19 of the Best Concealers, According to Makeup Artists
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No one needs to know you didn’t wake up looking this way.
The best concealers are like a magic wand for skin. In a flash, they even out skin tone, cover dark-under-eye circles and blemishes, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and brighten your whole face. But they need to be wielded wisely. After all, you don’t want to make a concealer mistake that accidentally causes dark circles to look worse or wears off halfway through the day.
A lot of this boils down to choosing the right concealer for the job. While this category of makeup products may seem very similar, there are some important differences. Here’s a quick primer: Gel concealers are lightweight and generally combine a serum-type skin treatment with the power of a concealer. Blur sticks are the lightest of all types of concealers, made to blur out fine lines or blemishes, like Photoshop for your skin. Then there are liquid concealers for light to medium coverage, color-correcting concealers to camouflage dark circles or redness, and stick concealers that can provide medium to full coverage with one swipe.
Whatever formula you end up using, whether it’s an affordable multitasking Maybelline concealer with near-perfect reviews or a splurge-worthy cover-up that’s on par with the best anti-aging eye creams, the key is to make sure it looks natural. “Concealer should melt into the skin and blend into foundation seamlessly for an even-toned look,” says makeup artist Lynnette Cole, PÜR’s global education director. “Try testing your concealer on your neck. If it disappears, it’s the right shade.”
What to know before you buy
When it comes to choosing choosing the best under-eye concealer, New York City–based makeup artist Alexandra Baranoff, advises: “The general rule for finding a concealer is to use one shade lighter than your foundation. Going too light will only makes the skin look ashy or can add a touch grayness to your face.”
For women of color, dark under-eye circles and blemishes can seem more intense, but this isn’t the time to consider your undertone. “Unlike choosing a foundation, the right concealer really depends on what you’re trying to conceal rather than the undertone,” says Nechelle Turner, Jane Iredale’s national makeup artist. “A concealer that is yellow-based will neutralize and conceal redness, whereas something warm will neutralize the blue, gray, purple cast that you see in dark circles.” Looking for an under-eye concealer to even out skin tone? Turner suggests using a concealer that’s “half shade lighter than their foundation shade.”
Another factor to consider: your personal style. “Do you prefer the natural look, or are you more of makeup maven?” asks Baranoff. “How you wear your makeup will help determine the formula that you choose. Whichever style you are, always to opt for a concealer that brightens the under-eye area.”
With that in mind, here are the best concealers for every conceivable need, skin shade, style, and budget. Stock up on the right ones for any beauty emergency and you’ll always look awake, alert, and ready to face the day (or night).
Be a 10 Discreet Concealer
If you’re looking for a concealer that can multitask but especially hide redness and breakouts, try Be a 10’s hero product. The Discreet Concealer has three shades—Be Subtle (light), Be Warm (medium), and Be Rich (dark)—all of which are formulated to blend in while hiding redness, blemishes, uneven skin tone, and even dreaded dark circles. Creamy formulas like this one, by the way, are the way to go if you want to cover a blemish. Why? They tend to provide more coverage, according to Turner. Plus, this product’s pom-pom applicator provides (ahem) spot-on coverage exactly where you aim it, and even better, it’s long-lasting.
- Hides redness and breakouts
Winky Lux Perfect Peeper Under-Eye Concealer
Winky Lux is both a cult beauty favorite and a fabulous drugstore brand that’s vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free. The Perfect Peeper Under-Eye Concealer, which comes in 10 shades, is a creamy concoction that can also be used on hyperpigmentation and blemishes. Its moisturizing and brightening formula includes olive oil and grapeseed extract. One Target reviewer raves: “It’s sheer but provides enough coverage to dim very dark circles. It doesn’t make you look perfect, just like you actually got enough sleep for once. And it never creases and has a great texture when applying.”
