Just like you need a shoe wardrobe and a jeans wardrobe and, arguably, a white T-shirt wardrobe, today I would like to establish that you need one more type of wardrobe in your life: a concealer wardrobe.
After all, I consider myself a bit of a concealer connaisseur. It's the one product I won't leave the house without (although blush is a close second) and the one product that I feel makes the biggest overall difference in your appearance. Unless you're one of those genetic freaks with stupidly flawless and even-toned skin, that is. In which case, feel free to skip this post. (Although I still maintain that you should probably adopt my five-second trick for looking well-rested.)
Anyway, there are many reasons I like to exercise my concealer options each morning. Some days, you may want something organic. Others may require a long-lasting waterproof formula. You might have a flaming red pimple that needs the most heavy-duty coverage possible. Or you need to camo some dark circles and want to throw some brightening action in the mix. See what I mean? Come take a peek at all the concealers I've known and loved...
THE BEST NATURAL CONCEALERS
And by natural I mean the eco ones, with as few chemicals as possible. For the longest time this guy has been my daily go-to:
It's the Organic Erase concealer by Nvey Eco, which has been difficult to find for a while now, but I've happily discovered you can buy from eBeauty.ca. I love it because it's high coverage, stays put and the texture is creamy enough to work on dark circles yet thick enough to camouflage pimples. Seriously, you'd never know it was a natural product—the performance is that good. The only downside is a lack of colour selection. I'm quite happy with the shade I wear, which is Neutral... but it only comes in two other colours: Medium and Deep Beige.
I've just added two more prodz to my natural concealer rotation, however. This is Un Cover-Up by RMS Beauty:
I LOVE the concept of RMS Beauty, which you can buy at SaffronRouge.com—it was developed by makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift and the products are pure, organic and hydrating. The concealer has a slightly creamier texture than Nvey Eco's so you could use it as either a spot cover-up or a light foundation if you blended it out. Which is actually perfect for me, because I'm guilty of trying to use my concealer as foundation, but that's probably a topic for another day's post... Anyway, the coverage is also lighter but you can definitely build it up—just make sure to set with powder as it does tend to slide. The shade selection is better: there are four colours (I wear the lightest, #11).
Then there is this tiny tube from Living Nature:
You might recall I have a lot of love for Living Nature's foundation (a must check-out if you're looking for something pure and non-pore-clogging). It's a New Zealand brand containing zero synthetics... and their concealer does not disappoint either. It's surprisingly high coverage (definitely the highest of the three) and a little goes a long way. Just be careful when you squeeze it out of the tube, as it does tend to dispense too much—I'd hold a brush to the tip and apply very small amounts that way instead. Again, you can get this one at SaffronRouge.com... although it's a bit pricey ($33) for the amount of product you get. There are three shades.
THE BEST DRUGSTORE CONCEALERS
The closest one I've found to my beloved Nvey Eco is definitely CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless Concealer:
The coverage is similarly creamy and the coverage is great, especially around the eye area. (It's not at all drying there, as some concealers tend to be.) Toss out the sponge it comes with, though, and use your fingers or a brush to apply. I would also set any blemishes with powder for longer staying power. Buy it at Well.ca for $13.99 (free shipping in Canada and no minimum order).
I also think Maybelline New York does a great job with concealers, especially this one (Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer):
I swear it's a dupe for a much more expensive one from Guerlain. Quick tip: for areas where you need more coverage, I let it sit for a second or two before I blend. It's $9.29 at Well.ca (free shipping in Canada with no minimum order). Unfortunately the shade selection is not only limited but very much on the light side—boo.
THE BEST LUXE CONCEALER
Fact: Clé de Peau is the ne plus ultra of concealers.
Unfortunately, it will also set you back $80+. But possibly worth it when you consider that it conceals all types of imperfections—redness, blemishes, dark circles, etc.—while looking totally natural and without caking or creasing. There is a reason they can get away with charging that much! I'm still kicking myself for misplacing mine... it really is an amazing product. Comes in four shades.
