Base Makeup Roundup

Concealer Rotation – Fall Edition

October 28, 2015

Today I have a roundup of concealers I’ve been putting to the test. It’s been a year since I last did a concealer rotation. Since my summer trip to Europe back in June I’ve gotten a few shades darker than normal so my go-to favorites Clé de Peau Beauté in Almond and NARS Ginger no longer matched my skin. Several months ago one of my friends asked me about my favorite concealers which include Clé de Peau Beauté, NARS and Edward Bess. Those three brands also happen to be her favorites but she wanted to try something new and so began my hunt for something new that would perform as well if not better than my tried and true. This post has been several months in the making. It took me weeks of testing and swatching with several trips to the counter to find matches. Finding a shade can be tricky depending on what you want to conceal. Also some oxidize in color so a swatch of color that is an exact match might turn out to be too dark after it sets.

I put five new-to-me concealers to the test from Charlotte Tilbury, Bare Minerals, Urban Decay, Make Up For Ever and Chanel. In addition I’ve added a feature on the Surratt Surreal Skin Concealer (I bought this last spring but never reviewed it) and I’ve included the Clé de Peau Beauté and YSL Touche Éclat for swatches in the roundup. Most brands have more than one type of concealer formula. I looked for ones with a creamy texture that blended easily on the skin without emphasizing lines. I prefer medium to full coverage with a smooth looking finish. Ideally I would like something with 100% full coverage but finding an exact match is tricky and I often find full coverage concealers too thick.

Below from left to right:
  • Surratt Beauty Surreal Skin Concealer ($50 for 0.06 oz) in #5 is the most expensive concealer I’ve tried in the per oz sense. It comes in a twist up stick form and has sheer to medium coverage. I found 5 to be a good match but the coverage is minimal and texture is on the dry side. If you have oily skin or find that you only need a tiny bit of brightening/coverage this one is good, but I wasn’t thrilled with it. I will use it to the end though.
  • Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer ($70 for 5 g/.17 oz) in Almond is one of my all time favorite concealers. It’s extremely pricey but well worth the splurge. It covers under the eye really well, doesn’t cake, lasts all day and blends really well. The trick is to warm it up with the fingers to apply. If you apply it cold and straight from the tube, it can look thick. A little goes a long way and my tube has lasted forever without going bad (one lasted 2 years).
  • Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Conceal and Treat Stick ($35 for 3.5 ml/0.12 fl oz) in #3 is a new concealer to me. It’s one that’s been on my radar for a long time but I’m usually not a fan of click-type brushes because they seem so unsanitary to me. This is my new favorite. It conceals and brightens dark circles like magic. It blends into a creamy smooth finish. It stays put although you do need to set with powder. It works wonders on spots as well. This has a skincare element to hydrate and plump the skin. I’m in love.
  • YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch Concealer ($42 for 0.1 oz) in 5.5 is a classic I’ve been using on and off. I found it worked under the eyes to brighten and conceal but in a very natural minimal way. Coverage is sheer to medium. If you don’t have a lot you need to cover under the eyes and need just a tad of brightening this is good. For me as I get older I find I need and prefer more coverage (I’m 34 right now). For spot coverage this doesn’t do much.
  • Bare Minerals bareSkin Concealer ($20 for 6 ml/0.20 fl oz) in Medium-Golden and Tan were both pleasant surprises. I say they surprised me because the color range look liked it skipped my match. Medium-Golden is my current match for under eyes. It covers smoothly and has a thinner texture making it feel truly weightless. Under the eyes it makes the skin look smooth. There’s no caking or emphasizing of lines. It is on the creamy side so if you have super oily skin it might be too dewy for you. It has a slight glow without looking too glowy that makes the face look younger with brightness. It held up well in the high 80 degree heat for me (I set it with Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder).
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($28 for 5 ml/0.16 fl oz) in Medium Neutral and Med-Dark Warm is something that is raved about by so many. I was matched in store to Med-Dark Warm. It’s one that is a perfect match on my skin but darkens after 5 minutes. In store I tried both the Medium Neutral and Med-Dark Warm, one on each side. The artist who matched me said she thought the darker one was better. I’m actually in between shades for under eyes. I prefer the lighter option for the eye area and the darker one for spot cover. Texture is thin but creamy. It lasts all day without caking, creasing, fading or drying out. I would say the color selection is pretty limited and the colors do oxidize. If you can test this in store – see how it wears throughout the day before picking a color.
  • Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer ($32 for 15 ml/0.5 fl oz) in 7 and 8 are two shades I picked up from Sephora. I also tested these, one on each side. The artist said she thought 8 was better. The product does darken slightly, but not as much as the Urban Decay. I bought 8 originally and asked my husband what he thought. He thought it looked like an exact match but I felt it made my face look sallow and tired (for under eyes). I ordered 7 which I found to be better for under the eyes and which will be a good match for other areas as I lose my tan. 8 works perfectly for spot coverage. If you want something that covers spots really well and looks seamless by blending into the skin this one is really quite amazing.
  • Chanel Correcteur Perfection Concealer ($42 for 7.5 g/0.26 oz) in 30 Beige is something I gave a try recently. Chanel concealers seem to have gone through several reformulations over the years. I’ve never really been a huge fan but it’s mainly because I’m always matched to colors that are way too pale for what I should be wearing. I know everyone has their own take on how to match concealer, but I really don’t like having my under eye area 2-3 shades lighter than the rest of my face. In this case I’m again, in between shades. I bought 30 although I really should have passed on this one. The consistency and coverage is really good. Right now 30 is just the slightest bit too dark for under eyes but 20 is definitely too light.

