Whether you want to hide blemishes or dark circles, here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right concealer, plus our pick of the best concealers to suit every skin type and keep your skin looking flawless.
Read more: How to cover dark circles like a pro
1. How to choose the best concealer for your skin type
There are so many different concealers on the beauty shelves that it’s tough to choose one to try. We recommend thinking about your skin type, and what you’re going to be using the concealer for, then choosing one based on your beauty needs.
- If you have dry skin, don’t go for a concealer with a matte finish as that will dry your skin even more. It could also draw attention to dry patches of skin, which nobody wants.
- Creamy concealers tend to add an oily shine and can clog pores, especially if your skin is prone to break-outs. So if you have oily skin stay away from those textures.
- Some concealers work best for covering dark circles under the eyes, some are better for concealing blemishes and others specialise in evening out skintone. For best results, you may have to buy 3 different products to perform each of those functions!
2. Different types of concealers and how to use them
- Colour-correcting concealers — If you’re looking for a concealer to help even out your skintone, a colour-correcting concealer is what you need. Use our handy colour guide above to choose your colour, or look for a concealer palette to get one of each colour.
- Liquid concealers — These concealers are popular for a reason, as they suit most skin types. They also have buildable coverage, so you can get light to full coverage, depending on what kind of look you’re going for (and what you need to cover). You can even choose different finishes, like satin, dewy and matte. This type of concealer works well to cover acne, as liquid concealer is less likely to give you a cakey finish or aggravate break-outs.
- Stick concealers — The creamy finish of stick concealers are best for dry and sensitive skin and offer medium to full coverage — for better coverage, use a concealer brush to cover blemishes. Stick concealers work very well for covering dark circles, just make sure you go for one that goes on smoothly — if it pulls and sticks when you put it on your skin you’ll hate using it.
- Cream concealers — Usually packaged in a small pot, the thick texture of cream concealers gives intense coverage — the ultimate solution for covering blemished. The downside is that they can look too heavy on the skin if you don’t blend them properly. We definitely recommend using a concealer brush and setting your make-up with powder afterwards.
3. Some of our favourite concealers to suit all skin types and budgets
Clockwise from top left, here are some concealers we love:
- Rimmel Hide the Blemish Concealer; this budget buy has a creamy texture that perfectly conceals dark circles and blemishes. If you have dry skin, this is a good pick, and its opaque finish makes it perfect for heavy duty coverage. We recommend using a brush for even better coverage.
- Catrice Allround Concealer gives you a palette of options that is amazing value for money. Use the nudes to cover imperfections, the pink to banish dark circles and the green to magic away redness. Plus you can use the darker shades of beige to contour! It’s a really fabulous all-in-one product – creamy (which means it’s good for dry skin), blendable and long lasting.
- Clarins Instant Light Brush-on Perfector is a super lightweight highlighter that’s suited for evening out skintone, leaving skin looking brighter and hydrated. It’s not a replacement for concealer, but it’s a good choice if you’re looking to brighten and even out your skin.
- Revlon Colorstay Concealer is great for skin that’s slightly more oily. It’s easy to apply, gives full coverage and it’s long lasting — we use it for covering blemishes.
- Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer SPF 35 minimises fine lines and wrinkles and we love the added SPF. It works well under eyes and for covering blemishes, and its creamy texture is great for dry skin (but it’s not ideal if your skin is oily).
- MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette is our top pick if you can afford to spend a bit more on concealer. Use the different shades in the versatile palette for everything from contouring and highlighting to covering blemishes and dark circles. The colours blend well, and the different shades mean you’ll always find a tone to match whatever you’re covering — no matter the season.
5. Our beauty editor’s top concealer hacks
1. To prevent your lipstick from bleeding, line the outside of your lips with concealer using a fine tip brush.
2. Don’t want to wear foundation today? Add a bit of concealer to your moisturiser to create a subtle tinted moisturiser!
3. Perfect your cat eye by covering any eyeliner mistakes with concealer using an angled brush.
4. To give your face and eye area a lift, apply your concealer by drawing a triangle with the base under your eye and the point towards your cheek, then blend it in when you apply your base.
Product links last updated on 26/03/2019.