A Clean Beauty Editor's Favorite Do-It-All Concealer: From Blemishes To Under-Eyes
I have never been one to carry beauty products around with me, save for a lip balm if I happen to have one in my purse. Even though I am a beauty editor—and genuinely do love many of my products—I've never felt like I needed them at any given moment. Not to mention: I hate bulk and don't carry large bags. And thus? The beauty products stayed at home on my vanity, while I went about my business.
Then COVID-19 happened, and out of necessity, I started carrying a few extra things with me like hand sanitizer, an extra surgical mask as a backup, or a stick lip balm to ease mask-chapped lips. And then I snuck in an additional item I certainly wasn't expecting: a tiny pot of concealer.
The concealer this beauty editor is obsessed with.
lilah b.'s Virtuous Veil Concealer & Primer now comes with me—its thin, portable little package tucked away in a side pocket of my handbag or even a pocket—on the occasions that I do leave my house.
So, unfortunately, maskne has gotten the best of me. I have a little cluster of zits that perennially live on my chin, just below my lip: It's like a group of pores taking turns on who gets to be clogged. Not only that, but the masks do seem to do a number on my rosacea, so I'm regularly dealing with redness around my cheeks and nostrils. It's a relatively small price I'm more than happily willing to pay for wearing a mask, hopefully keeping myself and others safer.
But those zits, well, they do bother me. And if I'm simply running to the grocery store or to do another quick errand, I don't bother tending to them with makeup, as the mask goes over them regardless. However, on the occasions I do intend to see people (safely, of course, and all individuals who are in my COVID-19 bubble), this concealer is like my secret weapon: I'm able to whip it out and dab it on my zits.
The creamy formula is oh-so-lightweight, so it never reads caky or too heavy (my absolute no-go's for foundations or concealers). Yet it builds effortlessly, so if you do need a bit more coverage, it just takes a few extra taps. Here's the best part: Once it dries down, it stays put—so when you have to pop your mask back on, you run less risk of smearing makeup on your mask. (Listen: In an ideal world, I would skip the makeup-under-mask scenario, but I'm human.) But it also blends out in the most lovely, gliding way: This way, I can touch up the redness around my nose and cheeks, without feeling like I'm globbing on foundation.
Not to mention, when I'm not bothering to wear makeup on the lower half of my face, it's an incredibly impressive under-eye concealer. (Hey, since the eyes are all people are seeing—might as well make 'em sparkle!). The key for any under-eye concealer is to make sure it's hydrating: Drying options can sink into any fine lines as well as making the area look sullen. Sea fennel essence provides hydration, aloe vera soothes skin, and red algae helps maintain all that moisture.
This year changed my beauty habits in ways big and small—I cared more about my morning and evening routine as a means of self-care and control. I started DIYing a lot more, just for the fun of it. I started getting serious about hand creams, hand-washes, and hand sanitizers to make sure I was tending to my skin microbiome.
One thing I was not fully prepared for was maskne—and how exactly I was going to deal with it. As far as skin care goes, I just pay closer attention to the area and socially use a lactic acid treatment to help unclog the pores. And with makeup, I stick to this dreamy concealer: It helps me look and feel my best, even in the weirdest of times.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.