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With so many concealer options insisting that they are the best concealer ever to grace your face, how do you know which one is right for you?
Because seriously, I’ve been obsessed with makeup since my age was still in the single-digits, and I’ve slapped way more concealers than I care to admit on my poor, poor face.
I’m actually quite surprised dear old face hasn’t broken out in protest, because really, it’s must be rather insulting being constantly covered up…
But regardless of our face’s feelings, the fact of the matter is we like concealer.
It makes up feel pretty, put-together, and polished.
It’s wonderful perfecting our skin, and then perfecting the makeup that we layer on in order to perfect our faces that didn’t go quite right. Uneven wings, anyone?
Consider this post your go-to resource for all things concealer, and how to find the best concealer for your needs.
We’re getting down and dirty with all the different types of concealer, what you can use them for, and how to make sure you end up looking flawless like a porcelain doll. But not fake, powdery, and cakey, like a porcelain doll.
I know you know what I mean. So let’s jump into it!
Let’s talk different types of concealers. What’s the big deal?
All concealers are not created equal. This part is obvious just by taking a gander through the drugstore makeup aisle.
Some are better than others at accomplishing certain beauty tasks, while others are just better, period. Let’s talk about your four basic options when it comes to concealers.
Stick concealers get kind of a bad rap, (rep? not sure…) for several reasons. Let’s break it down.
They tend to be on the drier side. Yes, stick concealers are drier, but that’s because they need to hold together and not liquify all over the place. Duh. This can actually be a good thing. Perhaps you need a concealer that travels with you and is super easy to grab out of your bag and pop on your face. A drier formula means no spills, no messy fingers, and no brushes or sponges required.
Drier formulas also prove more difficult to blend. Also, quite possibly a good thing. Say you’re on the go, you look in the mirror, and you notice a giant zit erupting from your cheek. *Damn, I should sanitize my phone screen more often, ick.* A dry concealer will stick to that zit and cover it like there’s no tomorrow. No annoying blending and sheering out with this concealer!
Recommended — Cover FX Blemish Treatment Concealer >> Purchase at Sephora
Liquid concealers are arguably the most popular formula, and for good reason. There are so many to choose from, so it’s practically impossible not to find one you like. It just may take a bit of digging.
The thing is, liquid concealers vary hugely- there are thicker ones, thinner ones, creamier ones, drier, ones, you name it. These are the basic types-
Concealers in a squeezy tube. These often land on the thicker end of the spectrum, and are often geared toward undereye concealing. Stereotypically, these formulas tend to be thick and sticky. The applicator tips vary from rounded knubs, to chiseled metal “de-puffing” tips. I’ve tried them all, and honestly, the tip doesn’t matter, but we’ll talk about that more in a bit.
Concealers with a wand applicator. Wands offer much more precision during application, though they do have their drawbacks. Some say they are unhygienic, which is true if you share your makeup. Just don’t do it, ladies. On the other hand, the thinner texture often makes blending a breeze, and you may not even have to sacrifice coverage for the privilege.
Recommended — Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer >> Purchase at Sephora
I consider cream concealers anything that comes in a pot that requires finger (or brush) dipping. These also vary quite a bit in consistency, with some being almost as creamy as a squeezy tube concealer, while others are waxy and hard. (Just stay away- almost nothing good comes from these.)
Creams are truly “heavy duty” concealers, so unless you need some serious coverage, they are sometimes more trouble than they’re worth.
Recommended — Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer >> Purchase at Sephora
Mineral concealers are rare, and nobody really talk about them, but they do exist! Promise. Think BareMinerals.
If it’s coverage you need, then mineral concealers alone won’t do the trick. However, they are awesome for adding even more coverage in conjunction with other types of concealer.
Say you’re dealing with a particularly nasty breakout. You cover said face demon with a full coverage concealer, and then you must set it. Why set with a translucent powder when you have the option to add staying power and coverage at the same time? It’s genius, actually.
Recommended — bareMinerals Broad Spectrum Multi-Tasking Face >> Purchase at Sephora
Color correcting concealers
It’s debatable whether color correctors should be considered concealers, or of they are a product category in their own right. However, I lump them in with the concealers because I feel like they do basically the same thing- hide what I want hidden and bring forward what I want highlighted.
Color correctors come in the same formulas as any other concealer, though the liquid versions have seen quite a spike in popularity lately.
For more information on color correctors, be sure to check out my post all about different types of color correctors, colors, and uses. Right this way >> The Ultimate Beginners’ Guide to Color Correction
Recommended — Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid >> Purchase at Sephora
That’s great and all, but how do I know which is the best concealer for me?
