The big cover-up: Our guide to the best concealers
We've all got our dirty little secrets.
When it comes to looking gorgeous, honesty is not the best policy.
We recently put dozens of cover-ups and concealers to the test in an effort to find the best products money could buy. A few favorites emerged. A few less-than-stellar products made separating the bad from the beautiful an easy task.
Here's what we loved and what to look out for...
Getting what you want often begins with figuring out what you don't want. (Turns out that's true of men and makeup.) So we began our search for the best cover-up by discovering some hidden don'ts.
Don't use one concealer for all purposes. For example, the best cover-up for blemishes is often too thick under eyes.
Don't apply concealer underneath foundation; that reduces the effectiveness of even the best products.
Don't rub; apply by patting lightly with your pointer finger or a flat makeup brush. That said, here are some products that can really keep a secret:
Best under eye concealer
Jane Iredale's Circle\DeleteT Under Eye Concealer, $28, is the best product we've found for concealing dark circles. But this must-have product goes beyond just covering up "raccoon eyes." Key ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide provide sun protection while vitamin K reportedly acts as a lightening agent to help fade hyperpigmentation. Visit www.janeiredale.com for a complete list of retailers.
Best blemish cover-up
Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage ($28 at Lauramercier.com) was the hands-down winner for covering a bevy of skincare sins, from blemishes to blotches. In a range of shades with unsexy names such as SC-1 and SC-2, this product proves that concealing imperfections is serious business. Each compact in the Secret Camouflage collection contains two shades: one to match skin's undertones and one to match skin's color. Each shade can be used separately or blended together as needed.
Best bargain concealer
Maybelline's True Illusion Concealer is a cheap and chic favorite. At just $5.49 (Walgreens.com), the long-lasting formula is available in a range of shades from True Ivory to True Mocha. While the product instructions recommend "dotting on" using the concealer's applicator wand, I'd skip that step -- reusing the same wand can foster bacteria. Instead apply with a cotton swab, and then blend with clean fingertips. The oil-free, non-comodegenic formula is also a plus.
Best concealer for him
For men who have something to hide, I recommend the Menaji Skin Care line, reportedly used by everyone from Tom Hanks to Evander Holyfield. The Undetectable Concealer ($18.50 at Menskincare.com) is available in hues ranging from Light Camo to Deep Dark Camo. The fragrance-free formula is sure to be a hit with guys, and the added benefit of SPF 8 helps prevent sun damage, particularly good in the sensitive under eye area.