When I was a teenager I used to read those magazines where they’d ask models what their most vital piece of make-up is, and their replies would be things like “mascara” or “eyebrow pencil”. At the time I didn’t realize that that’s how you know you’re beautiful enough to be a model; when the worst thing on your face is your eyelashes. Plus I am a brunette and wasn’t really aware how scary-pale a woman with blonde eyelashes can look. I have lots of things on my face that are in more need of help than my eyelashes (if you are blondie-blonde, I apologize. I can’t relate at all). There are all sorts of things that most women need to cover up and disguise. So today for Make-up Monday I have picked my second most important make-up item: concealer.
I have really dreadful–and I do mean dreadful–under-eye circles. I have been to doctors and aetheticians and guess what? They’re just my genetic curse. Yay genetics! Plus we all have our zitty days from time to time. In the olden days (like ten or twenty years ago) I was only concerned about concealer that could do one thing: cover up yuckiness. But now I have wrinkles under my eyes on top of the dark circles. Ewww! Not only are they ugly, but my makeup settles into them and makes the wrinkles look even more pronounced. Super ewww! My ideal concealer covers things up and stays out of the creases. This is apparently as technologically impossible as getting a man to Mars, because the perfect concealer has yet to be invented. Let me give you some more bad news: good concealer is expensive. I’ve tried just about every drug store concealer out there and none are excellent. They’re better than nothing, but they have a long way to go. That’s not to say that all expensive concealers work well; not the case. But I’ve had better luck with fancier brands.
The best concealer at a good price point is found at my One True Love: Target. Sonya Krashuk (who is that woman anyway? Does she actually exist?) makes a compact full of concealers of various shades. I have the 4-shade compact (it’s got a light shade, a dark, shade, a greenish shade for covering up red spots, and a powder), but I’ve heard that the newer compact has only two shades. Either one will do. It runs about $10 which is a pittance compared to some of the spendier brands. You will also need to spring for a brush, since the brush that is included is about the right size for a barbie doll. Weird. Or if you want to be prehistoric, you can just use your finger. But I hate getting makeup all over my fingers.
My favorite expensive concealer is by Cargo. It’s called Blu Ray Concealer. It has excellent coverage and is the best I’ve found at staying out of the wrinkles. They just discontinued carrying Blu Ray at Sephora which means that I’m left to buy it online. At $28 it’s pretty expensive. Hence I buy it (and all my favorite expensive brands) on ebay. Yep, you read that right. You’d be surprised how how many people sell new make-up there. I can usually get a new Blu Ray for $14-16.
There are two things I don’t like about this concealer: it’s impossible to tell when it’s running low. One day there just won’t be any left and there’s no way to know it’s about to happen. I try to have an extra on hand to make sure I’m not caught without (which would, of course, be the end of the world). Also, it only comes in two colors: light (which is super, duper pale–my shade) and medium/dark (which is still pretty pale). If you have darkish skin, forget it.
If you are lucky enough to be wrinkle-free or don’t really need concealer under your eyes then I would also suggest Creamy Concealer by Bobbi Brown. It covers very well. Unfortunately it settles into fine lines and can cake if you have dry skin. Creamy Concealer comes in 14 shades so women of most colors can find something that works. It’s $22 and they carry it at Nordstrom. You might want to stop by and try it out, then find it someplace cheaper online.
I’ve also heard great things about the coverage from Benefit’s Boi-ing concealer. I’ve also heard that it’s not wrinkle-friendly at all. Bummer. So again, this choice would be for the younger women. It’s $18 and is available at Sephora. The nice thing about Sephora is that they’ll give you a little sample of anything to take home and try out so there is no pressure to buy anything right that second. If you don’t live near a Sephora, though, you’re out of luck.
To me, it’s worth the money to get a good concealer. I don’t really fancy people staring at my zits and broken capillaries and under-eye circles. Of course, you might just love that sort of thing. Or you might just be a model and don’t need it.