I was first introduced to Becca Cosmetics back in 2002 and their Compact Concealer ($35) was one of the first products I tried.
The first thing I noticed is how impressive the shade selection is. There are a total of 34 colors with different undertones so you are bound to find a match. I have Banana, which is a light yellow-based color and a good match for my NC30 skin.
The concealer comes in a little round compact with a mirror and two concealers in different formulas. The medium-cover formula on the right has a creamier texture and is perfect for covering up undereye circles. The extra-cover formula on the left feels heavier and waxier and I usually use this to camouflage zits and other imperfections.
While both formulas do cover well, I find them to be a little too dry. If I do not moisturize well prior to application, the concealer will definitely highlight fine lines and flakes. Moderation is also key when applying this concealer. If you go overboard, it will have a tendency to cake.
With a weightless, creamy formula, Prescriptives Camouflage Cream ($17.50) claims to help naturally conceal dark circles, blemishes and imperfections, while being the perfect eyeshadow primer.
Like all Prescriptives products, this comes in a nice range of colors for light to dark skin and in different undertones. I use Y/O Medium (07) for my NC30 skin.
I personally have a love-and-hate relationship with this concealer. Yes the texture is creamy, easy to blend and the coverage is decent too. But no matter what I do, the concealer fades in a few hours and if you put more on, it will look really cakey and gross.
I also do not like the packaging. I always end up squeezing way too much product out of the tube and a lot gets wasted. I will not be repurchasing this.
MAC Studio Finish Concealer ($14.50) was the first concealer I ever purchased. It comes in a little black pot and promises to provide full coverage so you can hide those dark circles, blemishes, moles, tattoos and even birthmarks.
Like MAC foundations, the concealer comes in a HUGE variety of shades in both warm and cool undertones. I can use both NC20 and NC30 on my medium yellow-based Asian skin, depending on the area.
Just as it claims, the concealer is super pigmented. However, it is on the dry side and does have the tendency to settle into fine lines and highlight dry patches. The texture also seems to change really quickly. Mine hardened after a few uses and became impossible to blend. I never touched this again.
I first came across the famous Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat ($38.50) during a makeover by a European makeup artist in Taiwan. The Touche Eclat is a clickable luminizing pen that claims to banish shadows and perk up tired eyes by bringing light and radiance to the skin. I was introduced to #2 Luminous Ivory, a light color and the yellow-based shade out of the 3 shades they have.
The texture was very creamy and blended easily. The light-reflecting particles were definitely great for highlighting purposes but the coverage was sheer and did not cover up undereye circles completely.
The biggest thing that bugged me though, was the packaging. Although the pen dispenser allowed great portability, it was very hard to control how much product that came out. Plus since the product is cream-based, it is easy for bacteria to grow on the brush. Mine started growing mold only after a month so I ended up throwing it away. Ugh!
* Update: I came across the Touche Eclat again in 2010 during a makeover session by runway makeup artist Christopher Kam while I was in Hong Kong. This time, #3 Light Peach, a peachy shade a bit darker than #2, was used on me. Maybe it was the color but I seemed to like this much better than the first time. I also made sure to clean the brush with rubbing alcohol every now and then and I have not see mold ever again.
I first discovered Inoui The Enhancer (~$45) when I was still a teenager living in Hong Kong. Back in the days, this concealer was dubbed a must-have by all the models, celebrities and makeup pros in Asia.
One thing I can never live without is concealer. I rely on it every single day to cover up those nasty undereye circles and redness around my nose.
Now I understand finding the holy grail concealer can be a long and tedious journey, which is why I will be starting a list of concealer reviews to hopefully help you guys narrow down some of your choices.