If you’re like me, you love shopping for cosmetics at the drugstore because, when you find a holy-grail product, you know it’s also affordable. One product that can make the most difference in your appearance is concealer, as it covers discoloration from dark circles and blemishes to give your skin a flawless finish.
We pitted 14 drugstore concealers against each other to find the best at an affordable price. (If you’re curious how these fell within high-end concealers, we tested an additional 16 at all different prices.)
A good concealer sits nicely on the skin, pairs well with skincare (like eye creams) and makeup (like powders) you use, and stays put throughout the day. Of the 14 drugstore concealers we tested, the Covergirl TruBlend Undercover Concealer (available at Amazon for $7.94) won our Best Overall spot, as it blends into the skin evenly for a beautiful and full-coverage finish that rivals both other drugstore as well as higher-end options.
Covergirl TruBlend Undercover Concealer
Who would say "no" to finding their perfect concealer with a drugstore price tag on it? That’s how I feel about the Covergirl TruBlend Undercover Concealer. It has a larger-than-most doe-foot applicator that deposits more than enough concealer onto the skin for a full-coverage look, but it can easily be thinned out and blended into the skin on lighter makeup days.
The concealer comes in 30 shades, ranging from “Fair Porcelain” in the light category to “Expresso” in the deep section. I chose the shade “Classic Ivory” which proved a tad too dark and golden for my fair neutral skin, but I could get away with it. Looking with a critical eye, this shade range could be improved with an extra option in the tan and deep categories—there are eight shades in each of the light and medium categories and seven shades in each of the tan and deep ones. Additionally, it would be easier to choose a shade if the names were reminiscent of the undertones—warm, cool, or neutral. Still, our test panelists felt that they received shades close enough to create a cohesive makeup look.
After hours of wear time, this Cover Girl concealer only faded slightly and still covered very well. For its staying power, coverage, and beautiful finish, you’ll love this drugstore concealer.
Hi, I'm Jessica, the lifestyle writer and resident beauty expert at Reviewed. When I was in high school, I dealt with cystic acne that left behind hyperpigmentation and uneven texture. Because of this, I often reached for full-coverage foundations and concealers that could essentially make my face a blank canvas for any other makeup I wanted to apply. Now that my skin tone and texture have evened out, I find myself instead searching for concealers that can blend well with my skin even on days where I don’t want to wear much makeup at all, which is increasingly more often as I get more confident with my skin. For this reason, it’s important to me that any concealer I have in my makeup collection is versatile enough to cover everything I want gone for a full glam look or to just cancel out some redness on my cheeks or darkness under my eyes on “no-makeup makeup” days.
To arrive at the 14 drugstore concealers that were tested, I combed through articles, my YouTube watch history, and retailer's best-seller pages.
With the help of Reviewed senior scientist Julia MacDougall, we designed our testing in three rounds with eliminations after round two. First, I dabbed up and down my arm with a red marker and painted each concealer over one of the dots to see how well it might cover a blemish. What I learned: None of the concealers could completely mask a bright red dot, and they all faded the same amount on my arm. (What can I say, not all our tests are winners.) Because of this, I didn’t disqualify any concealers and went onto round two.
At this stage, I put each concealer under my eyes to see how well it concealed dark spots, how evenly and easily it blended across this delicate area of skin, and how well it stayed throughout the day. After scoring the concealers on Julia’s calibrated rubric, I had a better idea of which one may be worthy of our Best Overall spot on this drugstore-only list. I then used the top ones (the Covergirl, L’Oreal, and Colourpop) in my normal makeup routine. I’m no makeup artist, but this meant setting down each one with powder to see how it meshed with other products and layering on my everyday staples like brush and bronzer.
Beyond what the concealer looks like, we heavily weighted the shade range each concealer comes in. If it only came in 10 shades, points were docked. If it came in 30 shades but 25 of them were light or medium and only five were deeper, points were docked. We also paid attention to whether or not the shades had different undertones (warm, neutral, and cool) and how easy it was to shade match yourself when buying online.
In addition, because not everyone reading this will have my skin type or tone—normal-to-dry fair skin with neutral undertones—I enlisted the help of four panelists who tried the top concealers and answered questions, just like I did, about the following attributes:
Application: How easy was it to apply the concealer? How would you rate the comfort and functionality of the applicator?
Coverage: How many swipes or how much concealer did it take to fully conceal what you wanted to cover?
Wear: How does the concealer hold up when you go through your normal makeup routine? Did the concealer stay on and stay effective throughout the day? How comfortable was it to wear the concealer throughout the day?
Shade range: How would you rate the range of skin tones that this concealer comes in? Did the concealer shade you picked online match the shade that you received?
What Should You Know About Concealers
When you’re looking for a concealer, keep in mind where and why you want to use it—under your eyes, on blemishes, to accentuate the high points of your face, or even all over your face like foundation—and how much coverage you want. If you’re like me and you want a concealer that can do it all, and look great doing it, you’ve come to the right place. In my mind, the right concealer is versatile enough to blend smoothly over your under-eye area without settling into fine lines as well as cover up a pimple without clinging to any dry patches around it. It should also blend seamlessly for a skin-like finish, regardless of how much coverage it offers. If you want a thin layer of coverage that lets your skin show through or if you want to create a blank canvas, a great concealer can rock both without looking unnatural.
Other Drugstore Concealers We Tested
ColourPop No Filter Matte Full-Coverage Concealer
Colourpop’s concealers are sold at a drugstore price of under $10 through the company’s website and Ulta, so you won’t find them in an actual drugstore. I used this concealer prior to testing and loved it, which is why I wanted to throw it into the mix. Despite its claims for a full-coverage, matte finish, I find this concealer layerable and velvety enough to sit on my skin without settling in or looking dry. I also appreciate its easy-to-blend, creamy formula and flat doe-foot applicator that holds the perfect amount of product.
