There are some things in life we'd rather hide. More power to you if you don't feel the need, but most of us aren't usually in the mood to broadcast our breakouts or a lousy night's sleep to the world — or that ill-advised tattoo we got on our 18th birthday. This is where concealer comes in.
Some days we need just a little
light coverage (or can even go without), but other days we need to bring out the big guns. Here, we consulted with a handful of our makeup artist friends to round up the highest coverage, most hardcore, longest-lasting concealers on the market that can cover everything and hold up all day long. Your vacation days by the pool with your parents just got that much less stressful.
When it comes to major dark circles, celebrity makeup artist
Brandie Hopstein's self-proclaimed "secret weapon" is this concealer from BareMinerals — but there's a trick to it. "I use the creamy, lightweight formula over my foundation, and it's like I'm bright-eyed and well-rested," she says. "Dot it on with your ring finger and blend into the foundation you've already applied for a seamless finish. This stuff doesn't budge and has a radiant finish that [will] last all day. Talk about heavy-duty — it's my personal miracle in a jar. Shh!" BareMinerals Correcting Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 20, $21, available at BareMinerals.
"This full-coverage stick formula has a velvety-smooth finish that is ideal for covering scars and hyperpigmentation," says Kelli Bartlett, director of makeup artistry at
Glamsquad. "It's perfect for acne-spot concealing because the dry texture can build up craters and smooth out raised bumps." Tip: Instead of using a traditional concealer brush, blend the edges of the covered spot with a small fluffy eyeshadow brush. This will allow the targeted spot to remain covered, but the edges will blend into the skin. Dermablend Quick-Fix Concealer, $26, available at Dermablend.
Full-coverage concealers that don’t look and feel like heavy-duty spackle are hard to come by, which is why this user-friendly favorite is such a hit. The oil-free cream formula, which comes in 16 shades, blends seamlessly into skin and is meant to be smoothed on with your fingers to conceal dark circles, redness, discoloration, hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and acne (yes, all of those things) for low-maintenance, high-performance coverage that doesn’t budge. The finish looks totally natural — regardless of whether you’re covering the darkest of dark circles or the most regrettable of lower-back tattoos.
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, $30, available at Sephora.
This concealer is a staple in many makeup artists' kits for one very good reason, says Hopstein. To put it simply: It works."The two-toned concealer is customizable to give you the exact color-correction you need, while providing long-lasting, full coverage with a beautiful finish," she says. "Because it's so highly pigmented, a little goes a long way. It's the perfect undereye hero."
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, $35, available at Sephora.
Here, we'll let you in on an old-school secret courtesy of Bartlett: This concealer is made for television and film, so you know it's serious. "The heavily pigmented formula is known for its ability to problem-solve," she says. "It comes in a wide range of color-correcting shades, and can camouflage birthmarks and even cover tattoos." The Blue Away shade works particularly well on dark undereyes.
Tip: Tap a wet mini Beautyblender into the color-correcting concealer and dab it into the hollow of the undereye. Use a lightweight concealer on top to give seamless coverage. Joe Blasco Dermaceal Concealer, $31.60, available at Mega Makeup Store.
Celebrity makeup artist
Georgina Billington also does body art, so she knows a thing or two about covering ink — and this is her go-to. "It's so great, highly pigmented, and long-wearing — you can even conceal tattoos," she says. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, $22, available at Nordstrom.
If you're willing to drop some serious cash for coverage (but hey, it is a concealer
and foundation in one), Billington suggests this luxe option. "It's so pigmented that you only need a tiny bit, and it blends gorgeously under the eye to cover the darkest of circles," she says. La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation SPF 15, $220, available at La Prairie.
Here's another option to splurge on (granted, it's still one-third the price of La Prairie's formula). "This concealer balances everything you could want: versatility of coverage that melts into skin with ease, complemented by ultimate staying power," says Bartlett.
Tip: "At $70 a pop, don't apply straight from the tube. A little goes a long way," Bartlett advises. "Smear a small amount of product on your ring finger, and then pat to distribute on the face. The warmth of your body heat will blend the concealer and leave a naturally flawless finish." Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer, $70, available at Clé de Peau Beauté.
This product could very well be crowned the winner — three of the makeup pros we spoke with said it was their favorite. Bartlett calls it the "tomato paste of concealers" because you can use it in so many different ways. "On its own, it is full-coverage, super-condensed, and supremely creamy, so it provides best-in-show bendability. By adding just a drop to your moisturizer, you will render a very sheer, tinted-moisturizer type of coverage. Two drops will create a medium-to-buildable coverage. Use the product straight out of the pot for extreme jobs," she says.
Robert Greene of Honey Artists loves that it comes in 18 different shades. "They are the strongest and most pigmented concealers I have ever used," he says. "The coverage is incredible, and they have a really buttery texture." Suzy Gerstein, also of Honey Artists, has been using this concealer for years (and says a little goes such a long way that one pot can last for years, too) and suggests painting it on with a superfine brush, then gently buffing out the edges with either a damp Beautyblender or a blending brush. "Set it with the tiniest amount of loose or pressed powder on a fluffy brush, and you are locked, loaded, and ready for all-day wear," she says. Tip: Gerstein says to load up this covered lip brush with extra concealer, put on the cover, and take it with you for touch-ups without a mess. Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Sensual Skin Enhancer, $48, available at Nordstrom.
Bartlett calls this guy "the heavy lifter," and says it's so good that many drag queens use it on their brows to cover unwanted hairs or carve out new shapes. "This luscious concealer is full-coverage with a rich texture," she says. "It provides ultimate opacity and can even fight off and absorb oil."
MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer, $20, available at MAC.
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