I love using drugstore concealers. They are inexpensive and usually satisfy my needs for everyday use. However, many people have a bad feeling towards drugstore makeup because they believe that drugstore brands can never have the same quality as department store brands. From my 10+ years of experience as a MUA, this is simply untrue.

The key to success with drugstore makeup is to understand exactly what you are getting. If you know what’s in your makeup, drugstore brands can work wonders for you and your skin.

In this post, I will go over some of the things you should know when choosing a drugstore concealer. I will also recommend a list of my favorites that have worked well for myself and my clients.

 

Our Picks For The Best Drugstore Concealers

Concealer NameKey Features
#1 - e.l.f. Maximum Coverage Concealer- 2 Colors
- Long Lasting
- Oil Free
- High Pigmented
#2 - Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer- 6 Colors
- Long Lasting
- Easy to carry
- Lightweight
#3 - Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser- 6 Shades
- Comes with applicator
- Very Affordable
- Great For Dark Circles
#4 - L'Oreal Paris Visible Lift Serum Absolute Concealer- 4 Colors
- Lightweight
- All Skin Types
- SPF 20
#5 - Smashbox High Definition Concealer- 4 Colors
- Lightweight
- Good Coverage
- Creamy Texture

 

How To Find a Drugstore Concealer That Matches Your Skin Tone?

If you’ve ever checked out the cosmetics section of the drugstore, you would probably be overwhelmed by the amount of concealers that are available. After All, the drugstore tailors to a larger market and they want to make sure that they can satisfy everyone’s needs. However, the truth is that there is probably only a few concealers that will match your skin tone.

Here are few tips for matching drugstore concealers to your skin tone:

#1 – Know your Undertone

Do you know your undertone? Knowing your undertone simply makes it a lot easier to find the shade that you need. There are 3 different classifications of undertones: Warm, Neutral and Cool.

You can’t just look at your skin to determine your undertone. According to Bustle.com, the best way to find your undertone is to look at your veins. Find the wrist on your arm and determine the color of your veins. If they look blue or purple, then you are cool-toned. If they look green, you are warm toned.

#2 – Check Your Lighting

This is one of those things that is easily missed by most people. The lighting inside most drugstores are usually too white which washes out the true color of the concealer. The general rule of thumb is to test your concealer in natural light.

To do this, simply dab a few shades that you believe is close to your actual skin tone. Do this in areas that you would like to conceal. A good area would be under the eyes (dark circles). You want to apply in such a way that you can easily compare the shades. I usually apply the shades next to each other so that it’s easy to see.

After you have done this step, walk towards a window or go outdoors. Your goal is to find a shade that matches closely to your natural skin tone. Don’t worry if it’s not a 100% match. However, you do want to be within the ballpark in which the differences in shade is not very noticeable.

#3- Tap, Don’t Rub

Here’s another mistake that many people tend to make. When they are testing out concealers at the drugstore, they tend to rub the product on. According to xovain.com, if you rub concealer on, you’re simply moving the product around. This means that you aren’t getting the coverage that the concealer can provide. Simply tapping the product onto your skin is the best way to test its coverage.

#4 – Know Your Coverage

What exactly are you trying to cover? You must have this question answered before heading down to the drugstore. Why? Because different colors cover different things. For example, if you are trying to cover-up light redness and blemishes, choose a color that will match your skin tone exactly. If you’re trying to cover red pimples, try using a green concealer to neutralize the red. You don’t need to be a genius in color theory in order to figure it out. However, it does help if you study the color wheel a bit before heading out to shop.

#5 – Consider Texture and Consistency of Product

Many people think that drugstore concealers are poor in quality and texture. However, this is simply not true. In many cases, I have found that drugstore concealers do a better job than some major brand department store makeup. As a matter a fact, Brooke Shunatona at Cosmopolitan.com compared a lot of different drugstore makeup vs their department store counterparts. The results are simply stunning.

However, not all drugstore concealers are created equal and you do need to pay attention to what you are are buying. Think about what you are trying to cover and select a concealer for that purpose. For example, you should select a creamy and hydrating foundation your dark circles. This is because this area tends to be drier and more delicate than other areas of your face.

