Thanks to social distancing, our lives have become an endless stream of video chats. Everything from work meetings to happy hours to first dates are now taking place on Zoom, which has left us all to decide how much makeup we really want to put on if we’re technically not leaving the house. While the “touch up my appearance” filter is a truly gift sent from heaven in these situations (particularly for those Monday morning conferences), there is another option for when you want to touch things up without the help of artificial intelligence: concealer-only makeup.
A few dots of concealer can go a long way in evening skin tone, masking under-eye circles, and covering up whatever else you don’t necessarily want on full display in front of your entire office and/or friend group. Instead of putting on full-blown foundation (which it can be good to take a break from), you can instead only target specific areas, while still letting your skin breathe.
In addition to its usual uses, concealer can also be used to highlight and contour your face for a little extra oomph in your look. “Use a lighter tone to add light on the high points like your cupids bow, your nose, and your cheek and brow bones, which highlights without shimmer,” says celebrity makeup artist and Armani Beauty ambassador Tim Quinn. “And you can use a darker shade to play with shadows for a take on contouring.” Below, seven of the best choices for concealer-only makeup, whether or not you’re leaving the house.
This concealer, which now comes in 20 shades, offers medium, buildable coverage that will say on all day long. Its earned the name “silk” thanks to how smoothly it goes on, and it won’t crease or dry out no matter how many hours you put it to work for. Go one shade lighter than your skin tone to hide any semblance of dark circles, and you can double it up as a highlighter, too.
This skin-care makeup hybrid acts as a concealer, a spot treatment, and an eye-cream all at the same time. It’s got arnica to help with skin healing, peptides to stimulate collagen production, and caffeine to help pep up the area under your eyes. The formula is particularly creamy, and a few dabs blended with your finger or a sponge will go a long way.
Even when you’re inside all day, it’s still important to protect your skin from pollutants, and this antioxidant-packed concealer has got your covered. It offers full coverage, and protects from some of the blue-light damage that can come from sitting in front of a computer screen all day.
For dark spots and discoloration, this stuff can’t be topped. The fact that it’s a stick means that it goes on nice and thick, but blends beautifully into skin. vitamin E works to soften skin and provide a protective layer, and prevents any sort of caking or creasing throughout the day.
You won’t need Zoom filters to smooth your skin thanks to this concealer, which is basically an airbrush in the bottle. It’s ultra-light and melts into your complexion so that it’s practically invisible, but offers full coverage to anything you’re trying to conceal. The hero ingredients? Hyaluronic acid to hydrate, plump, and smooth skin, and brightening tetrapeptides to de-puff, brighten, and moisturize.
If you want a concealer that feels more like a foundation, look no further than this pick, which operates as both at the same time. It’s great for covering redness and evening out skin tone, and melts imperceptibly into skin.
If you’ve had some sleepless nights lately, not to worry: This concealer-meets-skin treatment will make under-eye circles a thing of the past thanks to goji berry and haloxyl. These ingredients help to boost circulation to the area, which will leave once-sallow eyes looking refreshed (and wide awake for a full day’s worth of video conferencing).
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