Best concealer 2021: for dark circles, acne, dry skin and more

T3’s roundup of the top 5 must-have full-coverage concealers

Best concealer for dark circles, acne, dry skin and more
(Image credit: Getty)

Whether you're looking for something to banish dark circles, or you have an attention-seeking spot on your chin, concealer is the hero product when it comes to skin-correcting, that's why it’s super-important to know which is the best concealer on the market. 

Warren Dowdall, Senior PRO artist at Bobbi Brown, has given the beauty world the ultimate advice when it comes to concealer and how to effectively apply it on the skin:

"Apply a small amount of concealer with a concealer blending brush in light, smooth motions from the inner to the outer corners of the eye. For a truly second-skin finish, try patting the product in gently with your ring finger. If more coverage is needed, build it up by using super-fine layers of concealer to avoid a heavy finish. Set with a little illuminating powder and you are good to go.”

Dowdall goes onto explain, "brightness is super important but if you go too light it will look ashy, dry and not cut out the darkness at all. The best route to success is to choose a concealer that’s one shade lighter than your natural skin tone. The under-eye is a naturally recessive area, so we want to use the slighter lighter shade to give the illusion of bringing this area forward for a brighter, fresher look."

When it comes to creasing under the eye, please understand this is completely normal. It can easily be fixed with the right eye cream, eye primer and the right setting powder for underneath the eye area. 

Generally, translucent powders are the best under the eye if you don’t want to magnify certain areas, i.e. it’s common for a lot of people to use banana powder, but its yellowish nature is not designed for all skin shades, so rule of thumb is to stick to a translucent powder to truly set your concealer and achieve that flawless finish.

The best 5 concealers you can buy:

Best concealer: Charlotte TilburyT3 Best Buy logo

(Image credit: Charlotte Tilbury)

1. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer

The best concealer you can buy

Reasons to buy
+Good shade range, suitable for all skin types+Lightweight and water-resistant 
Reasons to avoid
-Can sometimes cause streaks on the face  -Can be drying at times 

This product is a high-coverage concealer which contains Persian Silk Tree Bark Extract helping to create the illusion of a lifted upper eyelid as well as fading dark circles and wrinkles. It also has extract of Wild Indigo that helps the skin’s luminosity as well as Palmitoyl Glycine that helps aid the reduction of reduces lines and wrinkles. 

The shade range is very diverse and is designed for all skin types, so, if you're looking for a liquid concealer that covers all of your imperfections, this is it. This concealer works well in humid climates and offers a good base coverage before completing the rest of your makeup look. 

Best concealer: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer

(Image credit: Bobbi Brown)

2. Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer

The perfect concealer for those who want to mix skincare with makeup

Reasons to buy
+Weightless coverage +Enhances skin’s natural moisture levels
Reasons to avoid
-Does not help with skin texture -Comes with an applicator, which means it’s not air-tight and product can dry out sooner than expected

This product bridges the gap between skincare and makeup as it is enriched with a skin-friendly blend of Cordyceps Mushroom, Indian Tree Root and Bamboo Grass that leaves the face looking glossy and Korean-like glass skin. 

This botanical blend delivers intense hydration and is good for covering pigmentation or even dull skin. The only negative about this concealer, like many concealers with a wand, is that it’s not hygienic to place the product on your face then back into the tube and repeat. Overall this product delivers the coverage that it claims, although it does not help with skin texture as much as some others on this list. 

Best concealer: Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer

(Image credit: Benefit)

3. Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer

Most full coverage concealer, perfect for dark circles

Reasons to buy
+Full coverage concealer that leaves an airbrushed finish +Creamy texture so it’s easy to apply 
Reasons to avoid
-Can cause creasing under the eyes -Product can sometimes separate 

The Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength concealer has a soft matte finish as well as an incredibly creamy formula that covers uneven textures. Most of the reviews state how full coverage this product is and how perfect it is for those days when you need a little pick me up with those dark circles. The reviews also state how much coverage this concealer gives to scars caused either through accidents or through surgery. 

Most of the reviews on the website expressed concerns for how cakey this concealer can be, but once purchased and tried on, most said this product really is cakeless and does not leave any cracks. If you have clear, spot-free skin without texture this can really give you an airbrushed finish, but if you already have skin issues this product might magnify that even more so please be sure to consider your own skin type before purchasing, or alternatively, request a sample to try on first. 

Best concealer: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

(Image credit: Nars)

4. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Staple must have in your concealer collection

Reasons to buy
+Full coverage and conceals dark circles+Excellent shade range
Reasons to avoid
-Not always crease-proof -Applicator can dry out product

This is a staple concealer that everybody should have in their makeup collection, and if you don’t have this concealer it’s time to go out and purchase it now. It has such a creamy formula that blends into the skin so smoothy, and has shades that cover all a number of different skin types. It’s multipurpose, so you can purchase several shades to highlight and contour the skin adding that extra luminosity and sculping to the same. This product is what you make it, and you can really make it your own. Most reviews state how many times they’ve repurchased this product after it has finished, which goes to show how good this concealer truly is. 

Best concealer: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer

(Image credit: Laura Mercier)

5. Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer

Ideal for those looking for a natural finish concealer

Reasons to buy
+Full coverage concealer, all shades and all skin types +Perfect if you’re looking for a flawless finish 
Reasons to avoid
-A very thick consistency -Not always crease-proof 

This concealer lasts for up to 12 hours without streaking or wearing off and has a super lightweight formulation that really does help conceal skin imperfections. It creates a smooth, long-lasting canvas for you to build on your makeup by setting a solid foundation first. 

It’s suitable for all skin types, does not cause any streaks, and doesn't transfer, unlike most concealers. It also helps to hydrate the skin to create a soft and radiant glow. It truly does create a flawless base as the product claims, and it truly does make you feel like you’re on top of the world because of the confidence it gives you after. It’s perfect for everyday wear and is buildable to your coverage preference so can be used for more special occasions as well.

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