Ask anyone, beauty fanatic or not, the age-old desert island makeup question and chances are concealer is at the top of the list. An undoubtedly essential part of achieving a flawless complexion, the potential uses of a concealer extend beyond just masking dark circles, age spots, and blemishes. The sheer fact that it can also highlight, define, and even out skin tone make it a star product in most makeup routines, mine included.
In the world of concealers I've tried (pretty much) all of them, from drugstore to high-end to luxury. And while I do have my list of favorites (of which I can safely say would put me into a state of grief if they were to ever discontinue), I still always manage to get excited when I catch wind of a new one hitting the market. Cue in the latest launch from Il Makiage, the tech-first cosmetics line that’s redefining the online beauty industry for the better. Their new F*ck I’m Flawless Multi-Use Perfecting Concealer wants you to feel just that after applying it…flawless. And besides the fact that it comes in 30 shades, is vegan, oil-free, paraben-free, multi-use, and made in Italy, there’s one key feature that sets this product apart from others in my eyes: Shoppers can take advantage of the brand’s Try Before You Buy promise before committing.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
The new concealer features a diverse color range of 27 concealing shades and three correctors aimed at neutralizing discoloration. And, Il Makiage's in-house makeup artist, Gia Rodriguez, offered up a good rule of thumb when it comes to knowing your skin's undertone: "You likely have a pink or cool undertone if you look better in silver jewelry or you burn easily under the sun," she explains. "You likely have a yellow or warm undertone if your veins have a greenish hue and you tan or darken easily under the sun." Even still, those who find online shade-matching challenging will appreciate that the concealer's product page will narrow down potential shade options by letting you filter through your skin tone and undertone.
Meet the Expert
Gia Rodriguez is Il Makiage's in-house studio artist and product expert. As a makeup artist with over 10 years of professional experience, she has also done makeup for film, commercials, and celebrities.
I'll be honest. I'm a packaging kind of girl. So naturally, the first thing to catch my eye with this concealer is the sleek, ultra-luxe silver shiny tube. It feels durable and I appreciate the fact that I can see the shade from the outside. But alas, it's what's on the inside that counts, right? The concealer promises to conceal dark circles, blemishes, dark spots, and hyper-pigmentation with its medium-to-full, buildable formula. It also claims to be suitable for anyone and everyone. "The formula is unique in that although it has a matte finish, it's great for all skin types," Rodriguez notes. "It's oil-free so won't disrupt oily skin types, but it's also water-based so it has moisturizing properties."
Typically, when I hear the words "matte finish" I frantically run the other direction (dry skin problems). But given the above information, I was willing to give this one a shot. Immediately upon application I could tell the formula boasted a soft, creamy texture. I also didn't need to pile on layers in order to get the pigment to distribute evenly. In terms of tools, Rodriguez recommends applying the concealer with the the brand's 140 Concealer Brush. "The duo-fiber bristles pick up the perfect amount of product and give an airbrushed finish to the skin," she says. It provided a fuller coverage with the brush versus a beauty sponge, but both methods of application resulted in a lightweight, comfortable, second-skin feel. Personally, I enjoyed this for all-around concealing versus using just under the eyes. Its highly pigmented formula almost makes it feel like a foundation (sans weightiness), and it successfully evened out my skin tone without looking unnatural.
Perhaps one of the biggest points that caught my attention, though, stems from the fact that Il Makiage takes the guesswork (and headache) out of shopping online for beauty products. Gone are the days of attempting to compare your skin tone to those tiny color hexes, feeling anything but confident that you chose the perfect match. In line with their goal of alleviating the frustration, the brand has created what they call a “PowerMatch Algorithm.” This unique feature is a product of a year-long collection and analysis of 700 various skin tone combinations along with real-life foundation matching. For the consumer, the result of this extensive research is a 90-second quiz (trust me, I timed it) that will tell you your exact shade based on the algorithm.
What’s more, their Try Before You Buy initiative allows shoppers to test out the full-sized product for two weeks before deciding to purchase. If you feel you've met your match, great! Keep it and you'll get charged after 14 days. But if you’re not vibing with the formula, you can send it back at no cost to you and the brand will donate the used product to the women in need at Project Beauty Share. Brands, take notes.