Which full-coverage concealer is best?

When your inner beauty radiates, it needs no help from cosmetics to make you feel beautiful. Sometimes, though, blemishes and under-eye circles could use a little assistance, especially when you want to look your best for an important meeting or event. If this happens, a full-coverage concealer can help.

For luxurious full coverage in shades that work for most skin tones, try Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick.

What to know before you buy a full-coverage concealer

Concealer formulation

Full-coverage concealer is available in concealer sticks, liquids and creams.

  • Sticks: Stick concealers offer some of the most complete coverage and are easy to take on the go. Because the texture is heavy, they can cause breakouts on acne-prone skin.
  • Liquids: Liquid concealer is thinner and blends beautifully. It doesn’t offer as much coverage but is a good choice for oily skin. People with mature skin may also find that this formulation is best, as it doesn’t settle into lines or wrinkles.
  • Creams: Also called pot concealers, creams are another rich formulation that provides total coverage. Cream is applied with a brush, sponge or fingers. It isn’t a good option for those with oily skin.

Powders don’t offer much coverage but instead work to even out skin tone subtly. If your goal is full coverage including contouring, this isn’t a good option.

Finish

Concealer comes in three finishes. Which you choose depends on the look you want and the type of skin you have.

  • Oily: If your skin is oily, choose a matte concealer that will decrease shine. 
  • Dry: For dry or mature skin, you might need a bit of help to bring out your natural radiance. Look for concealers that add shine to bring out your inner glow.
  • Combination: An oily T-zone combined with dry areas on the cheeks and under the eyes requires a radiant concealer and a matte concealer.

Intended use

Your intended use affects which full-coverage concealer is best for you. The most common uses are spot and under-eye coverage. A lightweight, full-coverage concealer liquid works best for under the eyes, as this delicate skin can be dry and needs more weightless coverage. 

Cream and stick concealers are best for spot coverage or evening out large areas. 

What to look for in a quality full-coverage concealer

SPF

One of the biggest destroyers of healthy skin is the sun. Look for full-coverage concealers that include SPF of 15 or higher. 

Long-wearing

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to fuss with makeup touch-ups during the day, long-wearing concealer is for you. These are formulated to last for eight to 12 hours. 

Match your skin tone

When liquid makeup was first invented, there were three tones: light, medium and dark. These days, there are a huge variety of shades to match every skin tone under the sun. 

Cruelty-free

There are many concealer brands that don’t test on animals, if this is of importance to you. Go one further and make sure that suppliers for the line of beauty products are also held to the same standard. 

How to use full-coverage concealer

  • Start with a clean, moisturized face. This is especially important in dry areas.
  • Apply your foundation, then add concealer. This helps to correct and even out what foundation misses.
  • Don’t rub concealer in. Instead, use a sponge or fingertips to gently pat until it’s blended. 
  • Set your makeup with powder. This increases its staying power.
  • Remove makeup every night with a gentle cleanser that’s matched to the needs of your skin. 

How much you can expect to spend on a full-coverage concealer

From affordable drugstore options to upscale department store cosmetics counters, expect to spend $5-$50.

Full-coverage concealer FAQ

Can you use the same concealer year-round?

A. Because of natural changes in skin tone throughout the year, it’s best to keep two different shades on hand. These can be blended as your skin changes with the seasons. 

What else can you use concealer for?

A. Concealer can be used for things other than evening out skin tone and disguising blemishes. Use it to conceal tattoos, as an eyeshadow primer, to clean up the edges of lipstick or eyeliner or to contour the face.

What’s the best full-coverage concealer to buy?

Top full-coverage concealer

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Matte Contour Skinstick

What you need to know: This is a lightweight, full-coverage concealer that won’t clog pores. 

What you’ll love: It blends well and covers enough that it can take the place of foundation. The matte finish resists shine and doesn’t require much for effective coverage. This can also be used as a contouring stick. 

What you should consider: The range of shades isn’t wide, but it’s still more diverse than some other brands.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Amazon

Top full-coverage concealer for the money

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof 12-Hour Concealer

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof 12-Hour Concealer

What you need to know: This concealer is great for all-day coverage, even in water.

What you’ll love: It works well for covering acne and skin discolorations. It blends well and is safe for even the most sensitive skin. Coverage is oil-free and has a matte finish. The concealer twists up and down in the tube to prevent damage or waste. It’s available in 10 shades.

What you should consider: Some users found it didn’t work well on under-eye circles.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Amazon

Worth checking out

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer

What you need to know: This is a good choice for a wide range of skin tones. 

What you’ll love: It’s available in 30 shades. Peptides, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants help skin heal as it conceals. It smooths on easily and offers good coverage. Its container makes it convenient for travel. It’s vegan and gluten-free.

What you should consider: This isn’t the best choice for dry or mature skin since it can increase dryness.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Amazon

 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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