Out of 25 Tested, These Are The 12 Best Drugstore Concealers for Seamlessly Covering Everything in 2022

NYX Professional Makeup HD Photogenic Liquid Concealer rivals some of the top luxury formulas.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Out of 25 Tested, These Are The 12 Best Drugstore Concealers for Seamlessly Covering Everything in 2022

Getty Images

If there’s one makeup product you should always have on hand, it’s concealer: Whether you have dark under-eye circles, blemishes, hyperpigmentation, or redness, it’s the single catch-all product that can mask your skin concerns in a pinch. You may think you need to shell out extra money to get a quality concealer, but truthfully, many drugstore concealers outperform even the most luxury brands — you just have to find the right ones.

But because going through your own trial and error can be such a pain, we took out the guesswork by enlisting a group of volunteers to put the highest-rated drugstore concealers to the test in our lab. With texture, coverage, creasing, and staying power top of mind, we swatched and blended 25 promising products before determining the 12 best drugstore concealers of 2022. We truly loved every concealer on this list, but NYX Professional Makeup HD Photogenic Liquid Concealer nabbed our best overall spot for its wide shade range, smooth consistency, and natural finish.

Keep reading for the full list of the best drugstore concealers, according to InStyle testers.

Best Overall: NYX Professional Makeup HD Photo Concealer Wand

5
NYX Professional Makeup HD Photo Concealer Wand

Amazon

What We Love: It’s available in an extensive 23 shades — including yellow, lavender, and green for all your color correcting needs.

What We Don’t Love: Though it is a liquid concealer, testers say the formula is very watery.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a luxury concealer in order to properly cover dark circles, blemishes, discoloration, and other imperfections. Realistically, it can cost you less than $7 — thanks to the unbelievably affordable yet highly effective HD Photogenic Liquid Concealer from NYX. Testers couldn’t get enough of the lightweight formula, giving it perfect scores in every category. “The coverage is really good even though it’s so light. In fact, I think because it’s lightweight, it’s easier to spread evenly,” one tester explains. “I also love that a little goes a long way so it doesn’t take a lot of product to cover the spots on my face.”

The emollient-rich concealer glides onto the skin, giving you a smooth, non-cakey finish whether you blend it out with your fingers or a makeup sponge. After a few hours, our tester says she didn’t experience any creasing, even when she blinked or smiled — and that was without using a setting powder.

For a drugstore concealer, it also has an impressive shade range with 23 options spanning from light to dark, as well as some color-correcting hues. If you have issues with redness, swipe on the green shade to even out your tone, or reach for the lavender tube to even out any yellow spots or discoloration. Best of all, your shade match will layer beautifully over the color corrector.

It’s worth noting that though it is a liquid concealer, it is very watery, which may be off-putting to some. That said, our tester thinks that the liquid consistency actually allows you to use less because it spreads and blends so nicely.

Shades: 23 | Coverage: Medium | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $5

Best for Dark Circles: Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer

4.8
Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer

Amazon

What We Love: The crease-resistant formula provides 12 hours of hydration, which is ideal for the delicate skin around the eye.

What We Don’t Love: The sponge applicator isn’t removable, so it’s not easy to clean and wears down over time.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer may be the most recognizable product on this list — it’s difficult to walk down your local drugstore’s beauty aisle without spotting this sponge-tipped favorite. The cult-favorite concealer (loved by celebs like Kristen Stewart and Gigi Hadid) has dominated the market for 12 years, and our testers agree that it totally lives up to the hype.

InStyle Senior Commerce Editor, Shannon Bauer swore by this concealer all throughout college, and re-testing it after almost a decade made her remember why: “This formula is super creamy and easy to blend yet doesn't feel overly heavy or tacky,” she says. “It doesn’t crease at all and looks supernatural on the skin.”

Though it can be used to cover a myriad of skin concerns, it works exceptionally well for dark circles thanks to the sponge applicator and the medium, buildable coverage. Some quick dabs with a light blend sesh masks tired under-eyes to give the appearance of eight full hours of sleep. Because the formula contains glycerin it’s also super hydrating, making it ideal for use on the delicate eye area.

There’s so much to love about this pick, but we do wish we could remove the sponge tip. “I anticipate it will get a little gross over time since it’s difficult to clean,” says Bauer.

Shades: 18 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $9

Best for Acne: Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer

Neutrogena Skin Clearing Blemish Concealer

What We Love: It’s formulated with Neutrogena’s MicroClear Technology and salicylic acid to help reduce blemishes as you wear it.

What We Don’t Love: The coverage is super light and not very buildable.

Though you should let pimples heal instead of covering them with makeup, sometimes it’s unavoidable (no one wants an angry zit front and center for special occasions, after all!). So, if you absolutely need to cover a blemish you should grab a concealer specially formulated with acne-fighting ingredients — like Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer.

Developed with the help of dermatologists, this oil-free concealer is made with salicylic acid and Neutrogena’s signature MicroClear Technology to not only cover blemishes but visibly reduce them, too. “I would totally recommend this product to a friend if they were worried about blemishes,” says our tester. “It’s a great spot concealer as it blends well, doesn’t appear cakey, and has a useful applicator.” That said, if you have under-eye circles or other discoloration, this may not be the best choice for you. “it’s definitely not full coverage and isn’t very buildable,” our tester mentions. Also, the shade range is very minimal with only five options that skew light.

Purchasing a concealer designed for acne is just the first step to covering blemishes properly. Professional makeup artist Neil Scibelli previously told InStyle that how you apply it is just as important: Rather than using a makeup sponge, opt for a synthetic concealer brush or your fingers. "I've found that a patting motion builds the product on the specific area and keeps it in place," he explains. "To finish, add a light sweep of powder over the area to mattify and minimize the pimple's shape and texture."

Shades: 5 | Coverage: Light | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $8

Best Longwear: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer

4.5
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer

Amazon

What We Love: Once applied, this concealer will not smudge or budge for up to 24 hours.

What We Don’t Love: Our tester says it doesn’t cover blemishes that well.

If you’re the kind of person that keeps their schedule packed day in and day out, you’ll need a concealer that can keep up with you (i.e. one that stays put and crease-free for hours on end). For marathon days, the Infallible Full Wear Concealer from L’Oréal Paris has never failed us. The full coverage matte formula is completely transfer-, fade-, and crease-proof as well as waterproof, so it will hold up against nearly everything for up to 24 hours.

“It has a super nice creamy texture that is slightly on the thicker side,” our tester shares. “It did not crease at all and kept my face very moisturized.” Being a full-coverage concealer, it can cover dark circles, scars, and even veins in a cinch, but our tester says it was subpar at concealing blemishes because it tends to cake up along raised areas.

Shades: 25 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $6

Best Multitasker: NYX Professional Makeup Bare with Me Concealer Serum

NYX Professional Makeup Bare with Me Concealer Serum

Amazon

What We Love: This concealer-serum hybrid is packed with skin-loving ingredients like tremella mushroom, cica, and green tea to keep your skin hydrated for up to 24 hours.

What We Don’t Love: It’s easy to dispense too much product at once.

Now more than ever, people are looking for innovative makeup products that not only enhance their features, but also benefit their skin, too. Many concealer formulas just do the former, simply covering up imperfections, but this hybrid product works as a concealer and a serum to even out your complexion, and keep your skin plump and hydrated.

Infused with skin-loving ingredients including tremella mushroom, cica, and green tea, the lightweight formula seamlessly covers pretty much any skin concern — even stubborn blemishes, scars, and dark circles. Due to the skincare element, it also enhances skin hydration. “Because it is part serum I felt it would be more moisturizing than other concealers, and that seems to be the case,” our tester adds. This hydration factor also helps prevent it from creasing, even after hours of wear.

Even though the concealer feels lightweight, our tester says it still gives full coverage without caking or feeling heavy. “I have a dry, red area near my nose, and this concealer works great to entirely cover it while keeping it looking natural.”

A little bit goes a long way, too. You only need the tiniest dab (less than half a pump) to smooth out your entire face, but if you find yourself with a surplus of product it can also be used on your body.

Shades: 13 | Coverage: Medium | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $9

Best Medium Coverage: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

3.5
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

Amazon

What We Love: You won’t experience any creasing with this oil-free, non-comedogenic formula.

