Testing Bestselling Powders & Concealers
Simply because you can't have enough of both!
Despite the fact that I love collecting lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes, creating a flawless base is, hands down, the most enjoyable part of my makeup routine. I am easily fascinated by new launches, especially when it comes to powders and concealers. And since I have accumulated so many, I figured now was the perfect time to finally break it all down for you guys and decide what items here are the ultimate best. I will also mention my favourite product combinations, so if you are curious - please keep on scrolling!
My Skin Type: sensitive, dry.
If you have a drier skin type (normal-dry, dry, very dry), there are two concealers worth trying: Becca Cosmetics Aqua Luminous Concealer (32 USD; Made in USA) and Bareminerals Bareskin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer (22 USD; Made in USA). Both have a liquidy feel to them (after all water is the first ingredient here) and buildable light-medium coverage.
Formulas like this are great for a slightly drier under-eye area, as well as for those of you, who don't really want to wear any foundation. You can easily sheer out and use these concealers all over the face; they will easily add to that "is he/she wearing or is he/she not wearing makeup?" type of a look. They blend out easily and set to a youthful and glowy-meets-natural finish. I often wear both Becca and Bareminerals when I don't have time or desire to rock a full face of makeup; simply dot your concealer where needed, blend it out with fingers or a synthetic brush and you're all set.
Speaking of which - if you want to enhance your natural glow and set base at the same time, you won't find a better powder than Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (48 USD; Made in Italy). It adds no coverage, but gives the most gorgeous radiant finish and blurs your skin at the time. Go for Dim Light during the day and Luminous Light during the night. Another great option would be Becca Cosmetics Soft Light Blurring Setting Powder in "Pink Haze" (currently reduced to 19 USD; Made in USA) to perfect and add vibrancy to the complexion in the most undetectable way possible.
None of these products accentuate pores, dryness or skin's texture. If anything, they make it look perfect and offer a decent wear time too. Weightless, silky and overall flawless textures for you to indulge in.
Bareskin has a very limited shade selection though, which is a shame really, because the product itself is beautiful and the brand needs to step up its game (it's 2019, hello!); it can also settle into fine lines, so make sure to set it with powder. Personally speaking - I just pat mine with clean finger and that seems to do the trick.
Natural, Satin Finish
Now, for those of you, who prefer a natural skin finish (nothing too dewy or matte) - I have a few recommendations as well. While I enjoy a glowy base on my lazy or good skin days, there are times when I love using something with a bit more coverage to it. After all this girl has hereditary pandas and that is the last thing I want you to notice when you first meet me.
At this moment in time NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (30 USD; Made in USA) needs no introduction. This bad boy has a higher chance to permanently reside in your makeup bag than any other concealer for a number of reasons. It comes in whopping 30 shades and is that perfect middle ground as far as formulations go - creamy, smooth, pigmented, buildable...the list goes on and on. It works great for pretty much all skin types, including those of us with Sahara skin, but has more coverage than the first two hydrating concealers mentioned in this post. I use mine all the time and for all sorts of occasions; be it work, downtime, playtime or travels - it has never failed me. Great for under-eye and problematic skin areas. On a side note - it never clashed with any of my foundations (both dimethicone or water-based), which makes it one of the best concealers I have ever tried.
But my ultimate favourite in this category is Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer (29 USD; Made in USA); it truly deserves more recognition and love. This formula is your second-skin in a tube. I actually like it more than NARS (I know, I know!) mainly because it doesn't crease under my eyes as much. It creates the most undetectable and beautiful soft-focus finish, perfecting and smoothing your skin all at the same time (and who doesn't want a piece of that?). I also find that, compared to other brands, I don't need as much product when I use it. It blends like a dream, wears all day long and never looks drying or unflattering. It photographs beautifully and whenever I have an important meeting or event - it is my weapon of choice.
Laura Mercier have a few special powders specifically designed for your under-eye. While I almost never set mine (it is too dry for powder), if I feel like I could use some blurring action - I will go for the brand's Secret Blurring Powder For Under Eyes (28 USD; Made in Italy). It is an ultra-fine, pressed/baked powder; both transparent and uber smooth. This beautiful feather-light formula camouflages any of the fine lines that you have; it works really well all over the face too - I often carry this little compact in my handbag for touch-ups throughout the day. Great tool for setting your pin-point concealing as well, since it doesn't look heavy and adds no extra coverage. Plus - there is no flashback!
