The thing I love about concealer is that it can hide a multitude of sins. The right concealer can not only make you look well rested (even though you may have rocked straight into work from a night out) but also disguise any sign of outbreaks and scarring, and miraculously cover up redness or problematic pigmentation areas. Walk into any drugstore/highstreet pharmacy and you immediately feel overwhelmed with so many brands offering more often than not, more than one type of concealer. I decided to review 9 of the most popular drugstore/budget concealers, of which three are Lisa Eldridge approved (but I thought I’d put them to the test anyway).
Revlon Colourstay Concealer £6.99 in 03 Light Medium
Available in 5 shades, the Revlon Colourstay claims that it uses ‘time release technology to balance out imperfections for a continuously flawless look for up to 24 hours’ to provide a ‘full yet undetectable coverage’. If you’re looking for a full on, full coverage concealer that will hide just about anything but also one that will past the test of time and hold up for the entire day then this is the concealer for you. Housed in a clear tube with a doe foot applicator, the creamy formula leaves behind a satin finish on the skin. I noticed that the colour range runs more on the neutral side of the spectrum whereas I do prefer my concealers to be a little more warm. It works well under the eyes but I find the formula more drying than some of the others so can be prone to looking slightly crepe-y so my advice is to go in with little product and to work quickly to blend in the concealer, then set with a light dusting of powder.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer £5.99 in 20 Sand
The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is often mistaken for a particular high end concealer (Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer) from an aesthetic point of view but some say that it’s a complete dupe for it when it comes down to the formula as well. I have to say that when I first put it to the test, and being a massive fan of the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, I thought I was pretty much using the same product but for an incredible fraction of the price. However, after some more testing, I think I’m inclined to say that I actually prefer Maybelline’s Fit Me to the Nars’ Radiant Creamy. It is said to be Maybelline’s ‘first gel concealer made with no waxes and fillers’ and that it ‘conceals without feeling heavy or looking cakey’ and as a result ‘skin appears brighter and awakened’. It’s a less creamy formula compared to the Nars and lighter in texture compared to Revlon’s Colourstay. For me it provides a medium level of coverage and leaves behind a soft, matte finish. It also comes with a doe foot applicator and is available in 6 shades and what I like about the Fit Me is that it caters for different undertones. Shade 20 Sand is a soft, light yellow and perfect for my complexion.
Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer £7.99 in 52
As a fan of the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation, I had high hopes for this concealer. It’s quite a deceptively thick formula but don’t let that fool you into thinking ‘thick = cakey’ because it isn’t. Not in the slightest. It actually feels quite light to the touch. Said to be a ‘correcting’ concealer for creating radiance and combatting anti-fatigue, it is ‘enriched with fruit therapy for a healthy glow’ hence the name. It most certainly does leave behind a radiant, glowy finish so if you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin then this is a great option to help in reviving it (well at least on the surface anyway). Disappointingly, it only comes in 3 shades. It’s housed in a squeezy tube similar to the Lancome Juice Tube Lipgloss (who remembers those?) so better for sanity but just make sure you have clean fingers to apply.
Not the easiest one to get your hands on, L.A. Girl is pretty much unknown in the UK but through the power of the internet, I was certainly intrigued enough to make it my mission to hunt it down. The Pro Conceal HD comes in a squeezy tube but with a brush tip applicator which I know annoys most people. I don’t mind it so much but then again I don’t actually use the brush tip to blend out the concealer. I stick to my trusted Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge or my Morphe G2 brush. It’s a lightweight, whipped and slightly drier formula and packs a punch in terms of coverage, leaving behind a soft, matte, flawless finish that holds up for hours without creasing ( perfect for unsightly under eye bags like mine). It comes in something like a ridiculous (in a good way) 21 shades so if you can’t find the right shade in this then I don’t think you ever will.
Maybelline Master Conceal $8.99 (Not available in the UK) in Medium
I picked this up from Ulta on my trip to the U.S. last year so I have no idea if there are any plans for this to launch in the UK. As the name would suggest, the Master Conceal is more of a heavy duty concealer compared to the Fit Me. It has a slightly thicker consistency to the Fit Me, provides a bit more of a fuller coverage but doesn’t look heavy nor cake on the skin and is long lasting. It’s a lovely creamy texture that makes it very easy to blend. This also comes in a squeezy tube but with a long, thin nozzle so you don’t risk dispensing more product than you actually need. It’s available in 5 shades but I did find the shades run slightly more neutral/pink unlike the Fit Me.
Loreal True Match Concealer £6.99 in W4-5 (when I am tanned)
I absolutely adore the packaging of this. It’s so dinky! It comes with a brush tip wand housed in a short, clear tube so you’re literally painting on the concealer where you need it. The formula is rather wet and dries down to a dewy finish which might not be to everyone’s taste. The coverage on this is light to medium so if you’re looking for something heavy duty then this isn’t for you. The True Match should be reserved for good skin days with barely any concealing needed and where you want to retain a fresh, glowy and natural look. Definitely not one after a heavy night out. This is available in 5 shades.
Maybelline Instant Anti-Age The Eraser Eye £7.99 in Light
I actually use this as a highlighting concealer as the shade Light is quite brightening and I will typically alternate between this and the Mac Prep and Prime Highlighter in Light Boost. Don’t let the weird sponge applicator put you off as this is a pretty kick ass formula. It’s super thin in texture and completely weightless on the skin whilst providing a medium level of coverage (not great if you have very dark circles). It sets to an almost powder like matte finish without looking cakey, just soft and smooth. However, from what I can see, it’s only available in two shades, in the UK at least, so doesn’t cater for many skin tones. The U.S. has a brightening one and a neutralising one too on top of a selection of shades that we are definitely missing out on in the U.K. market.
Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer £5.19 in True Ivory
The Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer is a lovely light but creamy texture that provides a light to medium level of coverage. It’s a hydrating formula that melts into the skin and stays fresh looking for hours. Your skin stays looking like skin and I didn’t find that it creased on me at all. Darker circles and stubborn imperfections will need something heavier as this won’t do the job. It’s available in 4 shades but caters for warm, cool and neutral undertones.
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer £4.19 in 3 Warm Medium
The Lasting Perfection is somewhat a cult product amongst the beauty community in the UK. For me, this works better to hide imperfections on the skin rather than concealing under eye circles due to the fact that it’s a much drier formula that sets extremely quickly and is prone to caking. It’s a full coverage formula that lasts for hours (up to 16 hours according to the brand) but must be blended out swiftly as soon as the product hits the skin. Available in 4 shades ranging from cool to warm tones but runs very light so not a great option for those with warmer or deeper skin tones.
So which one comes out on top? That’s a tricky one indeed and the answer will vary depend on the job at hand. My top 3 though are the Maybelline Fit Me, the L.A. Girl Pro Conceal and the Maybelline Master Conceal (although I do love the Maybelline The Eraser Eye for highlighting, not necessarily for concealing). The Maybelline Fit me is a great all rounder whilst L.A. Pro Conceal is fantastic under the eyes, and the shade Creamy Beige has a slight peachy tint so is great for counteracting any blueness. The Maybelline Master Conceal is second to none at camouflaging stubborn imperfections whilst remaining weightless and undetectable on the skin.
What’s your favourite drugstore/budget concealer?