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The Best Concealers for Covering Skin Blemishes

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Written by Kristie Olivieri

We all know the frustration of looking into the mirror and discovering blemishes that popped up overnight or when we’ve had a horrible night’s sleep, and our dark circles make it look like we’re sporting a reversed smoky eye. Luckily, with concealer in your makeup arsenal, you can easily eliminate those pesky blemishes and dark circles.

We curated a list of some of the best concealers for covering blemishes, concealing dark circles, and evening out redness. So whether you’re looking for something lightweight or a full-coverage concealer, we’ve got you covered.

Concealer Guide

What does “full coverage” really mean? Is there a difference between concealer for blemishes and concealer for under-eyes? And is there really any reason to spend $30 or more on a tube of foundation that does little more than what you can get at the drugstore for half the price? We're here to help answer these questions and more. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about concealers and how to choose the perfect one for your needs.

Coverage & Finish

The first thing to consider when choosing a concealer is how much coverage you want. Some people prefer a light-coverage formula that melts into the skin with minimal blending, while others like something more full-coverage that covers blemishes, dark circles, and redness.

If you have dark circles or severe redness under your eyes, a high-coverage formula will work best for you. If you just have minor imperfections or blemishes on your cheeks, then a light-to-medium coverage formula may be better suited to your needs.

Shade & Undertone

Another important thing to look at is shade and undertone. Concealers come in light, medium, and dark shades with different undertones (yellow-based, pink-based, or neutral). If you choose a shade that doesn’t match your skin, it will look unnatural on your face. Since concealers tend to oxidize, it’s best to get a shade that’s slightly lighter than your skin tone.

Consistency

You should also consider how thick or thin the consistency of your concealer is, as this will affect how easy it is to apply and blend seamlessly into your skin. If it’s too thick, you won’t be able to blend properly without creasing or settling into fine lines.  But, if the concealer is too thin, it won’t provide enough coverage and can leave your skin looking patchy.

Ideally, look for a concealer with a medium-to-thick consistency and a smooth, creamy texture, as this will be easier to apply and blend into your skin.

Formula

Concealers come in both matte and dewy formulas, but depending on your skin type, one might suit you better than another. For example, if you have extremely dry skin, look for an oil-free matte formula because this will help lock in moisture and keep flakiness at bay. If you have oily skin, look for a dewy formula that will help keep your face matte throughout the day. If you want to create an airbrushed finish, opt for a concealer with buildable coverage.

Also, stay away from concealers containing fragrances and parabens, as they can irritate your skin. Finally, it’s a good idea to go for a concealer with a good amount of SPF to protect your skin from harmful rays.

Comparing the Best Concealers of 2024

1

e.l.f. Concealer

Pros

  • Non-drying, crease-resistant formula
  • Provides excellent coverage
  • Free from harmful chemicals

Cons

  • Could be more hydrating

The e.l.f Hydrating Camo concealer is a multi-functional product designed to correct, conceal, cover, and hydrate your skin. It provides high coverage to hide blemishes and cover dark spots while also leaving your skin with a dewy glow. It also features a doe-foot applicator so you can easily dab the product onto your face for precise application.

Thanks to this product’s lightweight formula, you won’t have to worry about it being heavy on your skin or clogging your pores. Even better, it’s made without harsh ingredients like phthalates, parabens, nonylphenol, and other harmful preservatives that might otherwise trigger an allergic reaction. From light peach to deep cinnamon, this pick comes in a range of shades so you can find one that perfectly matches your skin tone. Because of its long-wearing properties and natural-looking coverage, this concealer has earned the top spot on our list.

2

NYX Professional Makeup Concealer

Pros

  • Provides buildable coverage
  • Non-cakey, lightweight formula
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • May dry out the skin

NYX’s HD Studio Photogenic concealer is a must-have for every makeup artist’s kit. Boasting a creamy formula, it can help to cover blemishes, hyperpigmentation, age spots, and redness. Additionally, it can be used as a contour concealer to sculpt the cheeks and chin, can be applied with a brush or beauty blender, and sets quickly to a matte finish.

Available in 23 different shades, this product offers light but buildable coverage, making it great for everyday use Meanwhile, the undertones are neutral enough to match any skin color but not so yellow that they look obvious on darker complexions. The formula is also water-resistant and long-lasting, and it doesn’t crease or settle into fine lines. And, with its easy-to-use wand applicator, you can achieve flawless results every time. Best of all, since NYX is certified as a cruelty-free brand by PETA, you can use this makeup with a clear conscience.

