Review

The Gloss Report: Concealers tried and tested

Judy Johnson 5 February 2016

1 / 15

The best concealers for spots

Whether it's hyperpigmentation, acne or the odd spot that you want to cover up, a good concealer for natural-looking coverage is a must. We're not talking  light-reflecting under-eye concealers  here; for this Gloss Report we've tried and tested the camouflaging concealers that will hide away any skin flaw.

Take a look through the gallery for our honest reviews of how they perform when we're feeling less than our glossy best...

2 / 15

Becca Dual Coverage Concealer

Price: £24

Buy online: uk.spacenk.com

Feedback: “After a bout of chickenpox last year, I’ve been left with a few unsightly scars on my face and neck and have been on the hunt for a concealer that’s heavy-duty enough to cover them up ever since. Overall, I was really impressed with this product. It had a great shade range and contained two useful options, providing differing levels of coverage and a customised colour too. The only thing that I could fault is the texture which was a little too waxy for my liking, but overall my blemishes were far less noticeable (concealed about 80% of the way). The finish was natural, clean and budge-proof and pretty much lasted all day. I was definitely impressed.”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 8/10

3 / 15

Bobbi Brown Corrective Spot Treatment in Bisque

Price: £25

Buy online:  www.bobbibrown.co.uk

Feedback: “I’ve never really been a fan of liquid based concealers as they either blend into nothing leaving no coverage over a spot, or they just seem to sit on top making the area even more obvious – neither is good! However, this Bobbi Brown Corrective Spot Treatment, I’m pleased to say, does neither. Its creamy, lightweight formula blends seamlessly into the skin gliding on evenly and giving a matte, natural finish. It instantly gives enough coverage to hide any blemishes and also helps to even out the skin tone, giving a brighter look to the under eye area too. On top of that it also has an SPF of 25 which is ideal all year round.

“The rubber wand is very different to a normal brush, but I love it – it makes application so much easier. You only need a small amount as a little goes a long way and it’s super long-lasting and didn’t budge for the whole day.  The only issue I have is that because it is very matte it can be quite drying – in the winter I tend to find my skin develops dry patches even around spots, so it may need an extra bit of moisturiser underneath to help it blend in seamlessly without looking like a clumpy mess.”

Reviewer: SM

Score: 8/10

4 / 15

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place High Cover Concealer SPF 35

Price: £21

Buy online: www.esteelauder.co.uk

Feedback: “I'm always on the look-out for a robust concealer that can cope with dark spots and broken veins, especially around the nose. I find most either lack the coverage, or the staying power, or both. This new concealer has clearly been designed with difficult customers like me in mind, because it effortlessly blots out annoying things like freckles, under-eye shadows and hyperpigmentation - without itself being obvious. It blends easily and seamlessly into make-up free skin, and, crucially, it stays put. The SPF is also very useful if you're trying to spot areas of pigmentation from getting worse, or if you're treating them and don't want to undo the effects of a brightening serum or laser treatment. It's taken up residence in my make-up bag and won't be leaving any day soon.”

Reviewer: SV

Score: 10/10

5 / 15

RMK Super Basic Liquid Concealer in 01

Price: £24

Buy: www.lookfantastic.com

Feedback: “I’m always a bit weary of trying a new concealer; I think you really have to go in for a long time trial process to be able to find ‘the one’, but after just 48 hours I may have found it. What I liked most about this concealer was that it still had quite a bit of thickness to it without being heavy. I used it on some blemishes that I could see starting to appear on my chin, and they faded away in one swish, and still after four hours wear, I didn’t need a top up. The shade of 01 worked perfectly with my foundation which is from another brand, so I thankfully didn’t have an unsightly halo-effect of a mismatch. Seamless perfection.”

Reviewer: EC

Score: 10/10

6 / 15

Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer

Price: £19.50

Buy online

Feedback: "If you're going to give your concealer the name 'Amazing', you need to be pretty sure it'll live up to expectations. Thankfully, it's actually pretty great - a tube of creamy formula, it's best dotted on and then blended, and blend it does; it's a little like using a mini foundation, only it provides far better coverage on anything from spots to pigmentation to dark circles, without creasing (or highlighting Mother Nature-given creases). Best of all it has a great shade range; the Ivory shade is really, truly pale, unlike some of those yellowing shades you can sometimes find elsewhere, and it covers darker skin tones too."

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 10/10

7 / 15

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solution Clearing Concealer in No.2

Price: £14.50

Buy online:  www.clinique.co.uk

Feedback: "Now I've got to say I'm usually quite a big fan of Clinique products, they're often light, refreshing and kind to sensitive and (mega) pale skin like mine. However, I really wasn't very impressed with their clearing concealer. The main problem I found was that the liquid dried really quickly and became quite sticky, making it difficult to blend over blemish areas. It also left quite a 'cakey' finish which ultimately was drawing more attention to my problem areas rather than concealing them - not ideal! The only thing that I did quite like was that it had a touch of highlighter in the mixture which helped give a bit of luminosity to tired skin. Overall though the finish was a bit blotchy and flakey for my liking, but perhaps if mixed with a little moisturiser before application it might work better on your skin.”

Reviewer: KR

Score: 4/10

8 / 15

Wild About Beauty Smooth Cover Concealer Kit

Price: £19:50

Buy online: wildaboutbeauty.com

Feedback: “I have fallen for this brand, and hard. When I first picked up a Wild About Beauty product, I have to admit that I thought I was dealing with Laura Mercier, owing to the deep purple packaging and high-quality, natural-looking finish.  I was surprised to learn it was actually the work of Louise Redknapp and make-up artist Kim Jacob - and it’s fair to say that they’ve hit the mark with every product I’ve tried so far, this concealer included. I used the ‘Fair’ shade and mixing the two tones of concealer produced the perfect shade of pale. Its creamy texture was neither too light nor too heavy, and it melted into the skin to disguise redness, shadows and blemishes. It comes with a built-in talc-free HD setting powder; a nifty addition and great idea if covering spots is a priority. The packaging is dainty enough to throw into your handbag too - not that you’ll need to touch up, I found it stayed fresh all day. It’s not a bargain option, but I predict it will outlive most of your daily make-up staples."

