FYI to any make up brand in the universe: market your product with words like "full coverage" or "camouflage" and I will most likely buy it. No foundation or powder can be too heavy and in fact, the more extreme the effect, the more excited I am to try it.
Nowhere is this adage more true than when applied to concealers. I want a product that disguises texture, hides spots from view and, when slapped on under the eyes, makes me look like an airbrushed supreme version of myself.
Fulfilling such a brief is a challenge and I have typically looked to the full coverage section of the market to meet my needs, with the odd corrector added in for good measure. These products are thick, fill in lines like polyfilla and laugh in the face of the natural look. I have no problem looking plastic.
I'll give you a run down of the ones I have been using most recently but be warned, this post is not all sunshine and lollipops. I'd say 3 out of 4 I wouldn't repurchase again and I wouldn't tell my friends to invest in either. I'm definitely still on the mission for the perfect concealer and although the answer is more likely to be a time machine that can rewind 20 years off my face, I'll pretend that I can buy it in Sephora :)
Cle de Peau
Honestly, for a concealer that hits the $70 mark, I'd expect the packaging to be a little less basic bitch. It's all black plastic and minimal branding. This aside, I have waited for years to buy this. Numerous magazine articles repeatedly talked about it's apparent HG status and tempted me many times but really.....$70? It's also a brand that is not readily stocked in your average department store and so it becomes difficult to assess whether or not it's worth it when you cannot enjoy a touchy-feely moment.
Well, I got it and after a week of usage I'll say....no. No it's not HG.
I don't hate it. I think it's good. I just know that I won't exert any effort in seeking it out for a repurchase.
Coverage wise, it's medium-full. I remember reading that one of the Olsen's used this in place of foundation every now and again and I can see how that would be possible. It's a less greasy, and more expensive version of a Bobbi Brown foundation stick in terms of formula. Warm it up with your fingers and use a synthetic brush to cover spots and darkness/pigmentation. It will last a good period of time - 4-5 hours - and won't oxidize.
Those interested in wearing it under the eyes should be prepared to moisturise beforehand because the formula will dry and settle if you are not careful. Of course this will result in a little creasing due to the added emollient so be prepared to mirror check. A further point to make is that it may also crust slightly around spots due to it's dryness.
What a delightful vision that last sentence conjures up.
So - Good coverage/tick. Long lasting/tick. What's the issue then?
I just can't get over the thought that any quality foundation stick would probably replicate what this can achieve - and would do so at a lower price point.
Sorry Cle de Peau - right now, I'm just not that into you.
Kat von D Lock-It Concealer
I saw this was in stock in Sephora and salivated. I had visions of blanket coverage that would disguise EVERYTHING. I picked it up in Medium 22 and rushed home to apply it.
First impressions were positive. In fact I was bloody raving about it on Snapchat - I think I even used the most overused of all word in this community: obsessed.
It was surprisingly light and easy to blend - something I didn't expect - dried quickly and didn't look heavy on the skin.
But after a few days of experimentation I noticed two things:
1) A concealer has one job - to cover - and this doesn't always do that. You need to consider layering to disguise zits and for goodness sake, I cannot be arsed to do this. I'm not going to tap, wait for one layer to dry and then delicately tap tap tap layer 2 or 3. No bloody way.
2) Baking changes the whole scenario - if you let this bake on your skin (i.e., leave it for a minute under the eyes or anywhere where you need to cover sections of skin) it will turn into a thick, greasy mess. The texture will upset you to the point where you will want to run to the nearest bottle of micellar water.
It's such an odd product. On the one hand the texture is initially glorious and the effect pretty but look a little closer and it just doesn't quite fit the bill.
Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer
My first question when testing this out was: are they having a laugh? The texture has all the subtlety of concrete and barely makes it out of the tube.
Once you have physically exhausted yourself trying to get a dot of product to escape from the packaging you need to warm it up between your fingers and then dab dab dab on your undereye area.
Sit back and marvel at just how thoroughly underwhelming the end result is. After all that effort, the "High Coverage" concealer will repay you by making your under eye look dry and wrinkly.
This is without question the worst of the bunch. Cle de Peau - all is forgiven!
Make up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
I added this in because it would be rude to leave it out of a full coverage concealer discussion.
How many years have I been using this? Well, YEARS! The consistency is thick but workable and the result dependable. It will conceal spots and veins and can also be used under the eyes to disguise sleepless night and long office days. Long-wearing, it will set quickly and stay there for a good 6-8 hours.
In some respects I think this might be as good as it gets. Although it is so very boring to just use the same product for a decade, it's longevity in my makeup collection is telling.
Should I just give up the experimentation and rely on this one forever or will there be an even better product out there that will tick all the boxes?
In writing this post I have realised that there are still a couple of brand offerings I want to try. I think Kevyn Aucoin and his Skin Enhancer might be worth one more shot and perhaps Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage requires a revisit.
If you have any other concealer recommendations for those days when high coverage is a must, do let me know. Although MUFE Full Cover has been acknowledged as "The One", I will never not be open to being enabled :)