Best Bang for Your Buck Series: Concealers

Welcome to the ‘Best Bang for Your Buck‘ series!  Each week for the next few months, I’m going to tackle certain types of beauty products, and list the offerings from popular department store brands and their sizes vs. costs.  At a glance, you’ll be able to see which items are most cost effective in that category, and get a better idea if your money is being well spent, or if you’re being, well – a little ripped off!  Also, if you’re hedging on picking up a certain product because of the cost, this will give you an idea of the true value of the product and if it’s worth your hard earned cash.

Many of the sizes and dollar values of products are taken from online websites; please let me know if anything is listed incorrectly and I’ll be sure to fix it!  Also, for products which we don’t have here in Atlantic Canada, or for items that are more difficult to find overall, I’ll note in green where they’re located for your reference – though I tried to mostly include products relatively accessible as a whole. 

Week Six: Concealer

As I was going through the list of the popular concealers, I started to notice a trend: all the expensive designer brands only seem to carry illuminators rather than actual full-coverage concealers.  NOT INTERESTED!!  After the flop that was Chanel’s Eclat Lumiere, I will not fall for your (expensive) ploys again.

This week’s list has been one of my favorites to research, as it really helped point me in the direction of which concealer to choose next, as I’m in the market 🙂  I was especially thorough with the ingredient lists for each (as you’ll hear ALL about below), which made my selection that much easier.  I hope it helps you guys out too!  Any products that had high ratings on MUA with more than 30 reviews are also noted below (MAC beat out all the rest with the highest number of ratings – just over 1700!!!).

Best Value:
Lancome Effacernes ($52/oz, 4.1 rating)

Worst Value:
Guerlain ($1120/oz)

Most Product:
*TIE* Lancome, Cover FX & Amazing Cosmetics (0.5oz)

Least Product:
Chanel (0.04oz, 4.1 rating)

Best Picks (+0.25oz of product and less than $30):
Lancome (0.5oz / $26)
CoverFX (0.5oz / $27)
Clinique (0.37oz / $20)
Smashbox (0.27oz / $22)
Too Faced (0.27oz / $28, 4.0 rating)
theBalm (.025oz / $24)
*Honorable mention: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place (0.24oz / $26, 4.2 rating)

Worthy Splurges (+0.1oz of product and $30 or more):
Amazing Cosmetics (0.5oz / $43)
Dior (0.33oz / $30, 4.1 rating)
Stila (0.27oz / $30)
Josie Maran (0.32oz / $36)
Hourglass (0.12oz / $37, 4.1 rating)
Cle de Peau Beaute (0.17oz / $85, 4.2 rating)

So… I’m going to add my two cents here (like I don’t already!), since the perfect concealer is something I’ve been searching for forever: Though Cle de Peau’s concealer gets high rating on MUA, and it’s not as teeny-tiny as some of the other offerings, I still can’t get behind this concealer – and let me tell you, if it worked miracles on my circles, I’d willingly pay the whopping $85…but it didn’t.  So that one is a huge fail for me.  Also, I have to note that after my debaucle with Laura Mercier’s Secret Concealer containing the super-allergic-for-me ingredient lanolin (which was the catalyst for all my skin stuff over the past couple weeks), I went through the ingredient list of each concealer here to see which others were guilty of the same crime.  Take note for anyone else allergic to wool (as lanolin is a derivative of it), that Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer also contains lanolin (oil); thankfully, none of the other products did, which makes me HAPPY 🙂  However, some of the ingredient lists were still a bit suspect: the noted concealers from Amazing Cosmetics, Benefit, Cle de Peau Beaute, YSL, and Bobbi Brown all contain high levels of petroleum/paraffin/mineral oil or some combination of the three.  And Tarte’s Circle Defense lists canola oil as the first ingredient!  I know that for some, the inclusion of petroleum-type products isn’t a problem, but for some of you it is (myself included) so I thought I’d note it to be safe.  Mainly I just think of clogged pores and of the product sliding around and migrating a lot easier if it has greasy ingredients.  That’s just me I guess!

