Monday, July 4, 2016

Shop the Stash | Concealers


Hey friends! It's time for another shop-my-stash installment. For those of you who're new to the Little Blushing Birdie scene, I've been on a mission to sort through my makeup collection. To swatch, play, and rediscover old flames in an attempt to curb those urges to go out and haul more goodies. A few weeks back we delved into my bronzer collection, and today I'm busting out makeup's magical eraser. The eradicator of dark circles. The banisher of blemishes. The nemesis of redness. Yes, today we're chatting about the little miracle that is concealer.


If you're relatively new to makeup, you might be wondering what differentiates concealer from regular old foundation. They both cover up imperfections, and they both should be roughly the same color as your skin. So why bother with the extra step? Can you just pick one to cover your face in? In truth, there is probably a bit of gray area that makes this question tricky. Some foundations are very thick and heavy, to the point where they're probably similar in texture to certain concealers, and some concealers can be really lightweight and liquidy. But as a general rule, foundation is designed to be thin and spreadable, evening out your skintone, smoothing its appearance, and covering any minor imperfections. Concealer, on the other hand, is densely pigmented and creamy, allowing you to cover up more intense areas of darkness, discoloration, or blemishes.

Now, my concealer stash is definitely beyond necessary with 6 different options to choose from. However, most of us beauty bloggers do recommend that you own at least two (and not just because we're crazy obsessed with makeup). You should have one concealer that matches your skintone for covering up spots, blemishes, and discoloration all over the face, and another concealer a shade lighter than your skintone for covering up darkness under your eyes. The idea being that the face naturally has high points and shadows, and providing that extra brightness in your under eye area not only makes your face look more awake, but also gives it more dimension. Many people also prefer to use a creamier concealer under their eyes to avoid a creasy, crepey appearance, and something a little stiffer and more budge-proof on their blemishes.

However, if you really only wanted to have one, your safe bet is a concealer that matches your skintone and has a lightweight texture that will sit well on any area of your face. You definitely don't want to use a lighter concealer to cover up blemishes, as it will actually make them look more pronounced!

So now that we've got that covered, let's take a look at each of the concealers I've got on hand.


My poor NYX HD Photogenic Concealer ($4.99) looks pretty worse for the wear. In truth I haven't had it for all that long, and its almost impressive how easily the text just rubbed right off. The packaging was otherwise nice, I just hate the fact that it now looks grubby and old after only a couple of months. As for the concealer itself, the formula of this particular product is incredibly creamy. It's thick, but very slippy and easy to blend, making it ideal for use under the eyes. However, setting this down with a powder is an absolute must, as it's incredibly prone to creasing. I have the shade Beige, which looked like it had the best undertone to match my complexion, but is unfortunately a little bit darker than I would like. Long story short, this is not my most loved concealer. It's super affordable (which maybe also means I'll be less guilty throwing it away) but I find myself wanting to like it more than I actually do.


If there was ever a "YouTube made me buy it" product to feature here on my blog, it'd be the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29). People in the beauty community go nutso over this concealer and I just needed to understand what the fuss was all about. Fortunately Sephora now carries a travel-sized version in my shade (Custard) so I didn't have to shell out $29 to satisfy my curiosity. Maybe it was all the build up, but I didn't find this product to be anything earth shattering. It definitely provides great coverage and is easy to blend, but the texture of the formula itself is a little dry (which is ironic given the fact that it's called the radiant creamy concealer). I'm thinking part of the issue is the packaging design. Yes, a doe-foot applicator does make application more easy, but also means that air and bacteria are constantly being introduced back into the container, changing the consistency of the product over time (and....you know...making it less hygienic). I'm glad that I finally got to experience first hand what everyone and their mom was talking about, but I probably won't be repurchasing this product after it's been used up.


