Battle of The High-end Concealers: Which one reigns supreme?
I am a self-confessed concealer junkie. Though I've discovered a few that I truly love, I've been constantly adding to this collection because of my finicky combination-oily skin. Some work great for covering up my flaws but I also like others that help to brighten my face or even create a subtle highlight! I wanted to find out though, if any one of them could replace all the rest. Could I actually survive with just a single formula and not have to spend so much moolah? I gathered up my most-prized concealers and decided to put them to the test!
First, let's start with my skin profile for reference. I have combination skin but my undereye area is normal because I always use an eye cream at night and as part of my skincare prep before applying concealer. My major concern is dark circles/discoloration on my undereye area but for this test, I also applied concealer to my forehead, nose and chin.
Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (P1,600 for 0.33oz from @nailsandvanity)
This best-selling full coverage concealer (it's always sold out!) is by far the most talked-about product in the market. Makeup gurus immediately dubbed it “the best concealer ever” almost as soon as it hit the market. This concealer claims to “provide flawless matte finish that won’t flake or crease”. It comes with a huge doe-foot applicator, and is formulated with mango seed and shea butter to naturally brighten and illuminate the complexion. I only needed three dots to get full coverage on my undereye area, instantly brightening it. With flash photography, there is a slight white cast but my eyes look hydrated. After 8 hours, the concealer is still holding up its coverage of my dark undereye area, with little to no creasing at all!
Pros: Two to three dots are all you need to get full coverage and a highlighted look for the eye area. It is very creamy and long-wearing with a soft matte finish - perfect for any skin type.
Cons: Not recommended for covering blemishes such as huge zits or acne scars as this draws more attention to those area because of its brightening/highlighting properties. It has a tendency to crease if too much is applied on a single spot and will look obvious.
NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer (P1,850 for 0.22oz at Rustans Beauty)
This concealer is made for all skin types with “light-diffusing technology to create a softer and smoother complexion to even skin with lightweight medium to high buildable coverage”. This is the most hydrating lightweight concealer of the bunch so it's actually considered as best for those with dry skin, but I like how it's very easy to apply and blend. It gives me light-medium coverage and brightens my undereye area. There is a slight cast apparent in flash photography but my eyes look hydrated and awake. After 8 hours of wear though, my dark circles were already noticeable and there was slight creasing on my undereye area.
Pros: If you have normal skin without much hyperpigmentation, this offers the most natural-looking application. It works for both brightening undereye area and spot concealing, and gives hydrating, luminous finish.
Cons: It does not last very long on oily skin or offer enough coverage for severe dark circles. Not recommended for use on the whole face because packing on the light-medium coverage will consume a lot of product.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer (P1,650 for 0.16oz from @nailsandvanity)
This concealer is described as an “innovative, high-coverage concealer that provides buildable, weightless coverage and leaves invisible giving Naked Skin finish.” It comes with a doe-foot flexible applicator that bends when applying the product. This is the creamiest and most lightweight concealer I have ever tried. It offers great medium coverage with a formula that's slightly thicker in finish compared to NARS, but it's still very blendable with a demi-matte finish. With flash, there is a bit of whitecast and I can see my dark circles peeking through. After 8 hours of wear, the fading led to my dark circles becoming more noticeable but creasing was minimal.
Pros: A good everyday concealer for covering up dark circles with minimal creasing. The wand dispenses the right amount of product, and I feel the formula is perfect for oily skin due to its creamy matte finish.
Cons: It can be slightly drying for those with dry undereye area. At just 0.16oz, it's the most expensive per volume compared to the other concealers.
Too Faced Born This Way Concealer Naturally Radiant Concealer (P1,696 for 0.23oz at Sephora PH)
This concealer promises to “instantly hide imperfections, banish appearance of dark circles ,and blur fine lines and wrinkles for an undetectable complete coverage”. The formula is infused with Coconut Water to provide moisture, Alpine Rose for radiance, and Hyaluronic Acid for a smoother and plump appearance. Compared to NARS, this looks more radiant and lightweight. It has light-medium coverage with a very sheer formula - almost like I don’t have any concealer on! It's also the only one that did not give off any white cast but after 8 hours, my dark circles are already visible because the concealer seems to have already faded.
Pros: Looks very natural and radiant, and the sheer formula is able to manage spot concealing. It's perfect for achieving that no-makeup look.
Cons: It doesn't do a good job of covering up dark circles, and it's not as long-wearing compared to other concealers.
MAC Prolongwear Concealer (P1300 for 03.oz at Rustans Beauty)
This the OG concealer that rocked the early years of Youtube with its all-star benefits such as its 15 hour wear, being water-resistant and transfer resistant. This cult-fave claims to be a “lightweight, fluid concealer that provides medium to full coverage with a natural matte finish”. This is the most matte of the bunch so you need to blend it quickly because it sets fast.
Upon application, it instantly concealed my undereye area and covered my dark circles perfectly. The formula is so thin and super easy to blend. With flash, my undereye area looks completely matte but not too dried out. It completely held for a good 8 hours (even more than that), stayed matte with little creasing, and did not budge. I have also tried applying this on my lids as an eye primer, and it did a good job of canceling discoloration while keeping the eyeshadows in place.
Pros: Perfect for oily skin as it has the most matte and long-wearing formula (for a good 10-12 hours!). It's a good all-around concealer that can be used as an eyelid primer, for color-correcting, and even as foundation because of its ultra-thin matte consistency.
Cons: The pump applicator is super messy and it squirts out a lot of product. It has a tendency to crease, look cakey, and create heavy flashback when too much is applied. Might not work for those with super dry undereye area as as this sets instantly, leaving little time to blend it out.
The clear winner for me is the MAC Prolongwear Concealer. Even with so many others in my collection, I always go back to this classic fave because it really does a great job in concealing, correcting, and brightening the undereye area. It is such a good all-around concealer that it can also double up as a foundation. It is budge-proof and transfer-resistant though I noticed minimal transfer when blotting it with tissue paper. It adds a natural highlight to the face while still looking natural. You only need a small amount and you are good to go! If the pump applicator bothers you, consider storing this in a clean plastic jar instead. You only need 2-3 dots per use so the small tube can actually last you for a year.
I would still give a huge shoutout to Tarte Shape Tape Concealer for giving the best full coverage. It works for all skin types and does a great job in keeping eyes look awake and bright. Unfortunately, this faded more quickly than the MAC.
Have you tried any of these concealers? Do you trust concealers to hide even the most darkest secret of yours?