Ever since I first started dabbling in the world of makeup, a good concealer has always been top of my priority list. Genetically unblessed with under-eye circles and darkness, exacerbated by interrupted sleep and not enough water, I’ve always invested in premium concealers (even if it meant only spending ten pounds on the rest of my makeup bag.) I spent my Uni years lovingly strolling to House of Fraser to pick up my favourite Clinique concealer, handing over the £20.00 for the privilege (which was a lot of money to a student in 2003!) and feeling like it was the answer to all my late nights and early morning lectures. When they discontinued it a few years ago I may or may not have had a little sob at my desk, followed by a period of panic as to what I was supposed to replace it with. Over the years I’ve tried hundreds of different brands and formulas, being satisfied by very few of them and relying on a handful to keep me looking far rested than I actually feel; but often it’s the more premium brands that knock it out of the park. If you’re on a budget, or just can’t face spending a small fortune on a tube of concealer, there are some great budget concealers that actually do a great job… If you know where to look.
I’ve been putting these three great budget concealers to the test over the last few weeks and months, and have been so impressed they’ve been top of my recommendation list to family, friends and readers alike. So where can you look if you want a budget concealer that performs?
1. Makeup Obsession: Mega Conceal Longwear Concealer With Caffeine* (£7.00)
This. Is. So. Good. Not only does it come in 18 shades and contains a touch of caffeine to help perk up the skin, but its creamy formula is so easy to layer and get the coverage result I need. Thankfully it doesn’t crease, sit in fine lines or move throughout the day, just delivering an antidote to under-eye darkness and any other blemishes that crop up across my face. It’s been a go-to for me these last few months, so much that I desperately need to stock up so there’s no fear of running out. I really like the chunky bottle and the applicator too, which doesn’t get over saturated or leave too much on the skin, so all in all an utter bargain that really delivers.
2. Flower: Light Illusion Full Coverage Concealer* (£8.99)
Did you know Flower was the cosmetics range from Hollywood megastar Drew Barrymore, and that she now only uses her own brand for any red carpet events or photocalls? Me either, until I was given this little gem to try. If you prefer your concealers more fluid and easier to buff into skin, this is for you: it’s really lightweight but still incredibly pigmented, helping to reflect the light while brightening the under-eye area. It contains blurring pigments and is totally crease-proof, meaning it’s great for those ladies (like myself) who have fine lines and don’t want to bring attention to them; you can tell that Drew herself has had a huge influence over the end result, as often budget brands are targeted at teens who have nothing to cover other than a tiny pimple. A worthy investment and a great budget concealer I’ll definitely be repurchasing.
3. MUA: Pro Base Full Coverage Concealer* (£2.50)
A super budget option that’s available in 25 different shades, this is like a little upgrade on the Collection concealer that’s always hailed as a must-have. It dries to a super matte finish, so if you have dry skin or prominent fine lines you may want to give it a miss (even though it claims to be crease-proof); however, if you buff it in mixed with a little moisturiser I find the result all the more forgiving. The pigment is great, it’s long-wearing and it does help to create a more uniform colour result. It’s not my favourite of the three, but for £2.50 it’s a great back-up to have in my repertoire for emergencies!
My top tip with all three of these is to apply direct onto the skin where you need it (under-eye circles should be tackled with a V-shape beneath the eye) and buff in using a beauty sponge, using small tapping motions to get an almost airbrushed finish. Don’t over apply, try avoiding a brush or fingers (which can be too heavy and exacerbate fine lines) and focus on reflecting the light rather than just covering up completely.
Do you have any other tips for great budget concealers, or have you tried any of my top picks?