I prefer beauty products in stick form above all else. Liquids and powders have their place, sure, but sticks (which I guess you can classify as creams, or, solids?) will always have a special place in my heart and in my makeup bag.
Why? Because applying the product directly to the face from the stick helps you get the most out of your product by using just what you need and nothing more, so your product lasts longer and there’s no waste. Plus, they’re perfect for travel. Give me all the sticks. The foundation sticks, highlighter sticks, bronzer sticks, contour sticks — I want them all.
What we don’t see a ton of are concealers in stick form. I know you know, but concealers are usually liquids, plus a few pot versions that are pretty well loved, too. Concealers in liquid form just make sense by nature of the product and what you’re using it for, tucking it under your eye to conceal dark circles, spot-concealing blemishes without caking up your face, maybe carving out your brows as well. You need to be able to do a lot of work with a little product, and liquid just lends itself to that. Plus, your undereye area is made of very thin skin, so you want a product that’s hydrating and doesn’t tug when you’re applying it, and liquids are the obvious answer. There is one exception, though (Isn’t there always?): stick concealers.
The Clé De Peau Beauté Concealer SPF 25 has been the go-to stick concealer since forever. Legend has it that it is full coverage and creamy formula with a skin-like finish that also happens to be packed with skin-care benefits and more recently also with SPF. Everyone’s beauty routine could use a little more SPF so that’s nothing to scoff at.
Downsides? The shade range is bullshit (industry term) with only six shades of light beige. It’s also…really expensive. It’s $70.
But. This formula is the standard for stick concealers, so it’s got to be good, right? Last time I was on the beauty floor at Barneys, I said to one of the makeup artists, “This is the concealer that everyone loves, right?” And he was like, “This is the concealer. Period.” Wow.
Well, there’s a newcomer that just might be showing it a little competition. The Bareminerals Barepro 16-Hour Full Coverage Concealer. Another concealer stick that promises full coverage, no creases, and long wear. And this one is a mere $24.
Let’s cut the shit and put them up against each other, shall we? First, we’ll start with what each concealer claims to do.
- Full coverage
- Contains SPF 25
- Formulated with their skincare ingredient “Illuminating Complex EX” to hydrate and repair damage
- Contains rosa fruit extract and green tea to help prevent the color from oxidizing throughout wear
- Available in six shades
- $70 for five grams, or $14 per gram
- Soft matte finish with 16-hour wear
- Made with bamboo stem extract, raspberry seed oil, and lavender to help hydrate skin and protect against environmental stressors
- Available in 15 shades
- $24 for 2.5 grams, or $9.60 per gram
You will see that while the Clé De Peau Beauté option is significantly more expensive, you also get twice the amount of product in the stick. Something to think about. We’re just gonna have to use them and see how they perform when matched against each other.
First, here’s a classic “before,” me with no makeup, bare skin, discoloration, a couple blemishes, etc etc. For both of these trials, my base is going to be just concealer, no foundation, so I can really see how this wears throughout the day.
Let the trials begin.
The Bareminerals concealer stick is immediately and noticeably creamier than the Clé De Peau Beauté stick. Even less tug under the eyes than the former stick. I actually ended up dotting this guy under my eyes rather than pulling it across or down, but even then, the concealer transferred from the stick to the skin much more easily.
I blended with a Beautyblender again, thinking I might have to go back in with a brush to really move it around and soften the edges, but turns out, I didn’t have to. It’s one of those products that sort of stands alone in terms of application. For a stick — hell, for any concealer formula — this blends out really nicely.
And when it blends out, it gives your skin full coverage along with a blurring effect that is frequently promised by primers, foundations, and setting powders but is rarely delivered. It was something I noticed as soon as I had this blended out to my liking, and it was a very, very nice surprise. It really looked like my skin was put through a nice Instagram blurring filter, while still looking like my own skin.
Next up, I used the Clé De Peau Beauté concealer stick. I popped it on under my eyes, down my nose, and in the middle of my forehead and blended it out. Instead of highlighting my face by using a shade or two lighter than their natural skin tone as some like to do (myself included,) this stick is my exact skin color so it’s just going to even things out and perfect my face rather than “lifting” or doing any intense brightening.
The difference is…noticeable, but not in the “I can tell you’re caked in concealer” way. My face just looks…I hesitate to say “better” because I know I’m still a baddie without makeup, but my face looks more even, perfected, and all of my darkness and discoloration is gone. OK, it looks better.
The stick is creamy, applies easily with little tug on the skin. There’s still a bit of tug because, I mean, you’re putting a concealer stick under your eye and pulling it across. There’s friction or whatever, but not too much. It blends out without much effort (I still used a Beautyblender). Some stick products really make you press and work the products into the skin to blend out, but this one was easy. It also gave me, I would say, medium coverage to start and it built up very nicely, which for me is ideal. Concealer can be tricky because there truly is such a thing as too much coverage, especially when you’re opting to wear concealer by itself.
I don’t know. This just…worked. The rumors are true. Can I see the hype? Sure, maybe. It made my skin look like my skin, it didn’t cake up, look too dense or too bright as some concealers tend to do, and was just super easy to work with which, when it comes down to it, is exactly how I want any beauty product to work.
So which is better?
As for the finish, they both had a similar skin-like finish that wasn’t too matte or too glowy. I love matte skin, but I wouldn’t hate if they each had a bit more luminosity to them. Worn alone, they look fantastic, but when paired with foundation, you could see where the foundations stopped and the concealer started — not by a change of shade, but a change of finish. And I paired these with a few foundations. Then again, this is probably something only I would notice since I stare at my face all day.
I don’t know that there is a better option, truthfully. These are both great products, it may just come down to personal preference. They’re both easy to work with, give you great coverage, and wear beautifully all day. Clé De Peau Beauté, is formulated with SPF, which is very valuable and you get double the product. However, it’s still $70, which is not exactly an impulse buy for everyone. The biggest thing that sets the Bareminerals one apart from Clé De Peau Beauté’s is that crazy, skin blurring effect it has. I mean, I felt like I had a new face.
I love them both and will continue to use each, but if I had to choose, I may go with the Bareminerals stick concealer because of how blendable it is, the beautiful finish, and, to me, it feels like a better value. But you do you. Sometimes you just want to feel like a rich bish.
More luxury comparisons:
But there’s unfortunately no dupe for this $450 red wine bath: