If You Want More Coverage, Makeup Artists Say This Is the Best Concealer

Until I started writing about beauty a few years ago, I always thought concealers were one-size-fits-all. I assumed they worked for anything you're trying to cover up, whether that's hiding blemishes, evening out skin texture, or dealing with discoloration. And while many are pretty versatile, some are best used for brightening dark circles. Others might work better on acne, and so on.

So if you want a concealer that really does it all, makeup artists told me to opt for a cream concealer. "A cream concealer is usually denser in consistency and gives a fuller coverage than, say, a liquid concealer," says celebrity makeup artist Emma White Turle. Makeup artist Gita Bass agrees, adding that since they tend to have more pigment and a thicker texture, they're great for covering scars, dark spots, and blemishes, but they can also be sheered out and used under the eyes or to highlight cheekbones or jawbones.

And they work on just about every skin tone. In fact, Turle recommends cream concealers for dry skin types. But she adds that if you have oily skin, you might want to check the ingredient list, as some are made with shea butter or avocado oil and might not be ideal for your skin.


(Image credit: @imanleila)

How to Apply Cream Concealer

When it comes to applying cream concealers, all the makeup artists I spoke to suggest using a brush. "I like to apply cream concealers with a stiff brush, patting gently to cover the imperfection completely," says makeup artist Jamie Dorman. "If I need to blend the edges, I will use a small fluffy eye brush. I like Rèphr Brush 21 and Rèphr Brush 13." Sometimes if she needs to, Turle will use the heat of her fingertips to melt the product into the skin and help it blend flawlessly into the foundation or bare skin.

And if you're doing a spot treatment, Bass recommends using a small brush and dabbing directly over the spot. Then, use your finger or a Beautyblender to blend the edges for a seamless finish. "When applying cream concealer under eyes or to highlight, apply it to the back of your hand first and warm it up with your fingers. This creates a more sheer consistency that won't crease or settle into lines," Bass adds.

Ready to shop for a cream concealer? Take a look at some makeup artist– and editor-recommended options below.


(Image credit: @alllisonho)

Best Overall Cream Concealer: Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer SPF 27

Both Bass and Turle recommend Clé de Peau's concealer. "Clé de Peau is the holy grail of cream concealers! It covers beautifully and stays put without drying out the skin," Bass says. "It has the perfect texture and works beautifully on both oily and dry skin types. It can be sheered out to create a lightweight concealer that works wonders for under-eye circles."

Customer review: "I've been using this concealer for months, and it's by far the best. Covers and stays put all day. Blends and looks perfectly natural."

Pros: Imperfection-blurring finish

Cons: High price point, limited shade selection available

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Correct and Brighten Concealer Duo Stick

"This concealer is very thick and requires little product but packs a punch," Dorman says. "After warming the product with fingers, use a flat brush to apply. Blend out with fingers or a small brush and set with a light powder like Kari Gran Mineral Setting powder. This is my favorite concealer for acne and scarring but is too thick for under the eyes."

Customer review: "This product works great. The formula is lightweight but thick enough to deliver full coverage. The brightening side really does a lot to illuminate dark under eyes. Both sides were easily blended."

Pros: Lightweight, breathable formula

Cons: May crease when applied to dry areas

Customer review: "Great product! Creates a matte look to the finish of the foundation or face tint. Transparent and not noticeable, like some thicker powders. I am enjoying it as part of my makeup routine."

Pros: Affordable price point

Cons: None

Glossier Stretch Concealer

Turle also likes Glossier's Stretch concealers. "They have a slightly illuminating effect, and this is perfect under the eyes to help brighten away any shadows," she says.

Customer review: "The coverage is natural but not very heavy. The formula is amazing. It blends so nicely out and feels really comfortable under my eyes. This would be great if you're going for something natural."

Pros: Dewy, natural-looking finish

Cons: May crease when applied under the eyes

Lys Beauty Triple Fix Brightening Concealer

Dorman says this creamy formula brightens, hydrates, and conceals, leaving a flawless finish.

Customer review: "I have very oily skin and strong smile lines that peek through my makeup. I used this concealer as my foundation, and I've never had my smile lines look almost invisible after a long day."

Pros: Smooth, skin-like finish

Cons: Applicator gets stuck within product opening

Westmore Beauty Magic Effects Powder-to-Cream Concealer

"This has an incredibly light texture for a cream concealer," Dorman says. "As you work it into the skin, it emulsifies then sets into the face for long wear. This product has a texture that works on the eye area as well as the rest of the face."

Customer review: "Love this product. It goes from powder to cream with blending and is so creamy. I also use it to hide blemishes and discoloration on my face, and it works so well."

