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Concealers: you asked, I answered

A hint of an under eye circle on Charlotte Rampling actually looked pretty sexy. On the rest of us, maybe not so much

A few of you have requested that I share my thoughts on concealer —intuiting, perhaps, that I might hold some strong opinions on the topic. And you intuited right, of course. I am plagued (possibly too strong a word) by under eye circles, and after years in a job that allowed me access to every newer and better eye de-puffer and un-darkener civilization has to offer, I finally came to the conclusion that the only real cure for dark circles is to just cover them up.

Choosing a good concealer is so damn tricky, though, and I’m fortunate to have had good tutors: almost everything I know about the topic I learned working at fashion magazines, where all of the more seasoned  beauty editors swore by  Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage.  It’s definitely for the person who knows her way around a makeup brush, as it’s closer to a solid than a cream, and therefore a bit tougher to apply. But if you’re good at that type of thing, it can’t be beat.

Givenchy’s Mister Light is super-simple to use, which made it a standby for  just about every woman I worked with who wasn’t a beauty editor, including me.

An editor once instructed me to allow eye cream an honest five minutes to sink in before you apply concealer, and—cumbersome though following that bit of advice may be—it really does make a difference. Things just go on more smoothly and stay on longer. Sometimes a girl is in a rush to get out the door, though, and that’s why I love Mac mineralize concealer (which I’ve mentioned here before, but am throwing in again)—it’s so creamy you can skip the moisturizing step altogether.

When I’m looking at a serious code blue situation, I pull out my treasured stash of Cle de Peau. The fantabulous makeup artist and all-around wonderful person Wei Lang introduced it to me back when photo shoots and TV appearances made the occasional appearance on my schedule, and nothing but the seriously Good Stuff would do.

A lot of people swear by YSL’s Touche Eclat, but I’d never actually tried it myself until just a couple of weeks ago when I grabbed it out of a friend’s makeup bag and gave it a whirl. And you know what? It is MAGIC. In that brightening, luminizing kind of way.

 

 

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Posted on October 24th, 2012 30 Comments

30 Responses

  1. lizzie says:

    i’m sure these are all amazing, but aren’t we in a recession??? how about a “drugstore” or lesser expensive version? one of these pictured is like a weeks worth of groceries, for gods sake.

    • Margie says:

      I was driven to drug store products after my favorite department store brands added SPF to EVERYTHING. I became highly allergic to many products as a result. The bonus however was my discovery of Almay wake up under eye concealer. Amazing and ridiculously inexpensive.

      • KimFrance says:

        Thanks for the tip, Margie. I’m a strong believer that there are certain items one doesn’t need to travel farther than the drugstore for (mascara, for example, and I love Olay eye creams) but I’ve never found a good drugstore concealer.

      • Viajera says:

        I sympathize. I can’t wear many sunscreens because even if I don’t put them right near my eye, the fumes from the cream on my cheeks bother my eyes. And I haven’t yet found a mineral block that doesn’t look Kabuki.

        Then there is the melting issue. It’s a problem. I’ve always wondered if I could use one of those anti-bleeding lipstick pencils (in clear) around my eyes to prevent this, but haven’t gotten around to actually trying it.

        • Lauren says:

          Have you tried Clinique’s chemical-free City Block Sheer SPF 25, or Neutrogena’s chem-free Pure and Free Liquid SPF 50? Both have worked well for me (and are not Kabuki-like), and my rosacea-plagued skin is insanely reactive to sunscreens…

          As for concealer, Eyes Lips Face (ELF) is surprisingly effective, and *cheap*! I only learned of the stuff b/c I had to jump through a zillion hoops when switching to salicylate-free skin/body/hair/dental products in order to avoid a drug interaction — but I’ve actually been fairly pleased with ELF’s results!

          • Viajera says:

            Thanks for the tips! I will try Neutrogena again when I get a chance. The last time, it was for kids so they probably didn’t bother trying to make it look okay, which I hear is done by nano-izing. (EWG has a position on nano sunscreens, but I forget what it is. Anyway, one has to use something, in the end.) The Clinique sounds good too.

            And thanks for the concealer tip too. I probably should be using one. Allergy City over here.

    • I am so with you Lizzie. My department store goodies have been over for a while now (save for Christmas stockings–yes, I am 43 and still get a stocking full of makeup!). I think that drugstore makeup has come SO far in the past five years–come on, when Pat McGrath is designing lines then you know things have changed!

      I have been loving a couple of products, which by chance are all Maybelline (and nope, I am not secretly working for them and being paid in merchandise). For concealer, I think that the Dream Lumi Touch is similar enough to Touche Eclat (although not for anyone with really dark circles, it does layer nicely). It isn’t really foundation but I have been loving the Dream BB cream. Now that the weather is finally getting cooler in my parts, I will have to probably add something with a little more coverage but I am so sold. The same for the One by One mascara.

      Ok, sorry to sound like an ad!!!!

  2. CB says:

    LOVE Touche Eclat. LOVE.

  3. lormac says:

    After trying nearly everything (including a birthmark concealer product which actually worked pretty well if you used eye cream immediately before applying it), I used Lorac cover-up, and lately switched back to Merle Norman Re-touch. Lizzie, you might want to try these, but I think I might splurge and try the Touche Eclat.

