You can use the best foundation out there, the most extravagant mascara and a top-notch blush, but for that really finished, flawless look, concealer is key. Let’s be honest, we all have naturally uneven skin tone in some areas, we don’t get enough sleep and we have all had the occasional acne (some more than others) that we couldn’t leave alone – hello, scars. The best concealers will cover discolorations, lighten dark areas, camouflage blemishes and help with the appearance of large pores. Add foundation to this equation and you have the perfect canvas, aka even skin tone.
But, do choose wisely – a bad formulation or a less than skillful application of concealer can actually draw attention to problem areas, making imperfections more obvious and your already dark undereye circles even darker. So, with the overwhelming number of options to choose from, be it the shade (knowing your tone and undertone is key here) or the type (stick, cream, liquid) of concealer, how to know which one will give you that airbrushed look?
Choosing the right shade of concealer
One of the biggest concerns is how to conceal dark circles under the eyes. Dark circles make us look tired and even the coolest hairstyle or the prettiest red lipstick in the world won’t divert attention from them (trust us, we’ve tried). This is where your trusted concealer hits the stage. For the undereye area, be sure to select a shade that is one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone or the foundation you are using. The same shade won’t do much for brightening or giving you that fresh look and if you go to light, you’ll end up with an obvious white circle around the eye area, no matter how well you blend. When choosing a concealer for this area, pick one with satin-type coverage that has discreet highlighting properties – this ensures a light-reflective finish that further disguises shadowed areas and gives an overall younger look to the eye.
To camouflage dark spots, scars or acne, choose a shade that is an exact match for the color of your foundation – this will make it blend into your foundation seamlessly, giving you that smooth and complete coverage, so go for a really well pigmented one.
Types of concealers
There are three main types of concealer to choose from: liquid, stick and cream. Here’s how to know which is the best concealer for your skin type and coverage needs.
Liquid concealer is one of the most common formulations because it works for all skin types, except extremely dry skin. Best results can be achieved when this type of concealer is used on normal, combination, oily and sensitive skin. It provides buildable coverage, which ranges from light to full. They usually come with an applicator stick or a built-in brush that makes it easy to apply. You can also use your fingers, makeup sponge or a concealer brush to get flawless coverage results.
Stick concealer has a thick, creamy texture which is semi-solid and because of its richness, both in pigmentation and texture, it gives best results when used on skin that tolerates (or needs) a bit of nourishment — normal, dry and sensitive skin. You can apply it by swiping it directly on the area that needs camouflaging and blend it in seamlessly using a concealer brush or a makeup sponge.
Cream concealer comes in a compact or a small pot and works for all skin types except oily. Because it’s creamy, it should be set in place with a powder. Creamy texture means it is easily blended into the skin using fingertips, sponge or a brush.
Now that you know what to look for in a concealer, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best concealers for every skin type and concern. Most of them have skin care and anti-aging properties, so you really get your money’s worth. Click through the slideshow above to see which ones ranked best.