If your foundation doesn’t quite give you the coverage you need, or you have problem areas you need to cover, choosing the best concealer is worth taking the time to get right.
Concealer is used for more than just covering spots or blemishes. It can brighten your skin, create clean lines for eyeshadow or when contouring, and it’s perfect for when you want to get rid of dark circles.
READ NEXT: How to apply concealer
Confusingly, there are hundreds of shades and formulations designed for different skin types, not to mention a wide range of prices.
To help you find the concealer best suited to your needs – from the best concealer for dark circles to the best concealer for acne – we’ve handpicked our favourites below which cost from as little as £4.
£15 | Buy now from Glossier
Why we love it: “A concealer inspired by skin” Glossier’s Stretch Concealer leaves a much sought-after dewy yet undetectable finish. It’s hypoallergenic, fragrance and cruelty-free and is ideal for the most sensitive of skin types. This concealer is buildable, flexible and nourishing, too, while coming in at just £15. This is why it’s our Editor’s Pick.
£4 | Buy now from Boots
Why we love it: Don’t be fooled by the low price of this concealer, it is absolutely full to the brim with quality. It’s a sure-favourite with bloggers because of its long-lasting lightweight finish that covers any blemish with ease. This product also comes in a wide range of shades, and on the best (or worst) of days it won’t come off with a little sweat and/or a few tears.
£27 | Buy now from Cult Beauty
Why we love it: Designed with the help of cosmetic surgeons, the Bye Bye Breakout from IT Cosmetics is a spot treatment and concealer in one. Perfect for acne-prone skin, this camouflage doesn’t crack, dry out or budge all day. It’s also infused with effective spot-fighting ingredients, such as witch hazel and kaolin clay, age-defying peptides and hydrolysed collagen, oil-absorbing zinc oxide, tea tree, sulphur and a gentle complex of alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Combined, this formula means that – much like a lot of IT Cosmetics products – this makeup can also double-up as a form of skincare and get rid of blemishes rather than just hide them.
It’s available in six colours, which isn’t a huge selection but there should be something for almost everyone, particularly because concealer doesn’t have to as closely match as foundation does. These options include Deep, Fair, Light, Medium, Rich and Tan.
You can pair this concealer with the fantastic IT Cosmetics Better than Your Skin CC+ cream. Despite being called a CC cream, this is more than adequate enough as a foundation. It’s buildable, lightweight and looks after your skin as you wear it. Read more about it in our best foundation guide, or in our guide to the best multi-purpose makeup. It really can replace your primer, foundation, moisturiser, CC cream and more!
£24 | Buy now from NARS
Why we love it: America’s best selling concealer, this liquid concealer from Narsissist does exactly as its name suggests. It has a luxurious, creamy texture and a long-lasting, glow-inducing finish. It is packed full of goodness, and comes in an impressive 30 shades. It can also be used to highlight and contour the face meaning although you’re spending a little more on it compared to others in this list, it’s better value for money and more versatile.
We love the creamy texture of this concealer and being so creamy makes it easier to blend into the skin. It works well when blending with a makeup sponge or fingers. A little goes a long way with this. There is an instant lift and brightness on the under eye area. The skin around our under eye is dry and this concealer does not sit in the dry areas around the eye, we also like how this concealer is buildable too. It doesn’t have any issues with any setting powder too and we have to say a little goes a long way, it may not be the best to cover any blemishes but it does a fantastic job of lifting and brightening the under eye.
FURTHER READING: Best foundation
£19.50 | Buy now from MAC
Why we love it: If your skin is showing signs of fine lines or wrinkles, MAC’s Studio Waterweight is perfect for giving you fantastic lightweight coverage. It’s much more watery than others in this list (hence its name) but it performs as well, if not better than some of its thicker counterparts, especially on mature skin. Its handy pipette helps control how much product you use and it blends effortlessly into the skin with just one coat.
READ NEXT: How to apply concealer to mature skin
Don’t be put off by the small bottle, you get a lot of value for your money with this product because you only need to use a single drop. Seriously, a tiny dot of this concealer is more than enough to brighten the skin under your eyes, onto your cheeks and your nose. We’ve had bottles of this last for more than a year and counting and go everywhere with it due to its handy travel-size.
From £24 | Buy now from Cult Beauty
Why we love it: Unlike others in our list, the Magic Away Liquid from mamabella favourite Charlotte Tilbury comes in wand form for both ease and precision. It has ingredients to lift, plump and soften any type of skin, leaving you looking airbrushed and ready for anything. This concealer is particularly effective around the eyes but can blur the most irritating of imperfections and works particularly well when paired with Charlotte’s Magic Foundation, which features in our best foundation list.
This concealer does have quite a thick texture so won’t suit mature skin or people with fine lines or wrinkles quite as well and we’d recommend blending it with a brush, as opposed to a beauty blender to get a better finish.
Why we love it: This lightweight liquid matte concealer claims to last for an almost unbelievable 24 hours, keeping your face blemish-free through any occasion.
It works effectively at keeping the oily T-zone at bay and comes in 24 waterproof, transfer-proof shades. NYX Professional Makeup has made this product for those of us always on the move and who don’t want to have to stop to retouch makeup.
£18.50 | Buy now from Benefit
Why we love it: If you’re looking for a concealer made of tough stuff, this is the one. Benefit’s medium to full coverage Boi-ing concealer is perfect for the days you need that extra push to get out the door. It’s most effective as an under-eye cream, but with a brush can be just as powerful on those irritating spots and blemishes.
If you do find the texture of this concealer a little much, yet still want to stick with the Benefit brand, we also recommend the Boi-ing Airbrush concealer. It’s softer and lighter without sacrificing too much on coverage.
We love Benefit makeup here at mamabella. So much so, it features in our best cheap makeup list.
£22.50 | Buy now from Feelunique
Why we love it: Clarins Instant Concealer is a worthy rival to MAC’s Waterweight range in terms of lightweight feel and great coverage. A tiny amount of this concealer goes a very long way and because of the way it’s tinted, it offers correction for, and has been created with dark circles in mind. all types of dark circles.
Whereas some concealers can look cakey under the eyes, or are too bright making it looking noticeable, the fluid texture of the Clarins Instant Concealer blends flawlessly into the skin and smooths the eye contour area. We were recommended this by a mamabella reader and haven’t looked back since.
£25 | Buy now from Cult Beauty
Why we love it: This concealer is designed to give your skin a warm glow. It lives up to its name by truly delivering a flawless finish, effortlessly smoothing out the skin below the eyes into the rest of the face. This product is also especially hydrating, making it perfect for dry skin. The shades are divided into categories, cool, warm and neutral, making it even easier to find the right match for you.
Why we love it: The absolute perfect budget creamy hydrating concealer that brightens and colour corrects around the eye area is a work of art! This comes in 14 shades and these are based on the undertone of your skin. It gives great coverage to conceal dark circles, and the texture is creamy and blends beautifully. We love that it contains hyaluronic acid to give the boost of hydrating under the eyes. With the help of niacinamide and vitamin C this can really boost the skin’s complexion. It also gives a lovely, healthy, dewy finish being a creamy concealer. We like that it doesn’t sit in fine lines or dry areas around the eye.
You don’t have to use a lot, one sweep with the applicator is enough to blend in, it is also buildable to, if you feel that you need just that extra coverage.
Libby graduated from Bournemouth University with a degree in Multimedia Journalism. She’s worked as a researcher and writer for Heart Radio as well as a features writer for a Somerset newspaper. She’s since taken time out to travel, manage a hotel restaurant, do a lot of dog walking, and now works in London’s West End