A lightweight, vegan formula that doesn't tend to crease. Provides long-lasting, full coverage. Produces a radiant finish that highlights and defines. Has a creamy consistency that moisturizes the skin.
Sets somewhat quickly, so you must blend it promptly for the best results.
Blendable, buildable coverage that can range from medium to full, depending on users' needs. All-day coverage. Works well for sensitive skin. A little goes a long way for most, and a tube lasts a fairly long time for typical applications. SPF 30.
Has been known to settle in creases, especially if not blended completely.
Smooth, creamy, oil-free formula. Blends quickly into the skin and provides coverage for up to 24 hours. Doesn't tend to cake or settle into creases. Feels lightweight on the skin.
Has the tendency to be somewhat drying to the skin. Coverage may be too sheer to cover dark circles, blemishes, and other imperfections.
Formulated to moisturize and smooth lines and wrinkles. Silky formula is lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to wear. Pigments blur to mask skin imperfections. Great for a variety of skin types.
Can be drying under the eyes for some skin types if area is not prepped by moisturizing first.
Nutrient-rich formula that produces full coverage and skin enhancing benefits to the delicate area under the eyes. Infused with skin-nourishing ingredients. Waterproof, and wears all day for most customers. Highly pigmented. Designed not to crease.
Some users found the consistency to be heavy and pasty, and slightly difficult to blend. Some shades are lighter than expected.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Concealers range in price from under $5 to over $50, depending on the quality of the ingredients and the brand.
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 concealers cost about $20 to $35. They have high-quality ingredients, wide shade ranges, and offer long wear.
Luxury concealers cost $35 or more. They have the same high-quality ingredients as mid-range concealers but come from designer brands.
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.
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?
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