Tried & True: My Concealer Journey

Dark circles, acne scars, or discolouration?  Foundation helps but sometimes you need a little extra coverage to feel your best.

Over the past 22 years, I’ve tried a variety of concealers depending on my needs at different stages of my life – liquids, creams and powders, medicated and cosmetic.  I’m definitely not a concealer expert, but I wanted to share my product journey with you in hopes that you can learn a little, laugh a little, and reflect on your makeup journey.

Before I start, I should mention that this blog is focused on products (vs. application).  I normally select concealers that are one or two shades lighter then my foundation.  If a product doesn’t come with a spongy tip, I dab it onto my skin with my middle or ring finger and then blend it in with a Beauty Blender.  For dark circles, I apply it in a half moon or triangular shape under my eyes and then blend it out. (Not mind blowing info…but more of an fyi).

In the beginning

acnomelAlthough it’s an acne medication cream, I have always considered Acnomel my very first concealer. When I was 11, I had a little acne so my mom bought it for me to help clear it up.   The product was tinted beige/tan, and I discovered that if I dabbed a super thin layer on my problem areas, it would cover them up.  So, although it wasn’t meant or marketed as a concealer, I used it daily to help treat and hide my acne (I went through MANY tubes …probably helped keep the company in business).

Does this make me look…orange?

When I began high school and started wearing makeup, I realized why Acnomel was not marketed as a concealer – once dry, it cracked, was cakey and sometimes had a slightly orange tint if I applied too much.  No one could see my zits, but they could see the dry, cakey, orange splotches all over my face.  Oy!

So, I went on a hunt to find a  new acne fighting concealer.  I wanted something that was easy to apply and blend, matched my olive skin tone, and helped clear my face.

I first tried the Body Shop Tea Tree Concealer in medium. “A handy, portable stick to conceal blemishes, without over drying the skin. Available in two great shades to blend with all skin tones.” (  I didn’t love this product as I found it’s lipstick type consistency hard to apply and blend, and neither shade was ideal for my skin tone (another orangy medium shade).  So I continued my hunt…

I then tried two Clean & Clear products containing Salicylic Acid from my local Shoppers Drug Mart.  The first was Clean & Clear Concealing Treatment Stick (which has been discontinued…or just re-brand as it looks an awful lot like the current Life Brand Clear Action Acne Treatment Concealer Stick).  Like the Body Shop concealer, it was a thick cream-like stick which applied a bit cakey, but it had a creamier consistency which made it easier to apply and in a shade more suited to my skin type.  Although an improvement, I continued my hunt…and discovered that the lipstick type stick concealers “weren’t my cup of tea”.

And then I discovered…(cue the “heaven harps”)…Clean & Clear ADVANTAGE Concealing Treatment Stick which encapsulated everything I was looking for!  It came in a long thin clear twisty tube with a brush on the end to make application simple (similar to Stila lip glosses).  It had a more liquidy foundation-like consistency so it was SUPER easy to blend but still thick enough to cover my acne.  There was limited shade selection (one or two I believe), but complimented my skin tone perfectly. PLUS it was also from the drug store – so SUPER affordable.  I was thrilled!

Unfortunately, this product was also discontinued HOWEVER  Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer is very similar but with a sponge tip applicator. 

Concealer intermission

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After collage, my acne cleared up a bit, thanks to birth control, so I no longer found use in concealers (foundation did a good enough job).

Shortly after, mineral powder foundations became popular and my brand of choice was Sheer Cover (which sadly is also discontinued …story of my life! …an interesting topic for a future blog…hmmm).  The kit came with 2 concealers, split in a single eye shadow-like case.  I gave it a try but ended up giving it away as the formula was very thick, cakey, and enhanced fine lines / pre-wrinkles. I still didn’t see any use in concealer so went without for a couple more years.

Signs of aging

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A couple years ago, I started noticing dark circles and fine lines around my eyes (oh no!!!), so I knew it was time to dive back into the world of concealers.  I was using a Neutrogena SkinClearing Liquid Makeup foundation and during my annual Target stock up, I noticed that they had a 3-in-1 Concealer For Eyes Broad Spectrum, so I decided to try it out.   “This multi-tasking concealer instantly camouflages dark circles, reduces the appearance of puffiness and fine lines and protects with non-irritating Broad Spectrum SPF 20–all in one easy step.” (

Available in 3 shades, it comes in a little squeeze tube with a tiny tip and has the consistency of a sticky thick foundation.  I  like everything about it…but the stickiness.  It dries down matte, is blendable, covers my dark circles and fine lines, and compliments my foundation.  Surprise, surprise…this one is still available at Target for $7.59 US. (Unfortunately, Neutrogena makeup is only available in the USA).

My top 3 recommendations

As I was happy with the Neutrogrena product, I didn’t try any others until last year when I decided to be more active on my blog.  I purchased a couple beauty subscription boxes, watched alot of YouTube, and started following a bunch of beauty gurus.

Here are my current top 3 under eye concealers.
All conceal well, blend easily, minimize fine lines, last a long time, and are (relatively) affordable.

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MAYBELLINE Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer
Available in 3 shades: Light, Medium, Neutralizer
$8.99 CDN @ London Drugs

“Active Formula + Micro-Corrector Applicator Now Erase Instantly. More Targeted. More Completely. Erases dark circles, puffiness and fine lines.” (


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bareMinerals Broad Spectrum Multi-Tasking Face
Available in 4 shades: Well Rested, Bisque, Deep Bisque, Summer Bisque
$23.99 CDN @ Sephora

“BareMinerals’ Broad Spectrum Multi-Tasking Face works beautifully as a soft eye shadow base, a concealer for your face, or to cover dark circles and skin imperfections. Each shade has added SPF 20 to provide year round sun protection that won’t sting your eyes like traditional creams and lotions.” (


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Bye Bye Under Eye® Anti-Aging Concealer
Available in 4 shades: Light, Medium, Tan, Deep
$24.99 US @

“Bye Bye Under Eye® uses Anti-Aging technology to help treat the appearance of lines, wrinkles and discoloration, conceal dark circles, age spots and redness, conceal facial imperfections without settling into lines and wrinkles; and helps to diffuse the appearance of wrinkles instantly.” (


What are your favourite concealers?  Do you remember your first one?
I’d love to hear about your concealer Journey!!!

Thank you Into The Gloss for the inspiration for this post.

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