One of my most-read posts is this one, proving that there’s definitely a market for super pale base products. I’m thrilled that more and more brands seem to be cottoning onto the fact that 10 shades of foundation/concealer just isn’t enough but there is still huge room for improvement at each end of the end of the colour spectrum.
My beloved Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer was coming to an end so I thought I’d buy a couple of new ones and see if anything compares. I’m not sure if I’ve found a new favourite but there are definitely one or two that I like a lot…and some that I don’t. I’ve used the UD concealer in Fair Neutral as a kind of control – it’s almost impossible to recreate the lighting of another post so I wanted to show how these new concealers compare to my go-to.
I tried the L’Oreal True Match concealer when it first came out and was only available in about 6 shades; needless to say, Ivory was far too dark for me. Recently they seemed to revamp the range and brought out 14 shades, each matching a shade of the True Match foundation, so I tried 1.0N Ivory (I know, glutton for punishment). The texture of True Match The One is very gel-like, blending well and giving medium coverage. I’d be a big fan if it didn’t dry down to be about 3 shades darker than it looks when it first goes on, leaving me looking like a tangoed panda. Definitely try it and let it dry before buying. It’s £7.99.
The newest launch here is the Rimmel Breathable Lasting Finish 25 Hr (enough with the ridiculous names already). It’s in a squeezy tube with a little spongey nozzle which can be a bit temperamental in its flow, but is oddly satisfying to swipe over your face. I’ve got it in Light Ivory and the shade is pretty good, as I’d expect from Rimmel, who have some of the best pale base colours on the highstreet. I really like this for covering pigmentation on my face but it’s a bit cakey on my dehydrated undereye area, especially when set with powder. It’s £6.99.
Possibly the most hyped concealer is the Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer. Possessed of the largest doe-foot applicator known to (wo)man, it’s most commonly seen being smeared in enormous triangles under vloggers’ eyes before being, somehow, bopped in with the ubiquitous Beauty Blender to look smooth and perfectly blended. I honestly have no idea how they use so much of this because anything more than a single dot under my eyes is crease-city. However, if I use it sparingly, it has excellent coverage, can be used on dark circles and blemishes/pigmentation, and comes in a pretty good shade range. I use Fair (the palest, natch), and rather like it. It’s hard to get hold of Tarte in the UK but you can find the selected shades, with a blending sponge, on QVC for £28 or just the concealer in the full range of shades on the Tarte site for £22 (coming from the US).
Next up is the newest concealer in my favourite shade, the Nars Soft Matte Concealer in Chantilly. The Radiant Creamy Concealer used to be my favourite but I started to find it a but drying under the eyes. This new formula, despite being called matte, is much better whilst still having the yellow undertone that makes it great for neutralising dark circles. I’ve may also have been known to smoosh it all over my face with a sponge when I can’t be bothered with foundation. Maybe. It’s £24 and my pot has already lasted a good few months.
The penultimate contender is the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX1. There are a few reasons to hate this – the first ingredient is mineral oil; it’s in a pot; it’s spendy for a tiny amount; it never quite dries down – but I really like it. You can theoretically use it as a foundation, if you like super full coverage, but I prefer to use it either as a pinpoint concealer or mixed into moisturiser/primer for a lightweight base. The shade range is great – SX1 is really very pale and SX16 looks to be about a MAC NW58. I used this as concealer on my wedding day and once set with powder, it lasted through the whole thing without needing a touch-up. It’s £39 but lasts forever (don’t keep it that long. That would be grim).
Finally is the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye in Light. I’ve talked about this before and still really like it. It’s nigh on impossible to squeeze out of the tube but that does mean that you don’t end up overusing it – you need the diddiest amount so the tube, which looks small, lasts for ages. It’s the one concealer where my preferred application tool is my fingers, to warm up the super-thick formula a bit and make it easier to blend. It takes some work but it’s a good’un. It’s £22.50.
Phew. Well done if you made it to the end of this mammouth post. If you did, what’s your favourite for hiding the fact that you haven’t slept in 3 days and are living on espresso?- Any product marked with an '*' is a PR sample. All reviews are 100% honest regardless of whether I bought the item myself or was sent it. Links may be affiliate, which means that I get a small commission if you use them -