As we college students know, getting a full night’s rest isn’t always possible with our busy schedules. The stress that we put ourselves under often shows up on our faces as dark under-eye bags or unwelcome spots. (Hence why concealer is one of our college makeup essentials.)
Anyone with dark under-eyes or unexpected breakouts will tell you that finding the right concealer to refresh these areas can be challenging since we need high coverage without a cakey finish. So today, I’m sharing my full list of what I consider the best concealers on the market.
These six concealers will give you a flawless, fresh face that will last your entire busy day.
Related reading: These Are the Best Concealers You Can Buy at Sephora
Table of Contents
Best Recommended Concealers for Any Budget
1. An All-Time Favorite:
Everyone has raved about the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30) at one point or another and for good reason. All of my friends that have tried this concealer have been shocked by how it lives up to its flawless reputation for being light but high-coverage, blendable and lasting. This concealer really is tried and true.
2. The Talk of the Year:
More likely than not, you’ve already heard about the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer ($27). Although it might not have reached the legend status that the NARS concealer holds yet, this thicker formula from Tarte has garnered a cult following with its brightening, creaseless, matte finish on the skin. A little goes a long way with this concealer, meaning you’ll save product while still achieving the airbrushed look you want.
3. For a More Natural Finish:
The rise of Milk Makeup has been really extraordinary, considering that the brand only launched two years ago. With its 100% vegan, cruelty- and paraben-free formulations, and cool packaging, Milk has broken into the cosmetics world with unprecedented success and consistently interesting, reliable products, including the Flex Concealer ($28). This medium-coverage concealer gives a soft, natural finish while still moving with your skin due to Milk’s unique technology that melts seamlessly into your face.
4. My Favorite Budget Concealer:
Moving on to concealers that won’t put as much of a dent in your wallet, I have to say that Colourpop’s No Filter Concealer ($6) is my personal go-to. I consider it the best cheap concealer around. Not only is it so affordable, but it also provides a high-coverage, blurred finish to the skin. I have a really tough under-eye area, and this concealer covers it all!
One thing to note is that these do oxidize, so make sure to get a shade or two lighter than you’d initially expect. Colourpop recently expanded its shade range, though, and the price point makes finding your shade guilt-free and easy.
5. An All-Purpose, Versatile Option:
Often compared to the MAC Pro Longwear concealer (read more about MAC dupes here), the thicker consistency helps to cover anything and wears beautifully on the skin after setting with a powder.
6. For that HD, This-is-My-Skin Glow:
For a lighter, more blendable feel, go for the NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer ($4.99), one of the best drugstore concealers around. With 23 shades, including those for color-correcting, NYX has created the perfect affordable concealer. The coverage is fantastic, and the price can’t be beat.
Best Concealers for Different Skin Types and Needs
7. Best Long-Wear:
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer at Amazon ($12) is an excellent choice for those looking for long-wear coverage. It provides full coverage and is perfect for concealing blemishes, dark spots, and under-eye circles. The formula is lightweight and easy to blend, making it an excellent option for everyday wear.
8. Best Drugstore:
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer at Amazon ($9) is a fan favorite for its affordable price point and excellent coverage. It’s infused with goji berry and Haloxyl, which help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. The formula is creamy and blendable, and it comes with a sponge applicator for easy use.
9. Best Splurge:
Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer SPF 25 at Amazon ($75) is the ultimate splurge item, but it’s worth it. It provides full coverage that looks natural and flawless. It’s also infused with SPF 25 to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. The formula is creamy and easy to blend, and it comes in a range of shades to match any skin tone.
10. Best Concealer for Dry Skin:
Milk Makeup Flex Concealer is an excellent choice for those with dry skin. Its formula is designed to provide buildable coverage that looks natural and hydrates the skin. The concealer contains a blend of blue lotus and chamomile extract, which help to soothe and nourish the skin while concealing imperfections.