What We Don’t Love: It doesn’t mask dark circles well.

Opt for a medium coverage concealer if you want to even out your complexion but still want your skin to shine through. For a crease-resistant option, our testers say there’s no better pick than Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer. “It has a lovely creamy texture that is easy to apply,” our tester shares. “And surprisingly, no creasing! Didn't know that was possible — kudos Maybelline.”

While the tester was in awe of how the long-lasting formula covered blemishes, she wasn’t as impressed with its performance on her under-eye area. “The under-eye coverage was ok  — I have some under-eye darkness, and it tempered it but didn't fully cover it up,” she says. But overall, she says this a “great bang for your buck,” and because it’s oil-free and non-comedogenic it’s an excellent pick for those with oily skin.

Shades: 18 | Coverage: Medium | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $7

Best Full Coverage: COVERGIRL TruBlend Full Coverage Concealer

4.8
COVERGIRL TruBlend Full Coverage Concealer

Amazon

What We Love: Even if you get zero sleep, this handy concealer will make dark circles disappear in seconds.

What We Don’t Love: It’s not totally weightless — you can feel where you apply it in some places.

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t have high expectations coming into this test because I hadn’t used drugstore concealer in over five years (yes, I’m bougie), but COVERGIRL TruBlend Undercover Full Coverage Concealer reminded me to never sleep on affordable makeup products — I was impressed from the moment I applied it. The formula is thick and creamy (just how I like my concealer) without being too thick — it's very comfortable once applied. It magically makes dark circles disappear, but still manages to look like my natural skin. Even better, once dry, it does not budge. I typically like to set concealer with a setting powder, but even without it, the concealer holds up throughout busy days at the office and post-work activities.

The doe foot applicator allows me to easily pinpoint imperfections, like minor blemishes and discoloration, too. Aside from my under eyes I use it to conceal redness along my cheeks and chin. If you like to contour your face like I do, this is also a great option to pick up in a shade that’s a bit darker than your skin tone for a natural, yet sculpted look.

My one strife with the product is that it’s not completely weightless. I can feel it sitting on my skin, particularly on my under-eyes during the day, but it’s not necessarily uncomfortable and the results are totally worth that minor inconvenience.

Shades: 30 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $7

Best for Dark Skin Tones: Black Opal Brightening Concealer

4.8
Black Opal Brightening Concealer

Ulta Beauty

What We Love: It contains skin brightening ingredients, like turmeric and cucumber extract, to impart a radiant finish.

What We Don’t Love: There are no swatches online, so it’s a bit of a guessing game trying to find a perfect match.

Though the beauty industry has made progress when it comes to inclusivity, it’s still difficult to find drugstore concealers with extensive shades ranges, especially ones that have an adequate selection for those with darker skin tones. That’s why Black Opal developed the True Tone Brightening Concealer specially for those with melanated skin.

According to our tester, the brightening formula feels creamy and hydrating thanks to a mix of vitamin E and cucumber extract. But it’s great for more than just evening out hyperpigmentation and covering imperfections. “This would work well on the eyelid to add brightness or as an eyeshadow base,” she says. “I would love to use the deeper shades as a bronzer to warm up my face, too.” This concealer also self-sets, so you won’t need to layer a translucent powder on top to make it stay put.

We love that the brand is catered to those with darker skin tones, but we wish they provided swatch images online to make finding the perfect match a more seamless process.

Shades: 12 | Coverage: Medium | Finish: Radiant

Price at time of publish: $10

Best Natural Finish: Milani Conceal + Perfect Longwear Concealer

4.4
Milani Conceal + Perfect Longwear Concealer

Amazon

What We Love: This full coverage concealer looks like a second skin once blended in.

What We Don’t Love: Because the formula is so thick, it can be difficult to blend.

Choosing a full-coverage concealer is your best bet for ultimate staying power, but many come specifically in a matte finish. If you want something a little more natural-looking that doesn’t skimp on coverage or longevity, grab Milani Conceal + Perfect Longwear Concealer. The formula lingers somewhere in between matte and natural, appearing like a second skin once blended in.

