It’s one of the most reached-for makeup products, but all concealers are not created equal. Depending on what you want them to achieve and where, texture comes into play in a big way. It’s a rarity that one concealer does it all, so it’s worth considering what you most want to conceal and choose based on that, or have two options in your arsenal.
Quick to show signs of fatigue, the key is to treat the area kindly (apply an eye cream or moisturiser a few mins before you do your makeup) and choose a concealer designed for the job. Seek out a thin, high-coverage fluid concealer that maintains hydration and adeptly stretches and moves with expression. One with radiant brightening properties is even better. For very dark circles, seek out a dedicated colour correcting product with peach tones that will counteract shadow areas and apply before concealer.
For everyday use on tired under eyes that don’t have very dark circles, use a hydrating, buildable option and adjust the amount you need. Look for one that has additional skincare properties like hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C.
How to apply: Dab a couple of dots on and blend using a fluffy eye brush (rather than a dense tip concealer brush) It gives a beautiful featherlight ‘airbrushed’ application that can be built up slowly. Don’t forget the inner corners of your eyes too, not just underneath.
Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Skincaring Concealer, $59; Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear All Over Concealer, $63; YSL Touche Éclat High Cover Concealer, $78
Full-coverage foundations are most likely the first thing we reach for when we think of concealer, but used all over and they can end up looking mask-like. Another option? A full coverage, opaque concealer just where you need it and blended well, will allow the rest of your skin to look healthy and real. The approach is useful if you have visible capillaries or redness in one area like across the cheeks or around the nose.
How to apply: Use the wand or a small brush to dab on a tiny amount and blend in with fingertips. A light dusting of translucent powder over the entire face will give you an even canvas and helps keep concealer in place in areas that tend to produce more oil, like the T-Zone.
Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer 24-Hour Wear, $45; Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Concealer, $62; Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer, $55
Spot correcting with a liquid product works to cover small flat marks but if the area is raised or angry and red, coverage can quickly wear off. This is where those small pots of dense and creamy camouflage come into their own.
How to apply: Apply a thin layer of foundation to the entire area the blemish is in. Then, using a tiny pointed brush, tap on your concealer and blend or press with your fingers or a sponge to ‘melt’ or soften it around the edges. For heavy duty coverage and longevity, try using an eyeshadow primer over the pimple beforehand.
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, $48; Shiseido Synchro Skin Correcting GelStick Concealer, $60; Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer, $58
Whether it’s hormonal pigmentation, sun damage or post-breakout marks, minimising mismatched skin tone is tricky business. It differs in shape and size on everyone, so your best bet is a thin, high pigment formula that blends well but most importantly is perfectly matched to the majority of your complexion, so it looks seamless. In this regard it’s helpful to be colour matched by an expert.
How to apply: Less is more. Take a rice sized amount on a concealer brush and gently press onto skin. If the area is small, a cream stick concealer can be a quick-to apply solution.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Magic Touch Concealer, $56; The Ordinary Concealer, $12.60; L’Oréal Paris Infallible More Than Concealer, $35