|We Test Undereye Concealers
Yves St. Laurent
When Gina and I first discussed testing undereye concealers, I was ready to jump on the bandwagon. I have major allergies, and I have always had very dark circles under my eyes because of them. I haven't been able to find the right product to help diminish the look of having two "black eyes," so this was a great opportunity to try some products. I chose three women, Rochelle, Carleen and Linda, to join me in the quest for a stress-free, tiredness-free, allergy-free look.
A crucial decision was which products we were going to test. We decided to choose two department store brands: Yves St. Laurent's Touche Eclat ("radiant touch," for us non-French gals), and Prescriptives' Camouflage Cream, and two drug store brands: Almay's Extra Moisturizing Under Eye Cover Cream, and Maybelline's 3 in 1 (we figured if Buffy can slay vampires and still maintain that fresh look, we'd best give it a try!). Here's a hint: one of the drug store products beat the department store products!
We chose to include Touche Eclat because for years, it has been thought of by the public and by reviewers as the best concealer.
Yves St. Laurent's Touche Eclat has an unusual applicator. It's like a pen, where you click on the end to push the substance into a brush that you can dab directly on your skin. This device makes for easy application with no mess. Also, with this sort of application, there's less risk of a wastage problem. It's really a cool, innovative, with-the-times product. One important piece of information: you should clean the brush once a week with alcohol. Touche Eclat cost us $34.00. Touche Eclat was the only concealer sold on a "one shade fits all" basis. The other three products have several shades from which to chose.
Prescriptives' Camouflage Cream comes in a tube. Like plenty of concealers, you squeeze out just the right amount, and apply it with your finger or a sponge. However, I really need to warn you -- be very light with the fingers when squeezing this product out! Camouflage Cream comes out massively fast, and you will end up wasting a lot of it, wiping it off with a tissue, if you're not careful. You can hear the ka-ching, ka-ching of the cash register as you watch the dollars and cents end up in the waste basket. So, be delicate. Camouflage Cream cost us $16.00.
Almay's Extra Moisturizing Under Eye Cover Cream comes in a flat container with a twist off clear cover. You can apply it with a sponge or your finger. Since it's a compacted cream, you really need to apply the pressure to swipe it out of the container. The advantage is it's non-wasting. Almay cost us $5.29.
Maybelline's 3 in 1 comes in a chubby tube stick -- you twist it like lipstick and blot it directly on the skin, using your finger to smooth it in. The application directly from the tube to your skin is an advantage for easy application in public, and again, less likely to waste. Maybelline cost us $7.69.
All the testers were instructed to wear each of the products for an entire day, at least, and report back on the consistency, texture, fragrance, how the concealer feels, how it applies, and if it lasts all day, especially in the case of exercise or long, hard working days, hot weather, etc. Of course, the testers were also told to report allergic reactions, burning, or any other uncomfortable side effects. And, most importantly, did the products conceal and cover well? Did they look natural?
The first one to finish her testing regimen was Carleen. Carleen has very oily skin, forcing her to base most of her makeup product decisions on this aspect of her skin type. Carleen has found that Merle Norman is the only brand she can use to maintain the balance of her oily skin. She has otherwise healthy skin, never suffering major breakouts or any other skin problems.
The first product Carleen tried was the Almay Under Eye Cover Cream. She really liked this product. Carleen reported that as she applied it, it felt like powder. It was so non-greasy and light, she compared it to the feeling of wearing overnight cream intended to make your skin softer. "It glided on extremely easily, and felt wonderful once applied! There was absolutely no problem with my skin becoming greasy throughout the day, and I didn't have to re-apply at all. The consistency was like satin and very, very light. It almost felt as if there was nothing on my skin at all, which I really, really loved." When the question of successfully concealing dark circles was addressed, she was ecstatic. Carleen said it looked so natural that there appeared to be no makeup on her skin at all, yet the dark circles under her eyes were significantly concealed. There were no adverse reactions or problems associated with this product for her.
