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Next time you need to stock up on makeup, you should consider getting a drugstore concealer. The drugstore brands are really bringing it, with complexion products that easily rival their high-end counterparts. If you’re on a budget, switching to a cheap concealer will make your life easier and guarantee that you won’t have to compromise on longevity, coverage, or even color selection!
We’ve selected the best drugstore concealers you should consider purchasing, with options for every type of makeup fan. We’ll also help you decide how to pick the right drugstore concealer with a guide based on your skin type, your coverage needs and areas (along with some application tips), and based on your skin tone.
Your Drugstore Concealer Guide: Contents
- 15 Best Drugstore Concealers to Buy
- How to Find the Best Drugstore Concealer for Your Skin Type
- Choosing and Applying the Best Drugstore Concealer for Different Needs
- Finding the Best Drugstore Concealer for Your Skin Tone
15 Best Drugstore Concealers to Buy
We’ve selected the best cheap concealers available online. We cover all of the important details about each one of these, from the coverage level to the finish to the shade range, so you’ll have an easy time selecting the best drugstore concealer for your skin type and needs!
1. Best Shade Range: L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer
This is easily one of the best drugstore concealers to pick up. It’s ridiculously affordable, and yet its performance measures up to high-end concealers. The texture is creamy, so it’s easy to spread over the skin, and it dries down to a natural finish that’s awesome under the eyes or for dry skin. The coverage is full, but it can be blended with a sponge to look sheerer.
The tube it comes in is convenient and hygienic, with a small brush applicator on the end so you can apply straight from the tube. The shade range is incredible, so finding a match is easy, with 43 colors from which to choose. That even includes a few color correctors! Get it at Ulta or Amazon!
2. Best for Under the Eyes: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Multi-Use Concealer
This drugstore concealer is a classic for under the eyes, especially for mature and dry skin. It’s a light, lotion-esque concealer that spreads over the skin quickly and easily. We love how easy it is to cover the eye area with it for a brightening effect, without any cakiness, thanks to its spreadability.
The finish is natural, with just a bit of luminescence, and the coverage is medium-to-full. It has a unique rounded sponge applicator on the top that saves you the need for a brush, although it’s not great for targeted spot-concealing. It contains a few anti-aging and hydrating ingredients, which is nice, but it won’t replace your eye cream. There are 18 shades on offer at Amazon.
3. Best for Oily Skin: Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Full Coverage Concealer
If you want something that seriously hides, you can’t go wrong with this surprisingly cheap drugstore concealer. This concealer is often compared to Tarte’s Shape Tape, and the performance is definitely similar. It offers the same intense coverage, and it also dries down to an immovable matte finish. It’d be a great choice for those with oily skin, while for under the eyes, we’d suggest choosing something creamier. It comes in 45 shades, so shop for it at Ulta or Amazon.
4. Best for Dry Skin: Milani Conceal + Perfect Longwear Concealer
We’re not sure when it happened, but Milani snuck into our hearts and became one of our favorite makeup brands. This is one of the best drugstore concealers, especially for normal to dry skin. It has medium-to-full coverage and a creamy texture that keeps the skin looking naturally moist. It’s awesome anywhere on the face, including for the dry eye area. The only drawback to this drugstore concealer is that it only comes in 18 shades, which is not enough considering the coverage level. Find it on Amazon and Ulta!
5. Best Vegan Formula: Pacifica Liquid Cover Concealer
Most drugstore concealers contain silicone, which we really love for the most part, but admittedly, this ingredient doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why we’re happy to recommend this silicone-free yet cheap concealer that still does an amazing job. It offers full coverage with a natural finish that’s nice under the eyes or over blemishes. Because there are no silicones, it contains a ton of skin-loving ingredients instead, like hyaluronic acid, coconut water, and a lot more antioxidant-rich extract. You can get it in 12 shades at Ulta or Amazon.