But Bauer thinks it’s “a little trickier to blend” because of how thick it is. She advises using “a damp beauty blender” in order to “really ensure it melts into the skin.” The end result makes the tedious blending worth it for Bauer, though. “Dark spots, redness, and blemishes are all covered with just a dot of product. I swiped it on straight from the tube and it was almost too much product — a tiny dab goes a long way.”

Shades: 18 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Semi-Matte/Natural

Price at time of publish: $10

Best Matte Finish: Rimmel London Stay Matte Concealer

4.8
Rimmel London Stay Matte Concealer

Amazon

What We Love: The formula is humidity-, sweat-, and heat-proof, and lasts for up to 24 hours.

What We Don’t Love: The shades aren’t clearly listed on the bottle, making it a guessing game when choosing the one best suited for you.

Nothing is worse than makeup that melts off in hot, humid weather. You won’t have to worry about that happening when you wear Rimmel London Stay Matte Concealer, though. The creamy, longwear formula stays put through muggy weather, high intensity workouts, and tears — all while maintaining its shine-free, matte finish.

“This promises a matte finish and it comes through! It dries quickly and is easy to build if more coverage is needed,” says our tester. “It covers my dark under-eyes and blemishes flawlessly and completely takes away that tired look to leave behind a fresh, clean look.” Some longwear and full-coverage concealers can start to feel heavy throughout the day, but this one remains weightless for hours on end.

With 20 shade options, everyone should be able to find a perfect match, but our tester does note that finding the shade name on the bottle is difficult because it’s not clearly listed. Other than that, she’s a huge fan. “I've loved Rimmel since I was a babe with no money — and it still hits.”

Shades: 20 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $4

Best Shade Range: Makeup Revolution Beauty Conceal & Define Concealer

4.3
Makeup Revolution Beauty Conceal & Define Concealer

Amazon

What We Love: It has a whopping 48 shade options.

What We Don’t Love: Some reviewers say it smells like paint.

Makeup Revolution sets the gold standard for inclusivity with their Conceal & Define Concealer. Since it was introduced in 2018, it’s been available in an impressive range of 48 shades — hitting just about every skin color and undertone on the spectrum. (Most other products have 25 shades or less.) Such a large selection can sometimes make finding the best match more difficult, but the brand’s site clearly lays out and describes each shade, so you can find your ideal match without the guesswork.

The full coverage formula is optimal for covering dark spots and circles, and our tester was amazed at how her dark spots vanished when she applied this. “It still looks good after 30 minutes, wears well, and is very comfortable,” she says. It’s also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts — which is especially important with longwear concealers since you’ll be wearing it, well, for a long time. (This one stays in place for up to 16 hours.) Our tester wishes she could change the doe foot applicator, though, because it was too thick and flimsy. We suggest dabbing the product on your fingers and then applying it for the best results.

Shades: 48 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $7

Best Cruelty-Free: Wet N Wild Mega Last Incognito AllDay Full Coverage Concealer

4.3
Wet N Wild Mega Last Incognito AllDay Full Coverage Concealer

Amazon

What We Love: It’s both cruelty-free and vegan.

What We Don’t Love: It takes some time for the concealer to fully melt and set into the skin.

Whether you want to fake the look of a full night's sleep, even out your complexion, or cover a tattoo for an event, this concealer can help. The full coverage liquid formula blends in a pinch and lasts all day long, so you can go about your day confidently. It doesn’t just cover up imperfections, though; made with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, licorice root extract, and mango seed butter, it also works to keep your skin hydrated and comfortable through hours of wear.

According to our tester, the initial application looks a little cakey, but that heaviness eventually dissipated as the concealer melted into her skin. “Once set it doesn’t gather or crease into fine lines,” she says. She also adores the shade selection and says it was easy to find a match for her medium skin tone. If the results and the price don’t have you hooked, then the 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free formula will: Wet n Wild was one of the first to be added to Logical Harmony’s Cruelty-Free Brand List back in 2011, so you can trust that covering dark circles, blemishes, and discoloration has truly never been better for the environment.

