When it comes to high end concealers, I basically have no loyalty. You know how some people find that one that knocks their socks off, they stick loyally to it. Whist I’ve found the odd concealer over the years that I’ve been fond of and repurchased, I’ve never found the one that’s impressed me so much that my makeup routine is not the same without it in it, and I’ve moved on to see whether the next thing impresses me more. Cheap or higher end I’ve tried virtually the whole spectrum.
This year I’ve collated quite a collection of high end concealers, and whilst I have a few on my to-try list, I’ve had to ban myself from buying any more until I at least finish up a few. These three are from higher end brands and have been put to the test on rotation for the past three or so months. Finally I’ve made up my mind on my favourite and least favourite. So here’s the Top 3 Helpless Whilst Drying Concealer Charts (catchy huh?)
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer // £24 (Available from Cult Beauty)
Easily the most iconic concealer from the bunch and can you believe that I survived so long without trying it until this year? My friend Molly kindly passed this along to me after she had received this shade (Custard) and it was way too dark – thanks Mol! And despite it being quite a few people’s number one – for me I’ve found it a bit underwhelming.
Whether that’s partly due to how much I’ve heard it favoured over the years and my expectations ended up thinking it would compare to some kind of magic wand, but whilst I don’t hate it – it’s not love either.
This concealer is a long clear acrylic tube, featuring a screw down doe-foot applicator with a lid that features that soft touch finish NARS is well known for. My biggest problem with this concealer is the packaging, it’s not as creamy and wet feeling as I’d expect and I find the applicator just doesn’t pick up enough prout.. I’m not someone who goes in heay with a concealer, but I do like to layer up a bit more that usual for a night out or a special event and this I find I have to keep dipping more than a child with a dib-dab lolly. It just doesn’t grab enough to distribute more than a thin swipe or two.
The coverage this has is okay, it’s comfortable but I was surprised at it’s lack of creaminess. It doesn’t have the highest pigmentation but it lends itself to a more natural finish than some has. It meshes with the skin and foundation well and has a good all round finish – it’s good for concealing spots as well as using under the eyes, not too dry or too intense. The ‘radiance’ in the name I was expecting I was expecting a glowy finish that wouldn’t be ideal for spot coverage – but it’s just natural.
Wear time again is okay, overall I find this a thoroughly average concealer. One thing NARS has done quite well is it’s shade range with 22 shades in it’s range ranging from pale to dark most people should be able to find something that works. Personally for me this compares to most cheaper concealers I like. I do have NARS’ pot concealer on my next to buy list – and it’s not put me off enough to not revisit their other offerings.
Stila Aqua Glow Serum Concealer // £19.00 (Available from Cult Beauty)
For a while this was close to be being declared my favourite, because wow this looks so nice on my skin. This has great pigment and it goes really far. I’ve tried serum foundations in the past but not a serum concealer and I was expecting it to be a lot wetter, it settles well into the skin and locks into place without looking drying. Just like the Radiance claim from NARS I was expecting the glow in the name from Stila to be a very dewy luminous look but just like NARS it’s a very natural look – not leaning too much towards matte or dewy.
I like the packaging in theory, the squeezy tube is lightweight, travel friendly and keeps it’s size to a minimum but I think it would be suited to a thinner formula better – the product is no less creamy than a concealer that would come in a doe-foot tube. Now the tube is two third finished it’s proving difficult to get the last of the product out. Unlike the others where I crave putting on more I like to dot this across my face more carefully due it’s pigmentation, and it’s easy to squeeze out a little too much, especially when it’s full.
Out of all of these concealers this one pretty much ticks every box, coverage, finish and it being the cheapest of the three (by a slim margin) it won some bonus points too. It does let itself down on shade selection, there’s only 8 shades, most of which are catering for the Caucasian with two darker (not dark) shades.
So why didn’t this win the top spot? Longevity – I find this doesn’t have the greatest wear time and after 8 hours or so of wear it can start to separate a little, it took me a long while to work out it was the concealer and not the primers I was using causing the issue. I love this for if I’m nipping out the house, going out for an evening (lol, who am I kidding, I’m normally wearing PJs by 7.30) or for taking photos – but if I was to pick something for 8am to 9pm this wouldn’t be my choice. I wonder if it’s just due to me being very oily at the moment, but I’d still recommend trying it if you’re interested. It may be really well suited for drier skins.
Too Faced Born This Way Concealer // £20.00 (Available from Cult Beauty)
Okay – so saving the best all rounder until last! I remember when this launched all the hype that surrounded it and it took until now to finally try it (always behind in the concealer game!). This one has a bit of everything. First off it’s got lovely packaging, a heavy bottomd acrylic circular tube with soft gold writing, and Too Faced embossed in the same gold below the twist off doe foot applicator. The applicator is a good size, it’s not tiny, not huge – but importantly it’s fluffy meaning it picks up a good amount of product, unlike the NARS which I had to repeatedly dip into.
I bought this at the start of the year and I did have to wait for my skintone to get some colour before it was usable – even still the colour is not my favourite, I find it very yellow toned. It’s not the perfect shade for me, I stumbled across it in TK Maxx and I’m sure there’s a shade with a slightly better undertone which is more suited, but that being said it has been workable. There are eleven shades within the line – and again it’s not the greatest, it neither goes super light or dark – but there is a range there.
As the name of this concealer would suggest, just like the others it’s got a very natural finish – again not leaning very matte and it looks the most skin like out of the three and it doesn’t feel heavy at all. It’s not the best at covering spots – it seems to glide over them, the concealer has good pigmentation – but not the highest of the three. The formulation is creamy and bounces under the eye well with a sponge. The wear time I think is the best of the three too – again I’m not staggered by it, but being an oily skinned human no concealer seems to give me 15 hour wear without question, so I can’t judge it too harshly.
Overall whilst I’ve not disliked any of these concealers, equally I still don’t feel like I’ve found ‘the one’ that I can’t be without – they all feel average to me. Does anyone else feel this way with concealers? I feel like 80% I judge as average, they’re good but not perfect, whilst 20% I just dislike! Ultimately whilst there’s things I like and dislike about each, they all feel much of a muchness – the Stila could have been more of a standout was it for for the separation issues experienced.
Have you tried any of these High End Concealers before? What are your favourite concealers – high or low!?
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