'The $11 zinc hack that gives me brighter under eyes than my $60 concealer.'

Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series is your review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellbeing. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice. This week, Mamamia's Senior Health and Beauty Writer trials the zinc concealer hack.

In case you're new here, hello! Love the hair. As Mamamia's beauty editor and co-host of the sparkly You Beauty podcast (you can listen here), part of my job involves trying hacks. Lots and lots of beauty hacks. Some good ones, but a lot of... not good ones.

Like, I've slathered on 10 layers of foundation on my face, used lube as makeup primer, covered my face in nappy rash cream — the list goes on.

It's fun! Exciting! Makes my parents super proud!

Watch: Speaking of trying questionable hacks — let's go back to that time I tried lube on my face as primer. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

And as I was doomscrolling — nay, researching — the other night I came across a makeup hack that both myself and my under eyes just had to try because it looks insanely good for the face and the wallet.

It's a hack that's recently been doing the rounds on TikTok but I came across it after seeing it posted on @twobrokechicks (if you don't already follow, you immediately should).


Watch below:

What a time. Five stars. 

Honestly, the results look impressive, and as someone who spends $60 a pop on her favourite concealer (Bobbi Brown Concealer Stick, in case you were curious), I urgently needed to know if it actually works. 

The zinc stick is called Sun Zapper Skin Tone Zinc SPF 50+ and it looks like you can grab it from grocery stores like Woolies or chemists for $11. I scored a win and found it on sale at Coles for $5.50 — so put it to the test before a day of meetings, podcasting and writing to see how it held up.


Could a $5 zinc stick rival my $60 Bobbi Crown concealer?

Curious to see how it went? Here's my verdict.

What is the zinc concealer hack?

Okay, as I mentioned up there (hey, hey, hey! Are you skimming?) the zinc concealer hack involves using Sun Zapper Skin Tone Zinc SPF 50+ in place of your usual concealer and applying it under your eyes. 


You could obviously try the hack using other different brands of zinc sticks, too - there are a couple of others going viral too.

@geniebobeanie they need to make more shades #fyp #foryou #fypシ #sunscreen #skincare #zinc #skin #makeup ♬ Red Crystal Castles - Perfect version - centipede

Now, not only is this zinc stick way more affordable than a lot of concealers on the market, but it's also supposed to work wonders when it comes to brightening your under eyes and making them appear bigger and more awake.


So does it actually work?

How did you go with it?

Look, I'm going to be honest — I was pretty surprised.

I was 100 per cent certain this formula would feel really gross and heavy on my skin, and that I'd immediately regret trying it but I was... wrong.

Me thinking I would hate it x


I can honestly say I found it surprisingly lightweight and ridiculously easy to blend. While it's pretty thick and full-coverage, it instantly camouflaged my dark circles and discolouration with ease. 

I originally had hesitations about the shade, too — on the box it said it was 'light' but looked like it would be a little too dark for my skin. However, upon applying it to my under eyes I found that it blended seamlessly into my skin (it's kinda grippy but easily malleable) and melted into the rest of my makeup without looking super cakey and gross.

Here's what it looked like on one eye (the left eye) and nothing on the other eye (the right eye)

Both pictures: Wearing zinc on the left eye and nothing on the right eye.


See?! The left eye looks brighter? Better? More awake??

As someone with dry skin, I expected my face would be like NO THANK YOU — but I was genuinely shocked to find how well it wore throughout the day in that it didn't go the slightest bit patchy or weird (no clinging to dry patches, flaking or any of that BS). It also didn't crease! Like, at all??

I... I just.

To make things more confusing (help) it's also water-resistant and doesn't slip off when you're wearing glasses/crying in the bathroom. In fact, it genuinely held up better than many other concealers I've tried in the past (and I've tried A LOT). 

The verdict.

Did I buy this as a joke and think it wouldn't work? Yes. Is it now my favourite full-coverage concealer? Also, yes.

Look, while the brightening effect was pretty impressive, you can obviously get the same kind of eye-opening effect with a good concealer — and with so many stellar options on the market, we're kinda spoilt for choice. 


However, the main thing for me was just how good the coverage was and how well the product lasted throughout the day. Like, it was genuinely impressive.

I loved how it covered my dark circles without looking ashy or feeling heavy and overly thick. For example, I've always wanted to like Tarte Cosmetics cult Shape Tape Concealer but never got along with it for this very reason. 

I also really liked how the formula just didn't budge or crease, even with me rubbing my eyes and throwing my glasses on and off. And then there's the price. At $11 (or $5 on sale!), it's SO much more affordable than a lot of other options on the market. Which in this economy, is really quite tempting.

Would I try it again? Yeah. Definitely. 

And hey — if you're not keen on letting go of your favourite spendy concealer anytime soon, I reckon it would just be a goodie if you're in a pinch.

Just on that, if you're jumping on board the trend just keep in mind that when it comes to adequate sun protection, you'll obviously need more than a couple of small dots of zinc under your eyes. So, just make sure to still do a normal face of SPF50+ to ensure your skin is protected from the sun.

Want to hear more from Erin Docherty? Follow her on Instagram.

Would you try the zinc concealer hack? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Supplied/Erin Docherty.

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