When the Makeup Wars! team decided to feature each of our favorite concealers, I knew it was time to revisit some of my old favorites, and to see whether any of my recently acquired concealers would make it onto my short list of favorites. After tremendous deliberation, I narrowed the list down to six of my all-time favorites. I should also note that the holiday season is the perfect time to pull out your concealers, or find a new one that is more effective– especially given the amount of time that we spend socializing, indulging in excesses, and often losing sleep given all of the holiday reverie.
Concealers are, quite possibly, the greatest unsung heroes that pull together every makeup look. They conceal dark under eye circles, hide pimples, cover up sunspots, and make broken capillaries disappear. Furthermore, they even-out overall skin tone and camouflage discoloration. In short, a good concealer can address a plethora of skin concerns, but finding the right one can be a challenge. On the one hand, there seems to be an abundance of concealers that dry out the skin, and make it appear crepey and aged (no thank you), and on the other hand, there are many that are so emollient that they seem to slip right off of the face. Both types can settle into fine lines, and can emphasize pore size– therefore finding the right one can become an expensive trial and error venture.
Personally, I have spent years trying to find the perfect concealer that looks like skin, rather than like concealer, and frankly all too many of them really look like the concealer is wearing you rather than doing its job to hide or blur imperfections.
One of the best things that you can do to assure a good skin tone match, particularly with under eye concealers, is to be sure to avoid selecting a concealer that is too light because it will give you the much-dreaded raccoon eyes. Concealers that are too dark may neutralize discoloration, but they will also stand out like a sore thumb. Choose a color that matches your skin tone in order for it to blend effortlessly with the rest of your face. If you have serious discoloration that needs to be camouflaged, then invest in specifically targeted color correcting concealers, and then blend your skin toned concealer on top to create a natural finish.
I tend to apply concealers with my ring fingers, but periodically use a nice and soft synthetic brush. One of the chief benefits to using your fingers is that you can warm the concealer up between your fingers which enhances its emollience, and it makes it glide across the skin without pulling or tugging. If your under eye area tends to be quite dry, then apply a touch of eye cream or a beauty oil to your skin a few seconds before applying your concealer to prep the skin. When my skin is dehydrated, I add a tiny amount of one of my favorite face oils to the tip of one finger and mix it with my concealer before applying it to my under eye area. This not only adds needed moisture, but it also gives the skin a gorgeous ethereal glow.
Here are my current favorite concealers:
Giorgio Armani Maestro Eraser Dark Circle Concealer: This lightweight liquid-like concealer has a silky-smooth texture that lightly illuminates the skin and effectively brightens the eye area. It offers buildable coverage, and a lovely natural finish. It is also said to gradually fade the blue tone of dark circles, and that it moisturizes eyelids. N.B.: I have been using this concealer for years, and it is becoming very difficult to find, but it is still available at Neiman Marcus.
Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick: The TOM FORD Traceless Foundation Stick is a great foundation, and it makes a fantastic concealer. In fact, it offers buildable coverage with a flawless, semi-dewy natural finish, and it is lightly hydrating. As a concealer, it radically diminishes the appearance of imperfections, and it neither settles into fine lines, nor does it migrate. The soft and creamy texture lends itself to finger application for perfect coverage.
Susan Thompson Cosmetics Concealer Pot (Reviewed HERE): Susan Thompson Cosmetics Concealer Pot is a luxuriously silky-smooth cream concealer that offers full opaque coverage, but can easily be sheered out when less coverage is desired. It has a natural nearly matte finish that doesn't announce that you are wearing a concealer, as many do. It spreads across the skin without tugging, and doesn't settle into fine lines. It can be applied with a finger or with a synthetic brush, and both ways offer a perfect finish. I am able to get all day wear out of a single application, but it may also be set with a finishing powder to increase its staying power. Not only do I get the perfect natural finish with this concealer, but it neither irritates my eyes, nor does it ever give me milia. Rather than drying my skin out, I actually find that this concealer imparts a bit of added moisture without being so emollient that it undermines its ability to adequately conceal.
IT Cosmetics Eyelift in A Tube (Reviewed HERE): IT Cosmetics Eyelift In A Tube is Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer & Hello Light Liquid Brightener in one. It is a full coverage, anti-aging concealer and brightener that corrects imperfections and eradicates dark circles. If you are prone to dark circles, like me, then you will absolutely love this concealer/luminizer duo. I like to use apply a few light dots of the Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer under my eyes, and then I gently blend. Once blended, I add a dot of the Hello Light Liquid Brightener to my dark circles, and they magically disappear. Furthermore, the brightener creates that highly sought-after healthy subtle glow from within. The overall effect is natural, and my eyes look refreshed, luminous and free from dark circles.
It also contains key ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacin and vitamins C, A, & E that nourish and hydrate the skin.
Osmosis Age Defying Treatment Concealer in Silk (Reviewed HERE) is a revelation in concealers, and it is unquestionably one with which I am obsessed. It is a two-sided concealer with a moisture stick on one end and the concealer on the other. One simply has to lightly apply the balm to hydrate and plump the delicate skin around the eyes (and the lips for that matter), and it serves as a perfect base for the concealer. The concealer boasts buildable coverage, and maintains a natural finish– even when built up for maximum opacity. I simply apply the balm sparingly, slow it to melt into my skin, and then I apply the concealer. The antioxidant-rich formula nourishes and hydrates the skin, and efficiently covers dark circles and any other imperfections that you seek to conceal (on the face or body).
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Concealer (Not pictured above because I forgot it at a friend's house out-of-town. Reviewed HERE): Maifanshi Moisture Concealer is a lovely moisturizing concealer that offers many color correcting possibilities to conceal dark circles, spots, and unsightly blemishes. The three shades can also be custom blended to create the perfect color match with a natural slightly dewy finish. It does have the obvious limitation that it will only work for pale and medium complexions- a true pity since this formula is so lovely and would appeal to a great many more people.
As a person who often gets dark circles, I first apply the dark shade to that area (either with a concealer brush or with my finger) and blend it in. If I am particularly tired I do often have to apply a second layer and blend it until the dark circles are neutralized. The concealer is very creamy and spreads very easily without any tugging or pulling, and it offers buildable coverage. Afterward I mix the three colors and apply it to the remainder of my under eye area until I achieve just the right color so as to look natural.
I find that the Moisture Concealer does not crease, fade, or settle into fine lines on me, but your mileage may vary. Many concealers dry out my under eye area, and then they look unnatural with a terrible flaky finish. but this is not at all the case with Moisture Concealer thanks to the Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Perilla Ocymoides Seed Oil and Olive Squalane.
What are your concealer tips? Do you have any favorite concealers that you can't live without?
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