Concealer Overview

clockwise top to bottom: Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer($32), Edward Bess Platinum Concealer ($38), Ellis Faas Concealer ($40), By Terry Touche Veloutee ($58), Tarte Smooth Operator ($22), Clea de Peau Beaute Concealer ($70), Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer ($22)

I recently had this conversation with a few guy friends who work in the beauty dept of Vogue which is “how much makeup is too much makeup?” I think somewhere along the line, there was a paradigm shift and it was no longer in vogue (pun intended) to be too obvious. You see gorgeous girls on Intothegloss espousing skincare parsed lightly with minimal makeup, and beauty magazines now tell you how to do the ‘natural’ look. Food, makeup, boobs – everything has to feel organic and natural now. A few of my guy friends said they draw the line at eye makeup and mainly do foundation and concealer. A few also said foundation is not necessary if you have good skin and that concealer to illuminate and hide spots might be all you need. It seemed clear to me that concealer was the ‘gateway’ product for most people. 

Working in the beauty department has its perks, mostly I get to take things home! Without that perk, I would not be able to compile this list of my observations on the top concealers in the market today. I know that concealers can last a long time, so it is really important especially for high-end beauty products that the products do what they say. 

Clea de Peau Beauty Concealer: This concealer has won more awards than any other concealer on this list. Beauty editors and interns swear by this stuff, and this has become one of the most ordered stock products at Neiman Marcus/Bergdorf. At $70, it is the most expensive stick concealer on my list, however if you want a concealer that will be reliably high quality- look no further. This stuff has great coverage, looks natural, retains wear after 10 hours, doesn’t shift/melt, and doesn’t crease. It applies like silk, and is easily blendable. The only minor con to this product is it doesn’t offer a great range of tone so unless you tend to be fair to light-olive toned, you might have a harder time finding the right match.

Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer: Hourglass kind of came onto the scene with their Veil line of foundation and primer. I think they’re best known for their primer, although it breaks me out so badly. The Hidden Corrective Concealer retails for $32, half the price of Clea de Peau— which is still a lot, but the results are very similar. I would say of the stick concealers, this replicates Clea de Peau the most – which is a high compliment. It is very creamy and light, easily blendable and extremely undetectable. The hue is slightly darker than Clea de Peau and the coconut oil and Vitamin E make it a little more buttery which is great if you’re in a dry place or for winter – but for people with oily skin, try to sample this first.

Tarte Smooth Operator Concealer: I really don’t think Tarte gets the respect it deserves amongst luxury beauty products. It is more Sephora/QVC than Barneys, however they make really good products and try to steer clear of not-so-good ingredients. The Smooth Operator Concealer is waterproof and loaded with Vitamins A/C and soothing Amazonian clay to balance skin. It completely hid the dark circles under my eye. It goes on matte, is buttery, and doesn’t flake or slip after a full day. At $22, this is the best value on the list. The only minor issue is that for me, I’ve noticed after a day of wear, my smile lines are somewhat accentuated but when I reapplied, this problem went away quickly. Although Tarte isn’t a ‘clean’ company, it does make efforts to put only good things in its product, as such they do not use mineral oils, parabens, or synthetic fragrance which a lot of products do use- so I want to commend them for being able to make a comparable product at a reasonable price point while filtering out a lot of the bad ingredients.

Vapour Organic Beauty Illusionist Concealer: The cleanest product on this list bar none. I am a huge fan of Vapour and really want to support clean companies in general. This is also why I don’t want to grade them on a slope, because I truly believe these companies need to put out products that are just as good as traditional products in order to remain competitive. To that end, the Illusionist Concealer is a wonderful product that provides great coverage. It falls short of earning full praise because it is a little on the thick side and there is some creasing after a few hours, especially if you apply under your eyes. The longevity of this product also leaves me wanting more and the colors are a bit too pigmented/dark for my skin tone. With that said, if they reformulate this product, I will be the first in line to try it!

Edward Bess Platinum Concealer: I love a niche product, but this fell short. It made my normal-oily skin look dry, made the dry spots very obvious, and was very heavy. It is the opposite of lightweight and creamy – it felt drying and heavy. I really feel you need to apply a lot of moisturizer before this product will look decent. Also, it only comes in 4 shades! Skip.

By Terry Touche Veloutee Concealer: This is a cream pen that dispenses the product through the brush head. The product is said to hide fine lines and wrinkles with its silky finish. I’ve found this to be true when first applied, however this product dries to almost a powder texture and accentuates tiny flaws. If you want a concealer for a quick event, like a dinner – this is a great product to use as it will illuminate your face, but for anything longer than 2-3 hours, I’d skip it.

Ellis Faas Concealer: Another cream pen option, unlike By Terry, this product doesn’t crease or wrinkle. It stays on very well and needs minimal after-application maintenance. It covers everything a concealer is supposed to with full coverage but with the feel of a light layer. The only negative is the beautiful pen will quickly become your worst nightmare! It doesn’t dispense by click, instead you have to dial the clicker over and over until this weird oil comes out and then it spews out the product. I think some more work needs to be done on the engineering of the packaging because the product is terrific.

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