When I was a teen, I used concealer only to brighten the area underneath my eyes. But when I turned 26, I started breaking out for the first time—and suddenly needed to invest in a concealer for acne that could cover up redness and texture, too, while still looking like skin. I have dry, dehydrated skin, and other full-coverage or matte concealer options on the market tend to leave my skin looking cakey and more textured than when I started out.
That all changed when I introduced the Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer into my routine. A splurge-worthy pick at $36, it completely changed the game for me—and now I can’t go a morning without applying it. Ahead, I break down everything you need to know about it, from the creamy, blendable texture to the incredible staying power that gets me through 12-hour days, and why it's become one of the best concealers in my collection for just about any skin issue.
Since launching in 2020, The Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer has promised a lot. It’s full-coverage, waterproof, is meant to feel weightless on the skin, and is designed to last up to a whopping 16 hours without creasing or fading. The formula has a natural finish and light-reflecting properties to blur the skin and remove the look of pores and textures. It’s also free of parabens, mineral oil, SLES, SLS, and phthalates. It is virtually fragrance-free (it contains less than one percent of synthetic fragrances!), and, like the rest of Hourglass’s line of cosmetics and skincare, it’s vegan and cruelty-free. Oh—and you can shop it in 22 different shades and a selection of mini sizes for travel.
I normally love a very dewy makeup look, so this is the most matte base product in my collection by far. But, that’s not to say that it’s totally matte, either. The finish looks more like my skin than anything else, which makes it great when I’m using it on more high-glam days or for special occasions. Read: I wore this both as my undereye concealer and to conceal my acne scars for my brother’s wedding and it didn’t budge.
Formula & Application Tips
The concealer has a jack-of-all-trades formula that blends seamlessly into the skin with a brush, my fingers, or a sponge before drying down. Because it’s not as dewy as other products I use on my face, I apply a heavier moisturizer or a glowier base product underneath to give my skin a luminous look. While I wait to blend some concealers to provide myself with a bit more coverage or staying power, I find that I don’t have to do that with this one from Hourglass—I only wait a few seconds before blending it out for the best, smoothest, and highest-coverage finish.
I’ve found that patting it in with a smaller brush provides the most precise coverage on acne while I use my finger to blend it into larger areas like around my nose or mouth. I use a larger foundation brush around my orbital bone for the more delicate under my eyes. You don’t need a lot of this for maximum coverage, which I love for lighter makeup days or mornings when I’m in a bit of a rush. Plus, it’s great for touch-ups. To keep my skin from looking too dry, I apply a hydrating face mist all over and then apply the concealer.
When it comes to your concealer, you just want it to work: to stay on for as long as possible without flaking; to maintain the same amount of coverage throughout the day; and to look invisible in real life and on camera—and this one definitely does. Long story short: This is the concealer I keep in my makeup bag. For reference, I use the shade "Ceadar."
You don’t need a lot of it to cover any imperfection on your skin, so it’s great for applying on the go. Yes, it’s pricier than a drugstore concealer at just shy of $40, but it’s stuck around in my collection while I’ve run out of practically every other base product from daily use.
For the sake of this review, I wore it on one day when I not only went from an early morning Pilates class to a full day of meetings to a post-work cocktail event but when a very unwelcome whitehead popped up right on my chin. I first applied it under my eyes, around my nose, and on the spot at roughly 8 AM to a post-workout-but-moisturized face over the top of my favorite tinted moisturizer, which is definitely on the lighter-coverage side. I then ran all over the city without checking my skin until around 4 p.m., when I noticed that my under-eye area still looked covered but that a bit of redness had peaked through on the blemish front. A quick dot-and-blend technique took care of it, and off I went back to my desk.
I chalk the fading—and most likely the whitehead, if we’re being honest—to the fact that I constantly touch my face throughout the day. In any case, reapplication to my hour-eight skin was a breeze. So no, it’s not the end-all-be-all solution to every single one of my skincare woes, but it is the best line of defense against my worst skin days.
Before & After
The photo on the left is me with no makeup on, just my favorite daily moisturizer and eye cream. On the left, I'm wearing the Hourglass concealer and a bit of cream blush and bronzer, as well as a touch of my usual black mascara.
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Julia Marzovilla is the Fashion E-Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she covers everything from the latest beauty and fashion launches and sales to celebrity outfits and news. She also creates shopping guides that span every vertical on the site. Prior to joining the Marie Claire team, she contributed similar shopping stories to sites such as Bustle, InStyle, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear, and STYLECASTER. In her spare time, Julia can be found creating shopping guides for all of her friends, spending too much money on yet another pair of black boots, and cooking in her far-too-small kitchen.
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