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Sunday, July 22, 2012

How to choose a MAC Concealer

MAC can be quite overwhelming, there offer a far wider variety than most make up brands but while this can be quite confusing, it's also quite wonderful.

No matter what your hair colour, skin colour, gender, skin type, eye colour or desired finish is, MAC has a product for you.

MAC is also favoured because it is high end make up with a lower price tag, you're looking at about $36 for a concealer (compared to* $58 for Chanel, $48 for Lancome or $28 for Revlon).

So, seeing as I seem to gather make up in hoards, I've pulled out all of the MAC Concealers and am going to give you a run through of what each one does and how to pick one for your specific needs.

Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer

Studio Finish is definitely the most favoured from all of the MAC Concealers because it is so multi purpose. It's a lightweight cream with a full coverage. It's water resistant, fragrance free and is designed for all skin types. This means that if you have dry skin it won't dry you out even further, if you have acne-prone skin it won't cause further acne and if you have oily skin it won't product excess oil.

It's great for covering blemishes or skin imperfections and won't settle into lines and pores. It's very concentrated so you only need a small amount. It also dries down into a matte finish quite quickly which mean you can build up the coverage if needed.

It's great for covering dark circles under the eyes but it because it's a cream you should put a thin layer of eye cream or moisturiser on first to help the concealer blend without pulling at the eye.

It contains vitamins A and E as well as silica to absorb any oils your skin might produce.

I apply the concealer with a brush and then blend it out with my fingers. Your skins warmth helps to melt the concealer down and blend it evenly.

Select Cover-Up Concealer.

Select Cover-Up is unique because it's texture free with a skin finish. It's not matte, satin, dewy, illuminating or light reflecting. It is just like applying skin and is impossible to detect when blended into the skin.

It's a medium coverage but can be built up to a medium-full coverage. A lot of make up artists actually use this concealer as a foundation because of it's unique texture-free properties. It erases dark circles, brightens your skin and covers any imperfections.

It also comes in a squeeze-tube which increases sanitation of the product, another reason why it's popular among make up artists.

It is recommended to use the concealer pre-foundation, then add a little more over the top of your foundation where necessary.

Select Moisturecover Concealer.

This is my favourite MAC Concealer. It's in a tube with a doe-foot applicator and goes exactly where you want it. It's a liquid concealer but it is so creamy and blendable with a soft, velvet finish.

It provides a medium coverage and is perfect for minor imperfections (such as acne scars or red spots) and is great under the eyes because it is so incredibly moisturising.

It has a satin finish so it's not completely matte but will stay in place all day. It's a soft, natural camouflage for almost any concealing purpose. It's skin-perfecting and line softening, doesn't settle into lines and doesn't fade throughout the day.
I apply it to the back of my hand and then use a concealer brush to blend it into the areas I choose.

Studio Sculpt Concealer.

Studio Sculpt Concealer is a more concentrated version of Studio Sculpt Foundation. It contains almost the same ingredients but it made thicker to provide a higher coverage. All MAC Concealers are water based except for this one which is gel based.

It's a thick cream with a full coverage and matte finish. It sets in place for a long lasting finish but gives enough time to blend it into place. It's great for covering scars or dark markings on the skin but can also be applied lightly for a lighter coverage. It's also water resistant.

If you apply too much of this one you will find it settling into lines and pores, but applied with a light hand and slowly building up the coverage you will get a flawless result.

Pro Longwear Concealer.

There are so many reasons to love this concealer, but unfortunately there are a handful of reasons to avoid it also.

It's a medium-full coverage concealer that stays put until you remove it yourself, it's not going to fade or move on the skin during the day. It comes with a pump bottle which provides extra sanitation for your skin and there is a huge amount of shades to choose from.

It's perfect for use on the skin to cover blemishes, scars, darker spots or rosacea. It has a natural matte finish and sets true to colour.

Okay, the cons. The pump delivers far too much product, you're going to get enough product for 4-5 uses with each pump because a little goes a long way. This has been discussed online since the day it was released with few coming up with solutions. Some people are depotting it into a small container bit by bit to use during the week. Others just deal with the extra product and wipe it away. I have found that if I press the pump hard against my knuckle I can control the amount of product that is released.

The other con is that although MAC states that it is suitable as an undereye concealer, it's not. Pro Longwear Concealer subtly contracts as it sets which is fine on skin, you won't feel or notice it. But on your delicate under eye skin it is quite uncomfortable. It feels like its pulling at the skin and leaves eyes looking quite dark and tired because of the stress left on the skin. I researched this to see if anyone else had found the same problem and it turns out it's quite widely discussed online. I don't recommend using this concealer under your eyes.

Otherwise, it's a great, long wearing facial concealer.

Mineralise Concealer

This is MACs newest concealer release. It's enriched with minerals, nourishing botanicals and vitamins to sooth the skin.

It's a very creamy and easy to blend concealer, perfect for face and under eyes. It sets to a luminous natural finish and is best to set with a powder if you have oily skin. It's a medium coverage and is slightly buildable.

I can't tell you how it wears throughout the day because I am allergic to cosmetic minerals and had to remove it soon after applying but MAC claims it to be a medium wear concealer.

Because of its luminosity it's great for touch ups and can be applied over powder if you find you need more coverage throughout the day.


  • If you want to use a cream concealer under your eyes make sure you moisturise first. You don't want crepe paper eyes or to have product settling into fine lines.
  • If you have oily skin choose a satin or matte concealer and set with a powder.
  • If you have dry skin, luminous liquids are best for you. Try natural finishes or dewy finishes.
  • If you're covering acne it's best to remove the product from the pot/tube and transfer onto your hand, then use fingers or a brush to apply it. Putting fingers or a brush into the pot transfers bacteria and can create more acne.

Estee Lauder, who own MAC, have recently started selling in China where animal testing is mandatory. As of April 2012, MAC stood against animal testing. Their current stance is unknown.

*approximate prices only

Disclaimer: I have worked with MAC on a professional level for many years and received a lot of my professional training from MAC. However I have never been employed by MAC and this product was paid for with my own money. I am not being paid for this review, all opinions are my own.

Animal Testing: MAC has always maintained cruelty-free production of products and is against animal testing. There has been some controversy over the past few months but MAC is still maintaining that they do not test on animals. 
Some MAC brushes do contain animal hair. MAC maintains that the hair is is farmed ethically and cruelty-free. 


Caitlin Heusz said...

Brilliant post!


Chelsea said...

I do love it when you do MAC posts as I know nothing about it and have no MAC counter nearby. x

Bianca Julie said...

That's really helpful! Thanks!

girlgeniuss said...

Thank you so much, I really needed this!