Sunday, 16 November 2008

Concealers help hide unwanted blemishes, but what type works best and how do you apply it properly? We search for some revealing answers about concealer.

The Basics

  • There are a few types of concealers to choose from:

    • Sticks are creamy and come in a lipstick-like tube. They‘re convenient, won’t spill, and go on thicker for more coverage. Be careful to avoid that caked-on look!

    • Creamy liquids come in small squeezable tubes or long, thin tubes with wand applicators and can provide very light, even coverage.

    • Cream concealers come in small pots and have a smooth, creamy texture.

    • Pencils look and work like eyeliner or lip liner pencil. They can be used on most skin types but work best for light touch-ups. Not a great choice if you need more coverage. Avoid using in the under-eye area.

    • Matte-finish liquids come in a squeeze tube or tube with applicator wand and can provide light to full coverage.

    • Matte-finish cream-to-powder usually comes in compact form similar to cream-to-powder foundation. Easy to apply, they combine blendability of cream concealer with long wear of matte concealer.

  • A general rule of thumb when choosing a concealer: the drier the concealer, the more coverage it gives. For light coverage, choose a liquid. For serious concealment, choose a stick or cream.

  • Test the product in-store to find the right shade. If there’s no tester package is closed, ask a salesclerk to open one for you.

  • Test it on your face, not your hand, which is a different colour and texture of skin. Be sure to see what it looks like in natural daylight, not under the fluorescent lights of most stores.

  • To hide blemishes and discoloration, choose a tone that’s exactly the same shade as your face’s skin tone. Try shades out on your jawline for the best tone match.

Other Considerations

  • The most effective under-eye concealers are yellowish in tone to counteract dark circles. Purchase one or two shades lighter than your foundation or skin.

  • Remember, depending on where you live, your skin changes colour and texture with the seasons. Switching shades and textures may be necessary.

Be Aware

  • Avoid concealers that are greasy, which can cause breakouts and cake up in your laugh lines, making them more noticeable.

  • We’re not big fans of pot concealers with multiple shades where you have to blend the color yourself. It’s too hard to get it right!


We tested these concealer products to see which covered things up the best.

Our test products: . BUY IT
  • Rimmel (liquid): $6.99
. . Well.ca
  • Marcelle (pencil): $7.95
. .
  • L’Oreal Ideal Balance (stick): $10
. . Amazon.com
  • MAC Studio Finish (cream): $15
. . Amazon.com
  • Nars (stick): $23
. . The Bay Nars

(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)


Wear-ability Test

  • The NARS concealer was excellent at keeping things hidden and its stick form made the application a cinch, but the price made us sweat.

  • The Marcelle pencil went on easily but was hard to blend.

  • The Rimmel liquid went on well, but took a bit of time to dry.

  • The MAC cream provided a smooth overall appearance that was long-lasting.


Our overall favourite was the MAC Studio Finish (cream), but if you want a mess-free application, use a brush rather than your finger.



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