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Dark circles and breakouts happen to the best of us. Don't like the look of 'em? Don't fret. The right concealer can essentially double as a magic eraser to make problem spots disappear. Dab it on, blend it well and you're pretty much golden. This goes for drugstore concealers too; just because they're cheaper in price doesn't mean they're less effective.
“Drugstore concealers have come a long way in the last few years. The technology and quality now rival products that are many times the price,” says celebrity makeup artist Mary Irwin, who also notes that more and more drugstore brands now have expanded shade ranges, too. To prove that point, we researched the best budget-friendly concealers that are a total hit in the drugstore aisle.
From light to full coverage, here are the best drugstore concealers for you.
Best Overall: Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer
There’s a reason why this concealer has been rated #1 in America. A favorite of our associate editor Holly Rhue, this concealer wins for catering to various undertones and providing color-correcting qualities. It’s a go-to for Irwin as well: “This is a personal favorite of mine. The colors are great, the texture glides on like butter, and the coverage is impressive,” she says. Users rave that it combines the best parts of a cream and liquid concealer with little need for touch-ups throughout the day. It also gets extra brownie points for a built-in applicator that makes it super easy to apply, even if you don’t have a makeup bag full of brushes and sponges. It's our top pick, especially if you want to reduce dark circles in a pinch.
Best Dewy Finish: wet n wild Photo Focus Concealer
This lightweight concealer delivers impressive quality at a low price, making it totally worth the try. You get all the bang for your buck with buildable coverage that lasts all day long and blends smoothly into skin for an even, natural look and radiant finish. Of course, we love the price tag, but we also love how easy it is to apply, making it ideal for everyday looks.
Best Matte Finish: Rimmel London Stay Matte Concealer
Got oily skin? This humidity-proof, sweat-proof formula delivers 24-hour shine control so that your makeup stays exactly where you want it to, on your face. Use this buildable coverage option for under-eye circles or discoloration, or go up a shade for the perfect contour.
Best for Breakouts: Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer
When you’re prone to breakouts, you want a concealer that can cover your blemishes without making them more severe, and this SkinClearing concealer promises to do just that. You can expect medium coverage that visibly minimizes the look of breakouts. The salicylic acid formula treats while you cover, so there’s no more sacrificing your skin’s health for its appearance.
Runner Up, Best for Breakouts: Almay Clear Complexion Concealer
Formulated with extra strength salicylic acid, this lightweight concealer perfects your complexion while working to prevent and heal breakouts. It’s ideal for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin with a formula that dries evenly without an oily residue.
Makeup artist Jacyln Forbes raves that “the formula of this concealer is so nice because it is really calming and minimizes the appearance of texture and pores while leaving your skin feeling hydrated.”
Best Lightweight: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
If you’re looking for a simple, no-fuss concealer that’s great for covering everyday blemishes, this is the choice for you. The lightweight liquid formula glides on smooth and has enough stick to last all day long as a spot corrector or even a highlight. Users—including Byrdie’s Editorial & Strategy Director Kathryn Vandervalk, who is a big fan—love that it has a natural dewy finish, making it ideal for those low maintenance makeup days.
Best Medium Coverage: Revlon PhotoReady Candid Antioxidant Concealer
This medium coverage foundation is the perfect middle ground between a lightweight and full coverage concealer. It's not too sheer and not too heavy—it's just right. Plus, it's formulated without icky ingredients like parabens, synthetic dyes, and harsh fragrances. What you will find, however, is caffeine to de-puff under eyes and other skin protective ingredients that you can feel good about.
Best Full Coverage: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer
For coverage that lasts all day long, this concealer from L’Oréal takes the cake. Users love the non-greasy formula and matte finish. Plus, there are 25 shades, so you're bound to find your fit. Try it for yourself and expect a smooth, flawless complexion from your morning commute to after-work happy hour.
Beauty vlogger Amanda Speroni claims that a little goes a long way and calls it a “one-stop-shop” for blemishes, highlighting, and under-eye circles.
Best for Fair Skin Tones: Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Concealer
For fair skin, we recommend this concealer in shade 'Fair' or 'Light.' It gives you the coverage you're looking for (bye-bye breakouts, dark circles, and dark spots) without settling into fine lines or creasing up under makeup. Use it along with a primer for best results.
Best for Medium Skin Tones: COVERGIRL TruBlend Undercover Full Coverage Concealer
This concealer has a shade for almost everyone, and with several different undertone options from fair to deep, this lightweight coverage will blend seamlessly into medium skin tones. The large, fluffy applicator makes for a super easy application, and the velvety formula leaves behind a matte finish that lasts all day.