Swatched side by side:

I spent hours researching concealer shades and swatches before going to the counter. Even if a makeup artist offers to match me, I still like to test multiple shades to see how they compare. Half the time I’m mis-matched and researching swatches ahead of time helps me know what to look for. I was able to swatch most of the shades side by side for reference. The only line I skipped was Make Up For Ever because the 3 stores I went to each were missing testers of multiple shades.

Surratt Beauty concealers come in a small twist up tube, there are currently eight shades, each color has a number as the name:

Cle de Peau Beaute comes in a twist-up tube, there are currently 6 shades:

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher comes in a brush wand style, you twist the base to click up product (similar to Stila Lip Glazes), there are 10 shades available:

YSL Touche Eclat (unit was missing 1.5) comes with a brush tip that dispenses product when you push the base, there are 10 shades available at Sephora. Some other retailers also have shade #6. The colors swatched side by side seem odd because they don’t appear to go from lightest to darkest. Even after doing a lot of research, making sense of the options, colors and undertones can still be confusing. I took a photo of the display and double checked each pen to make sure they were in the correct slot before swatching in numerical order:

Bare Mienrals bareSkin Concealer comes in a wand with a sponge tip applicator, there are six colors currently available:

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer comes with a sponge tip applicator in a tube, there are eight shades available, I like that they have neutral and warm options in some of the shades:

Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer comes in a squeeze tube, the formula is really concentrated so a little goes a long way, unfortunately none of the stores I visited had testers of all the colors so I wasn’t able to swatch all the shades. There are 12 shades available, but they some skip numbers, it goes from 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18 to 20.
Chanel Correcteur Perfection comes in a long tube with a sponge tip applicator. This one wins for the prettiest packaging, there are six shades available:

In terms of applying concealer, these days I like to use the fingers to pat and blend. If you prefer tools, three tools I really like are the Sephora Hakuhodo Concealer Brush, Chanel #10 and beautyblender (previous reviews linked for reference).

In testing a number of different brands of concealer I have indeed found a few new favorites. To sum up my thoughts:
  • My top two favorites for under eye are the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher and Bare Minerals bareSkin concealers, they brighten the face, cover dark circles really well and both last all day on me
  • Best spot cover product is the Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin wins for best multi-purpose concealer, but shades darken/oxidize and color selection is pretty limited
  • Surratt Beauty was the most disappointing for me, mainly because it didn’t have the coverage I was looking for and texture is on the dry side
  • Chanel would win if the color selection was more diverse (I’m in between shades, and based on my swatches I suspect many of you will fall in between shades or outside of the range completely)
If I had to recommend you check out only one, the Charlotte Tilbury wins for new ones that I’ve tested, but my heart still belongs to Cle de Peau Beaute. The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is still a formula that I really like for under the eye and spot treatment, but after looking at all the colors I found the next shades up from Ginger to be either too pink or too dark. (Café Makeup has an amazing post with swatches of all the NARS concealer shades swatched here.)

In case you’re new to any of these brands, I’ve listed some of the retailers where you can find the following brands:

What’s your go-to concealer right now? As always I would love to hear about your favorites or what you’ve been testing right now. Do you use the same for under eye and spots? Or do you have different colors/brands you use?

The Bare Minerals concealers were provided as press samples for review consideration.
All others purchased by me.

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  • Rachel Polansky October 28, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I've always wanted to try the Cle de Pau one but it's crazy expensive. I have the Hourglass one, which is cheaper and I've heard is a good dupe 🙂

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      It is crazy expensive but it lasts forever!! Well not really, but a single tube lasted 2 years and didn't dry out. I've heard good things about Hourglass, but I'm not a fan of their foundations. I'll have to check it out though if you say it's good 🙂

    • Courtney November 19, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      I finally took the plunge and bought Cle de Peau last year and not only do I absolutely love it but I've barely made a dent in it. Today worth it! I buy it through Ebates and with Nordstrom notes to make it less painful.

  • Renee DeSantis October 28, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Great roundup! I have about half of them! Only one missing I would say is a must have is Laura Mercier's Secret Concealer. I def need to try Charolette Tilbury's!

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Ahh yes, I've tried and bought one a long time ago, I would say the main thing holding me back from it is that it's in a compact!

  • Candice Petersen October 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Oh wow these are all great concealers!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • A Little Dose of Makeup October 28, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Wow thanks for the amazing post! You definitely put a lot of work into this! I really want to try the Naked concealer, I always swatch it in Sephora and it seems perfect!

    A Little Dose of Makeup

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      I swatched it a lot at Sephora too 🙂 Glad you liked the post!

  • Nikoleta Ljuljduraj October 28, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Perfect review!
    I really want to try these concealers.

  • Ciara Rose October 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    I'm a huge fan of the Make Up For Ever full cover camouflage concealer, it works wonders for my dark circles and I don't know what I did before I discovered it! I'm also a huge fan of Bare Minerals products in general although I've never tried their 'Bare Skin' concealer which sounds fab so I think I may have to give this a go soon! Fab reviews and thanks for the recommendations, very helpful xx

    Ciara Rose | AllureImpassionedGoddess

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      It's amazing what a good concealer can do for the under eyes! Glad you found the post helpful 🙂

  • Leanne Page October 28, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Urban Decay Naked concealer is on of my all time faves! Along with the Benefit Boi-ing concealer. I really want to try the Charlotte Tilbury one. I may take the plunge! Thanks for sharing! xx

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      I'll have to check out the Benefit one 🙂

  • Kim Petersen October 28, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I've heard a lot of good things about the Makeup Forever concealer, definitely need to give it a go. Great post! XO -Kim

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks Kim!

  • Anonymous October 28, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Nars concealer in Ginger. Perfect for my skintone. I'm going to have to check out the CT concealer – looks good. Cheers, Cherie

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Ahh, Ginger was perfect for me a few months ago. Soon I'll lose my tan and it will be a match again.

  • Padma October 28, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Mac prolongwear concealer in NW25 for under eyes and UD naked skin in medium neutral for the face

  • Scent Hive October 28, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks for such a comprehensive review! I too love the CdP concealer, but recently have fallen for First Aid Beauty's Eye Duty Triple Remedy. It feels really hydrating when you apply it, helps decrease puffiness and can act as concealer too since it's tinted. You can apply a more full coverage product over it if you need it, but I find this is often all I need. It brightens too!

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks for the rec! I think I've tried a couple First Aid Beauty eye creams, I can't remember which ones but I'll have to check it out again.

  • sai October 28, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Love your review! Always a pleasure to read your post!

    I am a huge fan of ur top favourite conceal too (NARS, Cle De Peau, MUFE). For those who would like to try the cle de peau one but think it is too pricey, definitely can try out Shiseido Perfecting Stick Concealer. It is definitely a dupe of the cle de peau one! But its shade range is not good as cle de peau.
    Recently I'm addicted to MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, good coverage, long wear (last whole day!) Have you tried that? For a ultimate coverage to my undereye, i would use MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW20 and add Pro Longwear Concealer in NC25 on top.

    It is really an endless journey to look for the perfect concealer(for all cosmetic too LOL). When you find a great concealer, you will look for a greater one!

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks for the MAC rec, I don't use MAC Concealers, Foundations or Face Powders because I got an allergic reaction to the Studio Fix (powder and liquid). I've stayed away from all the other face/base items since then. I should probably check it out again but I'm so scared to!

  • Amanda Hollingsworth October 28, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    I am using Charlotte Tilbury Miracle Eye wand which launched about a month ago and Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Enhancer. Both awesome but Kevyn Aucoin is just amazing in how little you need to use.

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      I looked at the new Eye Wand – it was tempting! The artist recommended the Retoucher based on my wants for more coverage.

  • October 28, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    What a fantastic post! Frankly, I didn't know Charlotte Tilbury carried foundations and concealers for women of colour. This is really, really helpful. THANK YOU!

    • Kica October 28, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      Same here!

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Glad you found this helpful! When I was swatching concealers I have to say I was surprised how limited many of the shade ranges were. I hope you find a good match in the Charlotte Tilbury!

  • Dominique October 28, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    What a fantastic post! Frankly, I didn't know Charlotte Tilbury carried foundations and concealers for women of colour. This is really, really helpful. THANK YOU!

  • bojana October 28, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I want them aaaaall.

  • Rae October 28, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    At the moment I use the YSL touché eclat which i love but I'd definitely like to give the Charlotte Tilbury one a go next!

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      It's really good 🙂

  • KarlaGG October 28, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Great Review!!!! My holy grail is the Chanel, but i would love to try the Charlotte Tilbury and Urban Decay.

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Glad you liked it!

  • Anna S October 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Great post, I really wanna try the YSL Touche Eclat and UD Naked one!


  • Cindy B October 28, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Most people don't like the Benefit Fake Up Concealer but I really like it for my under eye area. I usually just need a bit of brightening and this does a great job of doing so without being too light. I'm curious about the BareMinerals concealer now. For blemishes, I loved the MUFE Full Cover but now I'm too light for my usual shade and the next shade down is too pink. I'll probably go back to the NARS.

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks for sharing your favs 🙂

  • Clever Girl Reviews October 28, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    I just started using the Naked concealer. I like it for every day for undereye as it's lighter coverage than my NARS RCC. I'd like to try the bareMinerals. All three of the lighter shades might work for me!

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      Yay! I hope you find a match, I was impressed with the lighter shade options from Bare Minerals.

  • Emily Shea October 29, 2015 at 12:01 am

    What an incredible post! I'm bookmarking this. This is awesome. I have always wanted the YSL Touche Eclat and this post has me drooling all over again.

  • SH October 29, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Hi how does the bareMinerals concealer compare to the By Terry Touche Veloutee in beige? Does they provide the same coverage for dark circles and is it as moisturizing? I had picked up the By Terry one and love it except I don't like the scent. Thanks!!

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      The Bare Minerals has more coverage and the By Terry is more glowy/natural. Both are just as moisturizing. I would say the Bare Minerals does a slightly better job at covering dark circles because the pigment is richer. HTH!

  • SH October 29, 2015 at 1:56 am

    How does the bareMinerals concealer compare to the by Terry Touche Veloutee for dark circles? I have been using the by Terry concealer since you reviewed it a while ago and it is lovely, but wanted to explore other options.

  • Anonymous October 29, 2015 at 4:09 am

    i love the chanel correcteur! although it fades just a little by the end of the day since i live in an all-year-round tropical climate country. but it's easy to blend, gives a good amount of coverage and best part is doesn't dry out or excentuate the fine lines under the eyes.

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      I love the formula too! I'm bummed I'm in between colors.

  • Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed October 29, 2015 at 4:58 am

    Wow, look at all those concealers! I don't wear any but I've been looking for one to add to my collection. Love the swatches!

    New Follower 🙂

    Nereyda│ This Girl Is Obsessed

  • Unknown October 29, 2015 at 5:29 am

    I really dislike the UD color selection. None of them match me. Too dark, too pink, too light. It's too bad because I hear such amazing things about it. Have you tried the maybelline fit me concealer? I love it. And from the reviews of the UD, the fit me seems to be a dupe. And I love it because they run with more yellow undertones, which I am.

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      I have not tried Maybelline.

  • Jess October 29, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Great review! (as always) I am so excited to try that Cle de Peau Beaute. Love the shades and love the packaging. Less messy and very handy.

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Agreed, love the packaging 🙂

  • Maria Graber October 29, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I'm a fan of Eve Pearl concealer, it comes in a little pot with 2 colors. I use fair /light, and mix it up for the best coverage. Cost is $42 for the 2 colors.

  • lmc1971 October 29, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Great post Sabrina! I'm just about out of my NARS Creamy concealer and had my eye on the UD…but now I think I might just try the Bare Minerals bareSkin! I'm in my early 40s so my biggest concern is fine lines and brightening…plus I have hereditary dark circles so I do need some colour correcting. The problem is I don't like to pile on product under the eye because I feel like it accentuates my issues. The CT sounds like a very good option too but I've seen some mixed reviews hmmmm. I am lucky to have a CT counter here in Toronto so I may just go take a peek!

    Best, Lisa

    • Sabrina October 29, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      I think the Charlotte Tilbury is definitely the best one to check out in my opinion because a little goes a long way. There's also a new concealer from the line called the Mini Miracle Wand. It has one end with a hydrating eye cream to plump and firm the under eye, then another end to brighten and conceal. The artist recommended it for brightening.

      You might want to check it out too.

  • Anonymous October 30, 2015 at 3:20 am

    You should try out the Chantecaille concealers. I have all three types, though I tend towards my CdP most days with the Chantecaille Le Cameflouge Stylo, which I like better than Touche Eclat. I may be the only one who hasn't fallen in love with TE. The Total Concealer is good for bad spots and Bio-Lift if my eye area is looking dry, plus it's super easy to carry in your make-up bag with the small size. The color selection is good in my opinion, but I'm on the super fair side, so I can't speak to women of color, as I've not really paid sufficient attention to it for comment purposes.

  • KitMc October 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I have yet to find a concealer that really works well for everything…Seems I have tried them all, but The C.T. is definitely a possibility.

  • Tami Kawamoto November 1, 2015 at 12:21 am

    My favorite is Dior radiance booster pen for under the eyes. It blends really well and makes a huge difference when I use this and I have tried Cdp, Chanel, and other Dior concealers. The color selection isn't great but 025 works for me most of the year. I have had the same pen since February and it's still going strong. It's been so good I have no need to look for a replacement.

  • Tami Kawamoto November 1, 2015 at 12:26 am

    My favorite concealer is Dior radiance booster pen for under the eyes. It blends really well and there is a huge difference when I use it. I have liked Cdp, Chanel and other Dior concealers in the past but I have used this exclusively since February and I have no need to look for a replacement. Also, I'm still on the same first pen. Their color range isn't extensive but 025 works for me most of the year, since I don't tan my face much.

  • Michelle Kirst November 1, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I was really interested in trying the Charlotte Tibury concealer and started checking it out online at Nordstrom; but it received a lot of negativity regarding the amount of twists it takes for the product to come out. A lot of customers complained that after what seemed like "100 twists" the product comes out really fast and you end up wasting it; which makes me hesitant to buy it.

  • bronzer bunny November 17, 2015 at 3:26 am

    i've been thinking about the surratt and cle de peau ones lately. thanks for the review!

  • Kalindrome March 2, 2016 at 3:16 am

    This is an amazing post, so comprehensive!