11. Best Waterproof:
Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer at Amazon ($35) is a great option for those looking for long-wear coverage that won’t budge. It’s a versatile product that can be used as a concealer, foundation, or highlighter. The formula is highly pigmented and a little goes a long way, making it a great value for the price.
12. Best Concealer for Acne:
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($32) is a must-have for those dealing with acne. It provides full coverage that looks natural and blends seamlessly with your skin. The formula is lightweight and breathable, so it won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts. It also contains hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and soothe your skin.
13. Best Concealer for Undereyes:
Dior Forever Skin ($40) is perfect for those looking to brighten up their under-eye area. It provides medium coverage that looks natural and radiant. The formula is lightweight and easy to blend, and it contains light-reflecting particles that help to reduce the appearance of dark circles.
14. Best For Dark Circles:
Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer with Hyaluronic Acid at Amazon($41) is a great option for those dealing with dark circles. It provides full coverage that looks natural and radiant, thanks to the hyaluronic acid it contains. The formula is lightweight and easy to blend, and it comes in a range of shades to match any skin tone.
15. Best for Oily Skin:
Smashbox Concealer ($22) is perfect for those with oily skin. It provides full coverage that looks natural and matte, so you won’t have to worry about any excess shine. The formula is lightweight and easy to blend, containing skin-benefiting ingredients like Vitamin E and green tea extract.
Tips to Keep in Mind Before Buying a Concealer
1. Know your skin type:
Different types of concealers are designed for different skin types. For example, a hydrating concealer is ideal for those with dry skin, while a mattifying concealer works best for oily skin.
2. Determine the coverage you need:
Concealers come in various coverage levels, ranging from sheer to full coverage. Decide how much coverage you need before purchasing a concealer.
3. Consider your skin tone:
It’s essential to choose a concealer that matches your skin tone to avoid an ashy or unnatural appearance.
4. Test the shade in natural light:
Always swatch the concealer shade on your jawline and step outside to check the color in natural light. Artificial lighting can sometimes make the shade look different than it is.
5. Look for ingredients that suit your skin concerns:
If you have specific skin concerns, such as dark circles or acne, look for concealers that contain ingredients like caffeine or salicylic acid that can help treat the issue.
6. Check the expiration date:
Like all makeup products, concealers have a shelf life. Be sure to check the expiration date to ensure that you’re not using an expired product.
7. Read reviews:
Before buying a concealer, read reviews from other users to see if the product is effective and if it works well for people with similar skin types and concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is concealer?
Concealer is a makeup product designed to help hide imperfections on the skin, such as blemishes, dark circles, and discoloration.
How do I choose the right shade of concealer?
It’s essential to choose the shade that matches your skin tone. Always swatch the shade on your jawline and step outside to check the color in natural light. You can also ask for assistance from a makeup artist at a beauty store.
What’s the difference between a concealer and a foundation?
Concealer is typically thicker and more pigmented than foundation and is designed to be applied to specific face areas to hide imperfections. Foundation, on the other hand, is designed to even out skin tone and provide overall coverage.
How do I apply concealer?
Concealer is typically applied after foundation. Use a small brush or your finger to dab a small amount of it onto the areas you want to hide, then blend it in gently.
How do I choose the right type of concealer for my skin type?
Concealers come in different formulations, so it’s important to choose one that suits your skin type. For example, a hydrating concealer is best for dry skin, while a mattifying concealer works well for oily skin.
Can I use concealer to contour my face?
Yes, you can use it to contour your face. Choose a concealer that is a few shades darker than your skin tone and apply it to the areas you want to contour, such as the hollows of your cheeks or along your jawline.
How long does concealer last?
The longevity of it depends on the formulation and the brand. Some concealers can last all day, while others may require daily touch-ups. Be sure to check the product’s packaging or consult with a beauty expert for more information.
What’s your holy grail concealer?
These are my six favorite concealers on the market. What are yours?
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