Carleen then tried Maybelline 3 in 1. She reported that before she even got in on her skin, she could tell it was going to be too greasy. Once she had applied it completely, it was totally greasy. She dusted powder over it to help cut the oily feeling, but it did little good. Carleen wears glasses, and has always had a problem of her glasses picking up her makeup, where the frames rest on her face. With Maybelline, she had to clean her glasses several times throughout the day. "I had to re-apply powder several times throughout the day, because the longer the day wore on, the greasier my skin became under the makeup. Basically, this product turned me into a "grease pot" like no other product I've ever tried. It covered the circles nicely, but the oily texture prevents it from becoming part of in my daily makeup routine."
Next, Carleen tried Yves St. Laurent's Touche Eclat. She described this product as "sticky." It left a film on her skin that she's not used to with her normal brand. However, it did conceal very nicely, and added a "glow" to her skin that was refreshing. After applying powder on top of the product, she thought it was still more sticky than she would have liked, but it was her second favorite product after the Almay and it did its intended job nicely.
Lastly, Carleen tried Presciptives' Camouflage Cream. The shade I had chosen for her did not suit her -- it was a little too dark on her skin, and you could definitely tell she had concealer on. It, too, was described as "sticky," but after applying some powder, it became less so, and could be dealt with. Carleen liked this product enough to try it again, if she had the right shade. It went on wet like the Yves St. Laurent, creating a similar sticky feeling. Carleen did want to warn everyone to use a very small amount of this product and the Yves St. Laurent. In fact, all of us discovered that although they are the most expensive, they are worth it because a little goes a long way! For the best results, start out with very little and add more if necessary.
Linda was the next tester to deliver her experiences and opinions on the products. She has normal, non-sensitive skin. She wears contacts as well. She first tried Maybelline 3 in 1, which she liked a lot. "I like the fact that it's not messy, it doesn't go everywhere. It's easy to take with you, and to apply in public with no mess, no fuss." Linda said she found that the product wasn't oily on her, and that it blended really well. As for concealing, "It does cover up the bags under your eyes pretty well, but again, it also depends on your skin tone. The makeup goes on easily, just like the advertisement says: "It glides on liquid smooth...dots on to conceal and finishes powder light, for a no fuss natural look!" It helped her in concealing any blemishes she needed to cover as well, and didn't interfere with her contacts. All in all, Linda enjoyed this product.
Prescriptives' Camouflage Cream was next on Linda's list. She didn't like the texture or consistency, saying "It felt thick and heavy. Definitely felt like you were getting made-up for a major party, or something!" Even though she didn't like the consistency, the concealing factor proved very effective. "It did a great job of covering the sleep deprived induced circles under my eyes very well, which I could get used to." Linda had no allergic reaction or burning with the product, but did mention it felt great to wash it off at the end of the day, since it was so "heavy." An important tip: the makeup artist at the Prescriptives counter suggested that if you have dry skin around the eyes, or if you want to "dilute" the concealer, blend it with a little bit of light eye cream. Camouflage Cream did not cause Linda any adverse reactions, and did not interfere with her contacts.
Linda next tested Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat. She loved the applicator, finding it "easy, cool, and totally user friendly! It also helps in not wasting any of the product, once you get used to how far a little dab will go. You don't end up having to wipe a lot off your hands, or on the sponge/brush like most of the products out there. It's very easy to determine your desired amount, and with the easy "clicking" applicator, and you never waste any." Linda also reported that it added a "brightness" to her skin, as though she had refreshed her makeup (The "hook" of Touche Eclat is that it is supposed to reflect light, thus the brightening effect). It concealed well and easily, and lasted all day. "It kept the circles under cover, and made my makeup look fresh, as if I had touched up throughout the day, even though I didn't." No adverse reactions were reported, and the product didn't interfere with her contacts.
Finally, Linda tested the Almay Under Eye Cover Cream. She loved the product for its "light and breezy texture." She reported happily, "It was easily forgotten after application, and in no way did I find it at all unlikable." It did not cause her any allergies, and this product, too, did not interfere with her contacts.
Rochelle has oily skin which is prone to break-outs. She first tested the Yves St. Laurent. After the test was finished, she couldn't stop complimenting this product. She, too, loved the applicator, the consistency, and the texture, which she reported glided on easily. "It concealed the bags and circles very effectively. However, I used it mostly on blemishes, which it covered wonderfully. I would definitely use this product on a regular basis! Fashion Finds just needs to pay for it!! Just kidding, that would only be too perfect."
