Selecting the right concealer can be such a daunting task, but it's a basic necessity in every makeup toolkit. After all, no one has perfect skin (even though a quick scroll through Instagram might seem to contradict that point). In order to have skin that appears flawless, you simply need to find the right concealer for the job. We're here to share the best concealer for acne, under eye circles, and more. We're listing the top-performing option in each category, so this is a no BS guide!
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The Top 4 Uses for Concealer
Through the years, we've spent a lot of time listening to our friends complain about their biggest skin care issues, and we’ve pinpointed the four basic reasons people typically use concealer:
- To cover blemishes
- To mask dark under eye circles
- To hide scars
- For color-correction
We're working on a very comprehensive guide about all things concealer-related, but until it's finished we're going to recommend our top choices in each of the above categories. We realize it can be overwhelming to have too many options and sometimes you just want someone to tell you, “Hey, this works. Give it a try.” Right?! Right. 🙂
The Best Concealer for Acne
Benefit Boi-ing Full Coverage Concealer: This is our favorite concealer for covering blemishes, hands down. Consider it #1, top of the scoreboard, leader of the pack, head of the class, and…well — you get the idea. If we were only allowed to use 5 makeup products to get ready for our day, this would be one of them. It has permanent and unimpeachable status on the “Ride or Die” list.
What we like about it it: It's full coverage. It makes pimples magically disappear (well, not really, but they appear to). It doesn't worsen breakouts. It's long lasting. It's easy to apply. It's available in a wide variety of shades for all skin tones. It looks natural.
Tips for use: First, make sure to wash your hands, because you never want to transfer bacteria and oils to an area where you're already having breakouts. Once your hands are clean, apply the concealer with a makeup brush, and then blend it with your finger.
Yes, you heard correctly! The warmth from your skin will help melt the product slightly so it will better blend into skin. Watch this video on our YouTube channel to see how well this product works and to learn exactly how to apply it. Make sure to set it afterwards using a light dusting of translucent powder:
Our exact shade: We both have pale skin with pink undertones and use the shade “Light 01”.
Runner up: Dermablend – for the days you need ultimate coverage and a waterproof formula (more on Dermablend below)
Concealer to Mask Dark Under Eye Circles
bareMinerals bareSkin® Complete Coverage Serum Concealer: It's no secret that we consider serums essential for delicate the skin around the eyes, so it should come as no surprise that our favorite under eye concealer has a built-in serum.
What we like about it: The concealer + serum in one is obviously a major factor in why it tops our list. It's very moisturizing. It doesn't cake or stick into fine lines. It contains “high definition mineral-coated optical pigments” to reflect light and diffuse the appearance of dark circles (aka: it really does help diminish dark circles). It isn't too thick, yet it still provides ample coverage.
Tips for use: Add a few drops to the under eye area using the brush applicator, then blend with a damp makeup sponge. We use a Real Techniques blender dampened with Pixi by Petra Hydrating Milky Mist to help the product blend better. Set it with a light dusting of translucent powder.
Our exact shade: We both have pale skin with pink undertones and use the shade “Fair”.
Runner up: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser – also a great product and half the cost of the bareMinerals option
Concealer to Hide Scars, Bruises, or Birthmarks
Dermablend Leg & Body Cover Makeup: When you need to bring in the big guns to conceal a tattoo, scar, or bruises, there is simply nothing better or stronger than Dermablend. If you want to see some incredible concealer transformations, search for “Dermablend tattoo coverage” on YouTube. You'll see hundreds of amazing videos like the one linked below where a team of professionals covers every single tattoo on Rico Geneste's (aka: Zombie Boy) face and body.
Link to the full video: Zombie Boy's amazing transformation [photo source]
What we like about it: Dermablend is an incredible product. The long lasting, complete hold is nothing short of amazing! It won't rub off on clothing and the formula is waterproof. We've worn it in the pool (both on face and body) and it's lasted all day long. This stuff stays put! It also has a built-in SPF factor.
Tips for use: It dries very quickly, so it's not as easy to work with as Boi-ing, but it's still doable. Rub it in using your fingers, because that warms the product and makes it more blendable. Dermablend recommends their setting powder to hold it in place, but a dusting of any translucent powder or cornstarch works perfectly fine. Dermablend also suggests using their makeup remover, but it's not necessary. To fully remove the product, use soap and water or dip a cotton ball in baby oil to wipe it away.
Our exact shade: We have fair skin with pink undertones and use the shade Light. When we're tanner, we'll sometimes blend it with Medium to create our own custom shade. (And yes, we use the leg and body formula on both the face and the body.)
Runner up: We haven't found anything that compares to Dermablend for ultimate coverage.
Concealers for Color Correction
L'Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Color Correcting Primer: This is a green-based primer, so it's made to cancel out redness. Our comprehensive post on concealers will list all of the various color correctors and the issues they counteract, but for now we're going to focus on redness since it's such a big issue.
What we like about it: Simply put, it works! It does a fantastic job of neutralizing red tones in the skin. Watch the video below to see it in action, and be amazed at the difference it makes!
Go directly to the 2.15 minute mark to see the green primer in action.
Tips for use: Use it to spot treat areas where you have redness or are overly concerned about veins. You can also use it as the base layer to cover pimples that are really red. Blend it well using a damp makeup sponge.
Runner up: NYX Cosmetics Concealer Jar in Green – The NYX concealer is cream based, inexpensive, and blends really well with your fingertip.
We hope this guide to the best concealers for acne (and more) was helpful! If you have any questions at all, please let us know in the comments. We're always happy to help if we can!