConcealer

4 Set with powder for a smooth finish

Because under-eye bags are often textured (think dryness and fine lines), part of the goal in concealing them is to minimize texture to fake a smoother appearance. Texture can be enhanced by dryness, but it can also be enhanced by an overly dewy finish or creasing concealer. To prevent this without causing excess dryness, dust a bit of powder onto the area with a fluffy brush to set the concealer and slightly mattify the finish. We like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder, as it provides weightless, buildable coverage and helps blur imperfections. Be sure to choose a shade that closely matches your concealer and skin tone for the most natural-looking result.

How To Camouflage Under-Eye Bags: Do’s and Don'ts

When seeking to improve the appearance of puffy eyes, there are some things you should do—and some things you should avoid. We’re sharing our do’s and don’ts for hiding under-eye bags below.


  • Hydrate: Start with a hydrating eye serum or cream to ensure the under-eye area is well-moisturized. This can help the concealer apply smoothly and prevent it from settling into fine lines.
  • De-puff: Use caffeine-containing under-eye serums or a cold compress or face tool to help reduce puffiness before applying makeup. This helps create a smoother canvas for your concealer.
  • Use light layers: Apply concealer in thin, buildable layers. This can help prevent the makeup from looking cakey or settling into fine lines.
  • Blend well: Use a makeup sponge or ring finger to gently blend the concealer. Patting motions work best—you want to avoid tugging on the delicate skin under your eyes.
  • Set with powder: Lightly dust a translucent powder to set the concealer and help keep it from creasing.


  • Use heavy makeup: Steer clear of thick, heavy concealers, which can cake and highlight wrinkles and puffiness. Opt for lightweight, hydrating formulas instead.
  • Overuse products: Applying too much concealer or powder can draw more attention to the area. Use just enough to cover the discoloration and blend well.
  • Forget to remove makeup: Always remove makeup before bed to prevent irritating the sensitive skin around your eyes.
  • Neglect skincare: Maintaining a consistent skincare routine is among the most impactful things you can do to improve the look of your skin in the long run.

How To Reduce the Appearance of Under-Eye Bags

Knowing how to cover under-eye bags with makeup is no doubt useful—but ultimately, addressing puffiness before it develops is the best way to ensure a fresh, rested look. Ahead, we’re sharing some tips that may help keep puffiness at bay.

Wear sunscreen

Unprotected sun exposure can lead to premature skin aging and contribute to the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. To help shield your skin from the sun, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day and re-applying it every two hours or after sweating or swimming. Try L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Daily UV Lotion, which helps brighten the skin and preps it for makeup application.

For added protection, it’s also a good idea to avoid direct sun exposure at midday and wear protective clothing and accessories—like UV-filtering sunglasses—whenever possible.

Get plenty of rest

Research suggests that sleep deprivation may make under-eye bags appear more prominent (and a lack of sleep can lead to dark circles, too). Try to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night, and sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated to help keep fluid from accumulating under your eyes.

Try facial massage

If you’re prone to puffiness, try adding facial massage—like with a gua sha or facial roller—into your regular routine. Some evidence suggests that regular facial massage can help lift and firm the skin, potentially contributing to a more rested appearance.

Limit your salt intake

According to the Mayo Clinic, eating a high-sodium diet can lead to fluid retention, which may make your eye area—and the rest of your face—appear puffy. Try limiting how much salt you eat to discern whether or not it makes an impact on the appearance of your eye bags.

Visit a dermatologist

If concealing isn’t cutting it for you or you’d like a more permanent solution for your under-eye bags, consider consulting your dermatologist. They can help identify the underlying cause of your puffiness and may be able to prescribe a treatment to help minimize persistent bags.

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