The answer to that question happens to be another question- How do you want your concealer to work for you?
While the uses for concealer are endless, there most fall into one or two of the following categories. The best concealer depends on what your goals are. (Plus, of course, your skin type, but we’ll save that for an upcoming post.)
Concealing spot imperfections on the face
Spot imperfections irritate the crap out of us, but they’re actually the easiest to take care of.
This is where stick concealers really shine, because as mentioned above, they’re super easy to use! Just dab it on, tap with your finger to lightly blend, and set with a powder.
If you’re not into stick concealers, (or haven’t found the right one yet,) a highly pigmented liquid concealer also does the trick nicely. A concealer with a thinner consistency will help you avoid adding any more texture than necessary to the area, plus it will blend into the surrounding areas much easier.
I don’t recommend lightweight liquids because they just won’t give you the coverage you need, plus they can tend to highlight the area more than you’d like.
Neutralizing discoloration on the face
Color correctors are having a moment. Yes, they’re trendy, but there is method behind the madness.
If you’ve got major areas of discoloration, such as redness from acne scarring, or darkness from hyper pigmentation, color correctors can be lifesavers.
While they come in many formulas, I definitely recommend going with the liquid versions. These blend so much easier, and they “become one” with your skin more than creams or sticks can. Remember, you’ll need a regular, skin-tone concealer over top, so it’s important that your base layer adds as little texture as possible.
Concealing undereye darkness and circles
Darkness under the eyes is notoriously difficult to cover up. It also tends to be dry and crapey under there. This is where cream concealers come in.
The thick and creamy consistency of cream concealers easily provides the full coverage we sometimes need just to look awake!
Depending on your situation, you may want to use a skin-tone cream concealer exclusively, or you can layer it with a salmon or yellow color correcting concealer to help hide the darkness. But remember, you want to layer from the thinnest to the thickest, just like with clothes. So if you plan on using a thicker cream concealer over a color corrector, ensure the color corrector you choose is as thin and blendable as possible.
Highlighting and brightening
With the strobing craze in full effect, many of us double our concealer as a sort of “pre-highlighter” to really bring out the strobed effect.
If you plan on doing this, choose the lightest liquid concealer you can, and select a slightly lighter color than you otherwise would. This isn’t the time to be using your heavy stick, cream, or even highly pigmented liquids. You want to accentuate high points, but not add texture.
Contouring is the only use for concealer where I think any kind will work, so long as you select the right color.
The trick is to choose a concealer in a color about 2-3 shades deeper, and somewhat cooler than your skin tone. You want the color you choose to be on the cooler side, but obviously, if you have a very warm skin tone, a super grayish shade will make you look ghoulish. I mean, I suppose ghouls look contoured, but not in a good way.
Remember, we’re going for healthy definition here, folks.
Defining brows, lips, eyeliner, etc.
Fo this task, you’ll want something that is easily spreadable, dragable, and blendable. You don’t want something that is going to hang out like a neon sign declaring, “I messed up my eyeliner, but my concealer is trying & failing to fix it.” Just nope.
A liquid concealer with a thin and smooth texture should do the trick.
I recommend choosing two concealers to start with
Because the best concealer for you depends on your needs, and not the opinions of the majority.
Out of the six categories above, choose the top two or three that you want accomplished most often. Then, select the two formulas that best fit your needs.
Or you can just get one of everything and you’ll always be covered.
In case you need a refresher- stick concealer (for blemishes,) liquid concealer (for highlighting, fixing mistakes,) cream concealer (for undereye circles,) color corrector in appropriate colors (for neutralizing discoloration,) and contouring concealer in a deeper shade (for contouring, obviously.)
My personal picks for “Best Concealer”
So what specific product are may absolute favs? These are the concealers I keep in my stash at all times so I’m ready for anything.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer >> Purchase at Sephora
Tarte Colored Clay CC Undereye Corrector >> Purchase at Sephora
Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Green & Yellow >> Purchase at Sephora
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer >> Purchase on Amazon
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation (Not a concealer, per se, but I use it for spot concealing anyway.) >> Purchase at Sephora
That’s all for today!
If you like this post, then you’ll probably find this one helpful too >> How To Choose The Best Foundation For You
If you find this post interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining, tell me what you think in the comments below. And don’t forget, sharing is caring. Share this post!
Till next time. ♥︎
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FTC- Not sponsored by any brands mentioned. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.