6. Best Matte: NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Contour Concealer
Most of the drugstore concealers on our list can double as contour creams, but this is the only concealer advertised as such. It offers full-coverage and a matte finish, which is awesome for hiding blemishes or for carving out that cheekbone. It also tends to stay put for hours on end, so it’s a good choice if most concealers fade on you after a few hours.
It’s worth noting that it dries down extremely quickly, which can be useful for those with oily skin or for makeup pros, but if you’re slow with your blending, it might make things difficult. You can pick it up on Amazon or Ulta in your best match out of the 24 shades available.
7. Best for Natural-Looking Coverage: Maybelline Fit Me Liquid Concealer
Maybelline wins another one of the top spots in our collection of the best drugstore concealers. This is a light and creamy concealer that offers more natural-looking coverage. If you don’t like the intense full coverage of most concealers, it’s absolutely worth a try.
The lower coverage also allows us to forgive the relatively small shade range. The formula is creamy and slightly dewy, so it’s awesome for dry skin and could work beautifully as a cream highlighter. The only drawback is that it doesn’t dry down, so you’ll probably need to set it with powder. It’s available on Amazon and Ulta.
8. Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer
If you have acne-prone skin, having a concealer that also acts as a spot treatment can be very useful! This concealer is made by Neutrogena, a brand that’s mostly known for skincare, and that’s exactly why we like it. It has a matte finish with medium but buildable coverage, and the applicator is great for spot concealing. It contains salicylic acid, a gentle exfoliant that helps fade away breakouts. It’s available in 5 shades on Amazon.
9. Best Full-Coverage: L’Oréal Paris Makeup Infallible Full Wear Concealer
This is L’Oréal’s take on the matte, very full-coverage concealer, and it’s kind of awesome. The most unique feature about it is that it comes with an extra-large doe-foot applicator. If you’re into the full-on Instagram concealer highlight or you use cream concealers to contour, that can be a great feature, although, you might need a smaller brush for hiding small blemishes. It’s available in 25 shades, which you can purchase on Amazon or Ulta.
10. Best Hydrating: e.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Camo Concealer
We’re obsessed with the combination of hydrating effects and full coverage that this cheap concealer offers. These days, there’s a clear preference towards very matte concealers, and many concealers for dry skin have lower coverage. This one bucks the trend, helping to hide even intense discoloration while keeping the skin looking and feeling moist. It’s an easy choice for dry skin, and we love it for the under eyes. It’s available at Ulta and Amazon in 25 shades.
11. Best for Dehydrated Skin: ColourPop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Creamy Concealer
If you have dehydration-prone skin, then this is the best drugstore concealer to try. It’s infused with a few humectants, which are ingredients like hyaluronic acid that absorb moisture from the air into the skin. Despite the hydrating formula, this concealer still offers full coverage, though it’s easy to blend down into a more natural look. It gives the skin a radiant, healthy finish that’s totally stunning under the eyes. It comes in 27 shades, but we’d appreciate an expansion. Buy it from Ulta!
12. Best with Antioxidants: Revlon PhotoReady Candid Antioxidant Concealer
Do you need your concealer to include a bunch of antioxidants? Not really, but they do add a nice touch of added protection from external facilitators of skin aging. This drugstore concealer offers buildable medium coverage with a natural finish that’s neither too dewy nor matte.
The one ingredient that does stand out is caffeine, which can firm up a puffy under-eye area in the mornings. It comes in a tube but with a doe-foot applicator, which is not a common combination, but we don’t mind it. Order your best match out of the 17 shades available online through Amazon or Ulta!
13. Best Stick Formula: Almay Skin Perfecting Comfort Concealer
Stick concealers have mostly gone the way of the dodo bird, but if you’re still a fan of the thick, easy-to-use stick formula, then this is the best drugstore concealer to try. This water-less formula has a natural finish and buildable coverage, and applying it is as easy as can be. It can be used anywhere on the face, and it’s suitable for all skin types, although its longevity is not quite as good as a liquid product. The one major drawback is that the shade range is poor. You can find it at Ulta and Amazon.
