Being back at work and all that entails (basically, no more sleep, Netflix binges or bellini breakfasts) has been quite the shock to the system. So if there’s one beauty bit that I’m heavily relying on to get me through these trying times, it’s a good concealer. But they’re surprisingly tricksy to come by, so here’s a rundown of my favourites, and how I like to use them to fake that whole ‘calm and well rested’ kinda vibe.
ONE: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is that rare beast – a great multi-tasker that works as well on dark circles as it does on spots. No easy job, believe me, but the consistency and texture of this one is spot on (no pun intended!); it’s creamy with great coverage but won’t crease or look cakey under the eyes, and it has a little bit of light reflecting wizardry going on. Handy wand applicator, too.
TWO: Clarins Instant Concealer – another genuinely brilliant multi-purpose product that performs just as well as the NARS product on both blemishes and under-eye circles. This concealer is like a great night's kip in a tube. Creamy, full coverage with a touch of radiance to detract from shadows but not so much that it will highlight imperfections. Blends beautifully and won’t crease under the eye.
THREE: I’m not sure if I’m sold on the packaging, but the formula of the Maybelline Instant Anti-Age The Eraser Eye Perfect and Cover Concealer is absolutely on point. It’s a little more sheer than the first two I’ve mentioned but it’s about a third cheaper, and will still brighten most dark circles while concealing most spots. The sponge is perfect for application in theory but in practice disperses a little too much product; I apply to the back of my hand and go in with a brush. I talked about this in my easiest ever makeup routine, one I’ve been relying on A LOT in recent weeks.
FOUR: My current favourite highlighting concealer, Chantecaille’s Le Camouflage Stylo is ideal for days when I’m wearing a lower coverage base, want to fake some facial dimension or just use underneath my eyes (this type of product isn’t for covering spots). It feels light and lovely, sinks in like skincare and provides an instant hit of hydration. While coverage is sheer, the soft focus powder and light reflecting pigments in the formula work to blur imperfections and brighten dark circles. Perfect for a spot of Kim K style triangular contouring.
FIVE: This is my sixth or seventh tube of Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer and I’ll be snapping up another on my next Boots run. If you’re a young ‘un, this could be your multi-purpose weapon of choice; on my aging skin, it’s a tad drying under the eyes. But it plays a blinder on spots (yes, we oldies still get spots, is there no justice in the world?!), blends nicely, lasts well and is purse-friendly, to boot.
There’s debate over whether concealer should go on before or after your base; I always use it afterwards, and like to buff it in with a brush (the Real Techniques domed shadow brush or ecotools airbrush concealer brush are excellent and affordable).
If your favourite cover-up is missing from the list, do leave a comment – there’s always room in my stash for just one more!