Concealer Wars – Investigating The Hype

In my opinion, 2017 was definitely the year of the concealer. Countless brands launched their ‘holy grail’ versions of the ultimate concealer and many cemented their way into the beauty ‘bible’ of cult status (Damn, that was a lot of religious references!)

I can put my hands up and admit that I was an avid advocate for the full coverage canvas. It is only after experiencing severe acne in 2017 that I had this epiphany, ‘Why the HELL have I been slathering my skin in so many layers all these years?’ I think it’s a mixture of maturity and feasibility that halts your once extensive daily beauty routine into something more minimalistic. Now my focus is centred around achieving and maintaining good skin, without layers of makeup (No hate to those who choose otherwise).

The two concealers that I have heard every beauty blogger and YouTuber yap on about for the past year?NARS Soft Matte Concealer and Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer. Everyone is so quick to jump on the product bandwagon these days, apprehensive to really give their sincere thoughts and opinions. However, I have stumbled upon one beauty YouTuber who I am officially addicted to watching – Lauren Mae Beauty.  I highly recommend you check her out! Lauren is an extremely talented makeup artist, fair in her views and calls out any BS that others conveniently ignore.

Photo 17-04-2018, 12 37 24 p.m.

Previously MAC Pro Longwear Concealer was the concealer that every beauty guru exclaimed as their most cherished product to eliminate dark circles and recreate the once popular ‘Kim Kardashian super white under-eye’ look. I tried it and honestly I was sold. However, overnight it appears beauty gurus have tucked this once beloved product to the back of their ikea ALEX drawers and lo and behold, the Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer was inaugurated into the beauty universe ever since.

Photo 17-04-2018, 12 38 08 p.m.TARTE Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer – Price – $27.00

Pros – Cruelty free, vegan, gluten free (genuinely only thought this was applicable to edible goods – but hey, you learn something new everyday!), dermatologist tested, large tube (10ml of product).

  • First of all there is 1ml more of product in the Tarte Shape Tape in comparison to the MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (24$) and I think the applicator is far superior because whether or not you’re are a germ freak, a doe foot applicator gives you greater control over the amount of product you wish to use. Out of all the empty MAC concealer bottles (my friend has sadly smashed two too many) it is impossible to salvage the very last remnants of product.
  • Extremely full, full coverage – a little goes a long way! The product is bound to last a long time.
  • Could be doubled as a foundation.
  • The packaging is sturdy and so far so good, it hasn’t combusted in my makeup bag that appears to shatter numerous other high-end products (to be continued..).

Cons – Only available online – and Ulta.

  • Tarte launched in Sephora when I was living in Dubai and I was SO excited to get my hands on the concealer, although I was really disappointed to hear that this is their only product that is exclusively available on their website or in Ulta stores (they only have the rights to sell it) in the USA. During my visit to New York City in January 2018, I added the concealer to my ‘must buy’ list. Like a woman possessed, I even walked the whole island of Manhattan in the freezing cold to find an Ulta in the swanky Upper East Side!
  • Tarte Shape Tape claims to be a blendable and hydrating concealer, although sadly I didn’t experience this claim. I don’t have particularly dry under eyes but I was surprised to see how ‘cakey’ it looked. This was surprising because the ingredients include moisturising shea butter, mango seed extract, and liquorice root extract. I think in order to make this work you need to be going for the overall full coverage makeup look to balance the opacity.
  • Finally, the shade range of colours is quite poor in terms of racial diversity. From looking at the Ulta website there only appears to be two shades out of 14 that cater for darker skin tones. But this comes as no surprise especially in light of the drama surrounding their new foundation launch that happened back in January 2018 on Martin Luther King Day.

Verdict – Overrated for the extensive hype it receives, but I will continue to use it and try make it work. There are plenty other concealers I see as superior and there are other Tarte products I feel don’t get enough hype for their capabilities. Photo 17-04-2018, 12 38 52 p.m.NARS Soft Matte Concealer – Price – $30.00

Pros – Oil-free (Good for acne prone skin), contains collagen-boosting peptides (Proteins made from amino acids), contains Hyaluronic acid (Promotes and retains skin moisture), good range of colours for all skin tones.

  • First of all let me start by saying I adore NARS for their face products. The Sheer Glow Foundation is without a doubt my favourite foundation. I had heard a few British bloggers talk about this NARS concealer and I was dying to try it out. Laura from Buynowbloglater had been raving about it, and well there are very few people these days who actually entice me to purchase a product, as much as she does. I also picked it up too while I was in New York.
  • ‘Matte’ is a term that is slowly beginning to scare me, as i’ve made my descent into the late twenties (Anti ageing everything, please!). There are little fine lines creeping up here and there, predominately from living in a hot climate, so moisture is clearly a priority in my life. This concealer is a very versatile product – Covers up dark circles under the eyes without creasing, discreetly camouflages blemishes without becoming flaky (drives me mad!) and can even be used as a foundation by itself (On good skin days only) to even out your skin tone.
  • The best part about it all is that your skin genuinely still looks like skin and doesn’t feel heavy, especially in the hotter months.
  • The finish gives the illusion of velvety skin and freckles can still peer through. The hyaluronic acid obviously isn’t slacking on the job and is busy pumping that moisture into your skin, which means everything melts seamlessly to create a natural look.
  • The packaging is very neat and compact, which can easily be thrown in your makeup bag for touchups throughout the day and it too has survived a few outings. As for the product formula itself, I have no complaints and use it on a daily basis.

Cons – 5g of product for $30 (an arm and a leg!), the company announced they now test on animals to comply with regulations since expanding into China.

  • I’m obviously a huge animal lover (Vegetarian for over 2 years), so it’s really sad to see a company regress on an issue that is very topical at this current moment. The beauty community is awash with people turning to veganism and raising awareness for animal cruelty.
  • I think the amount of product for the hefty price tag is extortionate. The cost would definitely steer many away from incorporating this product into their daily makeup routine.
  • Not ideal for anyone with very dry skin.
  • The coverage is light to medium. Not buildable to create a full coverage.

Verdict – Adore it! Regardless of the price tag, I think this is an excellent product and I will definitely be repurchasing it in the future.




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