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Tried & Tested: Concealers

Even if you don't have dark circles under your eyes -- and aren't you lucky! -- a good concealer under the lower lids doesn't do any harm. It helps to make your peepers peep even more, by evening out the skin tone beneath, and letting light reflect up into the eyes (but not so much that you are blinded.) How did the following offerings do in the brightening and concealing departments? It's an eye-opener ...

LACURA Concealer Pen, €2.99, We'll wait on the star rating because I can't actually get this tube to dispense its product. It's got a button on the bottom, see, and a brush at the other end, and I'm pushing and pushing the button, to no avail ...

PHYT'S Anti-dark Circles Concealer, €16, * * * * * This teeny tiny tube doesn't look very cost effective, but don't be fooled: size doesn't matter in this case. Use the slightest amount and be very, very satisfied with the coverage. Also, it smells really pretty, for what that's worth. Actually, it's worth a lot because the eyes are, of course, rather close to the nose.

MAYBELLINE Cover Stick, €6, * * * * * Maybelline's classic cover stick has been updated and improved, and is perfectly brilliant: it conceals quickly, opens up those eyes, and lasts a long time. Definitely apply beneath the foundation as this comes across that bit opaque.

... Still trying to get that LACURA stuff to come out ...

OLAY Total Effects Touch of Concealer, €22, * * Olay are doing their best to give you twice as much bang for the buck: this concealer is actually more like an eye cream, with a little bit of colour. It's fine as a cream, not so fine as a concealer, as its texture is neither here nor there: maybe too thick for an eye cream, and not thick enough for a concealer? Those who like to double-job will like this.

PAUL & JOE Under Eye Concealer, Cream and Stick €16/18, * * * / * * * * Two versions of one concept, and the stick wins as far as I'm concerned. The cream was nicely reflective, and really lights up the eyes, but the tone, heavy on the warm red, doesn't suit every compexion. The stick is lighter in colour, goes on like magic, and stays on like magic.

Finally got the LACURA tube working, after bashing it on my desk. The tone is light, but the brush doesn't apply the make-up well, and you'll just end up using your fingers. Only * * for this, as it was way too difficult to get it to work.

All products are tested over the course of four weeks