Now that we’ve covered my top 5 foundations, it’s time to move onto the important topic of the best concealers! Our foundation can look as flawless and beautiful as possible but with dark circles or discoloration under our eyes, the entire look is ruined. Before I jump into my favorite concealers, I want to remind you that I discussed why concealer should be applied after foundation in this article. I also covered the secrets of color correction in this article which is something you need to read about and understand if concealers aren’t addressing your under eye issues. Before you move forward with my recommendations for the best concealers, consider whether you are applying yours properly and determine if you need to leverage color correction. If your concealers are always missing the mark, the problem might not be that your concealer is ineffective.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put on beautiful luxurious makeup and looked in the mirror only to realize I look like hell. Over the years, this led me to pour the dollars into different concealers – from drug store to the most expensive on the market. So, let me preface this by saying I have probably purchased at least 35 and tested more at makeup counters that I didn’t purchase. I finally realized that I needed to leverage color correction because I have some darkness in the corners of my eyes that is hereditary. If you have under eye circles or discoloration, there are a lot of reasons that can cause that. I’ll cover that in another article with some remedies but those circles can be due to shadows, lack of sleep, dehydration, capillary leakage (very common), or melasma and that’s just to name a few common causes. Some issues can be improved with lifestyle changes and skin lightening creams and some you have to learn to live with. I have to live with mine but I know the tricks to hiding them now and I believe I’ve discovered the best concealers to perfect my routine. So, let’s jump and chat about this popular topic.
What I look for in a concealer:
- Long wearing (minimum 8 hours)
- Full coverage
- No flaking, caking, or patchy appearance after hours of wear
- Yellow or peach undertones to brighten and hide bluish or gray tinged skin
- No settling into fine lines (this can also be affected by what you use to set the concealer and how you apply it)
- A good color match (I don’t believe concealer should be lighter than your skin and far too many women are running around looking like raccoons)
- No parabens, pabas, or fillers that can cause long term negative effects
(These are listed in no particular order)
#1 NARS Radiant Concealer (.22 oz, $29)
I lied. This one is in a particular order. It’s #1. I will stand behind NARS and this product and make a firm statement: Of all the concealers available in the US, this is by far the best formula with the most reasonable price that I’ve ever used. It’s available in 10 shades and some people do find combining two shades gives them the perfect tone. This concealer comes in a tube with a application sponge and the product must blended out using proper techniques. NARS Radiant Concealer offers buildable coverage. The formula is hydrating with light diffusing technology and the ability to blur fine lines. It also offers anti-oxidant protection and it’s beautiful with or without foundation.
NARS has published clinical trials with this product and 100% of women showed improvement in skin moisture level after 1 hour of wear. 98% of women showed improvement in skin moisture level after 12 hours. I will never be without this product, EVER.
#2 Bobbi Brown Corrector (.05 oz, $22)
When comparing this to NARS, you get more than double the product for less money. So, yes, NARS comes at a premium. However, the Bobbi Brown Corrector is also an excellent product. While it is marketed as a corrector (and this is how I usually wear it), it can be used alone as a concealer. There are 16 shades available and the color correction undertones are not profound enough to result in this product not matching most skin tones. You will probably find a match if your undertones are not yellow. Otherwise, you would need to apply a yellow toned concealer in conjunction with this product. I use 2 colors in this line. One is for correction and one is an exact match that I sometimes use for concealer alone. This is a thick and creamy product that comes in a small pod that can be applied with your finger. All the shades have pink and peach undertones which neutralize blue or gray under your eye area. The corrector formula is creamy but a good hydrator beforehand would be helpful when using it and provide best results.
#3 Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer (.27 oz, $29)
This concealer offers the highest coverage I’ve ever seen possible. It is a difficult product to master with regards to application because it requires perfected blending and the use of a very small amount of the product. Far less than you are likely accustomed to using. If not applied properly, you will be disappointed with the outcome and it will look unnatural. This concealer is formulated to de-puff, brighten, and hide dark under eye circles. Laura Mercier’s formula is highly pigmented and formulated with honey, vitamin E and fruit acid to nourish and smooth skin. It will last all day and can be used on the worst of days. I prefer the consistency of NARS and NARS is a better color match for my skin tone. However, if you find NARS isn’t matching your skin, this might be your next best bet as the undertones and shades are quite different in this product.
#4 MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (.3 oz, $20)
This concealer lasts up to 15 hours and is the best value. It is a light weight formula offering full coverage. However, the coverage is not as intense and won’t appear as natural as what you can achieve with the other products I’ve discussed. It simply doesn’t contain the same level of pigmentation you will find in those products. If you have moderate correction needed, this is an outstanding choice. It comes in a glass jar with a pump and one thing I dislike is the pump always dispenses too much product. That minor nuisance doesn’t keep me from repurchasing it. My NARS, ace in the hole, is reserved for the days I need something extra. On a good day, MAC’s product provides flawless matte coverage. Due to the value and performance, it’s a very popular product. The concealer also comes in 16 shades. You are likely to find a match and the shade will stay true all day.
#5 Cle De Peau Beaute (.17 oz, $70)
Hold on to your wallets ladies, this product comes at a premium. The price is what keeps it from being first on my list but I’m not going to deny this award winning formula isn’t a premier product. This comes in a stick similar to a lipstick. It is available in 6 shades. It is uniquely formulated to lock in moisture and smooth the under eye area. It will conceal just about any issue without the need for a color corrector and it will not crease even the slightest. This miracle in a tube looks extremely natural and radiant in all light. It’s a beautiful product and highly effective. If you can afford to splurge on concealer, this will surely blow your mind. I have this concealer and use it for special occasions only. If I was going to do bridal makeup for someone, I would reach for this product. It might be more than you want to invest for a daily look, but if you can, then it’s well worth it and your skin is guaranteed to look effortlessly flawless and be superbly moisturized.
I hope you found this helpful and if you have suggestions on things to try or have used any of these products, please share your experience! Tell me your best concealers! I’d love to know! Maybe there’s something out there I haven’t tried. MAYBE!