Another comment I have is that while some of these products may be absolutely stellar all around, a lot of brands just DO not have an adequate shade range!  The worst culprits? Cle de Peau, Korres, Tarte, Guerlain, Dior, Too Faced, Estee Lauder, and Josie Maran. So even if I wanted to try the Hourglass option (which I SO do), I can’t, because the shade is just too light for me (much like their foundation shade range).  That really pisses me off.

OK!  So, now that I’ve totally lost you with my crazy rant, I’ll wrap it up on a more positive note here 😛  After reviewing all the info, I think for myself I’m going to go with the Lancome Effacernes – not only because it comes out a winner economically, but it scores high in ratings, and they’ve improved their shade range considerably so I probably can find a color to match my skintone!  I’d wanted to try this before but there used to be only like, 4 shades, which just wasn’t happening.  It’s time to find my HG already (or near it): Wish me luck!

Are you on the hunt for the perfect concealer, or have you found your HG (if so…do tell!)?  Do you wear concealer under your eyes predominately, or to cover other imperfections?

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  1. #1 by Larie on March 30, 2012 - 6:10 pm

    I’m actually trying MAC’s Prolongwear concealer and I picked up Smashbox’s High Def concealer because of the VIB sale, and because I don’t have high hopes for the MAC one, lol. I agree that some of the ingredients are fishy, and really, limited shade ranges in this day and age are simply unacceptable. Concealers are the one thing I haven’t explored much, though, and they are boring to shop for, lol, so I’m looking forward to seeing you try some! Hahaha.

    • #2 by Latoya on April 2, 2012 - 8:17 pm

      Yea, I don’t love shopping for concealers – if I found one I loved, I wouldn’t be itching to buy more, that’s for sure!! Sadly, just haven’t been lucky yet. I’m going to get a sample of the Pro Longwear concealer this week to check out. I went by Sephora to look at the Lancome one, and in-store they only had the same 4-5 shades I’d seen before that are all too light! Argh! I’m too nervous to buy sight unseen online so it’s back to the drawing board for me. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the Pro Longwear and the Smashbox HD – I hope you have some success Larie!

  2. #3 by Tati D. on March 30, 2012 - 10:04 pm

    Wow, the Guerlain one is ridiculous! I have heard good things about many of the lower priced ones though. It is annoying when you can’t find a shade, I wish you luck finding your HG concealer!

    • #4 by Latoya on April 2, 2012 - 8:18 pm

      Thanks Tati, I hope I have some success soon!! The Guerlain one IS ridiculous, it would have to be a miracle in a tube for me to go for that one. I think I’m just going to have to methodically try each one before I find ‘THE One’!!

  3. #5 by Mina on March 31, 2012 - 1:22 am

    My HG is the Estee Lauder DW Concealer… no creasing, adds a natural brightness, and lasts for 15+hours on me, even though I have oily skin. I do pair it with DW Light foundation though, so it might have something to do with the great wear time. I hope the Lancome concealer becomes your HG 🙂

    • #6 by Latoya on March 31, 2012 - 10:16 am

      I’ve always heard great things about the EL concealer, but the shade range restricts me from trying it out 😦 I’m really glad you found your HG Mina – it gives me hope that I will one day find mine too!

  4. #7 by Eugenia on April 1, 2012 - 4:22 pm

    One beauty item I’ve never really dabbled into, is concealer; luckily for me, I don’t suffer from dark circles (or any allergies to ingredients) so that might account for my lack of interest in this department. Also, I’ve always felt that concealer tends to emphasize any fine lines I may have, so that added to my avoidance of it (I usually just apply primer and my foundation and/or tinted moisturizer). Now, however, I think maybe I need to explore this area further, so your list is very timely indeed! Thanks once more for all your hard work, Toya!

    • #8 by Latoya on April 2, 2012 - 8:21 pm

      You’re very, very welcome my dear!!

      You are one lucky duck Eugenia, dark circles are super-annoying! As are allergies, boo. Its so unfair that my skin sucks when I love cosmetics so darn much eh? 😛 I have to say, I actually went concealer-less last week because my skin was so flaky I just couldn’t, and I actually didn’t look as bad as I’d thought – just a dab of foundation and I was mostly good to go! I probably won’t do that all the time, but it’s reassuring to know that I don’t look THAT scary without it.

      I’d say if you don’t need it, certainly don’t waste your time on it – enjoy looking at products that are fun instead 😀

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