- Covers hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and dark circles
- Moisturizing and brightening
- Doesn’t crease
Jane Iredale Circle/Delete Concealer
Turner loves this little pot of concealers that contains both a highlighter and a concealer. With options from light/medium to peach/deep gold, the two colors can be mixed to create the perfect shade to cover up anything—including dark under-eye circles. Ingredients include moringa butter and avocado oil, so you get a dose of moisturizing goodness when you apply this concealer on your skin. In general, since the skin under the eyes is thinner than the rest of the face, it’s a good idea to use a hydrating concealer with skin-care benefits that plump, brighten, and correct, adds Cole. For all-over hydration, here are the best face moisturizers for dewy, healthy skin.
- Plumps, corrects, brightens
- Two-in-one highlighter and concealer
L’Oréal Paris True Match Eye Cream in a Concealer
Skin care and beauty are combined in one tube when you use L’Oréal’s True Match. This two-in-one concealer contains 0.5 percent hyaluronic acid and glycerin, just like L’Oréal’s moisturizers. It not only minimizes dark circles—it also provides 24-hour hydration, so it doubles as an amazing anti-aging eye cream. Made without parabens or fragrances, it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin but still packs a wallop. Plus, it’s easy to blend and build (when needed) and has a light, dewy finish. Reviewers rave that it doesn’t crease and works just as well as higher-end products. And for under $12, you really can’t go wrong!
- Doubles as eye cream
- Easy to blend and build
Thrive Causemetics Buildable Blur Creaseless Concealer
Whether or not you’re an active person, summer’s heat can turn a well-done look into a sliding mess of makeup. This waterproof product earns a spot on our list of best concealers because it can be used to cover blemishes, under-eye circles, or anything else you need to make things blend—and it’ll stay put. Using Thrive Causemetics’ blur effect tech, this hydrating concealer smooths out fine lines and doesn’t cake or crease, whether you’re running after children or a golf ball. In fact, in a clinical consumer perception study of 33 women who used this concealer for up to 16 hours, nearly 90 percent said it stayed creaseless throughout the day. Check out this other sweatproof makeup for even the hottest days.
- Won’t crease
Pacifica Liquid Cover Concealer
Made with alpine rose, iris, seaweed, coconut water, and hyaluronic acid, this silicone-free liquid concealer sounds like luxury moisturizer based on its ingredients. But believe it or not, you can get it for less than $13 at Target. Since it’s formulated without talc, minerals, parabens, or phthalates, it’s gentle enough to use on sensitive, oily, and dry skin. Plus, its lightweight, buildable formula won’t crease or look overdone. One reviewer enthuses, “This concealer actually works better for me than any of the more expensive brands I have used. It blends very well onto my skin. It doesn’t look cakey or dry when applied, and makes my face look entirely flawless. This is probably an unusual use for it, but I have even used it to cover up some flaws on my legs while wearing a dress, and it stayed on all day (used along with Pacifica primer and setting spray).”
- Gentle but effective
- Lightweight and buildable
PÜR 4-in-1 Sculpting Concealer
Can a concealer actually bring out your best features? This one can! Cole particularly loves this moisturizing concealer because it doubles as a highlighter. “It covers imperfections, brightens, and nourishes skin with encapsulated retinol and antioxidant-rich superfoods,” she says. Reviewers love it, too. One raves: “I use this product with or without foundation. Some concealers look off if you use them by themselves, but not this one—you can’t even tell I have any on.” That’s because it’s skin care masquerading as cosmetics. And since it can also help brighten skin, you can use it as a highlighter on your cheekbones. In case you were wondering, this is the difference between retinol and retinoids.
- Doubles as highlighter
- Contains nourishing ingredients
- Can be used without foundation
Younique Touch Skin Solution Concealer
Younique’s Touch Skin Solution is a bit like a miracle in a bottle. The color matches are so spot-on that when you apply it, you might wonder if the bottle is holding a better version of your skin. This full-coverage concealer quickly covers dark circles, as well as hyperpigmentation and blemishes, and it won’t cake, flake, or turn shiny. What’s in it, exactly? In addition to pigments, you’ll find skin-brightening caffeine, squalane, vitamin E, and sodium hyaluronate.