Beauty vlogger Blissful Brie says, “I was blown away when I first applied it because the second I put it on...it instantly gave me that more brightened, awake look.”
Best for Dark Skin Tones: Iman Cosmetics Second to None Cover Cream
Say goodbye to ghostly flashbacks in photos with this richly pigmented cream concealer from IMAN cosmetics. With several options for deep skin tones, you’re bound to find a shade ideal for contouring, blemish correction, and even vitiligo coverage. Many users with sensitive skin rave that it’s non-irritating, and those with aging skin report that it doesn’t crease over fine lines.
Best Long-Lasting: e.l.f. Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer
We love the quality of products produced by e.l.f Cosmetics; it's a go-to brand we know and trust—plus, we never have to wince at the price tag. This concealer is their most full-coverage, long-lasting formula yet, and users also boast that it’s crease-resistant. Wear it as a spot corrector for blemishes or glide it on to contour the face.
Fun fact: Beauty blogger Michelle Ana notes this creamy concealer as her favorite on the market and says it does the trick for concealing under eye dark circles.
Best for Contouring: NYX Professional Makeup Can't Stop Won't Stop Contour Concealer
Available in multiple high pigment hues, this lightweight liquid concealer is buildable for medium to full coverage that won’t transfer once set in place. It’s also a great multitasker to keep handy for everything from contouring, to under-eye circles and spot correcting blemishes. This product conceals without looking caked or flaky, and to ensure your best face is forward.
Best Color Correcting: NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Palette
Take color correction to the next level with this color correcting palette. This is a great place to start if you’re new to color correcting, with several options to figure out which color concealer is best for you. Purple neutralizes under eyes, pink brightens, yellow reduces dark marks and circles, green conceals redness, while the deep shade camouflages imperfections. Users rave that this high pigment palette has an easy-to-apply consistency and plays well with other products.
Best Shade Range: L.A. Girl HD Pro.Conceal
There’s a reason why this product is a beauty supply store staple. With 43 shades, everyone can find their perfect match, and there are also several color-correcting options for your specific concerns. It provides buildable opaque coverage that is crease-resistant, lightweight, and evens skin tone.
“My favorite drugstore concealer is L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer," says Tai Ceme, editorial makeup artist and owner of cosmetic brand Tai Lite. "I have been using it since I was in high school and still use it today on myself and on clients. It never fails, has never changed, and the range of colors is amazing.”
Best Stick: BLK/OPL Flawless Perfecting Concealer
This easy to use stick makes brightening up under-eye circles a breeze. The applicator glides on like a lipstick, making it super convenient to toss in your purse on the go. The creamy formula contains vitamins A, E, and C that work to deliver full coverage for blemishes, while the shade selection makes it ideal for melanin-rich skin. “I use some of the colors in my professional kit,” says Irwin, who gives it her seal of approval.. “The colors and textures are amazing and ones you can’t find anywhere else,” she says, saying this is one instance where you definitely get professional quality for a drugstore price.
For best results, pair this concealer with a powder to reduce shine.
Long story short: There’s no need to shell out big bucks on a concealer because there are a ton of great, affordable options to be found at the drugstore. You can’t go wrong with the Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer, a favorite of Byrdie editors and pro makeup artists alike, and one that’s even been rated the #1 concealer in America. For those who want a concealer that packs serious coverage, the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Wear Concealer is choice. If you’ve never been able to find exactly the right shade match, check out the L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer, which comes in a whopping array of 43 shades yet costs only five dollars. The BLK/OPL TRUE COLOR Flawless Perfecting Concealer is a creamy stick that's another favorite of makeup artists and is super easy to use on-the-go.
What to Look For in a Drugstore Concealer
As with any concealer, finding your perfect match is essential. (When in doubt, err on the side of going slightly lighter.) The good news? “Drugstore concealers used to only come in a few colors that matched no one and now there’s every color under the sun available,” says Irwin.
Do you prefer cream or liquid? Stick or pot? As with color, there are now more options out there than ever before, with something to fit everyone’s preference, says Irwin.
In related news, the formulations of the concealers have also come a long way and many contain the added benefit of containing skin-loving ingredients, which is why Irwin says it’s worth checking out the ingredient list. Look for things such as caffeine or vitamin K if it’s a concealer for under-eye circles, or salicylic acid if you’re using it to conceal pimples.