14. Best Lightweight: CoverGirl TruBlend Undercover Concealer
This is yet another option for a full-coverage concealer with a matte finish – it really seems like every brand had to release their own version. It’s a solid choice from a trusted brand, and it’s even cruelty-free. Like other drugstore concealers (as well as high-end ones) in this subcategory, it’s very fast to dry down, so you’ll have to work fast when applying it, but you’ll enjoy all-day coverage. It’s available in 30 shades. Order it from Amazon or Ulta!
15. Best Brightening: Wet n Wild PhotoFocus Concealer
This lovely drugstore concealer from Wet n’ Wild was made to go with their cult-favorite PhotoFocus foundation. It has the same lovely features, like high-coverage and a photogenic finish, no matter the lighting. The consistency is creamy and hydrating, with a ton of glycerin, so it’s been favorably compared to the NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer. It’s awesome for dry skin, although anyone could use it under the eyes. The only drawback is that there are only nine shades for sale right now. You can pick it up from Ulta or Amazon.
How to Find the Best Drugstore Concealer for Your Skin Type
Most drugstore concealers come with one of three types of finishes: matte, natural, and hydrating/ dewy. The best way to decide which of these finishes will be best for you is based on your skin type!
Best Drugstore Concealers for Dry Skin
Dry skin is a skin type that doesn’t produce a lot of oil. It’s more prone to flakiness and can look a little textured, especially if the wrong concealer is applied to it. Those with dry skin are best off using concealers with a natural and dewy finish, or products described as “hydrating.” This is especially important for the area under the eyes, which is usually even drier than the skin elsewhere on the face.
It’s very important to avoid concealers described as “matte.” If you happen to own a concealer that’s a little more natural or matte, make sure to apply a decent layer of moisturizer first in order to prevent it from making your skin look dry.
Best Drugstore Concealers for Oily Skin
On the other end of the spectrum, oily skin produces a lot of oil, and it usually also comes hand in hand with larger pores. For concealing all over the face, especially when it comes to blemishes or redness around the nose, a matte drugstore concealer is going to be best since it’ll dry down and stay put despite the oils the skin produces. It’ll also keep the face from getting shiny throughout the day.
For the under-eye area, however, it might be better to choose a concealer with a natural finish since the skin around the eyes is drier than the skin everywhere else on the face. Even on oily skin, very matte concealers can emphasize creasing under the eyes. It’s still possible to use a matte concealer under the eyes, but it’s important to moisturize the eye area well and to skip powdering after applying the concealer.
Best Drugstore Concealers for Combination Skin
Those with combination skin have both oily and dry parts on their face, which makes choosing a drugstore concealer a slightly more complicated project. There are a few directions you can go in. You can choose a natural concealer to use on all parts of the face, or you can buy a couple of concealers: a matte one for the oily areas and a dewy or natural one for the dry areas.
Choosing and Applying the Best Drugstore Concealer for Different Needs
Concealers are a versatile product category that can be used in a few different ways! These are our tips for drugstore concealers for each of the main uses.
Best Drugstore Concealers for Under the Eyes
The under-eye area has thin, dry skin that’s more prone to creasing and is often also a little darker. The best drugstore concealers for the under-eye area are either dewy or natural, although a matte concealer can be used if the skin is well-moisturized, and it saves the need for setting with powder.
The concealer you choose should match your skin tone or be just a shade lighter. On camera and with good lighting, a much lighter concealer can look good, but it looks odd in real life, and if the camera uses flash, it can cause a weird flashback.
To look good in real life, it’s important to stick to thin layers of concealer and to only apply it to the areas where the skin is a bit more sunken-in, and the discoloration is visible. You can use a makeup brush, fingers, a sponge, or the enclosed applicator to apply it to the skin, and then use your fingers or a damp sponge to blend it out with a combination of tapping and dragging motions.
Depending on your concealer, you might have to finish off with a thin dusting of translucent powder in order to set the concealer and keep it from getting in your creases.
In recent years, it’s become very popular to pack on the concealer under the eyes and to bring it down in a triangle to the sides of the nose and cheekbone so it can also double as a highlight. This is another technique that can look fine on camera or video, but it often makes the skin look textured and cakey in real life.