Given how impressed I was when I used it in my personal life, I’m not surprised to see that it landed at the top of this list after extensive testing. It was among the three drugstore options that should have gone to panelists—but as apparent stock issues meant that not a single tester could get their requested color (or backup color), we couldn’t fully vet it.
The concealer comes in 30 shades (when available), both cool and warm, ranging from “pure white”—which can be used as a mixer to lighten any other shade—to “deep dark.” My main complaint with Colourpop is that it oxidizes in a noticeable way. It went onto my skin looking light and cool-toned and turned orange as soon as it began to dry. When I used this concealer prior to testing, I must have purchased a lighter shade or one with a different undertone that was more suitable for my coloring, as I can remember it oxidizing but not looking orange. I’d err on the side of purchasing a shade lighter.
L'Oreal Infallible Full Wear Concealer - Waterproof, Full Coverage
Originally in my top picks, our panelists tested this concealer from L’Oreal, too—and that’s where it began to fall flat. First, it comes in 25 shades but many of them are fair and light shades. Four of our five testers noted that the shade range could use some diversifying.
When it came down to it, this concealer gave medium to full coverage and wore fine throughout the day, but all panelists had one or more gripes with it, including disliking the smell or needing to apply more concealer than expected to get great coverage.
Revolution Beauty Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Full Coverage Concealer
This full coverage concealer from Makeup Revolution has a wide applicator—a style that some higher-end brands use—that deposits plenty of its thick formula. It also comes in 45 shades that rival high-end brands, but it’s under $10. Sadly, it wasn’t very memorable. It blends easily, looks fine on the skin, and doesn’t fade too much throughout the day, but the positive attributes of this concealer are also true of the Covergirl one, which outperforms this.
I had higher hopes for this Makeup Revolution concealer, as I assumed it would have the same likable attributes as the Conceal & Define one, but with the added bonus of feeling and looking hydrating on the skin because of its inclusion of hyaluronic acid. Instead, the Conceal & Hydrate appeared powdery on my skin—not a problem with its non-hydrating counterpart—and had the exact same results otherwise.
NYX Professional Makeup HD Photogenic Concealer Wand
This NYX Professional Makeup concealer blends out easily and looks nice on, but the applicator doesn’t hold much product and feels drying on the skin as you swipe on the product. This is not a bad option in a pinch, but you’ll end up needing to dip into the concealer multiple times if you want a full coverage look. It offers 20 shades, which isn’t bad, but it could stand to expand its deeper tones. If you try this formula and like it, it also comes in color-correcting shades green, yellow, and lavender, which may interest you if you're looking to neutralize redness, blueness, or sallowness, respectively.
I liked how buildable the Revlon PhotoReady Candid Antioxidant Concealer was, how nicely it blended into and felt light on my skin, and how it wore throughout the day. However, it has a limited shade range of 18 that many can’t shop, which explains it falling in the middle of our list of 14 concealers.
The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiant Cream Concealer clung to dry patches that I didn’t know I had and only looked decent on my skin from far away. Similar to the NYX concealer, it took multiple swipes to build up the coverage, but I could still see a bit of blue showing through under my eyes. The shade range isn’t terrible at 15 colors total and five in each category (light, medium, and dark), but I’m not confident everyone could find their ideal shade.
The Wet n Wild Photo Focus Concealer has an incredibly limited shade range of just 14 with the majority being light colors. Even looking past that obvious issue, the applicator felt dry on my skin and didn’t hold a lot of product, leaving much to be desired.
The Milani Cosmetics Conceal + Perfect Longwear Concealer was not easy to apply; it clung to the inner corner of my eye despite my best efforts to blend it out and it settled into fine lines. And my fuss over the application was for naught, as it did not keep its coverage under my eyes throughout the day.
The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer offers light to medium coverage that looks fine on the skin, but the shade range of 18 has gaps between colors that may make it difficult to find a suitable shade for you. I’ve owned this concealer a few times throughout my makeup-wearing life, but I have a theory that the formula changed, as the last tube I repurchased immediately after running out of one felt very different on my skin. Needless to say, it’s no longer a favorite concealer of mine and it fell toward the bottom of this list because it thins out to let discoloration show through.
Clearly, because of its ranking, I liked the Fit Me better than the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser, which comes in a plastic tube with a sponge-tipped applicator that the product disburses through. The shade range lacks in the same way the Fit Me one does, but I liked the look of this concealer on my skin better, as it made my under-eyes appear very smooth. My gripe with this concealer, and why it’s further down on this list, is the messy application that’s seemingly less hygienic. Any formula you don’t use that came through the sponge tip just sits there (and I imagine dries up a bit), only to be applied to your face on next use. That, or you have to squeeze the sponge until you can get the excess product out so that it doesn’t sit damp in the sponge. Maybe I’m overthinking it, as other applicators sit with concealer on them, too, but it’s usually in the air-tight tube, which feels different to me.
A brand with some of the lowest prices, E.L.F. consistently under-promises (let’s face it, you wouldn’t expect much from a $3 eyeshadow quad) and over-delivers. I love the brand for that, and I wish it were the case for these eye concealers. The E.L.F. Cosmetics Hydrating Camo Concealer felt heavy and looked dry on my normal-to-dry skin (ironic, given the name). With a large doe-foot applicator, this looks like it’ll rival the Makeup Revolution concealer, which earned a higher slot on this list, but it fell flat for me.
I disliked the E.L.F. Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer for the same reasons its hydrating counterpart is so low on this list. However, without that somewhat more hydrating boost from the hyaluronic acid included in the hydrating one, this concealer was even drier feeling and looking on my skin.
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