- Accurate color matching
- Full coverage
- Won’t cake or flake
The Route’s The Sunny Eyes
Winner of Shape Magazine‘s 2020 Beauty Award for the Best Eye Cream, this multitasker is a combination under-eye cream and under-eye brightener that can diminish dark circles while blurring fine lines and wrinkles. The color-correcting formula contains peptides to fight wrinkles; pomegranate, green tea, caffeine, and soft-focus diamond powder to promote a rested, glowing look; and hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and fatty acids to moisturize the delicate under-eye area. “This stuff is light, non-greasy, and the light tint brings warmth and color to your face without actually tinting it,” says one satisfied customer.
- Blurs fine lines and winkles
- Color-correcting formula
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer
This liquid concealer offers a whopping 50 shades and undertone options that range from very fair to rich, deep tones. Using a vegan and cruelty-free formula, this concealer is sweat-resistant and long-wearing, and it provides full coverage. It can be used as an under-eye concealer or to disguise blemishes or other skin issues. One reviewer loves that it’s “sweatproof, even under masks” and that “no touch-ups are needed, even after hours in the heat.” Here are more Black-owned beauty brands you should really own by now.
- Broad range of shades and undertone options
- Vegan and cruelty-free
Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Etherealist Super Natural Concealer
Reviewers rave about this full-coverage concealer that gives you that “just woke up like this” glow. If your under-eye area is showing signs of aging and you don’t want your concealer to exacerbate it, this is the formulation for you. It contains luminescent pearls that create an HD effect—highlighting your skin while blurring imperfections. It also has an oxygenating complex that’s perfect for the delicate under-eye area. “I have dry, mature eyes with my fair share of lines,” writes one fan. “It did not dry out my under-eye, and it brightens the eye without emphasizing lines.”
- Full coverage
- Nurtures mature skin
Smashbox Studio Skin Flawless Oil-Free 24 Hour Concealer
This creamy Smashbox formulation may last longer than you will, and it won’t clog pores or irritate sensitive skin. You can use it under your eyes without worrying that it will settle into lines, and its color-correcting properties will make dark circles vanish. Plus, 91 percent of Sephora customers who bought it would recommend it, with one saying, “This is my absolute holy grail concealer. It lasts all day even if I don’t set it with powder. Not too dry, not too oily, it doesn’t break me out, and it’s never cakey.”
- Gentle formula
- Safe for acne-prone skin
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer
Could this be the best concealer on the market? It does so much that the list is dizzying. One reviewer calls it “Spanx for skin” since it appears to reverse the signs of aging. It works with all skin types and smooths out pores, fine lines, hides blemishes, dark circles, puffiness, and hyperpigmentation. It can also be used on the upper eyelid to give the illusion of a “lifted lid,” due to inclusion of Persian Silk Tree extract, which is supposed also “magic” away crow’s feet (temporarily).
- Erases signs of aging
- Benefits upper eyelid
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BLK/OPL True Color Flawless Perfecting Concealer
Specifically created for women of color, BLK/OPL prides itself on creating luxury cosmetics at wallet-friendly prices. This drugstore beauty staple has an entire line of cosmetics—one could seriously get lost in their lipstick section. But we’re here to talk about concealer! And this creamy full coverage stick concealer gets the job done while drenching your skin with vitamins A, C, and E. Since it comes in a lipstick-like tube, it’s easy to tote around, whether you’re heading out for the night or hopping on a plane.
- Drugstore beauty buy
- Full coverage
- Easy to transport
AJ Crimson Beauty Dual Skin Créme Foundation
Black-owned AJ Crimson’s namesake is a celebrity makeup artist’s passion project. He wanted to create a line of cosmetics for “every ethnic background and skin tone.” His dual skin foundation is hand-poured into each pan and has a beeswax base, and it’s so gentle that it can be used on oily, dry, or combination skin. Using a makeup brush, you control how much and where to place the product, and can gently add more product to cover blemishes, redness, and even tattoos. While it’s waterproof, it’s also easy to take off. For other waterproof makeup, check out the best waterproof mascaras for smudge-free summer lashes.
