If there is a product that I struggle to accept (and it very much struggles to accept me), it is a concealer.
I’m that annoying Goldie Locks who after spending enough to buy a small country has decent skin, some imperfections, a few fine lines, and acne-prone but aging skin that wavers between oily and dry. To me concealer is like a kick-ass pair of shoes you splurge on for a special outfit. It looks bomb, 2 hours in you feel ’em and you realize you got too extra and made a mistake, and by the end of the night you’ve lost all care until you catch yourself in a reflection looking like a haggard crypt-keeper.
Ok, so this was a bit dramatic (is it though?) but this is exactly how my relationships with concealers goes. They are too dry, too opaque, not enough coverage, reverse raccoon-eyes, cracks in my fine lines or causes more pimples. Not to mention the wear never seems to sync up with my foundations. It is like one becomes bulletproof and the other has melted away. Am I the only one who experiences this?
When perusing the aisles for something totally unrelated something called a “super coverage multi-use sculpting concealer” caught my eye. I first did a mental hard pass (RED FLASH! CONCEALERRRR you have 10 you don’t wear, nope!), but it followed me around like a spray of Yves Saint-Laurent’s Black Opium perfume. It was..loud and intriguing.
After standing in front of the display for 15 minutes having my own internal monologue a woman asked me if I wanted help. She explained that this was “cushiony,” “hydrating,” could be used as a “single step.” When she left I snatched it up like the last (and my fourth) brownie at a little kid’s party in the color Vanilla (shown below).
What it is
The Multi-Use concealer is exactly that which is why it is so intriguing. It can be used for contouring, highlighting, concealing, retouching and buffed out into a corrective full-face coverage. I haven’t quite understood how you can highlight and contour with the same color as one should be a lighter color and one to cause contrast, but I’m guessing that they mean their product and its performance can do both jobs. Too Face’s website explains it well: “a super-perfecting, natural finish makeup and concealer hybrid.” It also says that it will give you a “hydrated, photo-ready flawless finish.” This was taking me down the Nars Radiant Finish foundation memory lane of amazing promises (and as a reminder we didn’t end up at Lover’s Overlook).
Beyond the multi-purpose use of this product, what drew me in was the list of ingredients that on paper should be suited for my skin. My skin tends to run dehydrated and acne-prone with large pores. This means it goes from dry to oily if it is not balanced, and clogs up very easily. I was happy to see hydrators like hyaluronic acid, coconut water (notice I didn’t say coconut oil which is highly comedogenic), glycerin and sodium hyaluronate on the list. Also expected are a heavy dose of ‘ones (e.g. silicone, dimethicone) which provide slip for a smooth surface and movement to prevent cracking. Water is the first ingredient which is typical, and cyclopentasiloxane right at second which is a lubricant and silicone product.
While this does shout hydration and fluidity, a hefty dose of aluminum hydroxide gives it opacity and silica some sheen to provide a lit-from within full coverage look. It does not include SPF (the titanium dioxide in this case is likely a preservative). The lack of SPF is beneficial with flash photography as it does not provide the dreaded flashback, however you will need supplemental SPF if you plan on wearing it as a stand-alone during the day.
List of ingredients from Sephora’s website:
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Triethylhexanoin, Isoamyl Laurate, Methyl Trimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-4 Diisostearate/Polyhydroxystearate/ Sebacate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate; Silica, Perfluorooctyl Triethoxysilane, Aluminum Hydroxide, Hydroxyacetophenone, Sodium Chloride, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water/Cocos Nucifera Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice/Cocos Nucifera Fruit Juice, Rhododendron Ferrugineum Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499).
Too Faced has a cute aesthetic and provides solid packaging. Both Too Faced and Nars have this undercurrent of pent-up sex appeal. If Nars is the sleek leather with the bold lip, Too Faced is its cheeky flirty girly cousin with pinks, lace and a peekaboo of naughty fishnet stockings beneath all that fluff. I feel that way, too, when I use their products. Girly and fun.
The bottle itself is a translucent glass of appropriate weight with a black top separated by a silver chrome “Too Faced” label. It is tasteful and something a teen or 20-something would use, but wouldn’t feel out of place in the makeup bag of a more “mature” aged person sitting next to a Chanel or Dior. The applicator is in the top of the black top like you’d expect from a concealer. Check out Too Face’s website which has a great description and image.
