Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spot Concealer Options (Bobbi Brown, BECCA, Body Shop)

In our continuing series on concealer products which I started with the handy guide to Laura Mercier Concealers (read the post here), I want to share with you some other types of concealers that I found myself testing before I found the one.

I want to start with the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit. I bought mine during the holidays last year. I found them at a local Cosmetics Company Outlet where they were discounted. I first showed the item in another post. That was by no means a review but I wanted to give a heads up in case anyone who likes the product was looking to get it for less. That's where I found mine.

In actual testing, I'm half and half about this product for two reasons: the color match and the consistency. I want to start with the color and this was not the exact color that I needed or wanted. For that I blame the Bobbi Brown associate who assisted me when I first inquired about this product. She was very quick to say Warm Ivory to me. Her confident tone drilled the shade name into my head so that when I was ready to purchase, I went with it. Warm Ivory looks a bit pink in the pan so I thought I could try it under the eye area as well. The shade may suit me in foundation products but this concealer is a smidge too fair for my under-eye coverage needs. I can make it work with the thinnest application over the areas that need lifting and then blending over with my foundation but I wouldn't use it by itself.

The Warm Ivory shade works much better for spot concealing, which was perhaps what she thought I wanted. I can use it on some other parts of my face, even on larger portions on the cheek, just not under the eye area and not around the mouth. It is on the dry side but it's not terribly dry. (I would prefer a creamier formula for under the eye.) It's held up well during usage, didn't crease or fade significantly. I dislike the powder that it comes with. Perhaps the Pale Yellow shade is also not right for me. It lends a somewhat ashy look to the areas that I put it on. It was a nice idea but for setting this product, I could do without it.

Bobbi Brown makes many concealer products. I suspect that if Bobbi Brown is the brand that makes your perfect foundation shade, they will also carry your wonder concealer. Mine just didn't work out perfectly.

On a recent trip to New York, I returned to the Duane Reade that I found to be full of surprises. I went back primarily to grab more BECCA products. I could order these items online but the store had testers and I didn't know of any other store in my area that had a BECCA display. This time around, I grabbed some loose powder and concealer.

I find the BECCA philosophy somewhat similar to the Bobbi Browns and Laura Merciers of the beauty world. Skin perfection with a natural appearance. The variety of shades available can be overwhelming. I prepared for my trip by going to the BECCA website and having a look at the color-matching guide. When I got to the store, I was in a rush and did not have time to really try on the products. I did a quick swatch on my hand and went with one of the shades recommended for me online.

The BECCA Compact Concealer comes in a whopping 34 shades. I would be amazed if one is unable to find something that matches. I realize that what I should have done was brought my favorite Laura Mercier products and matched other brands based on that. Luckily, Banana turned out to be a very good match for the one side of the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-3. This means that I can definitely use this for concealing all over my face.

The BECCA Compact Concealer is designed for all your concealer needs (as per the website). The two sides seem to be of the same color but with different coverages. They both cover very well, with one side (with the arrow pointing to Extra Cover) being slightly heavier than the other. However, I have found the product to be somewhat dry and it was hard for me to use it under the eye area. It was excellent as a spot concealer and used over wider areas of the face but as with the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit, it did not please me as an under-eye product.

Aside from concealers in pans, one other handy style is the stick. I find them easy to use, except for the part where the twist-up mechanism stops working and the product won't go back down into the tube. I am not a fan of shoving it back in or leaving it up. The creamier ones break so it is better not to twist them up too much and just use a brush to dip into the product. Many brands make concealer sticks and I probably should have tried more of them but I wasn't recommended anything of the type at the stores I visited. With many of these, I imagine them to be somewhat drier in consistency and do not actually expect to be able to use them under the eye area.

I had a co-worker who used the Tea Tree Oil Cover Stick from The Body Shop rather religiously. I think she used it mostly to cover blemishes on the cheeks and all over the face. The one I have is somewhat older and if you can tell from the pictures, I have used it but not very much. I bought mine years ago and the packaging has changed very little. This kind of stick doesn't have the problems I mentioned above. It never gets stuck and it hasn't broken.

The product is designed to conceal without dryness. The tea tree oil helps combat blemishes and aids in preventing new ones from forming. It also contains Tamanu oil that battles redness and irritation. Personally, I did not find this product too effective on the occasional blemish but perhaps I was looking for more instant results and this is just not a substitute for a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide treatment. However, I will agree that this does not dry out the skin like those products can and it is actually nicely opaque so it covers blemishes well. This is not designed for under the eye area, which is too bad because this shade really works for me. (Didn't stop me from trying it but it was really too dry and it settled into fine lines.) It actually only comes in two shades. Light and Medium. The number two shown here is Medium.

If this product is still over your budget, there are many drugstore brand concealers to choose from. I've found it harder to experiment with drugstore brands though because there are rarely testers available. I have a friend who really likes Covergirl concealer sticks but I wouldn't even know where to start with selecting a shade. I don't even bother swatching the ones I talk about because I do not suggest going by online swatches/pictures to find your perfect shade. If you think we have similar coloring/needs, my shades may help start your search. For reference, I wear Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua in B20.
There is an insane amount of product out there. There is just no way I could test it all. However, I hope that what I've learned from the few that I've been able to use can help anyone who is looking for the perfect concealer product. I love that there are combination products available. Whether it's a pan with two or several different shades, different consistencies for different uses or one that has the concealer and the setting powder in the same compact. The beauty world is trying to make our lives easier by putting things together. But navigating it is a real challenge.

I'm going conclude this post by saying that the search for a proper concealer was really targeted towards minimizing the appearance of dark areas under and around my eyes, and to find a product that I can use on the fly. I found many products that work for spot concealing and general evening out purposes, which is why I entitled this "spot concealer options".

The primary thing that I look for is the shade match and the Laura Mercier brand carries mine but everything they sell is in a pan. They have one pen-style product but it does not have enough coverage for me. It's more of a highlighter. A cream concealer in a pan is fine and dandy for home use when I have all my brushes on hand and I have time to sit down and actually put on my face. But I really wanted a pen-style concealer that will be great for the purse. I wanted something that I can use to touch up if necessary and something that I can put on in the car if I've left the house without having had the time to do anything at all. If it doubles as a highlighter, even better! So in the final leg of this series, I will be reviewing some pen-style concealers for you. (Post coming soon.)


  1. How about maximum cover from estee lauder? A dot the size of a bullet point on a word document is more than enough. I would think you're shade 3.

  2. I will try that! Thanks for the suggestion :)