The Brown Girl's Guide to the Perfect Concealer
BY MAHI KUMAR
Courtesy of some GREAT concealers from Mecca, I rate concealers based on the 3 C’s that matter to me - colour match, creasing and coverage!
7 February 2023
For years, I’ve found concealers to be my makeup problem child. Something about being a melanated woman and finding the perfect concealer just isn’t it.
am a sucker for a good concealer. Nothing brightens and lightens the under eye area and completely elevates your eye makeup look more than a good concealer. The issue I have though is that for years, I’ve found concealers to be the problem child when getting colour matched. Something about being a melanated woman and finding the perfect concealer just doesn’t go hand in hand with the ease you’d expect. Couple that with the fact that you want JUST the right amount of coverage. For me, that’s something which ideally is creamy and doesn’t crease, but brightens and compliments my undertones in such a way that doesn’t make me look like flashback Mary in my pictures.
If you’re on the hunt for a good concealer, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve tried out some incredible concealers available at Mecca, tried them out and given them an overall score based on the 3 C’s that I look for: Colour match, Creasing and Coverage. I’ve also added in commentary about whether I found the finish to be dewy or more matte, and the concealer brand’s overall colour range.
Urban Decay Stay Naked Correcting Concealer, $49
First up on the chopping block is the Urban Decay - Stay Naked Correcting Concealer. Now, this is pitched as a full coverage correcting concealer. I tried it in 50NN which is a medium colour with neutral undertones. The shade range is 25 colours, with around 20 of them catering for medium to darker tones which I found pretty impressive. I wore this for 3 days in a row to really put this to the test. In those three days, I did a range of activities. I was at work, I was at the gym, and if you have read my travel diaries, you’ll know that I most definitely was with a boy (enough said). I didn’t really have high expectations of it initially, probably attributable to the fact that it isn’t a super mainstream concealer. I hadn’t heard much about it and had never tried it before this review.
I have to say that this match was actually really good. It went on with my foundation seamlessly. It didn’t look too light but definitely had a brightening effect. The colour match was so seamless that on day 3, I actually wore this without any foundation underneath, and it was still a perfect colour match.
After wearing this for a whole day, I have to honestly say there was very minimal creasing into fine lines, if any at all. I found that SO surprising given it’s a “demi-matte” concealer which is a hybrid between a matte and dewy look to give off a luminous finish. I had initially thought the matte part would not sit well with me and would sink into my fine lines but it glided on and looked pretty flawless all day!
This is marketed as a 24 hour wearable concealer. My skin looked very luminous and despite it being advertised as a “demi-matte,” it definitely had a glowy finish. I felt a little went a long way and it was pretty buildable. It doesn’t look cakey and it glides on, letting it blend super easy. I honestly thought it looked pretty fresh all day.
Overall score - 9/10
Too Faced Born this Way Super Coverage Concealer, $66
The second concealer I tried was the Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-use Sculpting Concealer. Now this may make me a little biassed, but I actually got to try this in 3 colours. Taffy; which is a medium with rosy undertones, Warm Beige; which is a medium with neutral undertones and Sand; which is a medium with golden undertones (yup - I’ve really covered all bases with the undertones here). Advertised as a full-coverage, long wearing, multi-use formula that is a finishing and make-up perfecting formula, they also allege that there is no flashback with this - but I’ll be the judge of that.
The colour range spans 35 colours which is profoundly impressive as this was by far the most comprehensive range out of all of the concealers that I tested. IMO, the wide range seems to be attributable to the fact that there were colours which appeared to be iterations of each other with a focus on the different undertones (i.e., I got to try a medium with rosy,neutral and golden undertones). I wore each colour for 3 days and my findings were as follows:
All three were a good colour match, but I think Taffy looked a little light and rosy with my foundation. Warm Beige on the other hand matched pretty much exactly with my skin tone, had a great brightening effect with my foundation, and it was also wearable without foundation (a win for me personally because I CBF wearing make up most days!), and I had similar sentiments for Sand.
I’m a bit torn as to whether Warm Beige or Sand was better and still haven’t fully come to a conclusion on this as they both went on very well.
The overall comprehensiveness of the colour range means that objectively, I do think as a person of colour, you’re more likely to find the right colour for you, so I gotta give this a
Although the coverage was epic, I will say that this product dries out a lot more than the other concealers (in light of the fact that this is a super coverage concealer, I think that’s fair enough though!).
I found that it does crease and settle into fine lines more than some of the other concealers which is something to be wary of as this can give a cakey appearance.
They really weren’t kidding with this being a “super” coverage concealer. I found that this concealer lasted LEGITIMATELY all day. It endured the tide of being stuck at a desk all day, partying till 5am, and intimate activities. I am impressed.
