Monday, 26 March 2012

Concealers & Correctors

Hello. Here we go, whilst my first post seemed like the ramblings of a makeup addict in serious need of some sleep, my second post has the potential to actually say something coherent and even helpful. The first task, which I am now going to refer to as 'My Makeup Missions' (aha GCSE English Language, I did learn. Alliteration for the win.), is going to be a concealer comparison. I suffer from very bad dark circles, or in the language of my fellow youth, my dark circles be cray-cray. But seriously, the situation down there is not good. I'm not sure if it's a combination of genetics (which would be unfortunate), somewhat unconventional sleeping patterns (see last post) or due to being a student and by definition always tired (lazy?) and therefore I just cannot help it. Anyway, I have only noticed the magnitude of these dark circles in recent months and since February I have been trying out various concealers, some good, some terrible and some, unfortunately, fail their namesake quite horribly. (Note to self: Invest in a good thesaurus for next post, the word 'unfortunate' has been utilized 3 times already. Limited vocabulary of blogger is beginning to show. Although award 1 bonus point for use of word 'utilized' rather than 'used'...well done.) As I say I have tried out a lot of concealers recently but I'm going to talk about 3 here; Mac Studio Finish Concealer (shade: NW20), Bobbi Brown Corrector (shade: Bisque) and Soap&Glory Kick-Ass Concealer (shade: Light). I'll actually start with, what is possibly one of the biggest makeup fails during my time as an addict, the Soap&Glory concealer.

Soap&Glory Kick-Ass Concealer:
I had read a few reviews of this concealer online before I had decided to pick it up from Boots. It retails at £10, so although not one of the most expensive concealers on the market (I'm looking at you Bobbi Brown!) is quite a sizable amount of money. But I looked at it as an investment, 'it will finally cure my seemingly incurable under eyes' I so desperately thought. The concealer is actually a 3-in-1 thingamabob (technical term), it has one yellow-based concealer for concealing spots and blemishes, one salmon-toned concealer (more accurate word would be corrector) for correcting under-eye dark circles and then a powder to set everything. However as soon as I opened it I should have known this was going to be a bit of a disaster, I gently pressed my finger into the salmon coloured corrector to test the consistency and * RAMBUNCTIOUSNESS* it was all over the place. It was almost so creamy that it could only be described as messy. Although I gave it the benefit of the doubt and blamed myself (you even had me doubting myself Soap&Glory, not on) for prodding it too harshly and thought I'd better just put it under my eye and see what happened. Ooh no, the orangey-pink mess that I once stared at disbelievingly in the pot was now on my face. Great. Although remembering the wise words of makeup gurus everywhere I chanted to myself, 'Blend, Blend, Blend'. But it just blended away. No coverage. No colour correcting miracles. Nope. Although after a few days I attempted to apply it again and whilst application wasn't as messy, it barely lasted 2 hours before it faded completely. I was so excited to try this makeup line being an absolute devotee to the Soap&Glory skincare line, but unfortunately this product did anything but 'kick-ass' (cheesy, but it needed to be done).

Despite the failures of the previous concealer I decided that the theory behind colour correction made sense, that is, many makeup artists feel that the best way to cover up blueish dark circles is to colour correct with a pink, salmon toned corrector. So it was not the theory that was wrong but the quality of the product, I needed to go for something more expensive. So as I made my way down to London I mourned my long lost £10 to the previous concealing attempt and made my way to the so long awaited Bobbi Brown counter. I should probably point out that I was visiting London with my mother and was not going drastically out of my way to locate the next correcting makeup miracle...although if you've got this far into my blog-post, I'm sure that wouldn't have surprised you anyway. I had heard so much about this one, it was the corrector to correct all problems. I would be dark circle-less. I would be happy. I would find inner enlightenment. This seems unlikely of course, but the reviews of this product were flawless. Just as flawless as I expected my under eyes to be.

