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Best Concealers

Updated December 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 19 Models Considered
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  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 184 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best concealers

    Last Updated December 2018

    Concealer is the miracle worker of makeup. The best concealers hide blemishes and discoloration and brighten dark under-eye circles. But concealer is more pigmented and thicker than foundation, and the wrong formula can look cakey and actually put a spotlight on imperfections you’d rather hide.

    With so many concealers available, finding the right formula for your skin type and concerns can be overwhelming. You have to decide between liquid, cream, and stick concealers and find the right shade for your skin tone.

    At BestReviews, we aim to make shopping easier with our recommendations and information-packed shopping guides. If you’re ready to purchase a concealer, check out our five favorites in the product list above. For everything you need to know before you buy one of these beauty lifesavers, just keep reading.

    Color-correcting concealers can target specific skin concerns. For example, green concealers diminish redness, and peach concealers diminish blueness under the eyes. Apply a color-correcting concealer first, and then apply a concealer that matches your skin tone over top.

    Concealer formulas

    Liquid

    Liquid concealers have a thin, liquid consistency and usually come in a tube with a doe-foot applicator or in a clickable pen. They are often the best choice for oily skin because they are lightweight and the least likely to clog pores. Liquid concealers are also best for those with mature skin because they settle less into fine lines.

    Cream

    Cream concealers, also called pot concealers, come in a small pot and can be applied with a sponge, brush, or fingers. They are richer and creamier than liquid concealers, which means they have better coverage and work well with dry skin. However, cream concealers tend to sit heavier on the skin than liquid concealers.

    Stick

    Stick concealers are cream concealers in stick form. Like cream concealers, they provide full coverage and tend to be more moisturizing, so they’re popular among those with dry skin. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, however, you’ll want to stay away because stick concealers can clog pores. The heavier consistency of stick concealers can also emphasize fine lines.

    Creamy coverage and long wear

    The Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer provides high coverage and a satin finish that gives your skin a soft, radiant glow. This beauty guru favorite lasts all day and is ideal for achieving a glam, flawless complexion.

    Concealer uses

    Some concealers work best under the eyes, while others are better for concealing blemishes. Many concealers can multitask, or you can buy two different concealers to target each area.

    Under-eye concealers

    The area beneath your eyes is delicate and prone to dryness, so if you’re trying to hide those dark circles, you’ll want to choose a lightweight concealer that will also hydrate and nourish your skin. Liquid concealers tend to work the best for concealing under the eyes. Cream and stick formulas are often too heavy. Illuminating pen concealers are ideal for those with mature under eyes.

    Spot concealers

    If you’re trying to cover up a pimple or redness, you’ll want a pigment-rich formula that will cover the spot. Heavier cream and stick concealers are the best for spot concealing, though many liquid concealers can do the job as well. Illuminating pen concealers are not pigmented enough to conceal blemishes.

    To highlight under your eyes, use concealer a shade or two lighter than your skin tone. Apply the concealer in an inverted triangle under your eye, hugging the side of your nose. Blend well and set with powder.

    Concealer features to consider

    Shade

    You might think that you need to purchase a concealer that matches your skin tone exactly, but it’s not quite that simple.

    If you’re using your concealer to cover up blemishes and discoloration, you do want a concealer that matches your skin tone as closely as possible so that it will look natural when blended. A concealer with yellow tones will help counteract redness.

    When searching for a concealer to cover under-eye circles, however, it’s better to go with a product that is a shade or two lighter than your natural skin tone. This will brighten up the area. Go with an under-eye concealer that has peach or pink tones as this will help counteract the bluish tones of dark circles.

    If you contour, you can also use a lighter concealer to highlight. Apply the lighter concealer to the center of your forehead, down the bridge of your nose, your cupid’s bow, and the center of your chin.

    Finish

    The right finish for a concealer depends on your skin type.

    • Oily: Those with oily skin should go with concealers with a matte finish so as not to add shine.

    • Dry or mature: If you have dry or mature skin, a radiant concealer is best. Matte products tend to be drying on the skin, and a bit of shine will give you a healthy glow.

    • Combination: Combination skin is trickier. You may need two concealers: a matte concealer for oily areas like your T-zone and a radiant concealer for drier areas like under the eyes.
       

    Wear

    You don’t want to have to reapply your concealer throughout the day. The best formulas will provide longwear coverage. To prevent fading or creasing, always set your concealer with powder. If you have dry skin, try only setting the areas where you concealed and leaving the rest of your face powder-free.

    Extras

    Waterproof concealers are a good option for hot weather or enjoying a day by the water. There are also concealers that contain a small amount of sunscreen, usually SPF 15 to 30. This is a good way to protect blemishes and hyperpigmentation from the damaging effects of the sun.

    EXPERT TIP

    For spot concealing, use a small, precise brush to dab concealer on the spot. Then use your finger to pat it in to your satisfaction.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Almost all concealers crease unless they are set with powder. If you have dry or mature skin, you can powder only where you concealed.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Concealer prices

    Concealers range in price from under $5 to over $50, depending on the quality of the ingredients and the brand.

    • Drugstore

    Drugstore concealers usually cost $15 or less, but with their lower-quality ingredients, they may be more prone to fading, creasing, and clogging pores.

    • Mid-range

    Mid-range concealers cost about $20 to $35. They have high-quality ingredients, wide shade ranges, and offer long wear.

    • Luxury

    Luxury concealers cost $35 or more. They have the same high-quality ingredients as mid-range concealers but come from designer brands.

    A pigment-rich, full-coverage concealer

    The Dermablend Quick-Fix Concealer with SPF 30 has a creamy consistency that makes it easy to blend and build up. This stick concealer offers total coverage for dark spots, blemishes, and scars.

    Tips

    • Moisturize before you apply concealer. That way the concealer won’t cling to any dry patches, especially under the eyes.

    • Apply concealer after foundation for the most natural finish. Foundation should be used to even out skin tone and concealer to spot conceal and correct discoloration under the eyes.

    • For the best coverage, pat on concealer with a brush, sponge, or fingers. Don’t swipe.

    • Always set concealer with powder to prevent creasing and fading. You can use loose powder, pressed powder, or under-eye brightening powder.

    • Use concealer to clean up makeup mistakes. Concealer is ideal for sharpening eyeliner and cleaning up the lip line after applying lipstick.
    You can use concealers to hide tattoos. These body concealers are highly pigmented and have a matte finish. They are usually too heavy for use on the face, however.

    FAQ

    Q. My skin tone changes throughout the year. How do I know which shade of concealer to buy?

    A. It’s not a bad idea to have two different shades: one for summer and one for winter. You can also blend them together to create a custom shade. But if you only want to purchase a single concealer, it’s always better to go lighter. Lighter concealer has a highlighting effect, and you can always add color back into your face with bronzer.

    Q. Should I blend concealer with a brush or my fingers?

    A. Either, though a brush usually provides a smoother, lighter finish. Whether using a brush or your fingers, use a patting motion when blending concealer so you don’t disturb the makeup underneath. Also, the delicate skin under your eyes should never be rubbed. You can use a damp makeup sponge to blend concealer as well. This is especially effective if you have dry skin or under eyes.

    Q. Can I use concealer on my eyelids?

    A. Yes. Many people use concealer as an eyeshadow primer. Just remember to set your eyelids with powder so they don’t crease. You can do this with setting powder or eyeshadow.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Kailey
      Kailey
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer

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