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Makeup

Our favourite hard-working concealers for every skin concern

February 16th 2022 / Verity Clark / 0 comment

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From covering dark circles to camouflaging spots this is our expert edit of the concealers that really do the job

Concealers have a tonne of different functions, from reducing redness and hiding pimples to addressing dark under-eye circles when you're feeling less than fresh, concealer is a pretty strong contender for the most hard-working makeup product. Of course, it’s important to address any skin concerns with the right skincare but we all know that skincare isn't an overnight fix, it takes time to work. Concealer on the other hand, that gets to work in seconds!

Finding the right concealer to suit your skin needs is almost as tricky as choosing the right foundation for your skin type. But, luckily we’ve done the leg work for you. From the best concealer for acne to the best concealer for dry skin and even the best concealer for contour, we’ve tried and tested a whole load of the camouflagers and whittled the list down to an edit of the very best concealer for every skin concern – including the supermodel-approved concealer that Charlotte Tilbury herself uses on Kate Moss.

Best concealer for sensitive skin: Benefit Bright On Concealer, £21.50

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Coverage: Full

Shades: 12

Why we love it: It’s the closest thing we’ve found to a skincare concealer hybrid, we’re calling it 'concealercare'. Benefit has offered up some great concealers over the years, I don’t know many women who haven’t tried the iconic Cakeless Concealer at some point in their makeup lives, and the newest member of the Boi-ing concealer family isn’t letting the side down. It has a serum-like feel, it’s sheer in consistency so it really moves with the contours of your face, so it looks ultra-natural. It’s also packed with red algae extract and vitamin C which are great at hydrating (and brightening) skin, it’s even got emollients to soothe sensitised skin - win!

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Best concealer for dark circles: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, £24

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Coverage: Medium

Shades: 22

Why we love it: Nars’ award-winning concealers are a makeup bag staple for MUAs and beauty editors alike but this one might just take the top spot.

So often when you apply concealer under the eyes, it turns cakey pretty quickly or pools in the natural creases of your eye area. Not this bad boy. The creamy texture is almost like a second skin so it melts in and brightens the area without sitting heavily on the most delicate part of your face. It’s light-reflecting so corrects any under-eye discolouration but has a lovely dewy finish so looks natural.

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Best concealer for dry skin: Glossier Stretch, £15

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Coverage: Light to medium (it’s buildable)

Shades: 12 shades

Why we love it: This little pot has a high moisture content which means that it mimics the texture of your skin so it doesn’t sit in fine lines or look heavy - great news if you have dry patches, which tend to catch concealer and make it look flaky.

Glossier makeup artist Celia Burton recommends blending this into any areas of natural darkness of the face – so under the eyes and around the nose and mouth. This will help give that ‘real skin’ finish. However, mega fans of the dewy finish of this concealer have reported using this all over their face in place of foundation.

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Best concealer for acne: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, £5.99

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Coverage: Medium

Shades: 15

Why we love it: A high street hero that’s worth the hype. This popular concealer is lightweight but still packs a punch on the coverage front. Because it’s oil and wax-free it doesn’t suffocate the skin and it’s non-comedogenic so won’t clog pores – always a bonus. The small applicator is a great size for pinpointing any blemishes and applying just the right amount of coverage so that skin isn’t overwhelmed with excess product.

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Best concealer for oily skin: Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer, £31

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Coverage: Full

Shades: 10

Why we love it: A creamy formula wouldn't be our usual recommendation for oily skin types but this twist-up stick is totally weightless and does a remarkable job of keeping oil at bay throughout the day. And, because of the creamy texture, it helps to keep skin hydrated too. Best of all, it’s mega long-lasting so even if you usually find that your makeup is sliding off your face by lunchtime, this should see you through lunch, dinner and dancing!

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Best concealer for contour: Nyx Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Contour Concealer, £8

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Coverage: Full

Shades: 24 - we love you Nyx

Why we love it: If you’re planning on staying out all night then this is the concealer for you - the brand claims it has 24hr staying power! Admittedly we haven’t tested it for that long but we attest to the fact that it lasts all day with minimal creasing and minimal touch-ups. Unlike lots of full-coverage concealers, this doesn’t feel thick or heavy. It actually has a fairly thin consistency so is great for creating some shade and highlight. It does dry very matte though so if the skin is on the drier side we’d recommend mixing with your eye cream or moisturiser.

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Best concealer for mature skin: Trish McEvoy Correct and Even Full-Face Perfector, £40

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Coverage: Medium-full

Shades: 5

Why we love it: If you think we've got to be joking to suggest spending £40 on a concealer, you obviously haven't tried this. It's GTG's editorial director Victoria's favourite for her 50+ skin. It brightens, corrects – whether that’s under-eye discolouration, pigmentation or spots - and smooths out lines, thanks to its almost prosthetic but cake-free coverage. It really does give you a second skin, says Victoria. You can use this all over the face in targeted areas and it blends in seamlessly. Trish advises using it to create her trademark ‘triangle of light’ (an inverted triangle from your eye to the centre of your cheek) to wake up the area. There are four light to dark shades plus an ‘Extreme’ orange tone, which is actually an under-eye corrector (put your normal concealer on top).

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Best concealer for coverage: Anastasia Beverly Hills Magic Touch Concealer, £31

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Coverage: Full

Shades: 25

Why we love it: Full disclaimer, this is my personal favourite on the list. It gives mega duty coverage and has a large applicator so, on good skin days, I pop this under my eyes and around my nose and mouth and skip the foundation. It’s super pigmented hence it’s my go-to when I’ve stayed up binge-watching Love is Blind. Even though it gives great coverage, it’s fairly hydrating so you don’t need to worry about any caking. You may need to do some in-store testing though because the shades are quite confusing, I’m four shades higher in this than my usual concealer shade (so instead of a seven I wear 11).

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Best concealer for colour correcting: KVD Vegan Beauty Good Apple Lightweight Full Coverage Concealer, £19.55

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Coverage: Full

Shades: 32

Why we love it: Last year the KVD Good Apple Full Coverage Foundation went viral on Tiktok for its seemingly magic ability to cover literally everything but feel like barely-there makeup when you were wearing it. So, we were pretty excited when a concealer in the same range launched this month. Just like the foundation, the concealer is infused with antioxidant-rich apple extract and raspberry stem cells, which are both hydrating ingredients that contribute to the second-skin finish. It caters for different undertones rather than focusing on skin tones so you can use for any colour correcting concerns; go for yellow or golden undertones if you want to balance out any darkness under the eyes, or choose a peach or copper undertone to perk up any dull discolouration in the face.

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Best concealer for every day: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer, £24

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Coverage: Medium to full

Shades: 21

Why we love it: Throw away the foundation (no, we would never) and embrace a fresh face. This beloved concealer from the queen of the glow, Charlotte Tilbury, falls bang in the middle of matte and dewy. It’s buildable so you can go in layer after layer but, crucially, it truly doesn’t cake or crease - a concealer win! Charlotte says she uses this on model Kate Moss, so if it's good enough for her...

If you’re after full voltage coverage then this probably isn't for you but it does make dark circles, blemishes and redness disappear (temporarily, it’s not actual magic). There are specific shades for brightening and concealing, Charlotte recommends going one shade lighter if you’re using it for a brightening effect.

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