As the saying goes, eyes are the windows to the soul, so if there’s anything drawing attention away from that view, someone’s sure to notice. Being the key to instantly looking awake and covering problem areas (blemishes and broken capillaries included), it’s often the first and/or only beauty product that women apply, so finding a seamless formula that doesn’t look like you’ve layered on a slab of wet cement is crucial.
For a week I put these six concealers, ranging from drugstore to prestige brands, to the test, roughing it through busy workdays (including late night awards show coverage) and my commute in New York’s ruthless winter. Those that held strong, staying put throughout the day without flaking, creasing, or in the words of the women of The Bachelor, being “cracky,” came out on top. Here's how they fared!
Maybelline Face Studio Master ConcealThe beauty giant’s newest concealer ($9; drugstore.com) has a heavier, almost clay-like texture than most, yet lays on light and imparts a healthy glow. I found it almost identical to my staple, Tarte’s Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, with both formulas being truly creaseless and without any signs of wear by day’s end. This drugstore buy even surpassed many of the more prestigious formulas I’ve tried over the years, and in the time since I've tested it, have put it in regular rotation.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage ConcealerThe wand applicator of Urban Decay’s formula ($28; sephora.com) makes it ideal for covering up blemishes or layering for light, buildable wear. This double acting formula even combats the appearance of fine lines while Litchiderm (derived from lychee fruit) wards off dehydration—a lifesaver in the winter, and for those of us who can never quite fit in our recommended eight glasses of water.
Cle de Peau Beaute ConcealerI’ve heard murmurings of this concealer’s magic ($70; nordstrom.com) for years (it’s been awarded “Best Concealer” in InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys for nine years and counting), and knew I had to experience it for myself. Although it’s pricey as far as concealers go, if there’s one beauty purchase to splurge on, make it this. It’s thick enough that a little bit will go a long way (apply lightly and build for desired coverage), and the long-lasting formula will grasp to blemishes so you won’t have to obsessively check your reflection in fear of a restless pimple.
La Mer The Radiant ConcealerNo one will discount the benefits of any of La Mer’s luxurious offerings, but while I found the brand’s concealer ($70; nordstrom.com) added brightness to my now nonexistent dark circles, it wore down a bit towards the end of the day (keep in mind that I didn’t reapply), creasing and becoming almost powdery. Unlike most concealers, however, La Mer’s boasts SPF 25, which will protect skin where it’s most delicate and prone to signs of aging. The shades are also incredibly light, so I’d suggest going a shade darker than normal.
Philosophy Hope for Everywhere ConcealerThis wand applicator ($26; nordstrom.com) offers a light touch and an even lighter, vitamin-enriched formula that works best for those hard to reach spots, like around the nostrils or the inner corners of eyes. The built in brush is also great for quick touch ups on the go.
Rouge Bunny Rouge Glide ConcealerPerfect for an on-the-mend pimple, Castor Seed Oil in Rouge Bunny Rouge’s medium coverage concealer ($25; rougebunnyrouge.com) aids in skin regeneration, while Carnauba Palm Wax, Candelilla and Beeswax help soothe and moisturize. The pen-like applicator allowed for precise application, but I was most impressed by how seamlessly the creamy formula blended into skin.
Mehron ProColorRingThis range of shades is intended to be mixed and matched for a precise match, and will complement all skin tones. Intended for performers, it may hold up under stage lights, but I found it a bit thick for everyday wear.