#6 – Know Your Ingredients

Even if you are a complete newbie in the makeup world, you would still probably agree with me that the best ingredients for concealers are those that are natural. Here is a list of ingredients that you should look out for:

  1. Aloe
  2. Pomegranate Seed Oil
  3. Green Tea Extract
  4. Ginseng Root Extract
  5. Sunflower Seed Oil
  6. Tomato Extract
  7. Lotus Leaf Extract
  8. Castor Seed Oil
  9. Organic Beeswax (Cera Alba)
  10. Coconut Oil
  11. Cocoa Seed Butter

You probably won’t find all these ingredients in a single product. Keep in mind that products with natural ingredients are more expensive.

Should You Use Drugstore Concealers For Acne Skin?

If you’re thinking about using drugstore concealers for acne skin, you might be thinking if drugstore concealers are really good enough to cover your acne. From my own experience, I’ve found that most drugstore concealers do a great job. Here are a couple of things to watch out for when selecting a concealer for acne:

# 1 – Choose Oil Free: A good way to control your acne is to keep your oil under control. However, it’s important to understand that not all oils are bad for acne skin. According to Dr. Doris Day at ShareCare.com, essential oils used in fragrances are normally not a problem for acne skin.

Furthermore, Dr. Day explains that oil-free products are divided into two groups: strictly oil-free and borderline oil-free. Strickly oil-free products contain no oil while borderline oil-free products contain ingredients that behave like oil but is not oil. These ingredients are called esters.

People with acne prone skin should stick to products that are strictly oil-free.

# 2 – Green Tint works Best: Green tints help to neutralize redness and make them less noticeable. I usually recommend green concealers for clients who have really bright and red blemishes or acne that is hard to conceal.

The idea behind this trick is simple. Red and green belong on the opposite sides of the color wheel. When mixed together, the redness becomes duller and becomes much easier for you to cover up this mixture with a foundation.

# 3 – Contains Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl Peroxide is a great acne fighting ingredient. This is because it is a great for unclogging pores. It also kills acne clogging bacteria. If you’re looking for a concealer that works well with acne, also look for benzoyl peroxide as one of the ingredients.

Although not exactly a drugstore concealer, Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Concealer has worked well for me in the past. It’s an oil free green tinted concealer that contains Benzoyl Peroxide.

If you’re set on a drugstore brand, try Maybelline New York Cover Stick Concealer (Green). It’s very good for covering blemishes and redness. The price is also very reasonable. It doesn’t contain Benzoyl Peroxide so you might need to apply acne cream to the affected area first before using this product.

Final Recommendations

Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer
dermablend drugstore concealer
If you are looking for something that simply works, Dermablend has got you covered. I love that this concealer comes in a stick for easy application. It covers tough spots like rosacea, freckles, severe acne and even tattoos! This is a long lasting formula and you don’t need to use powder to set it after you’ve applied it.

One thing about this concealer is that it feels creamy and oily after it’s applied. However, it doesn’t stay that way for long. I also recommend this concealer for dark circles as it’s one of the best that I have tired.

 

Smashbox High Definition Concealer
Smashbox drugstore concealer
Smashbox is no stranger in the makeup world. They are a company based on quality which is the core value they used to create this concealer. The concealer comes with a soft touch applicator which makes it that much more convenient to apply the product. It feels gentle on the skin and works well for people with sensitive skin. It’s full coverage and works great to cover tough spots like acne and rosacea.

I did find that when I first opened the package, the product felt watery and thin. Which is something that I found odd for a concealer. However, since the coverage is designed to be buildable, the product works best when applied in layers. Doing it this way actually allowed me to control the coverage that I need. The fact that it’s watery allowed it to be applied easier. It glided on my skin smoothly and gently.

Overall, this is a great concealer. Many of my clients were worried that since the tube is small, it wouldn’t last a very long time. However, I’ve found that a little goes a long way. It does take some practice to get it right but that’s what makeup is all about!