Pardon my French! I didn't realize until after I had taken all my pictures and was sitting down to edit that this product had two sides and I had placed the non-english one facing up. So if you're French-illiterate (like me), this is the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Spot Treatment Corrector ($9.99) in the shade Light. Another cult classic from the drugstore, people swear by this concealer for covering up their dark under eye circles. All right, well maybe not this specific shade. The brightener version, which has a peachy pink undertone, is meant to work some miracles. However, the texture of the version I have is the same, and I can appreciate why people like it so much. This concealer is very thin and liquidy, and yet provides great coverage. The end result is that it feels really light on the skin and doesn't crease, while still managing to be effective. The sponge applicator is pretty nifty, but it does skeeve me out that over time I know its getting insanely dirty. Will I repurchase? Probably not, if only because I'd like to move on to something new and different.


The W3ll People Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer ($22.99) in Light is the newest to my collection, having just recently received it in a Birchbox. While this is just a deluxe sample, you need such a small amount of product to cover a huge area that I have a feeling it'll last me quite a while. However, when that fateful day comes where I'm struggling to squeeze product out of this tiny tube, I'll be immediately placing an order on the W3ll People website so I don't have to spend a day without this concealer in my life. Really though, its THAT good. First of all, W3ll People is a green brand, which means that the formula of this concealer doesn't have any nasty, harmful chemicals, and is actually packed full of ingredients to improve the quality of your skin. I know that not all green beauty products perform at the same level as their non-green counterparts, but this concealer is definitely an exception. It actually reminds me a lot of the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye (we're getting there) in both texture and finish. Basically, this product is extremely thick, but melts beautifully into the skin, providing a ton of coverage without looking cakey. If you find that most concealers are too dry for your under eye area, you'll probably love this concealer, as its incredibly hydrating and glowy. I would, however, suggest setting it down with a little bit of powder, as it never really dries down on its own.


Speaking of the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye ($24), this was probably my favorite high-end concealer before W3ll People's came into my life. I have the shade Neutral Medium, which is surprisingly light and perfect for brightening up that under eye area. Much like the Bio Correct, this concealer really is pretty magical. It plumps and hydrates your under eyes, covers like a dream, and lasts all day long. Even though it isn't green, IT Cosmetics does infuse a lot of their makeup with healthy ingredients to actual improve the look and feel of your skin over time, and this product is no exception. A little also goes a long, long way, which means one tube of product will probably take you all the way to its expiration date. Speaking of which, can I also say how much I appreciate concealers in tubes? Not only is it easier to use up every last bit of product, but its also way more hygienic. Plus I think products in tubes or bottles with pumps tend to stay fresher longer than anything exposed to open air.


And last but certainly not least is the Maybelline Master Conceal ($8.99). When it comes to drugstore options, this is currently my jam. I've got the shade Light/Medium, which on my complexion is perfect for all-over concealing. This concealer checks off a lot of boxes for me. Does it come in a tube? Yes. Does it provide good coverage? Yes. Is it easy to blend? Yes. Is it long wearing? Also yes. It's got a very lightweight texture, which I find is really comfortable to wear, but doesn't skimp on coverage as a result. And while it also dries down matte, it doesn't feel incredibly drying either. It's really easy to work with, holds up well throughout the day, and isn't particularly prone to creasing. You also get a TON of product for the price. Even with regular use one tube will last you a really long time.


Swatching everything side-by-side was also definitely helpful, especially to compare how each of these products oxidizes over time. The NYX and NARS were definitely the worst in that respect, while the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind probably stayed the most true to color.

I have to say, doing this series has not only been fun, but it's also been really helpful for me to re-evaluate my makeup collection and the products I'm using. It's definitely easier to part ways with products when you've taken the time to really compare them to everything else you own and can clearly see why some things work better for you than others. Hopefully you all are finding these posts useful as well!

If you've got a favorite concealer, tell me about it in the comments below! Why is it awesome? Does it remind you of anything else? Even though I've obviously got more options than necessary at home, you know that I'm always on the lookout for the next thing to try. So pass those recommendations along! I'd love to hear your thoughts.


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