Concealers are one of those beauty products that are oddly personal. It sounds strange, but you know what we mean: while the average person can objectively agree that a tube of lipstick is “fine,” a pot of concealer is subject to far more criticism and evaluation. What covers one person’s dark circles may not even begin to tackle another’s, and if you’re hiding a pimple, you have to find a formula that’s not too dry, yet not too radiant. And let’s not even broach the subject of shade matching, which often feels like an interminable process.
Beauty editors know these struggles all too well — and tend to have impossibly high standards when it comes to finding a concealer that can accommodate this laundry list of concerns. Therefore, when we find the formula that checks every box on the list, we hold on for dear life, don’t let go, and recommend it to everyone we know. Below, eight concealers that made the cut.
Who: Lauren Levinson, Editorial Director
What: Laura Mercier® Secret CamouflageTM Concealer ($35)
Why: OK, this is not my favorite formula for undereye darkness — though I have used it for that. But in my opinion, it’s the absolute best for facial redness and acne (face and body!). The texture is matte, a bit sticky-creamy — meaning it will stay in place and truly mask your zit. Plus, it has two shades (one for full coverage, the other more sheer) so you can build, color-correct, and play the role of makeup artist as you slyly hide whatever it is the world doesn’t need to see.
Who: Emily Orofino, Senior Beauty Editor
What: NARS® Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30)
Why: Until happening upon this formula, I had simply used foundation as concealer since it had been impossible for me to find something that lived up to my apparently absurd expectations. I wanted a concealer that matched my skin tone perfectly, offered buildable (to full) coverage, and wouldn’t settle too aggressively in fine lines — all without sitting on top of the skin, creating that mask-like effect.
After one swipe of the doe foot, I knew this was the one. It comes in 30 different shades, and the perfect match for my fair neutral complexion is Vanilla, which has a slightly pink undertone to cancel out any darkness under my eyes. The natural, radiant finish looks like real skin, not makeup, and it doesn’t crease, even on a sweaty day. Now that summer’s here, you can find me applying this just to my t-zone in lieu of any foundation.
Who: Julie Ricevuto, Senior Beauty Writer
Why: I have two major issues with undereye concealer: they’re either too sheer or too thick. Luckily, I don’t naturally have a lot of darkness under my eyes, which is why I don’t like to place heavy makeup there. However, I do have one tiny vein just below my right eye that’s always visible — whether I apply concealer or not. And, before I found Jouer’s concealer, I simply accepted that my little vein would always still be prominent under makeup. But, all I need is a thin layer of this formula — blended with my fingertips — to get the full coverage I’m looking for. It completely hides that vein without feeling heavy or creasing in my fine lines. Plus, ingredients like hyaluronic acid and resveratrol keep my eye area feeling hydrated and soft.
Who: Thia Laurain, Social Media Editor
What: Kevyn Aucoin® The Sensual Skin EnhancerTM ($48)
Why: This thick, decadently creamy concealer is as steadfast and reliable as my partner of nearly five years. And — though I’m embarrassed to admit exactly how long it’s been in my makeup bag — one tiny pot of this stuff has lasted me nearly as long. A teensy pinpoint is all I need to conceal an angry blemish (seriously), so a little goes a long way. Hot tip: The rich, opaque formula also magically transforms into a medium-coverage skin tint with a swath of your favorite moisturizer and some vigorous blending. Any way you use it, your skin will be left dewy, flawless, and definitely enhanced.
Who: Madisen Theobald, Social Media Editor
Why: After Rihanna launched her inclusive 50 foundation shades, our undereye circles were soon blessed with 50 shades of creamy, crease-proof concealer as well. The Fenty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer provides a silky, full-coverage wear, and has the ability to conceal my most visible blemishes with its matte finish. Pro tip: Use Fenty’s new Face Shade Finder, an online shade matching tool to find your custom foundation and concealer number — because like I said — there are 50 shades to choose from!
Who: Joslyn Winkfield, Senior Visuals Editor
What: NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($30)
Why: While I don’t use concealer under my eyes, I do love it for evening out my skin tone on my cheeks, jawline, and chin — where I tend to get the most dark spots from acne. This formula in the shade Amande matches my complexion perfectly and has a super creamy consistency. After slicking on a good primer, I dab it on my face with a flat brush. This presses it nicely into my skin, creating a smoother surface before my foundation.
Who: Sophie Wirt, Beauty Editor
What: Clé de Peau Beauté® Concealer SPF 25 ($70)
Why: This twist-up concealer stick is practically a magic wand for my undereye circles. The formula is opaque, but not cakey; spreadable, but not smeary; and better yet, it was recently reformulated with SPF. Admittedly, this stuff is pricey, but one could argue that it exemplifies the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” After all, there’s a reason it’s a staple for countless celebrity makeup artists. (Read my full, in-depth review here.)
Who: Cat Matta, Copy Editor & Fact-Checker
What: IT Cosmetics® Bye Bye Under Eye® Concealer ($26)
Why: I’ve long been plagued by genetic dark circles and puffy undereyes, as well as a seemingly perpetual lack of sleep. And, like many, I’ve struggled to find the right product to tame my baggy beasts. After trying a plethora of other items, I finally came across Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer, and my bags have all but packed themselves up. The waterproof, long-lasting, and anti-aging formula provides seamless coverage that lasts all day without cracking or creasing in my fine lines. In fact, it works so well that, as time went on, I started migrating the formula all around my face and using it as a foundation. Now, I not only say good riddance to my dark circles in the morning, I say sayonara to my rosacea as well.
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