Concealers are a key part of a full face of makeup. They provide ultimate coverage to truly conceal all kinds of discolorations. While they are not mandatory for every makeup look, especially if you are one of those people blessed with perfect skin, they can go a long way to make up the under-eye area, or hide any wrinkle or discoloration.
I give you the full lowdown on concealers, with explanations of what they are and why they are so magical. I’ll explain what kind of concealers there are, and make it easy for you to choose the right one for you and apply it properly. As always, I’ll cap things off with a definitive list of the best concealers you can buy right now!
Concealer Makeup Guide: Contents
What Is Concealer?
Concealer is a makeup product not dissimilar from foundation that is usually (though not always) colored to match the skin tone. Concealers are meant to be applied to the skin sparingly, on the parts of the face that need more coverage.
Concealers come in different textures for different purposes, and some colored concealers exist as well, in order to color correct. Concealers are usually thick and high coverage, especially when compared to foundations.
14 Best Concealers for Every Skin Color, Type, and Need
Best Concealers Across the Board for All Skin Types and Colors
1. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
MAC Cosmetics are known for their variety of options, so it is no surprise you have 18 color options for their concealers. The coverage is high, and the finish is quite matte, so it is a perfect choice for oily skin. It works to cover both blemishes and under-eye circles, as long as your skin is not too dry. This fluid formula comes in a bottle with a pump, which is both convenient and sanitary! These concealers are available for purchase at Nordstrom, and Amazon.
2. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
With a sizeable color selection to suit all skin types, these concealers work easily for all kinds of coverage. The doe foot applicator is great for a precise application, including for contouring and highlighting. The formula is creamy enough to blend easily, but the finish is natural, so it works for almost all skin types. Choose one of the 16 colors at Sephora, or Amazon.
Best Concealers for Under-Eyes Dark Circles
1. NYX Dark Circle Concealer
These orange tinted concealers have a creamy yet thick formula, and they are perfect for purple and blue discoloration under the eyes. They blend smoothly and don’t settle into the creases. There are 4 colors to choose from, so you can find the perfect jar for you at Amazon.
2. Bobbi Brown Corrector
This concealer is made especially for the under eyes, but its finish is fairly matte so it is better for those whose eye area gets oily. If you find it hard to keep concealer on, this should be your first choice! These correctors have either pink or peach undertones, to address blue, purple, or green discoloration under the eyes. They are available for sale at Nordstrom, and Amazon.
Best Concealers for Brightening Dull Skin
1. Tarte Shape Tape
This is the holy grail of basically all of the Youtube beauty gurus, which is no surprise since they love their high-coverage products. Unlike many other high-coverage concealers, the shape tape is very creamy so it blends super easily, but the dry-down is semi-matte so it doesn’t cause any creasing. It is perfect for the under eyes, but it is also popular as a cream highlighter. This is a liquid concealer that comes in a tube with a doe foot applicator, and 14 color options. You can buy yourself a tube at Ulta, or Amazon.
2. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch
This concealer-cum-highlighter from YSL is the holy grail under-eye product for many. It both highlights and conceals, to provide an incredible luminosity that is so flattering under the eyes. It is a perfect highlighter for camouflaging fine lines and wrinkles. It comes in 11 colors, and a convenient push-up pen type applicator with a built-in brush. It is available for sale at Nordstrom, and Amazon.
Best Concealers for Mattifying Oily Skin
1. Cle De Peau Beaute Concealer SPF 25
Is a 25 SPF really necessary in a concealer? I’m not sure. I don’t love putting a brand on my list of the best concealers that doesn’t have a very wide shade range… and yet, it is a great stick concealer. It has a full coverage and a matte finish that works great on blemishes, but is also popular for the under eyes for those with oily skin. You can pick up one of these sticks at Nordstrom.
2. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Flawless Concealer
Estee Lauder is slowly but surely expanding their color range, so I decided to include their renowned formula here. This liquid concealer does not budge, and it’s got a formidable coverage that goes on like a dream, regardless of what it is you are trying to cover. It is fragrance-free, which is great for those with sensitive skin. These are up for sale at Sephora, and Amazon.
Best Concealers for Hiding Fine Lines and Wrinkles
1. Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer
If you really want to do some fine detail work, especially to camouflage fine lines and wrinkles, then the ultra-thin applicator on this concealer will work beautifully for you. It is a medium-coverage concealer that illuminates more than it covers. It is nourishing and exceptional for dry, mature skin. You can pick it up at Sephora, or Amazon.
2. Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer
What can be better than a brightening concealer to hide fine lines? That same amazing concealer fortified with anti-aging ingredients! Tensine and vitamin A propel this creamy formula to my list of the best concealers, despite my eternal wish for a better color range. A dab is all it takes, so you can buy this concealer from Sephora.
Best Concealers for Hiding Acne and Pimples
1. BareMinerals Blemish Remedy Concealer
There is a reasonable concern that applying a heavy cream on top of a pimple might not turn out too well, however, this mineral concealer eliminates the fear because it is loaded with ingredients to help blemishes heal quickly, and never come back. Tea tree oil targets the acne bacteria, kaolin clay mattifies the skin, and aspen bark extract helps calm down redness. The coverage is long lasting, and the stick form means that it is an easy-to-spot concealer. It is available for purchase at Sephora.
2. Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer
Few brands make as long-lasting a product as KVD. This is one of the best concealers for acne because it does not budge – even when it seems like any other concealer simply slides off that pimple. It can also work well under the eyes, assuming your skin isn’t too dry. There are 9 shades of this concealer available at Amazon.
Best Concealers for Color Correction
1. Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid
These nourishing color correctors are the perfect concealers for sensitive skin, with lots of redness, but they also work for under the eyes or to deal with acne. They come in a tube with a doe foot applicator, and 6 color options, so it doesn’t matter what kind of discoloration you are dealing with. These can be bought from Nordstrom, or Amazon.
2. Marc Jacobs Cover(t) Stick Color Correctors
These stick concealers are perfect for anyone who needs an all-over color correction. They go on so smoothly, with three possible shades: green/ yellow for redness, pink/ lilac for sallowness, and peach/ caramel for under-eye circles. Their gentle formula is amazing for all skin types. You can pick them up at Sephora.
Why Use Concealer?
Concealers can seriously perfect the skin, and amp up the foundation game. Naturally, not everyone needs to wear concealer – especially if they have very clear skin, or happen to use a foundation with a high coverage.
However, concealers have a few benefits. Since concealers are only meant to be applied to specific parts of the face, and since they are so diverse in both texture and color, they are a great way of really personalizing one’s makeup.
The different parts of our face have skin that looks and behaves differently, so using different textures and colors will lead to an overall better makeup look. For example, around the eyes our skin is normally dry and more prone to wrinkling. It makes sense to use a creamier concealer around the eyes, rather than the same foundation one would use all over the face.
Concealers should definitely be considered by those who have special coverage needs for under the eyes, as well as those who suffer from severe or uniquely localized acne, sensitivity, redness, or discoloration. Concealers can also be used to temporarily hide tattoos or scars. You can also use concealers to diffuse wrinkles, or to brighten the skin (they can also work for highlighting!).
Concealer vs. Foundation
People will occasionally ask what the difference is between concealers and foundations, and I usually like to start with “marketing”. There are no clear-cut differences across the board, although there are unspoken guidelines (that are not always followed).
Generally, concealers provide heavier coverage than foundations. They have a thicker texture, and might also provide some color correcting or brightening effects, depending on where they are meant to be used. Unlike foundations, which are usually applied all over the face, concealers are only applied to the areas of the face that require more coverage or color correction.
Foundations and concealers can be used together, but one can also be used instead of the other. Some foundations provide such a high coverage that it’s hard to distinguish between them and a concealer.
Those who prefer high coverage all over the face might choose to use…