  4. Cara says:

    My HG ( and I’ve tried all the ones you mentioned: Touche Veloutée by Terry. Barney’s carries it. Pricey though.

  5. Carol White says:

    I had YSL Touche Eclat – didn’t like it and it seems unsanitary because you’re using the same applicator over & over. I’ve stopped using concealer because it settles in the creases – even after letting eye creame sink it. I AM going to try the Almay and thanks to Margie above for that info!

    • Margie says:

      Carol…sorry but Almay also features an applicator brush. You can however apply with your fingertips as well. I do both. Target sells in store and online and of course Duane Reade here in NYC.

      • Carol White says:

        There was just something about that YSL brush that held on to the product after you used it. I’m going to check Almay, but I thought they had a sponge tip? I’ve actually not used concealer for a long time…got hooked on mineral powder makeup which does an amazing job of coverage. Also, does not bother my rosacea.

        • Viajera says:

          Can you put those mineral powders around your eyes? I know they don’t slide much once they’re on — I tried one and it was hard to get it off at the end of the day. Felt great too.

  6. Vssc says:

    I ‘ve tried virtually everything- but nothing actually lasts more than an hour or two. Laura Mercier’s so far has been the one I come back to. A makeup artist recently told me to try a brand called “amazing concealer”–has anyone tried it? Or makeup forever’s? I just need something that stays on!

  7. Jane says:

    While we’re talking about concealing, Kim please considering doing a post on foundation! Especially for different skin tones.

  8. Tanya says:

    You know what really works? A little pop of restylne.

  9. jenny says:

    The Restylane can work if you don’t have a lot of blue veins showing under your eyes, which scare off the plastic surgeon (the veins under your eyes don’t have valves, which means they can send a clot directly to your brain!)

    I agree with concealer frequently emphasizing little lines. Kim, how do you keep that from happening?

    Also, how to keep the concealer from making your (waterproof) tightline come down below onto your concealer like a raccoon?

  10. Jennifer says:

    I can’t live without Bobbi Brown’s undereye concealer in Sand. It does the job and stays on all day. The consistency is perfect for me at 46- it’s thick and creamy yet somehow isn’t visible after application. I just wish Bobbi Brown would get rid of the parabens in her products- don’t remember whether the concealer has them or not, but I’m addicted to it.

    I’ve tried a few drugstore brands in desperation- Neutrogena has one that resembles the Bobbi Brown but it was too flesh-colored crayon for me. I need more yellow. I also found a Maybelline stick concealer that was cheap and isn’t a bad backup. Its application is chalkier than the Bobbi Brown and the color isn’t a perfect match but it’s pretty damn close and costs around $5.

  11. mauimermaid says:

    Just a note on the featured Laura Mercier concealer – I agree that her products and concealers are brilliant but the one featured on this post is not for the eye area – it really is a bit cakey for the eye – brilliant on the rest of the face though. Laura Mercier makes eye concealers which are creamier and that don’t need to be mixed. They can also be applied with a fingertip.

  12. lizzie says:

    ran out to cvs to get the almay “wake up” concealer that margie mentioned. note to all of you cvs shoppers….if you buy one almay product, you get the second one 50 % off. bonus and party. thanks, margie, and perfect timing! as “girls of a certain age”, i find that having the under eye area as neutral as possible makes me look and feel like a schoolgirl.

  13. Thank you for this post. What is one beauty item i would take to a deserted island? it would be a concealer!!!!! i can’t wait to try out the ones you suggest here.

    http://bellaconscience.blogspot.com/

  14. Jenny says:

    Hey, where is the post and comments about moving from darker lipsticks to lighter colored lipsticks as we get older? I can’t find it anywhere!!
    TIA!!

  15. fashionmom says:

    Sorry I agree sith Kim, but if you do not spend a lot of concealer you may not get a good one. I use a cheaper moisturizer and an expensive concealer. I alternate between Lm Secret Camo is genius because it somehow covers the discolorations it really works well over eye cream. Josie Marian has an amazing concealer at Sephora. It is such Superrrrr moisturizing and wonderful.

  16. ita darling says:

    My favourite is the Touche Veloutee Concealer by By Terry.

    By Terry is an amazing makeup line- Terry de Gunzberg was the head of the YSL makeup division for years and introduced teh Touche Eclat..

    I think the Touche Veloutee is a TINY bit more coverage while still giving the luminescence that the Touch Eclat is known for… Great for my under eye circles and veiny eyelids.. it lasts for a long time- and for those who think the reusable brush is unsanitary- its so easy to spray with a brush cleaner and wipe off and keep going- if you are not sharing it with anyone, it really is safe for use!

    http://www.barneys.com/By-Terry-Touche-Veloutee-Concealer/00469502000190,default,pd.html

  17. Kelly says:

    I have not tried any of these concealers, but they look potentially delightful. However, I also highly recommend Benefit erase paste ($26)– it is the only concealer I have ever tried that I felt actually covered my under eye circles and it also has some subtle illuminating properties. It’s pricey, but my 1 jar lasted me FOREVER