Rochelle tested Prescriptives' Camouflage Cream next. She liked this product a lot, although it "left a lot to be desired after trying the Yves St. Laurent first!" She reported that it was heavier and thicker than she would have liked, going on wetter than she would have liked, but it did in fact conceal nicely, and after applying some powder, the heaviness seemed to diminish. She had no allergic reaction to this product at all.
Maybelline's 3 in 1 was Rochelle's next test product. She reported, "It was oily, thick, and sticky." She said it concealed less than any of the other products she tested. With the undesirable texture and less effective concealment, Rochelle would not use this product again.
Rochelle tested Almay last. "There's no need for lots of talking up this product. Just try it! It sells itself! It's so light, and glides on smoothly, covering better than any other concealer I've ever used other than the Yves St. Laurent."
Last, I compiled my own testing opinions. As I stated earlier, concealers are very important to me, because I really, really, need concealing of the dark circles caused by my allergies, and to a lesser degree, by stress and lack of sleep.
I tried the Almay product first, which I loved. I agree with Carleen that it goes on almost feeling like a powder -- totally non-obtrusive or noticeable once on. Actually, it is noticeable, in a good way, since it softens the skin a lot, but it cannot be seen or felt on the skin. It really worked well on concealing. I used to be allergic to most makeup products, and the only brand I could use was Almay. I have since grown out of such drastic allergic reactions, and had not tried this product. I now remember how much I like the Almay product line, and would definitely use this product again, given the great concealment and favorable texture.
I tried the Maybelline 3 in 1 next and hated it. It was oily, heavy, and did not conceal as well as the other products. It felt wet going on, and sticky on me even after it was completely applied. I had no allergic reactions or adverse reactions to the product, however.
Next I tested Prescriptives Camouflage Cream. It did, in fact, conceal the circles very nicely. The consistency did not bother me, however, it was noticeable that I had makeup on for the purpose of concealing. There are some products that are light and airy, and others that are meant to work harder and not hide that fact. Camouflage Cream falls into the latter category. Even though it is "heavier," and more noticeably visible, I still enjoyed its concealing factor and would use it again.
Lastly, I tested the Yves St. Laurent. Given that this is the most expensive product, I happily noted that it did its job very, very nicely. The first time I wore this product my mother and my next door neighbor both asked what I had done differently with my makeup. They said it was like I was "glowing!" My mother described it as "a very feminine rosy color," adding that it also made the circles noticeably lighter. I will definitely use this product more. I enjoyed the clicking applicator, which is easy to use in public with no mess. For those unfamiliar with this product, it can also be used as a refresher. With each product there's the normal "instructional paper," which describes its best uses, and how to apply it. There is a small diagram telling the user where to apply small "clicks" of the product throughout the day, to add that "natural looking glow" to maximize your best possible look, even while hard at work.
In the end, it's evident that everyone enjoyed the Almay product. It glided on smoothly and easily, and felt so light you could barely remember you were wearing a cream concealer. Most of us will, in fact, use this product on many more days.
The next favorites were Yves St. Laurent, Prescriptives, and then Maybelline. I think that, depending on one's lifestyle, the Yves. St Laurent would be excellent for evening parties, dinners, and such. The "glowing" aspect could be beautifully used for the importance of evening events, and would make you look your most radiant and stunning. I would use this product on a daily basis, but several of the testers found it "sticky," and probably wouldn't want to wear it on a day-to-day basis, such as for work or a calm evening at home.
We all agreed that Prescriptives was heavy, and visibly noticeable as a concealer. But the fact that it did its concealing job nicely would make most of us try the product again.
The least liked product was Maybelline. However, I know more than a few women who swear by this product. I think Linda had the best theory -- it really does depend on your skin tone and skin type, because for those who have oily skin, Maybelline only intensifies this problem.
In conclusion, the test results showed Almay a consistent favorite, and at a drug store price! Yves St. Laurent was also well received, and would be worth a try for those willing to pay the $34.00.
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