Another two gems are Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder (45 USD; Made in Italy) and the most iconic Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (39 USD; Made in USA). Now, what would we do without the latter one in particular? If you are even remotely into "baking" - this is the best product for that. But even if you only want to perfect and set your makeup in place, I could not recommend both products enough. Charlotte's powder is almost like a pressed version of Laura's; it is that same finely milled, ultra soft texture that just takes any look to a whole new face-tuned level. Between the two, I would say that Translucent Loose Setting Powder works pretty much for all skin types, while Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder is best suited for people with drier skin. Out the of two, I still prefer Laura's; this powder goes with every foundation and concealer I own, it never accentuates any of my texture (as a matter of fact it makes my skin appear quite smooth) and I love just how long-wearing it is.
And of course, an honorable mention would be Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder (46 USD; Made in USA). While it has the coolest packaging out of all loose powders here, it is just not my absolute favourite and here is why - it has micro-shimmer in it. I know what you are about to say "who are you?! you love shimmer and glow!". But hear me out first. Unlike other powders mentioned in this post, this is the only one that accentuates texture, so I would only use it if I knew my skin was exfoliated that day. Secondly, unlike with Ambient powders, I am not that keen on the sparkle factor here (aka diamond powder). I can actually notice little shimmer particles sitting on top of my skin and that is not something I personally crave on a daily basis; I would not mind wearing it for a special occasion though. Having said all that, this is still a beautiful formula for people with normal and drier skin types and if you like Hourglass, you might as well do yourself a favor and check it out.
This selection is for those of you, who love a good matte finish; however, nothing overly drying or extreme. Sure enough I had to start off by mentioning Tarte Cosmetics Shape Tape Concealer (27 USD; Made in Korea). This is the most full coverage formula I have ever tried; it feels creamy and is actually the only scented product mentioned today (I do not mind the way it smells). If I ever feel like I want that full-on glam look, where you can see none of my post-blemish scarring or late night Queer Eye binge watching, this is exactly what I will use.
I do not really like how it looks under my eyes, but if you are a bit more oily in that department - you won't find a more potent high-coverage/long-lasting formula. It is light, yet extremely concentrated, which also means it sets relatively fast (work one area at a time). This concealer practically sets itself, which is great news for people with normal-dry skin; if you tend to experience creasing, then I would highly recommend Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder For Under Eyes (28 USD; Made in USA) - it doesn't set into fine lines, yet effectively prevents your concealer from creasing. I actually introduced a few of my [oily-skin] friends to it and they now swear by this little beast. Oh, and it brightens under-eye bags too (you're welcome).
If you want to spot-conceal in the most undetectable way possible, get yourself NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer (30 USD; Made in USA). I've been using mine for such a long time now and believe it is practically impossible to hit pan on this product; you get a lot of it and only need a small amount, because it is so pigmented. It has the most unique cream formula I have ever tried; smooth natural-matte finish, one that looks just like your skin (never cakey or drying). I use mine whenever I need to hide a little blemish or spot - gets the job done every single time. If you are a bit more oily or combination, this is yet another wonderful formula for you to explore.
As you all know, Rihanna recently launched her stunning new line of concealers and powders (complete review here) and how could I not mention it in this post? Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Concealer (26 USD; 115 AED; Made in Italy) is a beautiful soft-matte formula, that looks flawless on the skin. It is not as intense in coverage as say Shape Tape, which might be a nice option for those of you, who still want to let your skin shine through. Little goes a long way here, so make sure not to go overboard. Similarly to Tarte, this beauty stays put all day long, without creasing or getting all patchy/blotchy. Another option for people, who want to perfect their complexion in the most natural way possible. I do not use it under my eyes though, but if you are oily/combo - go for it!
I also got the brand's Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Setting Powder (32 USD; 160 AED; Made in Italy) in the shade Lavender not that long ago and it is certainly one of the more unique powders in my collection. This particular colour is designed for brightening and boy-oh-boy it does it like no other!
Just like the brand claims, this formula is uber smooth and milled to perfection; it mattifies the skin in a very flattering way and is best suited for people with oilier skin types. Now, it doesn't mean that you can't use it if you are dry. My tip would be - use as little product as possible (it is very potent) and as long as you do not bake with it - you will be fine. While it looks great, it can feel a bit drying if you get carried away. Personally speaking I like using mine with extra dewy foundations; something like MAC's Face & Body per say. I suspect this powder is going to be everyone's bestie during hotter (and sweatier) summer months.
Favourite Combinations (Best For Normal-Dry, Dry Skin)
MAC Face & Body Foundation + Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer + Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Setting Powder
Spot any favourites? Let's chat some more in the comments!
PR samples & purchased products; full disclaimer here