The best concealers wake up your complexion while smoothing over dark circles and any blemishes you’d like to hide. As many of us are still resetting our sleep cycles and contending with maskne after the shake-up of the past year, having this beauty product on hand can mean access to a much-needed skin pick-me-up.
Like foundation, there’s truly a concealer for every occasion. A stick concealer is great for moments when you need to do a quick touch-up on the go, while liquid concealers are great for a more nuanced routine and tend to allow for greater flexibility when it comes to buildable coverage. Picking out the right formula helps to set your make-up base for whatever activities you have planned, while ensuring you don’t have to rush to the nearest bathroom midway to reapply.
With so many options it can be hard to choose just one concealer (nor should you have to). From a natural-looking finish that is perfect for running errands to maximum coverage that is well suited for an evening out, we’ve singled out the best concealers for everyday wear to add to your collection now.
Best light-touch concealers
Sometimes you just want a little blurring to even out your complexion. Concealers offering light to medium coverage are perfect for a barely there finish that still lets your skin shine.
Celebrity make-up artist Michael Ashton, who has created looks for Adele and Lea Michele, tends to go for lighter coverage during the summer. “In warmer weather, you’re likely to sweat more and skin tends to become a little oilier, which calls for a different texture of concealer that still gives a flawless finish without looking too heavy,” says Ashton. “As the temperature increases, my general rule of thumb is that less is more.”
His go-to? Nars’s cult-favorite Radiant Creamy Concealer. “[It’s] a foolproof staple that I swear by, as it has a beautiful texture that looks like a second skin, but once it sets, it will withstand even the most balmy of summer days,” says Ashton. Other formulas that will stay in place against heat and humidity include Glossier’s like-skin Stretch Concealer, Merit’s Complexion Stick (a minimalist’s dream), and Rare Beauty’s Brightening Concealer, which also soothes any irritation thanks to a blend of lotus and gardenia.
Whether you’re preparing for the upcoming marathon of end-of-summer brunches or refreshing your make-up before the next meeting, these will have you covered.
Best full-glam concealers
Then there are days (or nights) when you absolutely have to go all out. For those full-beat make-up looks, you’ll want a medium- to full-coverage concealer that will make spots vanish and chisel out cheekbones.
The New Magic Touch Concealer from Anastasia Beverly Hills is packed with pigment that offers generous coverage in one swipe. Because of the creamy liquid consistency, you can easily blend in the formula while continuing to build on areas that need a little more blurring. Juvia’s Place I Am Magic is another liquid concealer that gives a flawless finish and is available in an extensive range of shades that cater to deeper skin tones. Tom Ford’s Shade & Illuminate Concealer offers buildable medium-to-full coverage, providing crease-proof wear while obliterating dark shadows, redness and dullness.
Then there’s Tarte’s Shape Tape Concealer, beloved by Bebe Rexha and Alessia Cara for their everyday beauty routines. Infused with shea butter and licorice root extract, the vegan formula consistently delivers for a base that is noticeably brighter and smooth. Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer, which caught the beauty world by storm with its initial launch, is another vegan formula that will easily tone down redness and dark spots without weighing down the skin, so you can enjoy your day long into the evening with your full face intact.
Concealers with skincare benefits
It’s becoming more common for make-up to incorporate skincare benefits, and for good reason: Why should skin-nourishing benefits stop with serums and moisturisers? If your skin has been feeling particularly irritated lately, you’ll want a concealer that not only covers up blemishes but helps address what is causing them.
With its energising blend of cordyceps mushroom, Indian tree root, and bamboo grass, Bobbi Brown’s Intensive Skin Serum Concealer minimises dark circles while plumping the skin to give it a refreshed look. Kosas’ Revealer Concealer features an invigorating formula comprised of caffeine and hyaluronic acid that will awaken the skin while also addressing any dry patches with a surge of hydration.
To help brighten dark spots over time while also protecting the skin barrier from damaging free radicals, Ilia’s antioxidant-rich True Skin Serum Concealer is a great option thanks a blend of vitamin C. For an ultra-soothing formula, try Milk’s Flex Concealer, which features both blue lotus and chamomile to calm down angry skin.
When you need to be camera-ready
Make-up artists know a thing or two about the formulas that will stay in place throughout an awards show, and which to pick if their client is planning to be photographed for hours on set. While you might not have to worry about the paparazzi, these pro favourites will serve you well at your next big event.
Jenn Steicher, who has created a portfolio of chic yet natural looks for celebs including Emily Blunt and Rebecca Hall, swears by Clé de Peau Beauté’s Concealer with SPF 25. “I use this either with a moist Beauty Blender or my ring finger,” she shares. “It’s the perfect combination of great coverage with just enough moisture. I also love that it’s a stick—very convenient.”
New York–based artist Andrea Tiller, who works with Olivia Palermo and comedian Hannah Einbinder, star of HBO’s Hacks, likes to grab Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind. “I love this product because of the applicator sponge,” says Tiller of the drugstore favorite. “It’s so soft and blends beautifully.” Other vetted concealers you’ll want to keep in mind for when you need to be camera-ready include Nars Soft Matte Complete (a favourite of Hung Vanngo’s) and Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage (Patti Dubroff’s pick).
This article originally appeared on Vogue.com.