3

L.A. Girl Pro Concealer

Pros

  • Hides dark circles and blemishes
  • Brightens dark spots
  • Smooth, creamy texture

Cons

  • May not provide sufficient coverage

The L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD concealer is ideal for those who want to camouflage skin imperfections while evening out the skin tone. The product’s highly pigmented formula offers full coverage for any skin discoloration, dark spots, and dark circles around the eye area. Besides providing high coverage, it also helps minimize the appearance of fine lines while moisturizing the skin. It’s a great option for those with sensitive skin who want to cover up blemishes without clogging pores or irritating their skin.

This concealer comes in a range of shades, including light, medium, tan, deep and dark, so you can easily find one that perfectly suits your skin tone—you can even mix them to create your perfect color match. It also has a matte finish that makes your skin look natural and smooth, even with heavy coverage. This efficient and lightweight formula applies smoothly, ensuring perfect coverage with just one application. What sets it apart, however, is that it’s transfer-proof and crease-resistant, so it won’t rub off or fade throughout the day.

4

Veil Cosmetics Concealer

Pros

  • Doesn’t settle in fine lines
  • Comes in a leak-proof applicator
  • Works as a highlighter and color corrector

Cons

  • Not ideal for covering blemishes

Veil Cosmetics Complexion Fix concealer is a revolutionary product that’s incredibly versatile, making it perfect for any makeup look. Featuring a natural illuminating formula, it can be used as a highlight to add a dewy touch to your makeup or as a color corrector to hide unsightly skin imperfections. Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, this unique concoction brightens, hydrates, and soothes skin while helping you achieve a flawless complexion.

This concealer is available in a range of shades to match your skin tone, and its creamy texture makes it easy to blend out for a natural-looking finish. Additionally, it comes in a patented leak-proof pen for easy portability and has self-setting properties that allow it to dry quickly without creasing or smudging. A little goes a long way, so this product can easily last you for months.

5

NARS Concealer

Pros

  • Offers buildable coverage
  • Creamy formula ensures a smooth finish
  • Long-wearing and crease-resistant

Cons

  • Might not be suitable for all skin types

Looking for a long-wearing, crease-proof concealer? Get your hands on the NARS Radiant creamy concealer. This pick is incredibly effective at covering up dark circles, blemishes, and other discolorations. You can also use it to easily shape, contour, and highlight while leaving your skin looking bright and smooth. It goes on creamy but dries to an ultra-smooth finish that won’t budge all day long.

Available in 35 shades, this concealer comes in a tube container with a doe applicator wand, making application easy and mess-free. Most importantly, though, it's extremely lightweight and comfortable on the skin, so you won’t feel weighed down or greasy. This product is also paraben-free, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic, so it won’t irritate sensitive skin or clog pores. Not to mention, the packaging looks luxurious and elegant, so you can proudly display it on your vanity.

People Also Ask

  • Q: Can I use concealer as a foundation?

    A:Yes, you can. It’s a great way to even out your skin tone and cover up any blemishes or dark circles. Some people prefer it to foundation because it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin, while others like the lighter coverage of concealers better than full-coverage foundations.

  • Q: Do I need a special brush to apply concealer?

    A:Not necessarily. Concealer can be applied with your fingers (use clean hands), but if you want more control over the placement of the product, then using a brush may be helpful. A beauty blender is also great for applying concealer—especially in the under-eye area—because it will help blend the product seamlessly into your skin and avoid creasing or caking. If you’re looking for a brush with long bristles that will allow you to easily reach small areas around your nose or mouth, try a wide-angle contour brush or a flat-tipped brush.

  • Q: Do I need to set the concealer with powder?

    A:It depends on what type of concealer you’re using. Some formulas will set on their own after a few minutes, while others require some kind of powder or setting spray (an oil-free setting spray works best in this case) for longevity throughout the day. If your concealer requires setting, we recommend using a translucent powder to prevent flaking and caking.

  • Q: Will a concealer make my pimple more prominent?

    A:No, but it may accentuate the texture of your skin if you have acne scarring or large pores. If you want to cover up redness, use a green-tinted primer or foundation before applying your concealer so that it looks natural instead of camouflage-like. If you have dry patches, try using an oil-free moisturizer before applying concealer for a smoother finish.

  • Q: Why does my concealer look orange on me?

    A:The most common reason is that your skin tone is too light or too dark for the product’s color. If your skin is darker than the product’s color, it will appear orange or yellowish. If it’s lighter, the concealer will be difficult to blend in properly with the surrounding skin tone.

  • Q: Do I put foundation on before or after concealer?

    A:The answer is both! Foundation should be applied under the eyes first, then set with powder. Next, apply concealer over the entire area, then blend with your fingers or a sponge until it disappears into your skin seamlessly. Lastly, apply foundation over the top of everything else for an even and flawless finish.

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By Kristie Olivieri

Kristie is a documentary enthusiast, horror movie lover, and avid gamer. When not lost in a virtual world, they enjoy curling up with a good book and their feline friends.
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