- Easy to remove
- Great for all skin types
Sephora Collection Make No Mistake Foundation and Concealer Stick
Sometimes less is more when it comes to the number of products you use—especially when you’re in a rush. Noncomedogenic and cruelty-free, this creamy all-in-one concealer and foundation from Sephora is all you need for full coverage with a matte finish. The product evens out skin tones, banishes under eye circles, and hides imperfections. And reviewers love its staying power, ease of use, and versatility. It comes in 13 shades, and you can find one with neutral, pink, or yellow undertones.
- Doubles as foundation
- Full coverage
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer
This fan-favorite holds to the brand’s principle of creating beauty products that are married with skin-care ingredients. It’s a waterproof, full-coverage concealer packed with anti-aging peptides, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and hydrolyzed collagen. This concealer can also hide redness, hyperpigmentation, age spots, broken capillaries, and even out an uneven skin tone. But be warned: Use the tiniest amount to start and then work your way up; otherwise, it will be too thick. “A little goes a long way, so it’s well worth the price—I don’t think I’ve ever appeared so well rested in my life!” says one Sephora reviewer. “I have a genetic predisposition to dark circles and bags, and this covers both. I wish I had started using this product years ago.”
- Full coverage
- A little goes a long way
Darci Henry Wise Disguise Under Eye Concealer
Philadelphia-based Darci Henry’s mission is to create American-made beauty products for all women. Her Wise Disguise concealer uses Centipeda Cunninghamii Extract (old man’s weed), a plant native to Australia that’s known for its restorative properties. It can be used to minimize under-eye circles, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.
- Skin-loving ingredients
- Works on under-eye circles and blemishes
Ilia True Skin Serum Concealer
A concealer that melts into your skin and quickly evens out your skin tone? Yes, please! This little multitasker from Ilia, which comes in 20 shades, was named Glamour‘s Best Clean Concealer of 2020. It has a gentle, creamy formula that contains vitamin C, albizia julibrissin bark extract, and mastic. That mix of good stuff improves your skin’s texture while helping to alleviate blemishes, skin imperfections, and dark circles. While we’re on the subject of serums, these are the best face serums for every skin type.
- Hides dark circles, blemishes, imperfections
How to apply concealer
Now that you know the best concealers out there for every need, let’s get down to the nitty gritty—aka how to apply it for the best results. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite spot: the under-eye.
- Unless the concealer you’ve chosen is a concealer/moisturizing hybrid, you should first apply an under-eye cream. This step not only moisturizes the delicate under-eye skin, but it also preps it for concealer and/or foundation. This is essential because makeup will adhere to and last longer on hydrated skin.
- Concealer should be applied after your foundation and then blended in, with either your fingers or a makeup brush.
- Make sure to cover the sinus area (the area right before your cheekbones). After applying it to the under-eye area, tap lightly but repeatedly on the concealer to blend and set it. Use the same method that you use to apply under-eye cream.
- To set the under-eye concealer to ensure it won’t flake, melt, or crack, lightly dust the area with either a translucent or complimentary powder using either a fluffy wide makeup brush or a velour puff.
And now for blemishes. When covering up red spots, Turner prefers to use a matte or semi-matte concealer, as “something dewy will be too shiny and will catch the light, drawing attention to the blemish.” Then, she says, follow these steps.
- First apply a liquid foundation. Then “stipple concealer in the same shade or close as possible with a small brush on your blemish until it blends.”
- Afterward, use a setting powder to lock it all in.
Ideally, she adds, “use a concealer that is infused with antioxidants, vitamins, and hydrating properties. You want it to not only cover but also address the appearance of blemishes and discoloration.” Next, check out more makeup secrets of women who always look put together.
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- Lynnette Cole, a makeup artist and PÜR’s global education director
- Alexandra Baranoff, New York City–based makeup artist
- Nechelle Turner, Jane Iredale’s national makeup artist