18 greatest concealers for darkish circles, pimples, extra in 2021

By Dark Circles Free / November 10, 2021

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Above all else, a good concealer is a holy grail in your makeup kit.

Why? Well, they can do just about anything.

From brightening your cupid’s bow (for a bomb highlight above your lip) to covering up acne scars — and, best of all, for covering up dark circles under your eyes — your best concealer is indispensable.

With makeup trends fading, a concealer is trusty enough to last the long haul. And it’s the perfect size to throw into a mini bag for a night out.

After testing nearly 40 full-coverage foundations to find our top 15 favorites, we knew concealer was next on the horizon. Let’s face it, a great foundation (like our favorite from Pat McGrath Labs), a quality concealer and some loose setting powder (like the best one ever from Anastasia Beverly Hills) make your makeup look seamless, flawless — just how you’d picture it.

Below, find the 18 best concealers we tested out of 28 formulations, along with others that we enjoyed. With each concealer, we detail a cheat sheet of pros and cons, how long it lasted and specific shades we tried, among other notes. And all concealers are available in a wide range of shades.

But first, learn from David Razzano, Sephora’s Beauty Director for a decade, on everything you need to know about shopping for and applying concealer.

What should I look for in a concealer?

“Shopping for a concealer is a personal process – you need to think about what you want the concealer to do for you,” Razzano told The Post. “If you’re looking for a concealer to cover a blemish, then that may lead you to different options than if you are looking for something to use under the eye.”

For under the eyes: A concealer for the under-eye area should have a smooth, silky formula that glides on and blends easily and evenly. This is important so that you can achieve the desired effect of coverage and brightening without adding unwanted texture to your eyes.

How long should concealer last?

“In general, a good concealer should last you eight to 12 hours,” Razzano said. “If you need to reapply, a trick I will use is to tap a small amount of lightweight eye cream (he recommends The Inkey List’s Caffeine Eye Cream) onto the area first — this will allow that thin skin to re-hydrate so it doesn’t dry the concealer out immediately, and it will gently melt down any powder you may have used to set the concealer originally.”

What’s the best concealer for my skin tone?

“If you’re choosing a concealer to cover a blemish, you want to choose a shade that is an exact match to the area of the skin where you will be applying it,” Razzano said. “You absolutely do not want this concealer to be lighter than your skin because that will only draw attention to the blemish.”

However, if you’re looking for an under-eye concealer, he recommends going one to two shades lighter than your skin tone to help brighten the area.

How should I apply concealer?

“There’s no wrong way to apply a concealer; it depends more on your comfortability with tools and the desired result,” Razzano said. That said, he explained three tried-and-true methods, and what each one achieves:

  • Your fingers: Great for achieving a light coverage, natural look
  • A damp sponge: Can be helpful to blend out your concealer and achieve a light to medium coverage (shop our favorite from Tarte here).
  • A concealer brush: Great if you want to be very specific and targeted in where you apply your concealer, and you can achieve light to full coverage (shop our favorite from Hourglass here).

Where should I apply concealer?

“An easy technique for under-eye concealer application is to apply three dots of concealer: one in the inner corner, one in the outer corner and one centered between,” Razzano said. Then, blend out in those areas.

“This will give brightness in the three main areas that usually need it without applying too much product,” he added. “I prefer this method to the ‘triangle of light’ technique, which, in my opinion, gets too heavy.”

Here are our top 18 favorite concealers:

  • Shade tested: 120 — For fair skin with neutral undertones
  • How long it lasts: 12+ hours
  • Pros: Insanely satin-like formula, hydrating, doesn’t show cakiness or pores, brightens and conceals blemishes
  • Cons: None to speak of

If one thing’s for sure, Rihanna sure knows her music and her makeup.

The FENTY Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Longwear Liquid Concealer is, without question, the star of the concealer game. It’s a multifunctional product with sleek packaging, a divine formula and a price point of less than $30.

We love it — and you will, too.

KVD Beauty Lock-It Concealer Crème

  • Shade tested: Light 7 — Fair buttercream with warm undertone
  • How long it lasts: 14 hours
  • Pros: Longlasting, thick yet buildable, sleek packaging
  • Cons: None to speak of

As one of our tippity-top favorites, KVD Beauty’s Lock-It Concealer Crème truly surprised me. For one, it’s super-rich, hydrating and comes in sleek, no-mess packaging that’s a gem to use. Plus, it lasted for a whopping 14 hours with no streaking.

Because of the brand’s full-coverage matte formulation, this concealer would be a great option if you want to cover up tattoos, too.