I think with this product, a little goes a long way. It’s good in the sense that if you want to use it for multiple areas, it’s very effective and gets rid of any blemishes.
The consistency is pretty creamy but thick. It’s also very blendable and buildable too. If you don’t want it to be super thick and have “super coverage,” you can use less.
I really liked this, but it does depend on what you’re going for because I can easily see how if you use too much, it could appear quite cakey. For me, I felt like I instantly looked airbrushed (yes please!).
Overall Score 8.67/10
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer, $54
There’s been a lot of hype around Charlotte Tilbury recently, and this is Mecca’s “fan fave” concealer. This concealer is publicised as a concealer that gets rid of redness, dark circles and blemishes. It also has a sponge/cushion applicator that allows for a soft and easy application of the product to your skin which you can easily blend out. The finish is definitely more dewy (my kinda vibe for sure) and I got to try this in both Medium 7 and Medium 8. The overall colour range is around 20 colours with the first 10 or so catering to lighter to more medium tones.
Medium 7 was a perfect match for me and I could wear it without foundation which is a major plus.
This was kind of interesting.
The foam twist top applicator, in my honest and humble opinion, appears to eat up the product.
You twist the pen until it comes out onto the applicator and then apply it on your face directly.
Because of this, I feel like the product initially doesn’t come out much but suddenly, you’ve put on a bit more on than you’ve intended?
This made it a bit thick, and consequently, I think this sunk into my fine lines under my eyes probably as much as the Too Faced concealer which is “super coverage”.
The product is pretty epic in terms of coverage and finish. It’s incredibly dewy and it glided on effortlessly. With the twist top issue in mind, the next few days, I was a bit more deliberate and intentional with my application and I genuinely think that this is a great concealer for under your eyes.
It has a radiant and luminous look, and definitely blends superbly, but the way the twist top applicator came out made me reluctant about this concealer.
Overall Score 7.67/10 - I like this concealer and would definitely use it again, but the applicator brush deducts points for me. I think it eats the product and doesn’t seem to be the most effective way to apply the product. With that being said, the latest Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Concealer has just launched and it sports a traditional wand applicator which I am super eager to try (as it clearly seems like the answer to my prayers!).
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $60
To be honest, at first glance, the Nars radiant creamy concealer appears to really capture everything I personally want in a concealer. Pitched as a full-coverage, radiant concealer with a luminous finish aiming to brighten and correct any discoloration, it is also meant to be hydrating while crease and transfer proof for up to 16 hours. With a colour range which spans 30 different shades, this is our second most comprehensive concealer line. I tried the shades Praline - a medium with olive tones, and Biscuit - a medium dark with a balance of pink and yellow overtones.
Praline was a pretty perfect match for my skin tone. It was the exact colour that went perfectly with my skin but was brightening with my foundation. Biscuit would have worked, but it wasn’t perfect, and after seeing Praline, my heart was set on that one. Would 100% use the Praline shade regularly.
This definitely did last all day (12+ hours!) and didn’t feel super cakey whilst on. As the finish was pretty creamy, it stayed creamy and blended super easily without looking patchy. By the end of the day, it did thin out a little, but I think it works quite well overall.
This is a full coverage concealer but in my opinion, it’s relatively lightweight and buildable in the sense that it looks pretty natural if you apply a minimal amount. It’s got a more creamy/dewy finish so it doesn’t look super cakey nor dry when it blends out. All in all, I am a fan of the coverage, and I think that it is an objectively good concealer which caters to everyone’s coverage needs on the basis that you can easily build it without it looking super cakey.
Overall Score 8.3/10
Overall line up
After trying all of the concealers, I have to be honest with you guys, the way things panned out took me by surprise. The line up stands as follows:
In first place... The Urban Decay Stay Naked concealer at 9/10. Full discretion: I did not expect this to be my winner. I’ve never used this concealer before this review and definitely haven’t heard as much about it as some of the other concealers. From the colour match, to the lack of creasing, to the very good coverage, to the fact that I could literally WEAR this concealer WITHOUT any base make up? This concealer has my heart. It’s also super affordable and quite reasonably priced.
Coming in second is the Too Faced Born This Way concealer at 8.67/10. For my women of colour who want SUPER high coverage with multi-use capabilities, this concealer is your holy grail to elevate ANY makeup look. Just be weary of the ability for it to crease.
In third place is the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer at 8.3/10. Comprehensive colour range catering to literally any undertones, and a full coverage creamy concealer that looks lightweight but builds easily? No complaints from me.
Lucky last in fourth is the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Liquid Away Concealer at 7.67/10. Although I like the concealer and appreciate the shade range - I think the applicator could be a little better.