Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer

6 Oct

I’ve been excited about writing this post for almost as long as I’ve owned this concealer, which is strange because I have mixed feelings on the product. This concealer is designed to cover blemishes while attacking them with acne medication, but a two-in-one is only great if it does both things well. This does not.

As with most twist-and-click applicators, I have an issue with the packaging. I had to twist the base so many times that I actually dug through my recycling to find the cardboard backing so I make sure that I was doing the right thing. Once confirmed, I continued clicking away until the plunger was about an inch into the product, and the sponge applicator finally filled with concealer. Obviously there’s a lot of air somewhere in the tube. Boo.

The packaging instructs users to apply this concealer three times a day, which I thought was a great idea — for a day or two. Although on the surface it makes a lot of sense to reapply — travel-friendly packaging, concealers don’t always stay put, additional doses of blemish-fighting medication — there’s one serious drawback: This stuff blends like Suri Cruise at K-Mart. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this until I flipped down my visor mirror while sitting at a red light one afternoon, which caused me to relearn a very important lesson: Always test your makeup in natural light. Sigh.

Not all is lost, though. When topped with foundation, the concealer looks natural. (It should be used under foundation to maximize the amount of medication that makes it to the blemish anyway, which means that additional applications might not even be very helpful unless you skip the foundation, as  I tried to do.) I found that with one application a day, blemishes healed more quickly than they would otherwise, but not at an earth-shattering speed. I didn’t have a problem with this drying out my skin, which is appreciated, but it should be noted that I moisturize like it’s my job. If you don’t act as though you’re paid to hydrate your skin, I can’t speak to whether this will it dry out.

I opened my tube about a month ago, and I still have about a quarter of it left. I use it to treat two or three spots per day, so I expect a concealer to last longer than this one will. (Although, for $9, I can’t complain.) I still can’t recommend this, though. It fails at its main purpose: concealing. Whether it’s the formula or that it comes in only four colors (photo is Buff), making this concealer look natural takes far more effort than it should.

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