Pros: Offers full coverage

Cons: Product may shift on the skin shortly after application

Maybelline New York Dream Brightening Creamy Concealer

Maybelline's cream concealer comes in a crayon stick, so it's so easy to apply. It's a brightening concealer, which is perfect for those dark circles.

Customer review: "This concealer is very forgiving. It goes on smoothly. Stays on all day without settling into fine lines. Has a bit of a light reflective quality to it that brightens your eye."

Pros: Effectively brightens the under eye area

Cons: Shiny finish

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer

This full-coverage, oil-free concealer leaves a matte finish. It's also enriched with nourishing and protective ingredients like peptides, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants.

Customer review: "I wanted the most coverage possible for spot concealing. This has coverage but is still so blendable. And a little goes a long way, so it's going to last a long time."

Pros: Ideal for spot concealing

Cons: Possibly irritable to dry/acne-prone skin

RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up

For a lightweight, buildable option, try this one from RMS. You can use it to minimize pores, brighten and rejuvenate the skin, and conceal blotchy, red skin.

Customer review: "This concealer matches seamlessly to my skin. It is light reflecting and can be layered for more coverage. A morning 'go-to' that lasts all day."

Pros: Light reflecting and brightening

Cons: Formula contains coconut oil; possibly irritable

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiant Brightening Cream Concealer

Neutrogena's creamy concealer will not only hide imperfections but also nourish the skin. It features ingredients such as peptides and the antioxidant vitamin E. It's also noncomedogenic, so it won't clog pores.

Customer review: "I really like this concealer for its hydrating serum-like qualities. This blends out super easily with a natural healthy skin-like finish. I really enjoy using this concealer on days when I'm not wearing much makeup just to conceal some dark spots, etc."

Pros: Lightweight, non-comedogenic formula

Cons: Affordable price point

Nudestix Nudefix Cream Concealer

This long-wearing cream concealer is buildable, so it can go on sheer or provide medium coverage. It's also formulated to balance the skin's microbiome and reduce redness and inflammation. Best of all, it has a gel technology that moves with your skin, so it won't feel cakey or heavy.

Customer review: "The coverage of Nudefix Cream Concealer is exceptional. It effortlessly conceals my dark circles, blemishes, and redness without looking cakey or heavy. It provides a natural-looking finish that makes my skin look flawless."

Pros: Natural looking, skin-like finish

Cons: Thick formula

Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Full Coverage Cream Concealer

Benefit's full-coverage concealer pretty much does it all. Use it to hide dark circles, blemishes, and discoloration. It leaves a matte finish.

Customer review: "This is the best concealer I've ever used. Great for doing cut crease looks. The colors really pop when applied on this concealer and stay put. It also tends to not crease."

Pros: Buildable coverage

Cons: Limited shade selection available

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Perfecting Concealer

This concealer works well on all skin types, including dry, oily, blemish-prone, or sensitive. It is crease-free and made with good-for-the-skin ingredients such as coconut oil, grape-seed oil, jojoba oil, and vitamins C and E.

Customer review: "This has been my go-to concealer since I first tried it a few years ago. Buildable, natural-looking coverage that looks great. Doesn't crease and brightens my eyes."

Pros: Provides seamless coverage

Cons: Chalky formula

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Concealer

Koh Gen Do's palette comes in three different shades so you can customize the color to match the areas you want to conceal.

Customer review: "Love the three different shades for different areas. Creamy texture that sinks into skin nicely. Does a great job of covering and blending."

Pros: Natural-looking texture

Cons: Potentially difficult to blend

Lilah B. Virtuous Veil Concealer + Skin Perfector

Both a concealer and a skin perfector, this product is buildable and works to brighten and even complexion. It contains sea fennel essence for hydration, aloe to soothe and moisturizer, and agar (red algae) to retain moisture.

Customer review: "The perfect light & flawless finish! I love this foundation, it’s like no other—so light and airy you can’t even feel it yet is makes your skin so even and beautiful. I have sensitive skin and have had no reactions to it. It’s buildable so I can add more in areas if I needed to."

Pros: Brightening, flawless finish

Cons: Little product for price point

Rituel de Fille The Ethereal Veil

Available in 12 shades, Rituel de Fille's cream concealer can be used to spot conceal, brighten the under-eye area, and enhance the complexion. The natural finish product is infused with jojoba oil, frankincense, castor oil, and lanolin, so it's moisturizing and nourishing.

Customer review: "I was searching for a concealer that would provide full coverage but not look heavy, dry, or crease, and this is amazing! I don't even have to set it, and a little goes a long way. I feel like this is going to last a very long time! Definitely recommend it if you have fine lines!"

Pros: Easy to blend

Cons: Possible creasing over fine lines

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated. 

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Managing Editor

Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019. In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot). She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.