Listen guys – I have dark circles. Really, really bad ones. I’ve had them since I was a little kid, and they’re the hereditary variety that don’t go away even if I’m well rested. Because of this, I’ve been on a journey to find the best way to cover them up for as long as I can remember. The first makeup product I ever used in high school was concealer!
I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at some of the concealers I’ve used over the years and discuss which ones worked and which ones didn’t.
Let’s take a look at my concealer rundown… starting with the worst and ending with the best!
The oldies: Maybelline Cover Stick Concealer and Covergirl Smoothers Concealer
These were the first concealers I ever used, and I started using them freshman year of high school. To make these work for me, here’s what I did: one layer of the Maybelline, followed by one layer of the Covergirl, followed by another layer of the Maybelline. Then set with powder. That’s a lot of steps! The formula on these stick concealers is extremely dry. While application is quick, they really don’t last well and start looking bad toward the end of the day.
The funny thing is, I was so set in my ways and so afraid to mess with the formula I had come up with that I kept using this lackluster combo until just a few years ago! It was only after a trip to Japan and a 24 hour travel day that I realized how badly I needed to find something new. Now, I in no way expected my concealer to last for that long without problems. However, it looked like I had some kind of disease by the time we reached our hotel, and it also didn’t hold up in the Tokyo summer humidity during that trip. It was then I started analyzing the performance of these concealers a little more closely. I have no idea what took me so long!
Needless to say, I don’t recommend these sticks.
After realizing my long term concealer products were crap, I bought a whole lot of higher end concealers in one big haul. I based these purchases mostly on recommendations from some YouTubers with actual dark circles. This was one of them, and unfortunately, this was a huge miss. I expected better from Tarte, my favorite makeup brand. However, this concealer is so think and very difficult to blend into the skin. In fact, it requires so much blending that by the time you’re done, the coverage has sheered out too much. Ironically, I also find that this “creaseless” concealer creates more creases under my eye than any other!
This concealer is no longer in my collection, so I had to grab a picture from sephora.com. Why is it no longer in my collection? Because I panned it! After that aforementioned haul of concealers, I decided I had too many and decided to work through at least one. This Ultra HD Concealer was pretty middle of the road. It was world’s better than the Creaseless concealer and the Maybelline and Covergirl sticks, but it didn’t have as great coverage as I hoped. Also, I’ve found that I really enjoy using a product with a doe foot application rather than a squeezy tube.
Now we’re getting into some of the real high quality concealers! Before I discovered the concealer that ranks #1 for me, the Urban Decay Naked Skin was my top choice. It comes with a doe foot, it’s extremely creamy and smooth, and the coverage is quite nice (though it’s not an extremely full coverage product). As with all the previously mentioned concealers, I use two layers of this before setting. I still go back to this one often and will continue repurchasing as part of my concealer collection in the future. My only complaint is that I do wish it was slightly more full coverage.
And finally, I’m sure this comes as no surprise if you’re a beauty lover. The Tarte Shape Tape is thus far, the best concealer I’ve ever tried. When this released last year, it was EVERYWHERE and every single beauty YouTuber was raving about it. As someone who needs extremely full coverage under the eyes, I was immediately interested and placed an order.
It really does work very well, but I still feel like it’s not 100% perfect. Yes it is the fullest coverage concealer on this list and provides the best camouflage for my undereyes. However, it’s thick to the point where it can be a little tough to blend out. Also, even though it’s full coverage, I still find myself using a color corrector underneath and then applying two (thin) layers of the concealer. I’m not sure if there’s a concealer out there that would allow me to skip those steps, but you can bet I’ll continue the hunt.
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What’s your favorite concealer?