If you have purple or blue discoloration under the eyes, you might want to consider color correcting with a peach or orange concealer. This can help neutralize the purple and blue tones, which makes the eyes look brighter and healthier but requires less makeup. You simply pat on a very small amount of color corrector and follow it up with a skin-tone concealer or foundation.
Best Drugstore Concealers for Hiding Blemishes
Concealer is a must-have for hiding the occasional pimple or blemish. This is a case where a matte drugstore concealer is probably a better choice since dewier products tend to have slightly worse longevity, and they are more likely to slide off of your blemish. It’s important to choose a concealer that matches your skin tone, although you can also try to color correct with a green concealer.
The best way to hide a pimple is with a small concealer brush, though you can also use a finger or the pointed end of a makeup sponge. Simply dot the concealer over the blemish until it’s totally hidden, and then only blend out the perimeter of the concealer in order to keep the coverage high over the actual pimple. You can finish off by pressing on a bit of powder in order to lock the concealer in place.
Best Drugstore Concealers for Highlighting
Cheap concealers are fantastic for highlighting the skin, especially if you like to use a lot of product. If you like the look of a dewy highlight, then choose a very creamy and hydrating concealer, while if you prefer a subtler look, choose a natural-finish concealer.
The way you highlight your skin can depend on your preferences, but generally, it’s best to use a concealer that’s about two shades lighter than your skin. You’ll want to apply the concealer in a more diffused layer than you would when actually concealing, so you can dot it on with the included applicator and then blend it out. For highlighting smaller areas, using a small concealer brush might work better.
It’s almost always flattering to apply the highlight along the tops of the cheekbones, down the center of the nose, above the cupid’s bow, and at the center of the forehead and chin. You can also use a highlighting concealer below your cheek contour to make it look sharper and cleaner.
Best Drugstore Concealers for Contouring
Contouring with concealer can give a very natural-looking effect, so it’s a wonderful choice. Choose a drugstore concealer that’s around three shades darker than your skin tone, but with the same undertone. Matte and natural-finish concealers are usually the best for the job.
Keeping things precise is a little more important with contouring than with highlighting, so you might want to use a smaller foundation brush to apply concealer below the cheekbones or under the jawline. An even smaller concealer brush is a must for contouring along the sides of the nose.
It’s important to blend the contour out gently, in a targeted manner, so that it doesn’t look too dark on the one hand but so that it doesn’t spread too wide and make the skin look muddy.
Finding the Best Drugstore Concealer for Your Skin Tone
Selecting a drugstore concealer that’ll suit your skin tone can be tough, especially if you’re shopping online. To make the process easier, it’s important that you first be aware of what your skin tone and undertone is.
Know Your Undertone
It’s pretty straightforward to tell how light or dark your skin is, but undertones are the real pain. The main categories are warm, which leans toward golden-yellow, cool, which leans toward pink or red, and neutral, which is sort of in the middle.
Having an olive undertone, which makes the skin appear slightly green, is also not uncommon, but it’s usually underserved by cosmetic brands. Those with olive skin usually settle for either warm or neutral concealers, or they mix their concealer with a very small amount of green color corrector.
In most cases, when you’re searching for the best drugstore concealer, you can simply read the description of a few colors to determine which will suit you. Companies will let you know the undertones, while you can know how dark a concealer will be from where it sits in the brand’s numbering system. If you find yourself debating between a few colors, move on to the next step.
Swatches, whether from companies or from bloggers, are extremely helpful because they show how a concealer will look on the skin, and they also allow you to compare one shade to another. Look up multiple swatches of the drugstore concealers you’re considering to see what the color looks like in different lighting, as well as how the different concealer shades look next to each other. This will make it easier for you to tell which will be most similar to your skin tone.
Websites like Findation allow you to input your matching shades from one brand to find your matches in another brand, and they have records of almost all major foundations and concealers. This makes finding a shade match super easy as long as you’re already familiar with your skin tone.
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