If winter put your skin through the wringer and your complexion is still feeling parched, it might be time to opt for a hydrating concealer. This dry skin makeup must-have is a particularly practical option for the transition from cool to warm weather, but it's also a beauty bag staple that many makeup artists swear by all year long.
Shop TODAY polled several industry pros and asked them to share their favorite picks. From bargain-friendly drugstore concealers to splurge-worthy finds, these are the 11 they can't live without.
Why use a hydrating concealer?
Whenever New York City-based makeup artist Norah Salazar uses concealer on her clients, she always tries to achieve a balance between hydration and coverage. "A buildable formula is a must for me personally, as well as a nice finish that doesn't need a ton of setting," she explains.
Celebrity makeup artist Markphong Tram is a big fan of hydrating concealers because they're usually pretty easy to blend. "It’s good to use for the under-eye area," he says.
"Using a hydrating concealer is one of the best ways to step up your makeup routine! Not only does it keep the under-eye area from looking cakey, but it helps with creasing and lasts longer," celebrity makeup artist Beck Wainner tells us.
Want to get the most out of your hydrating concealer? Makeup artist Robert Bryan offers up a pro tip: "Always start by using deep hydrating moisturizers and eye creams to retain hydration throughout the day," he suggests.
Best concealer for dry skin, according to experts
Salazar digs this long-wear drugstore find from E.l.f. Cosmetics that provides crease-proof full coverage. "It has a satin finish that is very buildable and is great for combination to dry skin," she says of the vegan and cruelty-free formula.
It might only cost $5, but don't let the low price fool you. Salazar tells us that it offers pretty impressive results.
"It delivers a creamy, sheer formula that covers and conceals well," she explains. The makeup artist also loves the plethora of shades that are available for a range of skin tones.
Tram knows that budget-friendly concealers can be just as effective as their high-end counterparts. He even cites this affordable find as a must-try and it's easy to see why.
The 5-in-1 concealer works overtime to hydrate, brighten and perfect skin tone, for up to 24 hours of coverage, according to the brand. Caffeine and vitamin C are just two of its multitasking ingredients and the formula is also free of parabens, fragrance and mineral oil. It even comes with a built-in applicator sponge that prevents bacteria buildup.
Tram keeps this trusty concealer in his toolkit and loves to use it for clients that want a bit more coverage.
"It's infused with minerals and emollients to condition skin, and is buildable and blendable with a matte finish," he says. The creamy lightweight formula has an oil-free, waterproof formula that can keep its cool for up to 15 hours, according to the brand.
Can't find a concealer that offers enough hydration for your dry skin? Bryan can relate, and he was happy to explain why he swears by this creamy, liquid option so much. "It uses hyaluronic spheres to maintain hydration throughout the day. It also self sets so you don't need to set it with a powder, which can take away from the hydrating finish," he shares.
The nourishing liquid is also formulated with other beneficial ingredients like chlorella (to fight dark circles) and Wu Zhu Yu plant extract (to promote brightness).
Bryan recommends this creamy formula that doubles as an eye cream for anyone seeking medium-to-full coverage.
"It not only contains hyaluronic acid for moisture retention but also has peptides, which help plump for more supple, juicy looking skin," he says.
Aside from having a cool name and rad packaging, KVD Beauty's full-coverage concealer also helps hydrate and nourish skin with the help of raspberry stem cells. The formula is also free of parabens, phthalates and other harmful ingredients, so it's no wonder that celebrity makeup artist Billie Gene couldn't stop gushing about it when we asked him to share his favorite hydrating concealers.
"This concealer has great color pigments which are great for correcting or brightening the under eye with built-in apple extract that helps nourish the eye area. While most concealers that can provide this much coverage are heavy, this one is extremely lightweight," he tells us.
Clinique's Beyond Perfecting Concealer has something for every skin tone, and it's one of Gene's go-tos. "It's a favorite of mine because of its large doe wand that allows you to apply the concealer seamlessly right underneath your eye area while giving maximum coverage and providing hydration," he says.
The oil-free, humidity-resistant formula works equally well on normal, dry, oily and combination skin, and doubles as a concealer and foundation. It also offers 24 hours of coverage, so you can be sure it'll last the whole day, according to the brand.
Wainner adores this popular creamy concealer from Nars that has over one million likes from Sephora shoppers. "This multipurpose concealer is so rich and creamy yet can still be used to cover dark spots and color correct. It also wears up to 16 hours," she says.
Two of the makeup artists we polled say they appreciate the power of this splurge-worthy concealer with an anti-aging formula. "My clients range from very young to mature. In both photography and video, I am able to work this product seamlessly for a natural finish that doesn't read cakey or too matte," Salazar explains.
Tram is also a fan and says it's "lightweight and super easy to blend with fingers." The concealer keeps skin happy with the help of hyaluronic acid and anti-aging peptides that hydrate, soothe and brighten your complexion while it conceals. It also comes in a handy leak-proof pen!
This one is loved by two of the makeup pros we spoke with and offers medium, natural coverage in a hydrating, creamy formula. "It stays put and is hydrating and buildable. I use it for film and photo shoots where talent needs to do lots of actions," Tram says.
Bryan also loves the weightless feel and hydrating finish. "The high pigment in this formula allows you to use very little with optimal result. Use just a small drop to start and pat into place for a skin-like finish. Repeat application to reach desired coverage," he instructs.
Meet the experts
- Norah Salazar is a New York City-based makeup artist with experience in commercial, fashion, editorial and celebrity spaces.
- Markphong Tram is a New York-based celebrity makeup artist.
- Robert Bryan is a Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist.
- Billie Gene is a celebrity makeup artist.
- Beck Wainner is a Nashville-based makeup and hair artist with over a decade of experience in the beauty industry.