Here’s where it gets a bit interesting. The bottle is larger than your typical concealer at 15 ml, but isn’t as big as a foundation bottle. There are pros and cons to this. Pro, you get a decent amount of product for the money and there is plenty to conceal or do a full face. The con would be it isn’t completely discreet to carry for a touch up in a small purse and does bring some weight with it. Basically consider yourself carrying a mini foundation with you. The applicator is also a larger doe-foot applicator which is larger than your typical concealer, and yet it is not a brush or sponge like Maybelline’s Age Rewind concealer. However, it is tapered to fit into the harder to reach corners of the under eye, and wider to more easily provide a wide swath of product in the event of contouring a jaw line or providing full-face coverage.
I have to admit I was a little confused? hesitant? and stood there for a second in my bathroom before trying this product because I wasn’t exactly sure where and how I should use it. I decided that I’d use it as a concealer, after my primer. I put it on my trouble areas (under my eyes, around my nose and a few spots of sun damage) with the doe foot applicator and got into the corners with my finger to keep the coverage thicker in areas it needed. It went on very opaque which is a little different for me because I tend to go for a YSBB look vs. full coverage. I didn’t have time to start over and I did a little gasp here like oh crap I’m going to look like a peach color of Jim Carey in The Mask.
I started buffing it out with a brush to blend everything in and this is where the magic happened. It covered my redness really well. It covered my freckles and light sun damage expertly. The areas I didn’t have anything didn’t look like my face was a cammo print. My undereyes didn’t look dry and cakey. What? Could it be? A concealer just for me?
I finished my makeup as I normally would and dang-it, it looked pretty good. It was definitely fuller coverage than I was used to, but I looked flawless. The only thing that peeped through was a sun spot under one of my eyes which also has a lovely vein under it. I call it my pound puppy mark. It peeped through slightly. I didn’t feel like I was suffocating, did not have any reactions and to my happy amazement I still kept that glow that I love for myself without having a dried-out mask and having to fake it with highlighters and more products.
By the end of the night I saw relatively even wear and tear between my foundation and the concealer. By hour 8 I was getting a tad shiny. I did not have raccoon eyes in any of my pictures, and there was no flashback. The product did what it said – super high coverage, multi-use, hydrating and photo-ready.
My Final Thoughts
Overall I really enjoy this product. For $29, I feel like it is a great addition to your makeup bag. I see that Sephora even has a mini size in some shades which could really up the ante on the contour and highlight capabilities. The Too Faced website also talks about a concealer for their Peach line, which sounds promising for those who are looking to more conceal vs. perfect.
As mentioned, I’m not one for a super high coverage on the daily. But I am really glad I have this product in my makeup bag as a versatile ally to a glam presentation. For me, it is the only time I reach for it, but I do reach for it more than any concealer I’ve ever used, and that’s something. The shade range is pretty good, with most skin colors being able to find a proper highlight and or conceal swatch to match them. I’d buy it again when I run out.
It won’t be the right product for everyone, though. Here’s some of my additional thoughts:
- This is for those with dry, normal or dehydrated skin. Those with oily skin will find this too hydrating. I didn’t feel like it 100% dried down and felt a little tacky, so I did set it with a powder. However applied lightly it gives a gorgeous dewy sheen. This may require some drying time before layering or heading out for the day. A fair price to pay in my opinion vs. the look of cracking, aging eyes from formulas that are too dry.
- I do think you could use this as a base by itself buffed out with a brush or beauty blender, but if you have considerable changes in your skin (e.g. freckles, patches of melasma, all-over redness) this may create too much of a distinction to be used alone. I’d also suggest starting in the center of your face and buffing out.
- For those going for a highlight and contour look with this, I would go with a “less is more” mentality. If your face isn’t the type to hold a lot of makeup well, or your blending and application skills are still a work in progress this could look very precise and VERY high coverage. Using a damp sponge, beauty blender or brush could also sheer this out a bit and let your natural skin shine through.
- My pores behaved themselves and didn’t cause me any issues, however the high level of ‘cones in it and the thick opacity could mean trouble for everyday use or those who are clog-prone like me. I’d hesitate to recommend this for problem skin. Make sure you use a good oil and deep cleanse routine, regardless.
- It isn’t necessarily a con, but I’m torn so I’m taking 1/2 point off the packaging because it’s just not as travel-friendly as a typical concealer. Since this will be used in touch-up situations, it’s a bit big for a tiny bag. However on the flip side, you can use this as a concealer and touch-up, vs. having to bring a foundation along, too.
And there you have it, Readhead readers! Have you used this product or have a concealer tip/trick you use? Shoot us a note in the comments.