This week has been a little epic, hasn’t it? In the final week of January I’ve gone from breastfeeding to periods to a grumpy moan to dizzy spells. To round it off then, I’m finally bringing you a post that I’ve been working on for some time about cosmetics that hide the late nights of wine or worry and can make the difference between feeling world-worn and feeling wonderful. Am I overstating that? Well, perhaps a little. But you know how I feel about best foot forward.
I am blessed with rather young-looking skin. Perhaps it’s having such a balloon-shaped face that tends to keep me looking younger than I am or perhaps it’s the oily skin that I saw as such a curse until well into my twenties that has lubricated my skin so well that it hasn’t really wrinkled so far. With the help of my beloved L’ Occitane Divine range generally, I’d say I look younger than nearly fifty.
With the exception of the area beneath my eyes. I have shadowy patches under my eyes that are exacerbated by my faded grey skin at this time of year. A little bit of sun often takes about 10 years off me and that’s why I find the undereye area so enraging.
“Everyone looks better with concealer,” says make-up guru Sali Hughes.
I find this not strictly true. Maybe it’s the way I apply my make-up but I often look WORSE with concealer, which is why I’ve had to buy and try so many over the years. I might finally have found my holy grail of concealers though and I’m really excited about it.
Waste not want not, though. Here’s what I think of all of the concealers I’ve tried.
First off Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer. I find this settles into the lines under my eyes. It isn’t creamy enough and fades during the day. It IS years since I’ve used it though, and I can’t help wondering what it would look like if I used it properly, as I always do under make-up these days.
Bobbi Brown assistants like to sell their Corrector as well as their concealer. The colour they recommended for me was Bisque – in the summer, anyway – and they also recommend using pale yellow powder to set the concealer. Whilst this is probably what make-up artists do, It’s probably a bit of a faff for us mere mortals first thing in the morning and another reason not to buy the product.
Chanel Corrector Perfection: Generally I like this one. I like all Chanel products which, though expensive work well in terms of staying power. My beef with this concealer is that it doesn’t last long on the skin and, being packaged in a tube with a sponge applicator, the screw top bit becomes messily clogged with product very quickly and then starts to come off all over the make up drawer. I use Shade 40, in case you’re interested.
Chanel Lift Lumière concealer: utter disappointment. The too-sheer liquid texture did not cover at all and was very expensive.
Chanel Eclat Lumière Highlighter: I have this in my gym bag and it’s better than nothing. It’s apparently Chanel’s answer to the YSL Touche Eclat and does brighten the undereye area but it doesn’t really conceal.
Benefit Boing: No. I don’t like this. It settles into my lines and cakes and doesn’t last. And you have to set it with that white setting power that looks disconcertingly like some sort of A class controlled substance, which might raise some questions if you’re travelling.
Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer: very expensive and too creamy for the undereye area. Maybe it was the colour I chose but it settled into my fine lines and made me look older and greyer. HOWEVER, this is probably my concealer of choice for hyperpigmentation spots on the rest of the face. I’ve grown to love this used in this way and probably wouldn’t want to be without it now. I use shade Tan but I bought it online so I’m not sure if there might be an better shade for me.
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage: Maybe they gave me the wrong colourway for this as I find it both too orange and too grey – each compact has two shades. It’s fairly stiff to apply with a brush and I found that it didn’t deal well with my hyper-pigmentation patches. Nope.
Dr N Perricone: No Concealer Concealer. Well, if this is the version for darker skins, I can only speculate on the shade of the paler-toned version. It clogs, it cakes, and it’s far too light. Not for me.
Mac Pro Longwear Concealer: Now, I do like this but I think the counter assistants thought I needed some extra help with brightening around my eyes as I had a nasty cold that day and I’d been waiting outside the Indian High Commission since 6am to apply for my Overseas Citizenship of India. This is generally good and lasts a long time but I’m not convinced I’ve got exactly the right shade for me. Certainly one of the better ones, though, I’d say.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I think this is THE ONE. Certainly until a better one comes along. In a stick bottle with a sponge hoof applicator, it blends incredibly easily into my skin with a concealer brush. I guess Ginger must be my colour as it seems to eliminate any under eye greyness and lasts….
So there you are. My favourites are the Nars and the Hourglass, with the Chanel and the Mac (in the correct shade) in the running there too. Just because they suit me, they might not suit your skin tone or the texture of your complexion. For this reason, buying concealers and foundations online unless you know your exact colour, is a silly idea. Even if you do, it’s always worth dropping by the counter to check, especially if, like mine, your face has a tendency to go through a range of colours with the changes of the seasons.
It’s always worth trying lots of different ones to see what’t the best for you and keeping an eye out for new cosmetics developments. It’s expensive though, so it’s worth asking the sales assistants for tester pots but not all brands will oblige. Herewith concludes my concealer odyssey. An opportunity for decluttering now presents itself.
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