Base is my favorite part of doing makeup and I love shopping for foundations and concealers. I find that if your complexion looks good, you look good and you can then play with the color and graphic side of makeup.
If I had to chose, concealer would be my number one desert island makeup product (not that you’d worry much about cosmetics in this kind of situation…). It erases signs of fatigue, evens out the skin tone and conceals blemishes/marks so that your face looks fresher.
I don’t use much liquid foundations nowadays. So I want my concealers to offer good coverage and blend well into the skin. The texture is really important because I want it to look as imperceptible as possible. I also look at how the product wears out during the day. I hate when it leaves patches on your skin.
As for application methods, I like using brushes for precision concealing but I sometimes use my fingers depending on the finish I want. I like to pinpoint conceal. It means that you don’t use a heavy foundation all over your face but instead use a lighter base and only conceal the areas that need to. This way, you achieve an overall fresh look. It can be time-consuming when you have a lot to cover but I still prefer the results you get with it. Lisa Eldridge has made excellent tutorials on this makeup technique (here’s the main one and there’s also one dedicated to covering acne/blemishes).
Here are my current favorite concealers (they are swatched at the end of this post).
Bareminerals Bareskin complete coverage serum concealer (here)
- Texture: Liquid
- Composition: I particularly regret the presence of phenoxyethanol
- Best suited for: All-rounder (dark circles and blemishes/marks)
- Coverage: Medium to full, buildable
- Color selection: 6 shades (Fair, light, medium, medium golden, tan, dark to deep)
- Price/Size: 21$/0.20 fl. oz.
- Opinion: This is the concealer I’m using almost every day at the moment. I like its versatility. It’s very pigmented meaning that you can cover dark circles, redness and blemishes (it doesn’t have quite enough coverage for deep red spots though). Plus, its liquid texture blends quickly and flawlessly into the skin.
Hynt Beauty Duet perfecting concealer (here)
- Texture: Cream
- Composition: Natural (with a mix of aloe vera and vegetable oils)
- Best suited for: All-rounder but particularly good for spots/discolorations
- Coverage: Full
- Color selection: 7 shades (fair, light, medium, medium tan, tan, dark, deep)
- Price/Size: 24 $/6 grams
- Opinion: This is extremely pigmented but because of its creamy texture, it blends well into the skin and lasts well throughout the day. I think this concealer is a feat in the green beauty world and might be the natural dupe to Kevyn aucoin’s Sensual skin enhancer in terms of texture and coverage. Hynt beauty offers a good shade selection but since this is a high coverage concealer, you need to find your exact match (I have to mix the shades light and medium). Also, being so pigmented, you only need to use a small amount each time. For that reason, I would prefer a smaller container (although it’s a fine size for people who use it as a foundation).
Jane Iredale Circle\Delete concealer (here)
- Texture: Dense cream
- Composition: Natural (with a blend of vegetable oils, beeswax and plant extracts)
- Best suited for: Dark circles
- Coverage: Medium
- Color selection: 2 shades (1 Yellow, 2 Peach)
- Price/Size: 32$/.1 oz
- Opinion: This is more of a color correcting concealer. I like that a natural option exists for such a product. I use the peachy side to neutralize the blue/browny undertones under my eyes. I have no use for the lighter shade though (I suppose it could be used as an highlighter). I think the color selection is poor even when you account for the fact that it’s supposed to be a color correcting concealer.
Studio 78 Paris Off we go concealer (here)
- Texture: Dry waxy balm
- Composition: Certified organic (with a blend of squalane, carnauba wax, wheat germ oil and shea butter)
- Best suited for: All rounder but particularly good for spots/discolorations
- Coverage: Medium to full, buildable
- Color selection: 2 shades (at dawn 01, in the moonlight 02)
- Price/Size: 20€/2.5 g
- Opinion: It has a similar texture to my beloved Laura Mercier Secret camouflage concealer and works in a similar way. Thanks to its original dry waxy balm texture, it sticks to the skin and lasts well throughout the day. However, I regret the poor shade selection that only caters for light to medium skin tones.
Laura Mercier Secret camouflage concealer (here)
- Texture: Dense dry waxy balm
- Composition: Man-made
- Best suited for: Spots/Discolorations
- Coverage: Full
- Color selection: 8 shades (SC-1 to SC-8)
- Price/Size: 35$/0.207 oz
- Opinion: I think the only cons here are the ingredients that are far from natural (I don’t even want to look at them too closely…). However, my skin doesn’t react to them and this concealer remains unmatched in my collection. If I have a hard-to-conceal spot or discoloration, this is the concealer I reach out for. It’s extremely pigmented and its drier texture means that it’s really long-wearing. The same texture explains why some might say that it looks cakey and heavy on the face. However, I think it’s rather a question of application. You need to know how to use it to appreciate it. I either take a small amount of product with an eyeliner brush and pat it on the imperfection or, for larger areas, I like to warm the product with my fingers before blending it in. If you want to use it on your dark circles (which I do with the peachier shade of the compact), you can mix it with an eye cream to create a creamier consistency.