Before trialling these products I was consistency turning to my Bobbi Brown Peach Corrector and Benefit Fake Up Concealer, both of which are pretty pricey ($46 for Peach Corrector and $35 for Fake Up). But after using both for several months I'm starting to run low, so rather than spending a fortune on one product I decided to buy 3 other cheaper alternatives.
The first one I purchased was Garnier's Anti Dark Circles Roll On in fair to medium skin. So many people within the beauty community have stated that this particular concealer is their holy grail product. Therefore I had really high hopes that this would also turn out to be my HG product as well - I mean a HG product for only $10? Yes please! So what does this concealer claim to do? 'Combine a hydrating formulation enriched with stimulating caffeine and clarifying lemon essence with a concentrated mineral pigments concealer to ensure coverage of dark-circles. Together with an ultra refreshing massaging roller-ball, which cools and refreshes the eye contour area, Youthful Radiance Anti-Dark Circles Roll-On provides a complete solution for dark-circles and tired eyes.'
My initial thought about this product was that it was extremely thin in consistency and therefore it might be quite sheer. I also thought that being so runny I would need to use a lot of product at a time and thus making the product run out within the first month or so. Thankfully both of these initial thoughts were were wrong. Although the product is quite runny and thin, the coverage is quite nice. Definitely not heavy duty, but it lightly camouflages my dark circles. It also blends in like a dream, even if you roll on the product 20 times, it will never leave you looking 'cakey' or seeping into your fine lines. Oh and the roll on applicator is actually quite enjoyable. It disperses the right amount and doesn't leave you wasting any excess product.
The real question is though, has it reduced the appearance of my dark circles? Yes and no. I'm a little bit iffy when it comes down to this question. I mean I do see a slight reduction in darkness, however this may not have been because of the Garnier Anti Dark Circles. Since finishing university (FOREVER!!!! I shall be graduating in September, YAY!) I have been able to sleep more and stress less. So I'm not quite sure which is the actual reason. Overall though, this is a lovely under eye concealer and I think I will be repurchasing a new one in the future when I run out.
Next we have the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser. Silly me, I accidentally purchased the illuminator/brightener instead of the actual concealer version so it didn't work as effectively as I liked it to. Never the less, I thought I would test it out anyway to see whether or not it was an effective undereye brightener for application after concealer.
If you've never heard of this concealer/brightener before it is essentially a very concentrated and pigmented concealer infused with goji berry and haloxyl that helps erase the appearance of dark cirlces and puffiness. Thus, pretty much the same thing as the Garnier Roll On except in a totally different formula. As you will see from the swatches below this is a very pink based product, being a warm undertones complexion it didn't exactly suit my skin very well. It does however look ok on top of another concealer but even then it kind of makes me look ..sickly? As though I haven't seen the sun in 2 straight months. The product itself is very, very thick. I found blending to take twice as long as other concealers and even when completely blended out you could still notice that you put this brightener on. Oh and because I always set my face with a setting powder (ah the life of an oily complexion girl) and the thick consistency of the product it did look a little cakey and patchy, especially towards the end of the day. Luckily for me, I use my Australis Make-Up Finishing Spritz to help calm down the cakeiness.
The unique sponge tip applicator of this Maybelline product is supposed to give you that 'air brushed' look and further help erase the dark circles and puffiness. I honestly didn't like the applicator at all. Because the particular one I choose was a brightener, I did tend to use this after I put on a little bit of concealer. I found that the sponge tip just swiped away my previously applied concealer and made the appearance of my dark circles even more noticeable. I also tried dabbing the product on underneath my eyes as well, but that just made the sponge look discoloured/dirty/messy. I also found that the applicator made it impossible to tell how much product you had twisted into the sponge unless you actually touch the sponge with your bare fingers. This made it even more messy and also makes your waste a lot of product.
It's such a shame that I didn't like the brightener. I still want to try the Medium or Honey Concealer though as it would suit my skin tone better and I won't have to layer it on over another concealer, therefore it will be less thick.
And lastly we have the most affordable concealer of the bunch - Essence Stay Natural Concealer in 04 soft honey. This concealer is spot on with it's name, stay natural. This is a light concealer that helps to even out your skin tone whilst giving you a slight illuminating effect. The consistency of this concealer is definitely more on the creamier side, but definitely not as thick as the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind.
This concealer has a brush tip applicator which is quick and easy to use. You can see the product being dispensed in the middle of the brush so you know when to stop twisting - I found to to be the easiest applicator to use out of all three! I simply brush this underneath my eyes and blend away. The shade 04 Soft Honey was also a great match for my MAC NC30 skin tone as well! I have also used this concealer to cover some redness around my nose my mouth and I'm delighted to say that they were miraculously covered. However, due to my sickness and therefore having the constantly need to blow my nose, the product does fade away throughout the day. On the other hand it does stay perfectly well underneath my eyes.
For me personally, this alone isn't enough coverage for my dark circles, however when paired with the Garnier Anti Dark Circles Roll On it looks amazing. My dark circles are instantly erased without looking like I've put 10 layers of product underneath my eyes. I've been reaching for this combo for past few weeks nows and I can definitely say that this is my favourite concealer combination I've tried so far. Yep, that's right. I like it more than the Bobbi Brown/Benefit combo I was using before!
I'm really hoping that my skin will also like this combo in the warmer months as well when the make-up on my face doesn't like to stay on all day.
Garnier Roll On, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind, Essence Stay Natural swatched
Garnier Roll On, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind, Essence Stay Natural blended
And to end this post I took a sneaky photo of the amount of product you get and I'm surprised to see that the Essence Stay Natural Concealer is a tiny 1.5ml and the Garnier Roll On is a whooping 15ml! That's such a big difference considering I've been using both the same amount of time and I slap on so much of the Garnier Roll On! The Maybelline Age Rewind has a decent amount of 6ml but I'm already 1/4 of the way through the tube and I'm pretty sure I've used it about 10 times. As you can see it definitely wastes a lot of product.
The Essence Stay Natural Concealer is available in 4 shades and retails for $3.50 in selected Priceline and Target stores. (I picked mine up for 40% off from a Priceline promotion)
Garnier Anti Dark Circles Roll On is available in 2 shades and retails for $18.99 from Priceline, Target, Big W, Chemist Warehouse, Woolworths, Coles etc (I picked this up for 40% from a Priceline promotion)
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser is available in 5 shades for $18.99 from Priceline, Target, Big W, Chemist Warehouse, Kmart, Woolworths etc (I picked this up for 50% at Chemist Warehouse)
Have you tried any of these concealers/erasers before? What's your favourite concealer?