E.l.f. Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer

  • Shade tested: Fair Beige — Fair with neutral undertone
  • How long it lasts: 12 hours
  • Pros: Longlasting, thick brush, excellent for brightening up undereyes
  • Cons: Oozes out more product than others we tested, so may be somewhat messy to apply if you’re in a rush

Talk about incredible. The E.l.f. Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer is a definite repurchase for me, thanks to its buildable coverage and incredible brightening power (it didn’t leave my under eyes dull all day).

Seriously, it’s the best drugstore concealer that mimics high-end splurges.

Dior 'Dior Forever' Skin Correct Concealer

  • Shade tested: Cool Rosy — Fair skin with cool pink undertones
  • How long it lasts: 12 hours
  • Pros: Longlasting, satin-like finish, didn’t budge, great paired with the brand’s foundation
  • Cons: None to speak of

For a sweet splurge, consider Dior’s ‘Dior Forever’ Skin Correct Concealer. It’s a great option for mature skin tones, too (my mom loves it), and it gives your skin an unmatched satin finish that makes your makeup look flawless.

Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer

  • Shade tested: Birch — Fair, neutral undertones
  • How long it lasts: 11 hours
  • Pros: Unique and slightly angled dough-foot applicator, creamy finish (great for dry skin, especially)
  • Cons: Faint fragrance, but nothing too major

If there was an award for the best formulation and packaging duo, it would be given to Hourglass’ Vanish Airbrush Concealer. The subtly angled dough-foot applicator is specially contoured for beginners and is a quality concealer that’s perfect for a night out.

Milk Makeup Flex Concealer

  • Shade tested: Fair — Fair with cool pink undertones
  • How long it lasts: Nine hours
  • Pros: Compact packaging, buildable coverage, gives your skin a “look alive” feel
  • Cons: Faint fragrance, but nothing too major

As one of Razzano’s favorites, I can attest Milk Makeup’s Flex Concealer is wonderful for dry skin. I’m especially dry under my eyes and it livened up my skin — which can be difficult to do with bronzers, blushes and more added onto the face.

Tarte Sea Hydrocealer Concealer

  • Shade tested: Fair Neutral (12N)
  • How long it lasts: Eight hours
  • Pros: Liquidy (but not runny), hydrating, dries fast
  • Cons: Have to reapply if looking for 10+ hours of coverage

Though I don’t have oily skin, Tarte’s Sea Hydrocealer Concealer is a great option for oiler skin types, as it is more ‘liquidy’ than other concealers tested and dries fast. That combination still worked well for my dry skin, but the noticeable difference in texture makes it fit for oily and combination skin, specifically.

Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Concealer

  • Shade tested: Pearl — Fair with neutral to rosy undertones
  • How long it lasts: 12 hours
  • Pros: Foundation, like packaging, textured applicator to target hard-to-reach places, doubles as a highlighter
  • Cons: May be difficult for beginners to use, due to its larger size

Too Faced’s Born This Way made the cut in our best full-coverage foundations guide, and its Multi-Use Concealer is just as great. With a larger-than-life wand, it’s a heavy-duty concealer you’re sure to see results from.

It even doubles as a highlighter (and a bronzer, too, if you go a few shades darker).

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

  • Shade tested: Fair Neutral (12N) — Fair skin with yellow and pink undertones
  • How long it lasts: 12 hours
  • Pros: Doesn’t budge, thick applicator (great for highlighting), good at brightening up certain areas of the skin
  • Cons: None to speak of

The cult-favorite Tarte Shape Tape Concealer did, in fact, live up to its hype. If you’re looking for an all-around great option, its formula is solid and its brush is fantastic.

Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Cakeless Full-Coverage Waterproof Liquid Concealer

  • Shade tested: Fair Neutral (Shade 1)
  • How long it lasts: 12 hours
  • Pros: Longlasting, doesn’t ooze excess product, fine brush for targeting blemishes and other problem areas
  • Cons: None to speak of

If the packaging on Benefit Cosmetics’ Boi-ing Cakeless Full-Coverage Waterproof Liquid Concealer doesn’t sell you, its impeccable precision will. I was floored when I noticed how a little bit goes a long way on blemishes and other problem areas.

Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer

  • Shade tested: Fondant — Light with neutral undertone
  • How long it lasts: 10 hours
  • Pros: Lightweight packaging (great for travel!), skinny applicator to target specific spots to brighten
  • Cons: None to speak of

If you want a no-frills concealer that’ll just do the job of brightening where need be, look no further than Sephora’s own Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer. It’s great for traveling, offers practical coverage and is less than $15 — a total steal.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Magic Touch Concealer

  • Shade tested: Shade 3 — Fair skin with peach undertones
  • How long it lasts: 11 hours
  • Pros: Seamlessly erases any dark spots, good at brightening, easy to blend
  • Cons: None to speak of

As one of the supreme favorites of this writer, Anastasia Beverly Hills did it again with its new Magic Touch Concealer. It’s great for everyday wear and it targets many different skin types and problem areas. And the jumbo, triangle-shaped brush is one of the most unique we’ve seen.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish Color Corrector

  • Shade tested: Fair — Pink for light skintones
  • How long it lasts: 10 hours
  • Pros: Easy to apply with your fingers, satin-like finish, great for use all over the face
  • Cons: May need a concealer brush to avoid blemishes (if applying with your fingers)

At first, I thought Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Vanish Color Corrector was a mini blush (it’s just too cute and compact). But, lo and behold, it’s a concealer with one of the creamiest finishes that’s easy to apply with your fingers.

But if you’re prone to acne, you may want to apply this product with a concealer brush.

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Undereye Concealer

  • Shade tested: Fair (10N) — Fair skin with neutral undertones
  • How long it lasts: Nine hours
  • Pros: Thick formula but not clunky; seamlessly erases all traces of wrinkles, fine lines and crow’s feet
  • Cons: None to speak of

Tarte’s Maracuja Creaseless Undereye Concealer is worth every penny — and not just because of its name. It really does mitigate areas on the face where fine lines appear, making it a must-have for mature skin types especially.

L'Oreal Infallible Full-Wear Waterproof Concealer

  • Shade tested: Ivory
  • How long it lasts: Eight hours
  • Pros: Longlasting, jumbo applicator, great for covering up blemishes
  • Cons: May have to reapply, depending on your climate

I’ve been using this concealer for a while and it’s one of the best for staying intact in the heat. Also, because of its jumbo brush, it’s great for covering up dark spots, acne and problem areas.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

  • Shade tested: Fair
  • How long it lasts: Seven hours
  • Pros: Simple to use, skinny packaging and brush, smooth formulation, delicate under the eyes
  • Cons: May not last as long on your makeup shelf (too little formula in the packaging)

Meet my go-to concealer from middle school and high school. Because it’s lightweight and skinny, it’s super delicate under the eyes and a hidden treasure for buildable coverage.

Urban Decay Stay Naked Correcting Concealer

  • Shade tested: 20CP — Fair cool with a rosy undertone
  • How long it lasts: Seven hours
  • Pros: Angled brush (great for your under eyes), easy to blend
  • Cons: Doesn’t last as long as others, may be too drying on dry skin types

I’ve been using Urban Decay’s Stay Naked Correcting Concealer for years and it simply doesn’t budge. While it’s not the most long-wear foundation tested, it’s easy to blend, is super buildable and hassle-free to reapply.

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Liquid Touch Brightening Concealer

  • Shade tested: 120C — Light with cool beige undertones
  • How long it lasts: 12 hours
  • Pros: Longlasting, brightening, simple to use, provides a fresh look to the skin
  • Cons: Can be somewhat messy to apply if you take the brush out too quickly

All hail Queen Selena. Her makeup line, Rare Beauty, is known for its clean ingredients — and that this concealer is. It instantly made my skin look fresh, with one caveat — it was slightly messier to apply than others.

What didn’t make the cut — And why

While the below concealers do the job of covering up (with some we still recommend), we found slight shortfalls that rendered them not making the cut:

  • Covergirl TruBlend Undercover Concealer: It’s a great budget concealer that I’ve been using for months but, until trying out more than. 20 other formulations, it was a bit more drying. However, it’s still a practical, affordable option.
  • E.l.f. Cosmetics Flawless Brightening Concealer: For a $5 concealer, it’s not terrible. But the pen-like applicator wasn’t practical, and other concealers were better for brightening.
  • E.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Camo Concealer: While the brand’s 16H Camo Concealer was one of our top picks, the satin-finish was slightly runny.
  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer: This concealer truly stood in place, but it was a bit too thick compared to others, making it less of a creamy, hydrating wear.
  • FENTY Beauty Bright Fix Eye Brightener Concealer: While the brand’s other concealer is our favorite from this list, this one didn’t seem to compare, though it was great for brightening.
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer: Though a fan fave, I didn’t see the hype. The application wasn’t simple and the formula was just OK.
  • Milk Makeup Sunshine Under-Eye Brightening Light Coverage Concealer: If you like super light-coverage concealer, this is the one for you. But I wasn’t a big fan of the applicator.
  • RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up Natural Finish Concealer: I actually really liked this one, but it didn’t quite measure up to Charlotte Tilbury’s cream concealer in terms of staying power. However, it’s still a contender.
  • Tarte Shape Tape Ultra Creamy Concealer: While the traditional Shape Tape is one of our favorites above, this one was a bit too creamy for me. But if you’re into that, it may be one to consider; its formulation was still great.
  • Westmore Beauty Magic Effects Powder-to-Cream Concealer: While I’m a fan of the brand’s foundation, its concealer was super messy to apply. However, if you love loose powder and don’t mind slightly messy packaging, the formula is still nice.

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