Reviewer: AH

Score: 10/10

9 / 15

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

Price: £5.99

Buy online:  www.boots.com

Feedback: “This concealer is described as ‘no nonsense’ and it lives up to that description in almost every aspect. There are no oils, no waxes, no fragrances, no fancy packaging and no hefty price points - just realistic, natural-looking cover that suited my skin to a tee. I used the concealer in shade 15 (fair) and it blended well with my natural skin tone, bringing down redness and camouflaging blemishes. Its texture was a little gloopier than other concealers I’ve tried, however that said it doesn’t sit on top of the skin and it survived a sweaty gym session - kudos.”

Reviewer: AH

Score: 9/10

10 / 15

Chantecaille Total Concealer

Price: £32

Buy online: uk.spacenk.com

Feedback: “I am a concealer queen. I hate wearing thick foundation and for days where I don't want to look made-up or am on the school run I use concealer and nothing else. I've tried hundreds over the years and this one is by far one of my faves. It's expensive (seems to be a running theme for me!) but I adore its creamy but light texture which covers everything from the smallest pimple to pulsating boils, blends magically away into skin and lasts and lasts so your spot won't rear its ugly head all day. Chantecaille have real skin shades perfected too so there are no weird apricot or overly pink colours. I use the Vanilla shade on spots, under eye bags and as a stand-in for foundation. Brilliant beauty SOS in a tiny little tub.”

Reviewer: ST

Score: 10/10

11 / 15

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

Price: £21

Buy online: www.narscosmetics.co.uk

Feedback: "Having an olive skin tone has its perks but it also, perhaps surprisingly, has its pitfalls. A prime example of the latter being the issue of trying to find a foundation or concealer that perfectly matches my skin tone. More often than not I've found 'sandy' and 'beige' shades of base products that almost work but for the obvious much-too-yellow or much-too-pink undertones. That was until I came across the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Available in seven shades, I opted for Honey - a warm peach tone for light to medium complexions. Not only did this hero hue suit me perfectly, it also happened to do a great job at concealing imperfections and left me with as much radiance as the name implies. The lightweight creamy texture also blended into the skin seamlessly making it ideal for the under-eye area, which I'm always keen to treat gently for fear of premature wrinkles! An all-round winner in my eyes, this concealer ticks all the boxes and then some."

Reviewer: KB

Score: 10/10

12 / 15

MAC Select MoistureCover

Price: £15.50

Buy online 

Feedback: “In terms of versatility, this concealer scored full points from me. Delicate enough to help disguise my dark circles, but hardwearing enough to help conceal blemishes, it worked just as well first thing in the morning as it did for top ups at the end of the day - a rare find indeed. This last detail was due largely to its moisturising texture, a hydrating formulation which didn’t just sit on top of my existing makeup, but rather provided an extra dose of coverage on areas of unevenness where my go-to medium coverage foundation proved not enough (namely my chin, upper lip and sides of my nose). It did sink into a few lines on occasion, but seriously, that is the only complaint I had.

“With 13 shades in the range (NC45 was my colour match), it suits a wide range of skin tones and with its ability to provide both soft and strong finishes at a swipe of its precision wand tip, I can confirm that it’s making itself quite at home indeed in my makeup bag, work bag, clutch bag - basically, all the bags I own.”

Reviewer: AM

Score: 9/10

13 / 15

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher

Price: £25

Buy online

Feedback: "There is nothing worse than spending ages attempting to cover your blemishes with a rubbish concealer. I have always struggled to find one that actually does what they all claim to, until The Retoucher by Charlotte Tilbury came into my life. It doesn't feel drying or heavy on the skin as it has a hydrating complex, and the highly pigmented formula works both to cover and correct. The soft-focus, smoothing and ultimate perfecting abilities of this product effortlessly cover up dark circles and blemishes, helping to clear and disguise any imperfections with ease. It's truly amazing - finally a concealer that really works!"

Reviewer: SM

Score: 10/10

14 / 15

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer

Price: £17.50

Buy online

Feedback: "This is possibly one of the creamiest, most blendable concealers I've ever used and it's all the better for it. Though Benefit promise it'll cover up dark circles as well as imperfections, personally I prefer a liquid concealer for under my eyes although dabbing this on did prove to brighten the area up with only a little creasing. More importantly though, it blends beautifully over spots, redness and imperfections, doing what my foundation couldn't and giving me a flawless face in an instant. You could use a brush or your finger for application - either works well as it's such a soft formula. However, I did find I needed a little setting powder on top to keep it in place for longer; the only drawback of a creamy texture, and perhaps making it less suitable for oily skin (mine is quite dry). I'll accept that, though for the glowy, highly pigmented coverage that it offers. Don't fret too much over the price either - it lasts and lasts."

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 9/10

15 / 15

Kiko Full Coverage Concealer

Price: £7.50

Buy online

Feedback: "This is similar to other creamy pot concealers but is far more matte, a little waxy and probably better suited for oily skin; I found it tricky to use at first as it's a little harder to blend than you'd expect, but gives impressive coverage nonetheless. It really stays put, too - there was no creasing and I didn't need any powder on top to make it last for most of the day, making it ideal for evening touch-ups after work. An absolute bargain too; I'll be buying it again."

Reviewer: JJ

Score: 7/10