THE BEST MID-PRICED CONCEALERS
Besides Nvey Eco, I have another go-to everyday concealer: TheBalm's TimeBalm Concealer.
I've just discovered that it's been discontinued by Sephora in Canada, and I'm devastated. You can still get it from Sephora.com, thank goodness! Again, it's another creamy pot-type concealer (seeing a theme here?) with great coverage and bonus anti-wrinkle benefits. Plus it comes in an impressive SIX shades. As with the CoverGirl & Olay product, toss the sponge and use a brush or your fingers. (NOTE: A Sephora employee told me that Korres makes a concealer that is quite similar. Anyone tried it?)
If your main concealing concern is the eye area, then Benefit's Erase Paste is a good one to have in your wardrobe:
It has brightening properties that will throw light on your dark circles, and the coverage is quite high as well. Use a brush to apply it, as you might pick up too much with your fingers—the consistency is much more liquidy than most pot concealers. Too bad it's only available in three shades.
THE BEST HIGH-COVERAGE CONCEALERS
Did I mention that I think Benefit excels in the concealer business? When I need something a bit more industrial-strength, I reach for another one of their offerings:
This is Boi-ing, and it's a thick, high-coverage pot of pigment that you might need to warm up with your fingers a bit before blending. Works great for spots! Unfortunately, only three shades.
Then there is the classic Dermablend, which you can buy at eBeauty.ca:
It's not something I'd use on a daily basis (way too heavy), but definitely great to have in your kit when disaster strikes or if you need to cover up things like spider veins, birthmarks, scars or bruises. (It works on the body too!) They have an incredible 19 shades and also sell a setting powder, although the formula on its own is already waterproof.
It's technically for the eye area, but works amazingly well on blemishes since the formula is quite thick and also waterproof. Make sure to apply it with a brush: the tube format has the same problems as the Living Nature one... you tend to squeeze out too much product and you really don't need much for it to work its magic. Comes in four shades.
AND NOW... OVER TO YOU!
I asked the folks on Twitter and Facebook what they're loving and here's what they said:
- Geraldine: CHANEL Estompe Éclat! Goes for every skin type, blends in perfectly :)
- Alexandra: Benefit boiing. Its smooth, creamy, a little goes a long way. Its small but there's a lot in it. Great to travel with, the lid stays secure. The colour also magically blends into any foundation or tan/lack thereof I've got going on. And I can layer it. LOVE!
- Courtney: Lancome Effacernes for under eye...Doesnt crease, lasts all day, looks like skin (not makeup).
- Julia: I reallly like Stilla concealer. Great coverage and it glides on.
- Gina: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer is niiiice.
- Lisa: Cle de Peau, it's perfection in a stick...the only problem is that it's too darn expensive, $82CND.
- Michelle: I LOVE Benefit's Erase Paste
- Kristen: I love CoverGirl/Olay Simply Ageless concealer. It's the bomb for covering up dark circles! Love that it moisturizes too.
- Chelsea: Amazing Concealer by Amazing Cosmetics and Secret Concealer by Laura Mercier.
- Ana: Full Cover Concealer by MUF b/c it's the best colour match, coverage and is not cakey/greasy on dark circles or blemishes. 2nd, the balm, time balm. Great, same reasons, just not as good as a colour match for me.
- Danika: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. Great for everything except eyes. It is a bit too drying for the eye area...so I use smashbox camera ready full coverage concealer under the eye. I also find that MAC Paint Pot in painterly is great for above the eyes (I get a little red on the upper eyelid too!)
- @tayaba: Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage.
- @NicksLoveGuru: Smashbox and dior!!!
- @stephaniechic: Stila's is the one I always fall back on.
Whoa! That's a lot of concealer! And now I've got a bunch more that I need to try, including Amazing Concealer, MUFE, Laura Mercier... a beauty editor's work is never done.
Do you have a concealer wardrobe?
Which prodz are your favourites?
Where and how do you like to apply them?