The correct concealer can cover a multitude, says Sarah Caden, and act as a friend to your foundation
There are people who claim that they rarely wear make-up and only concealer, in, you know, the trouble spots. They are the kind of people who appear in ‘my favourite products’ questionnaires, who often also wear bespoke perfume and have a favourite soap that is not just the one on a twofer offer in the supermarket. Which is all to say that they are a rarity.
Most people wear concealer with make-up; a sort of belt-and-braces bonus. Not that concealer should add cakey thickness to your cosmetic efforts. Instead, it should work double-time on things like blemishes, broken veins, dark shadows and areas of uneven tone. You can go lightly with the foundation while your concealer does the hard work. Once, concealer was all about covering up spots and came in a one-fits-all beige, but these days there is a rainbow of shades available, all of which do different things.
The science is to do with complementary colours, which means that yellow concealer is good to cancel out deep purple under-eye circles, while peach is good for bluish dark shadows. Then green is good for redness, and so on around the colour wheel. There’s one for every face — foundation-free or not.
BEST OVERALL Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand, €34.50, Brown Thomas; Arnotts, D1; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16
This is one of two new products that come under the Retouching title, the other of which is a pencil that you draw on to areas that you want to even out or highlight. This one is a fluid that you apply through a little circle-shaped sponge, dotting it under the eyes, by the nose or in the centre of the forehead, and smoothing to blend. Available in six skin-tone shades, it claims to offer a perfecting Photoshop effect and it’s a fair claim. “As concealers go, it’s quite sheer, but there is plenty of pigment, so you get coverage without awful cakiness,” said one panellist.
BEST CONCEALER CHOICES Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Pink, €22, House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Debenhams
There are no fewer than five different colours available in this new range of concealers. This pink is good for pale skin tones, as it neutralises dark areas and can also be used as a subtle highlighter. The yellow also proved a hit with the sleep-deprived and their dark circles, while the green was effective when dabbed on broken veins or high colouring. “A nice creamy texture and it dries to a natural-looking, but refined finish,” said a panellist.
BEST COVER ALL Sleek MakeUP Colour Corrector Palette, €10.45, see cloud10beauty.com
There is an argument to be made that to own this many concealers is to suggest an excess of worry over your imperfections. But we trust you to keep a grip on reality when dipping in to the six pans of pigment in this little palette. A good-value, good-quality kit, it offers concealers to fix all complaints from dark circles to spots. The texture is creamy and coverage is good and can be applied with fingers or a brush. “Some days you’re a bit weary-looking, some a little red-faced,” a panellist said. “I love that this covers it all.”
BEST SILKY SKIN Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch, €35, Brown Thomas Dublin and Cork
There are five skin-tone shades in this velvety concealer, ranging from very pale to very dark. The latter is good news for those with darker skin, as it can be difficult to find concealers to match and to deal with issues of ashiness. With a neat applicator, it can be dabbed wherever you need a little extra help. “Feels gorgeously luxurious and made tricky areas more smooth and even-looking,” one panellist said.
BEST CLASSIC COVER Guinot Cover Touch Concealer, €27.25, salons nationwide
Blemishes, redness and scars are all covered by this light beige colour that adapts to fit your fairer skin tones. The mineral powder content is good for covering spots and dark marks, while it also has a sebum-control ingredient to manage oily spottiness, basically. Price-wise, it’s not exactly aimed at the blemish-prone teen market, but grown-ups get spots too, and more often than we think. “Given how well it controls my oily T-zone, it’s surprisingly non-drying,” said a panellist. “A helping hand for the bits my foundation can’t cover.”
Pictured, from left, Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand; Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Pink; Sleek MakeUP Colour Corrector Palette; Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch; Guinot Cover Touch Concealer