Shades: 22 | Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $4

Our Testing Process

Before our test, we spent over a week researching the top-rated drugstore concealers on the market. After consulting with makeup artists and experts, as well as honing in on online ratings, we spent over 24 hours putting the most popular 25 products to the test. Each of our testers found a shade to match their skin tone, then they applied it under the eyes and over any imperfections on their face. After sitting for 30 minutes, they provided insights and rated every product on a scale of 1 to 5 for its texture, coverage, creasing, and staying power. Once the data was collected we narrowed down the original pool of products to the 12 best drugstore concealers of 2022.

What to Keep in Mind

Coverage

Similar to foundation, concealers are formulated with different levels of coverage from sheer to medium and full. Deciding which coverage is best for you really depends on how you plan to use your concealer, says celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein. “A fuller coverage concealer is great for covering blemishes, tattoos, and anything you want to essentially make disappear,” she explains. “I will often choose a more medium coverage concealer that has a little bit of radiance on parts of the face I want to lift, like around the corners of the mouth and under the eyes.” So, in essence, if you want to cover up some major concerns like hyperpigmentation and blemishes, try a full coverage option like COVERGIRL TruBlend Undercover Full Coverage Concealer; but if your end goal is to brighten and lift your features as well as even out some problem areas, opt for a medium coverage formula like NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Concealer Serum.

Finish

Like coverage, Gerstein says that different finishes serve different purposes, and you should analyze how you plan on using the concealer. “Generally, you want to stick to matte concealers for covering anything that has texture — like a raised blemish or under-eye crepiness. These formulas are ideal for pinpointing the discoloration without drawing extra light to an area,” she says. One of our favorite matte drugstore concealers is Rimmel London Stay Matte Concealer. Radiant finishes, on the other hand, draw light to the specific area, and have more of a real skin finish making them ideal for highlighting and brightening dark circles. Our best overall pick, NYX Professional Makeup HD Photogenic Liquid Concealer, adds just a touch of radiance without looking too bright. It’s also a good idea to think about your skin type when selecting a finish, as matte concealers can sometimes be drying which will exacerbate dry skin, while radiant finishes can get shiny with wear, which probably isn’t the best for those with oily skin.

Shade

Concealers have come a long way in terms of shade range — many brands now offer over 20 options (Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer has almost 50!), so you can easily find your perfect match. The one struggle with drugstore picks is you can’t physically test the product before buying. Gerstein suggests looking to the internet for help to make finding the optimal shade easier, though. Try visiting the brand’s website or searching for swatch videos on YouTube.

For covering up marks on your face you want to find a shade that’s as close to your skin color as possible. If you plan on using the concealer to highlight or contour, go for hues that are two shades lighter or darker than your skin tone. Be sure to keep your undertone in mind when selecting, too.

Your Questions, Answered

How do you use concealer?

Concealer can be used in a plethora of ways, including to cover imperfections, even out skin tone, and brighten dark spots. There’s no specific rule when it comes to applying it. Most products come with a doe foot applicator wand to precisely place the formula where you need it. For under-eyes, dab two to three dots directly on the area, then tap it with either a makeup sponge or your ring finger to blend it out.

For any other areas, you can place a dot directly on your concerning spot and blend it out in the same manner. Using a makeup sponge will allow the formula to melt into your skin a bit better, while using your finger will give you a more full coverage look.

Do you put concealer on before or after foundation?

Foundation and concealer don’t necessarily need to go hand in hand — in fact, a lot of people, including Gerstein, have been using concealer in lieu of foundation recently for a more fresh-faced look. If you feel like you need a little more coverage, it’s best to apply it after your foundation. Remember to apply it in thin layers, though, as a thick application can look cakey when layered over multiple products.

What Is InStyle Picks?

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it's really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we've put them to the test to be sure you will too.

Why Trust InStyle?

Mary Honkus is the Beauty and Style Commerce Editor at InStyle where she covers makeup, skincare, hair care, and fashion. She has over four years of experience in the beauty editorial industry and loves finding the latest and greatest products. After participating in the drugstore concealers lab test, she analyzed the results and product specifications to narrow down the list of winners. To help answer some pressing concealer questions, she looked to celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein who provided her expert insights on the complexion product.

Want more product recommendations? From best-in-class concealer to the black pants you need for work, check out all of our InStyle Picks content.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles