Concealers fall into two categories: matte concealers, which are more matte in finish and used to conceal redness, broken veins and, in particular, spots. The concealers on this page fall into this category. (If you want a concealer for disguising shadows and helping to blur furrows – for instance, a frown-line between the brows – check out the Light-Reflecting Concealer category, here.) Many of us need two concealers in our make-up arsenal – but here are great ‘finds’, in the more matte territory, including one all-natural superstar (INIKA’s concealer also featured in last year’s Beauty Bible Awards).
GOLD AWARD (JOINT) Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick
Rihanna’s hit make-up range has some really neat things about it – not least the fact that the make-up sticks are magnetised to each other in a very satisfying way. On a more serious level, Rihanna has set out to create a seriously inclusive range of shades; this joint top-ranking concealer offers 20 options. (Our testers were at the pale end of the spectrum – with Porcelain – because these are easier for us to shade-match than darker tones.) This concealer can be used even under eyes to conceal, correct or (in deeper shades) to contour.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘10/10. I loved this product and will definitely buy another when this runs out. It fully covered my dark circles and any blemishes. The label promised it was long wear, light-as-air formula to conceal, correct and contour and I feel it lived up to those claims’ • ‘Good for concealing and correcting dark circles and blemishes. I liked the very practical lipstick-style dispenser’ • ‘This creamy chubby stick covered my thread veins well, also small scars, pigmentation and blemishes. It caked a little if I overused it but I really liked how quick and easy it is to apply. It looked natural applied over my foundation. I also liked it on fresh skin, followed by mineral powder dusted over the top’ • ‘I loved the simplicity of this product and the performance. Very easy to apply directly from the stick, or using a stippling brush or with fingertips. The creamy gel-like consistency blended out really well, and covered everything I needed it to. I would buy it, but have it colour-matched, as there is a wide range of shades’ • ‘Good coverage and practical packaging – I’m very happy with it but it’s important to get the right shade’ • ‘I didn't have high hopes for a celebrity range but this performed pretty well and I was pleased. It had a lot of wow appeal when I showed it to others; it’s definitely an in demand range.’
£21 - click to buy
GOLD AWARD (JOINT) Clinique Beyond Perfecting Super Concealer Camouflage + 24-Hour Wear
Wow. Clinique maintain this joint Gold Award-winner is oil-free, fragrance-free, transfer-resistant, sweat- and humidity-resistant, waterproof and offers 24-hour wear. One to pack for travel to hot places, then – though our testers were very impressed by the performance of this buildable concealer much closer to home. (Albeit during an incredibly baking UK summer.) Among the 18 shades is an apricot-coloured corrector to help tackle dark circles and discolouration – but our testers trialled shade 04, one of the lighter options.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘Good texture that wasn't too thick so easy to apply using fingertips or a small brush, and blended into skin well. It covered thread veins well making a noticeable difference, and helped the appearance of dark circles and blemishes’ • ‘The best concealer I have tried for dark circles, it also covered thread veins and age spots easily. The lovely creamy texture didn't cake or settle in wrinkles. It looked very natural and you couldn't tell I was wearing it. Lasted all day giving good coverage right through’ • ‘A really great concealer that can be used on its own or over make up with powder on top. Only a tiny amount of product needed; it blends out really well and covers really well too’ • ‘I liked this very much as it did what it promised and looked very natural. Very easy to apply and to blend. Very good coverage for blemishes and good for thread veins, small scars and age spots’ • ‘Looked absolutely natural, works really well to cover all blemishes, age spots etc, covered dark circles perfectly and even makes wrinkles less visible, plus it’s long lasting’ • ‘It was certainly waterproof as it stayed on during swimming. Worked amazingly under eyes for dark circles.’
£18.50 - click to buy
BRONZE AWARD Rosie for Autograph Miracle Concealer
Rosie Huntington-Whitely’s range for M&S has been a massive success: relatively affordable, prettily rose gold-packaged products which have consistently impressed the Beauty Bible editorial team since the collection launched. (This doesn’t qualify as a Beauty Steal, exactly, but it’s a few quid cheaper than the Gold winners.) It’s enriched with vitamin E, coconut oil and vitamin E – which no doubt help with blendability – but M&S could pull their socks up on the shade front: there are just two, of which our testers tried the lighter, (1).
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘Beautifully designed packaging, gold bullet that twists up. Very tactile and nice to use/hold. Easy to apply, just like drawing on with a crayon. The smooth creamy texture is down to the vitamin E, coconut and olive oil. Very easy to blend, felt smooth and moisturising on the skin, and was unnoticeable. Worked well on my thread veins, dark circles and blemishes. A surprising winner for me’ • ‘Gave good coverage for my dark circles and is easy to use, seems to last too. I have already bought it in a slightly lighter shade, which suits me better’ • ‘I have a scar on my nose and acne scars on my neck and it covered these well. I had never heard of this range of products but I would now try others ... it’s in my price range and I was impressed. One thing - when I picked it up I was initially really surprised at how feather light the container feels - great for chucking in your handbag’ • ‘I used this under my eyes first. Initially I thought it was a bit too thick and slightly cakey. However, after a bit more blending it was fine and made the eye look brighter. It was excellent over foundation to cover the age spots that foundation didn't manage to conceal.’
£14 - click to buy
BEST NATURAL AWARD Inika Certified Organic Perfection Concealer
In general, we need two kinds of concealer in our armoury – one for blemishes and red veins/age spots, and one for under-eye shadows. INIKA – the Antipodean organic and natural make-up line – maintain this can be used for both purposes, thanks to the light-reflecting properties of mineral pigments, however. They actually recommend setting the concealer by applying a light dusting of INIKA Mattifying Powder – but our testers didn’t get to trial that and felt it stood up well on its own. (Very Light was their shade.)
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘I liked this product a lot because of the clearly listed organic ingredients, and the fact that it didn't cake or gather in the wrinkles under my eyes. It did separate slightly at one point, but as long as you shake before applying it this isn't a problem. I would recommend this to a friend - it can be hard to find very light concealers that don't look ghostly. A good choice for very fair skin’ • ‘This did its job very well. It is good on under eye dark circles. They didn't disappear entirely but were much less noticeable, also good coverage for blemishes and thread veins. Minimised and disguised pigmentation but did not entirely cover’ • ‘It is easy to apply; best to dot it onto blemishes then it takes some careful patting into the skin to blend out. Lovely fragrance, smells of essential oils’ • ‘This was a nice product to use and I was really surprised at how it quickly covered without any fuss. It really shone with any redness particularly round the nostrils where it performed fantastically’ • ‘The product promises to hide blemishes, dark circles and pigmentation. I feel the product did work, as it had excellent coverage and no sign of dark circles after applying. When I finished, my makeup looked natural’ • ‘This is a very practical, useful and effective product to have in my make-up bag. The matte cream texture is easy to apply and blends in fairly easily.’
£22 - click to buy