Bobbi Brown Corrector: 

I didn't open the item until I had returned from London the next day, although the day of purchase had been a beautiful day filled with hope and (what turned out to be naive) optimism. This had set me back £17 but I was fine with that, I remember quoting the film Confessions of a Shopaholic to myself, "Cost and Worth are very different things. You want your scarf, I want my hot-dog". This would be so worth it. So I return from London and I try it out. First impressions are 'oh this colour is PERFECT for correcting dark circles' and 'the consistency of this is miles better than that last one, take that Soap&Glory'. But as I applied it to my under eyes (I apply my concealers using my ring finger and then gently dabbing it into the under-eye area, I then take a Mac 224 blending brush and blend it into the skin), it didn't seem to be reducing the appearance of those shadowy circles at all, if anything it seemed like it was drawing MORE attention to them. My dark circles were mocking me at this point, testing me. They thought they were in-concealable. And after splurging £17 on a high-end, raved about, holy grail product, I was starting to agree with them. (This has become much more of a drama than I had first planned, I have somehow become the burdened victim and my under-eye circles have become completely personified as some kind of evil nemesis. I think I have taken the review too far into the depths of my imagination, which til this point I had assumed had long since taken a vacation after essay upon essay on creative writing in school). However this was not the worst result of this product, I found that by applying more I could build up enough product to finally cover those wretched circles. But of course, this made the concealer crease and set into fine lines. A lot. *cries* However, I paid £17 for this. I was going to make it work. So a few trial and errors later I finally was able to apply enough product to cover my dark circles yet only create minimal creasing (this product creases on me no matter what, usually about 5 minutes after I applied it. Although slap on some eyeshadow under the lash line and lashing of mascara on the bottom lashes and a little bit of creasing is not that noticeable). But despite my best efforts, this product only lasted a maximum of 2 (maybe 3 if I am being generous) hours before my dark circles reared their shadowy faces, which were now sporting salmon coloured crease lines. And to top it all off it's only 1.7g of product. Fortunately Bobbi Brown do not need my repurchase of this product as it is one of the most successful colour correcting concealers on the market. I was beginning to feel like I might have to get used to my dark circles because they were not going away as easily as I had hoped. 

And hurrah! I am now onto the third and FINAL concealer. Now as I have said I had only really noticed my dark circles within the past couple of months, so it could either be one of two things: I had just recently developed bad dark circles in the year 2012 OR I had always had such beasts but for some reason never really took any notice of them...but looking at them now, I highly doubt I would ever have been able to live in ignorant bliss of these bad boys. 

                                         Mac Studio Finish Concealer:
Throughout the whole of 2011 I had only used one concealer and that was Mac's Studio Finish Concealer. So the logic in my head went as such: Mac concealer in 2011, no notice of or knowledge of dark circles in the under eye area in 2011, maybe try Mac concealer in 2012 and dark circles will...disappear? Logic seemed about right. So after many a concealer later I went back to Mac to get my good, old trusty concealer. (Note: I use the shade NW20 because it has more of a pink undertone to it and pink cancels out blue circles). And I wish I could say, "WOO! DARK CIRCLES ARE GONE". But alas, whilst this concealer is the BEST I have tried. It still requires a lot of product and definitely fades within 4-5 hours of wear. But still it has 7g of product and is priced at £13.50, so compared to the Bobbi Brown one it is great value. As I say, I bought my first pot of this back in January 2011 and didn't finish it until January 2012.

To summarize;

Soap&Glory Kick-Ass Concealer:

Pros - Comes with a yellow-toned face concealer and a setting powder as well as the corrector.
Cons - Very messy to work with, (severely) lacks pigmentation, little to no staying power, relatively expensive.

Bobbi Brown Corrector:

Pros - For me there were no pros with this product. HOWEVER, it is an incredibly popular product and has got rave reviews from nearly everyone, so while it doesn't hurt to be cautious before investing in this, I am only one of the few that has had bad experiences with this.
Cons - Extremely small amount of product, very expensive (esp. regarding the size), creases.

Mac Studio Finish Concealer:

Pros - Decent pigmentation, large amount of product, price is fair with respect to the size, would cover minimal/normal dark circles. (Another MASSIVE pro for this would be that it is probably the best concealer on the market for concealing blemishes on the face. It is very thick and covers beautifully on the face)
Cons - Doesn't seem to last on very dark under-eye area.

OK, so that was quite a bit longer than I had anticipated. But there we go! In conclusion, the search for the concealer which will cover my dark circles continues! However I am happy with the Mac one for now! Lets hope  my next blog post is a little (cough cough a lot) shorter. I am thinking of doing a similar comparison but with bronzers next as it is spring and oh so close to summer and it is therefore time for those golden powders to be wiped clean of the dust and ready for daily use all over again! Although I am still feeling the need to overuse commas in every paragraph, hopefully this comma OCD will diminish soon before my next post. I will make sure to purchase a book on grammar along with my thesaurus.



  1. I love mac products :)
    great post!

    1. Hiya! Oh me too, I am an absolute Mac addict. Thank you so much for reading it, it ended up being horrendously long haha!! xoxo