How Do I Choose the Best Concealer Stick?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

The best concealer stick will be the correct color for your skin type and the blemishes you wish to cover, will apply smoothly and disappear into your skin, and will fit into your budget. There are many different colors of concealer, from nudes, to corrective hues like green, peach, and lavender. They are available in a wide range of prices.

Before you begin shopping, decide on the purpose you want your concealer stick to fulfill. If you want to correct slightly darker areas on your face, like small moles or a nose that is a little too pink, you should choose a nude colored concealer stick that is one to two shades lighter than your foundation. A concealer that is too dark will actually accentuate the problem area, but a concealer that is too light will look unnatural. Typically, you apply the concealer under your foundation and blend it in.

If you have very noticeable blemishes on your face, you may need a corrective color. The idea behind a corrective colored concealer is to counteract the excess of one color with the opposite color. For instance, if you have dark circles under your eyes, you would use a yellow, peach, or orange concealer — depending on the shade of the circles — to correct the color. For red spots, use a mint green concealer and a lavender concealer for yellow areas.

When you have determined what color of concealer you need, you are ready to begin shopping. Look for a concealer stick that is non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog your pores. It should also be hypoallergenic, especially if you have sensitive skin. Some concealers are also made with acne medication to combat breakouts and an excess of oil.

If possible, go to a makeup counter that allows you to sample a product before you purchase. The best concealer stick will apply smoothly, neutralize the blemished area, and disappear under your foundation. Keep in mind that concealer sticks are thicker than wand or liquid concealers.

Try a different type of concealer if you have very dry skin or feel that the concealer stick is too heavy. To deal with the effects of aging skin, choose a concealer with vitamin E and vitamin A. Vitamin E helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and vitamin A conditions and soothes the skin.

The concealer should dry to a matte finish. It should not be shiny or flaky or accentuate lines and creases. If it does any of these things, keep looking.

Some brands of concealer sticks are waterproof, a formula that usually lasts longer than others, especially if you are exercising — which causes perspiration — or swimming. Even if you do not believe you need a waterproof formula, look for concealers that are smudge-proof and transfer resistant. Transfer resistant simply means that the makeup does not readily rub off.

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    • Woman with hand on her hip
      Woman with hand on her hip