The power of a good concealer should never be underestimated. Choose the right product and not only will it be your go-to when you’re blessed with an unexpected blemish or breakout, but it’ll also help disguise under eye circles to help you look a whole lot more awake than you might feel. Plus, a great concealer can also be used to help brighten the look of your face by correcting any redness, dark spots or general discolouration you might have.
When it comes to shopping for a concealer, a few things need to be taken into consideration. Firstly, you need to decide what sort of texture is best for you – concealers take many forms these days, from pencil-like products that can be scribbled on quickly and easily, to liquids that blend seamlessly into skin and creamy formulas that are best applied and buffed in using a brush. Next, it’s important to decide what sort of finish you want; some formulas offer heavier, matte finishes while others are much lighter and glowier and can leave skin looking dewy.
Finally, you need to pick the shade. Some experts agree that you should go a shade or two lighter than your foundation, while some say it’s best to match it to your skin tone – but ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference.
Once you’ve figured out exactly what it is you want from a concealer, it’s time to choose the best product for you. To help narrow down the endless choice that’s available, we’ve rounded up our favourites…
How we tested
Each of these concealers has been tested for a few days, and we took note of everything from the number of shades available and price point right though to ease of application, how easy it was to blend and how well it lasted throughout the time we were wearing it.
The best concealers for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Lancôme teint idole ultra wear all over face concealer: £25, Feelunique.com
- Best cream formula – Glossier stretch concealer: £15, Glossier.com
- Best full coverage – Anastasia Beverly Hills magic touch concealer: £29, Anastasiabeverlyhills.com
- Best high end formula – Cle de Peau Beauté concealer stick: £54, Cultbeauty.com
- Best highstreet formula – NYX Professional Makeup bare with me concealer serum: £11, Boots.com
- Best for under eyes – L’Oréal Paris true match eye cream concealer: £7.95, Lookfantastic.com
- Best for a natural-looking finish – Dior backstage face and body flash perfector concealer: £23, Dior.com
- Best for on-the-go touch-ups – Jones Road the face pencil: £23, Jonesroadbeauty.com
- Best for brightening – Rare Beauty liquid touch brightening concealer: £18, Spacenk.com
Lancôme teint idole ultra wear all over face concealer
This concealer has been our tester’s go-to since it launched a couple of months ago. Not only does it add just the right amount of coverage, but the relatively big-yet-pointed doe-foot applicator makes it a breeze for applying wherever it’s needed. It’s as easy to target application under the eyes as it is elsewhere on the face.
It’s also great for topping up on-the-go as and when needed (which is especially good if you’re still wearing a mask on public transport or to perfect any areas that have been victim to hot sweats on sunny days), and it blends beautifully and creates a second skin kind of finish. Plus, it’s available in 20 skin-true shades, and feels extremely lightweight on skin. Consider it one of Lancome’s very best products.
Glossier stretch concealer
Best: Cream formula
Glossier really delivered when it made this concealer. Available in 12 shades, it’s formulated with elastic micro waxes, so instead of it sitting on top of skin and looking cakey, it melts in and moves with your face, giving a bouncy, flexible finish. It’s also packed with a blend of oils which, instead of making you look greasy, provide a natural-looking, glowy look.
It can be applied with a brush or patted into skin with the warmth of your finger (which is the way our tester preferred). It’s especially good for under the eyes as it doesn’t settle into creases, plus a little goes a long way so, although the pot may seem small, it’ll last a long time. It provides light to medium coverage – as you’d expect from a brand like Glossier – but because of the way it’s formulated, it can be built up if you prefer something a bit more full coverage.
Anastasia Beverly Hills magic touch concealer
Best: For full coverage
On first swatch, this concealer was far heavier coverage than we initially anticipated, but despite that, the formula itself feels relatively lightweight, isn’t at all cakey (which is the downfall of most heavy coverage concealers) and it melted into skin easily. This would be a good one to conceal blemishes – and we found it best applied with fingers and then patted into skin for a seamless finish. It dries down fairly quickly so there’s not much play time, but if you apply exactly where you need it and blend it out then that doesn’t cause much of an issue. Available in 25 shades, you don’t need much at all and we loved the natural-looking, luminous finish that it gave skin. It’d be a good one to take on holiday when you don’t want to wear a full face of foundation.
