Ever notice the naming conventions of concealers? Secret this, camouflage that...It's the stuff of a subpar spy novel. But you know better than to judge a product based on its name—it's what's inside that counts. So today, we're going to be reviewing the best concealers, from pots to doe feet. Adorable! And useful. Let's unpack:
The best concealer that stays put: Benefit Boi-ing Industrial-Strength Concealer
Some people say good concealer shouldn't move. But those people haven't met Benefit Boi-ing. The tackier formula moves in all the right ways—then bounces back, just like your face. Best suited for spots that are difficult to hide (you know the type).
The best concealer for dry skin: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
An OG if ever there was one. This is because it’s silky and sheer, but with incredible coverage. The wand makes it easy to apply fingerless to under-eyes, around-the-nose, and specific spots. Blend out with a sponge and it’s like nothing was ever there to begin with.
The best concealer for acne: MAC Studio Finish Concealer
Coverage and colors for days, plus a finish that is downright dewy. This is a rare concealer that's good for spots AND under eyes without being drying. ITG reader Kaitlyn says it “stays in place for wayyy longer than any concealer in a tube. It also doesn't exacerbate my acne, and as a bonus it has spf 35 in it (aka helps keep healing acne from becoming dark spots, and keeps my current dark spots from getting darker).”
The best concealer in a tube: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Concealer
High coverage in a fail-safe, plastic tube. This is the one to pick if you're serious about coverage anywhere. Also HD means this is a good bet if you're having photos taken of you for some big occasion. Safe for Instagram and beyond.
The best concealer for blending: Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer
Looks like whipped soufflé in a tiny jar, this one is good for people who want to use concealer instead of foundation. It’s a bit nerve-wracking if you’ve never worked with something so free form, but it blends like a dream. Not even a whisper of creasing, either.
The best concealer with a matte finish: Laura Mercier Secret Concealer
Like she proved with Secret Camouflage, Laura knows which skin things you want to keep hush-hush. Unlike Camo, which comes in a small palette and encourages use with a brush (not to mention a superior knowledge of mixing colors), Concealer requires no brush nor artistic ability. It's also creamy, instead of tacky, and blendable, but dries matte.
The best concealer kit: Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit
For when you want to set whatever work you’re doing without putting down the palette. This concealer comes nestled next to a pressed powder to 1. offset the pink tones in the concealer with some yellow notes and 2. keep the shine and general movement throughout the day to a minimum.
The best concealer for brightening: Diorskin Star Concealer
This one is closer in consistency to a foundation or le famed Touche Éclat, but ever so slightly stickier. It dries with a glowy finish, instead of one that's chalky or cakey, though that means it's not long-wearing by any means. It's OK—it's chic enough to take out a couple times during the day.
The best concealer that's secretly heavy-duty: Benefit Erase Paste
Take Boi-ing and marry it with Secret Concealer...that's Erase Paste. It's creamy, but heavy duty. Despite the name, this stuff is not messing around. It's good to know you've got this guy in your corner, just maybe not for every day.
The best concealer that's all-natural: RMS “Un' Cover-Up
OK, here's a name we can get behind. It's not cover up—why would you want to cover up? How great is that?! Also great: What Erin Wasson has to say about the actual product—'I think it’s the most amazing beauty product ever created. It’s like skin. Foundation grosses me out, but this is like a natural foundation. All of [Rose-Marie Swift's] stuff is natural—you could eat her products.”
The best concealer with the most mentions on this site: Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer
Duh. It’s the must-have concealer of Kristie Streicher, Jayne Min, Sky Ferreira, Kate Bosworth… For when “you want to bring out the big guns.” And at $70 per stick, it's nice to have some serious recommendations to go with it.
Photographed by Tom Newton.