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6 Must-Have Concealers and How to Use Them

There are more concealers are the market now than ever before. Whether you’re trying to disguise dark under-eye circles, smooth out redness or an uneven skin tone, or cover up age spots and blemishes, in order to be successful, you need more than just a good product—you have to know how to apply it properly.

We’ve picked out six of our favorite concealers, two of each suited for different purposes, and given you tips for putting them on so they stay on—and leave you looking like you’ve got nothing to hide.

FOR OVERALL COVERAGE (Redness, Rosacea, Evening Out Skin Tone)

1. Cover FX CC Cream Time Release Tinted Treatment SPF 30, $45
As one would expect from a CC cream, Cover FX’s Treatment corrects and smoothes uneven skin tones, as well as hides and reduces redness. It’s packed vitamin C, which fights discoloration and hyperpigmentation over time, evening out blotches naturally the more you use it. This cream is best applied with a liquid foundation brush: After cleansing and moisturizing, use your fingertip to dab dots evenly on your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. Then blend with your brush. Follow with foundation if needed.

Honorable mention:
Dermablend Cover Creme, $37

Recommended by many a makeup artist, including Dallas-based MUA and beauty expert Penny Sadler, Dermablend’s Cover Creme is highly effective at evening out seriously uneven skin and blotchy spots, while still feeling lightweight and natural. The formula contains high purity pigments and provides 12 hours of consistent color. The entire line is devoted to corrective coverage, so it’s especially good for people with more severe skin discoloration, such as Vitiligo and Rosacea.

FOR UNDER-EYE (Dark circles, Puffiness)

2. Benefit Erase Paste, $26
Benefit’s Erase Paste is beloved by consumers and experts a like. We love that it comes with a tiny plastic “spatula,” which makes application easy and precise, especially on those small spots that often develop under the eye. The concentrated formula both covers and brightens, disguising those dark circles and camouflaging the look of tired, puffy eyes. Erase Paste is best applied with the plastic tool, by scooping out a tiny amount from the jar, using your fingertip to dot the concealer carefully onto any dark, discolored areas, and then gently blend for an even and smooth look.

Expert tip: “Choose a shade that is one to two shades lighter than your natural skin tone,” says Penny. “This will add an additional brightening effect to deep, dark under-eye circles.”

Honorable mention:
Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark-Circle Eye Roller, $13

Garnier claims that after one week of using this concealer, your eyes will look naturally brighter. People are raving about this product, so it sounds like the claim is true. In terms of instant coverage, it’s great for hiding dark shadows and circles. And application is a cinch:  gently roll the rounded applicator under your eyes, from the inner to outer corners. Roll once, and if you feel you need a bit more coverage, roll again. Use your fingertips to smooth in any excess cream.

FOR SPOT CONCEALING (Blemishes, Age Spots, Scars)

3. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer, $23
This concealer is one of the best we’ve tried for covering up various spots—and keeping them covered for hours. The formula is oil-free, as well as water- and perspiration-resistant, allowing for coverage that won’t slip or melt off. Apply before you put on your BB cream and/or foundation. Swipe some concealer to the back of your hand, then use a concealer brush to dot the formula over problem areas. Let dry before you put on your foundation, and touch up if necessary once all your makeup has been applied.

Honorable mention:
Josie Maran Argan Creamy Concealer Crayon, $20

If you prefer a pencil, Josie Maran’s super creamy, color-correcting concealer is an excellent choice. Its smooth texture not only makes it easy to apply, it also keeps the coverage from becoming dry or cakey as the day wears on. And it self-sharpens, which is always a plus in our book. Application is also quite easy (and forgiving if you miss spots), because the concealer is so smooth and creamy. Simply apply the pencil onto the spot you want to hide, then blend with either your finger tip or a cotton swab.

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