Cle de Peau Beauté concealer stick
Best: High end formula
This is the concealer that’s constantly raved about by make-up artists – the creamy, blendable formula is second to none and it really does provide a seamless finish. It’s infused with a so-called “light empowering enhancer” which brightens skin when you need it most, making you look a whole lot less tired than you might feel. It’s anything but cakey once applied on skin, and it really works to counter the look of dark circles without gathering in fine lines or wrinkles, plus the stick-formula makes it easy to carry around in your bag. The only downside (and the reason it loses marks) is that it’s only available in 13 shades, making it fairly limited, so we’d like to see Cle de Peau work to extend that in the future so everybody can experience the joy of this magical concealer.
NYX Professional Makeup bare with me concealer serum
Best: High street formula
You can always count on NYX to create effective products that not only deliver on their promises but that are also always completely affordable. This concealer serum is one of the best textures we’ve tried, and we can see exactly why it was so popular on TikTok. It’s able to cover dark circles, redness, acne and blemishes without every drying skin out. Instead, the skin-kind ingredients – which include plumping tremella mushroom, soothing cica and anti-inflammatory green tea – work to hydrate in one fell swoop. Incredibly easy to apply and blend out, it looks and feels fresh on skin, and can layered up for fuller coverage if that’s what you prefer.
L’Oréal Paris true match eye cream concealer
Best: For under eyes
If you’re looking for a concealer specifically formulated to use under the eyes, look no further than this one from L’Oreal Paris. A real revolution (especially for an affordable high street brand) it contains 0.5 per cent hyaluronic acid to hydrate, plump and reduce the look of fine lines while also concealing dark circles and bags. The formula is nicely lightweight but buildable, and while it did need setting with powder, it covered the area well and lasted throughout the day. Plus, it’s got SPF20 in it which is appreciated, although it’s only available in eight shades. There is a relatively decent range of colours that should skew multiple skin tones, but we would have liked to see a better selection, especially considering L’Oreal Paris is a brand that usually prides itself on extended shades.
Dior backstage face and body flash perfector concealer
Best: Natural-looking finish
Dior always delivers on the foundation front, and this concealer is firmly following in those footsteps. Part of the its backstage franchise, this is the first full coverage formula from the brand – it works to conceal and disguise dark circles and blemishes well but without feeling heavy or looking chalky. Instead, it blends seamlessly into skin and provides a glowy, natural, fresh-looking finish. Plus, we could tell that the applicator wasn’t an afterthought. Instead of the usual doe-foot style, it’s actually a proper concealer brush, which means targeted application and blending can be done quickly and easily. Plus, we liked that each shade corresponds with the shades available in Dior’s bestselling face and body foundation – a small touch that makes shopping your shade much easier.
Jones Road the face pencil
Best: For on-the-go touch ups
If you haven’t heard of renowned make-up artist Bobbi Brown’s new venture then it’s time to get to know: Jones Road launched in the UK last year and since then it’s gone from strength to strength. The innovative range of make-up is a real passion project and Brown’s love of cosmetics really shines through. The face pencil is among our favourite products from the brand – super easy to scribble and blend exactly where it’s needed, it doesn’t feel dry on skin and it doesn’t drag either (something we initially expected to happen). It covers both redness and dark spots with ease, while also working to lighten the appearance of dark circles, and yet somehow it remains virtually undetectable on skin. Our only piece of advice is that it does need sharpening so make sure you have a sharpener to hand so you don’t get caught out. Available in 25 shades and a variety of undertones, we really love this clever little pencil.
Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer
Best: For brightening
The brainchild of Selena Gomez, Rare Beauty is one of a handful of celebrity-led make-up brands that’s so good that it could easily stand on its own two feet. The brightening concealer is a standout from the range, and not only does it come in 48(!) shades – which match the brand’s foundation colours – but it’s super hydrating and a little goes a long way. Ideal for dabbing onto blemishes, or for hiding redness and dark circles, the medium-to-full coverage formula is sweat resistant and we found that it did stay put for most of the day. Our tester found the creamy texture best applied onto skin with the applicator and then blended with a foundation brush, it doesn’t sit heavy on skin and neither did it settle into any fine lines or wrinkles.
The verdict: Concealers
There really is something for everyone here, but if you’re looking for a general does-it-all concealer that covers all bases, Lâncome is the best option. However, if dehydration lines around your eyes are a concern for you, L’Oreal Paris is a great choice – the ease of application and added skincare benefits make for a great dual purpose product. We do also love Cle de Peau but it is expensive, however the stick will last a long time so we have no doubt you’ll get your money’s worth. For the ultimate in value and performance, Glossier’s stretch concealer is forever a fail safe choice.
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