Concealers are an actual make-up bag must, for covering-up those pesky signs of tiredness and troublesome skin. We've tested the best and picked the top 10
Concealer needs to be pretty much the most reliable thing in our make-up bags. They're our (not so) secret weapons for covering up those pesky signs of tiredness and troublesome skin, enabling us to create a filter-free flawless look (even when we feel far from it).
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There are two things you need from your concealer:
The ability to cover dark circles around the eyes and to camouflage bad skin. Often the best under eye concealer for dark circles and the best concealer for blemishes is not the same thing, so definitely aim to have more than one in your make-up bag. As the one product we will consistently use, day in and day out, we only want the best of the best. That’s why we’ve tried and tested loads (and constantly) to find the top 10.
First thing’s first; if you're trying to hide a heavy night, eye bags or dark circles with an under eye concealer, a light, reflective formula is what you’re looking for. One shade lighter than your skin is a good bet to create a wide-awake look without reverse panda eyes.
If it’s a bothersome blemish or scarring you want to hide, look for a more highly-pigmented formula. That doesn't mean cakey — just match the shade to your skin and apply it sparingly, and layer as required over your (optional) best foundation.
Whichever the end result, you want a formula that stays put all day long and doesn’t enhance any skin texture. To avoid that annoying thing where it collects in the fine lines around your eye, dust a translucent powder over the top of the concealer to set it without making it dull.
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Nowadays there’s so many different types of applicators that you can choose the perfect one for your lifestyle, whether you favour on-the-go touch-ups or a morning preening routine. For a bespoke concealer recommendation, tell clever new beauty site Powder your skin tone, type, budget and what you want to cover up and they'll let you know what product you should be adding to your shopping list – easy!
The InStyle beauty team have tested what the cover-up world has to offer and come up with the 10 best concealers, their fail-safe favourites for every budget - from MAC to Maybelline.
With different textures and applicators (including handy concealer palettes) from powders to super soft creams, there's one to suit everyone so you can feel confident and have Instagram-ready skin all day, every day...
1. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, £22.50
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, £22.50, NARS
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is the most important step in a fair few of the team's make-up routines. It hides blemishes, redness and eye bags in the most natural way. A total must-have.
2. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat, £25
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat, £25, Debenhams
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat is pretty much on of the most famous product on the planet, but here's the catch - it's not actually a concealer. The multi-tasking highlighting pen has won just about every beauty award going (including InStyle's Best Beauty Buys), and our beauty editor Madeleine Spencer has broken down exactly how you should be using this cult product.
3. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer, £26
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, £26.50, John Lewis
Winner of our Best Beauty Buys, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage is a cult classic and the one that make-up artists always have on our shoots. It provides brilliant long-lasting coverage for bags and blemishes and the two shades mean you can blend to match your colour perfectly.
4. Estee Lauder Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter, £23.50
Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter, £23.50, Estee Lauder
Estée Lauder's Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter doubles up as a non-cakey, brightening concealer. Perfect for under-eye shadows, the cream formula smoothes on and pats in easily to cover and signs of tiredness and fatigue.
5. Bare Minerals SPF 20 Correcting Concealer, £21
SPF 20 Correcting Concealer, £21, Bare Minerals
We are a huge fan of the Bare Minerals SPF 20 Correcting Concealer. The rich formula covers a multitude of sins, while the SPF protects your delicate eye area from the sun. The best thing about it: it lasts all day.
6. Bobbi Brown New Concealer Kit, £24.50
New Concealer Kit, £24.50, Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown is famous for her range of excellent bases and foundations, and her concealers are just as good. This best-selling compact has a creamy concealer and a powder which sets it for longevity and stops it sinking into wrinkles and fine lines.
7. Clinique Even Better Concealer, £19
Clinique Even Better Concealer, £19, Boots
Clinique's Even Better Concealer has a creamy consistancy which brightens skin and evens the tone. A must-have to beat dull skin days.
8. Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer, £8
Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer, £8, Superdrug
Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer is pretty much made for those who love a night out - it's got just the right amount of coverage and a mix of vitamins C, E and B5 to nourish tired eyes and brighten dark circles.
9. AmazingCosmetics AmazingConcealer, £20
AmazingCosmetics AmazingConcealer, £20, Cult Beauty
We're all raving about AmazingConcealer. Just a small dab will work wonders in camouflaging any pesky areas, from blemishes, to dark circles, and even broken capillaries. It's water-resistant and long-lasting, making it perfect for busy days or teary weddings, plus it comes in a great range of shades. What's not to love?
10. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, £6
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, £6, Boots
If the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is a little bit out of your price range, then this one from Maybelline is a near-perfect dupe. It's gel formula means it easily blends into the skin, plus it's non-comodogenic so it won't block your pores. We'll take several, please.
11. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, £18
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, £18, MAC
If you want your concealer to really, truly stick, then this will most likely become your holy grail. It's fluid enough to blend beautifully, and dries to a skin-like finish that doesn't budge for hours. Bonus: a little goes a long way, so expect one bottle to last up to a year.
12. Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand, £28
Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand, £28, Bobbi Brown
This magic little wand takes the hassle out of blending, thanks to its fluffy applicator that ensures you won’t go overboard. The formula is thin enough to lightly conceal without any caking, and it doesn’t feel like it’s drying your skin out. It works equally for blemishes, redness and undereyes.
13. Tom Ford Concealing Pen, £42
Tom Ford Concealing Pen, £42, Selfridges
The formula is really what sets this concealer apart from others. It's luxurious and moisturising enough without falling flat on coverage, plus it's a total lifesaver when you're out and about and in need of a quick touch-up.
14. NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer Concealer, £23
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer Concealer, £23, NARS
Not only is NARS' latest concealer perfectly high coverage and long-wearing, it also comes in 16 shades which are helpfully clasified by both skin colour and undertone. What's more, it actually helps your eyes and pores look smoother over time, thanks to the inclusion of vitamins A, C and E. It's seriously all we've ever wanted in a concealer.
17. Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer
Laura Mercier's liquid concealer is every bit as good as her cult Secret Camouflage version, with this covering blemishes and discolouration and providing a slight blur. Also, once it's on, it's on - it won't slide off if you sweat or seemingly be goggled up by your skin over the course of a day.
Available at John Lewis | £24