The L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer got a lot of hype when it first appeared on the market a year or two ago as an excellent budget option. I'm pretty dedicated to the brilliance of my Sephora Gel Serum Concealer (reviewed here), but I never can resist the siren song of cheap shit. The regular price for a tube of this stuff is $2.99.
Unfortunately, this concealer wasn't very easy for me to find. Walgreens sells it, but the stores in my areas don't seem to carry L.A. Girl. In the winter, I ordered a tube from drugstore.com in the winter in the shade Classic Ivory, which, as you'll see, is at least a shade too dark. There are two lighter shades which have recently been added to the range, Porcelain and Light Ivory, but many stores don't seem to stock them. In fact, Walgreens doesn't even have Classic Ivory on its website. You can get the lighter shades from L.A. Girl's website, but they charge $5 a tube plus shipping. So Classic Ivory it is.
I have to say, if I'm forced to choose between a concealer a shade too dark or a shade too light, I will go with too dark. For my own face, I don't like the look of completely blanking out and highlighting away any shadows under my eyes. While I don't necessarily favor "natural" makeup in the sense that I want to look like I'm not wearing any makeup at all, I do prefer that sort of effect for my skin. I'd rather have a natural texture that isn't flawless than a "perfect" but unreal base. Almost everyone has some darkness below their eyes, even if it's just a literal shadow, so completely obliterating that can look a bit artificial. Besides which, applying a too-light concealer on top of a zit can highlight it and draw attention, which presumably is exactly what you don't want the concealer to do.
You can see from the swatches below that L.A. Girl Classic Ivory is one of the darkest and peachiest concealers I have on hand. Peach can be good for canceling out blue under-eye circles, but something a touch lighter and more neutral would work better for me.
Left to right above: L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer in Classic Ivory, Sephora Gel Serum Concealer in Fondant (reviewed here), TheBalm Time Balm Concealer in Lighter than Light (reviewed here), Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige (reviewed here), and Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly (reviewed here).
Overall, I'd call this a decent budget option, but not an amazing one. The opacity is medium at best, as you can see below, where I have concealer applied on the left side of the photo and none on the right. You can layer it a bit to make it more opaque, but only to a certain point. On the plus side, this means it's very easy to blend and it has a natural, skin-like texture (the "HD" part?). The sheerness ameliorates the imperfect shade match. It also looks natural on other parts of the face. It's very hard to detect the product, except for where it settles into creases under my eyes.
|Left: LA Girl concealer in Classic Ivory; right: nothing.|
Generally, in a concealer I will trade some opacity for a natural texture, so this stuff is a win in that category. But then the creasing kind of cancels out that natural, undetectable quality, so it ends up in the "just ok" zone.
As for the packaging, the squeeze tube with a brush at the end is functional applicator, though the brush gets goopy because you never quite use up all the product in it. If you don't like the idea of putting an applicator right back into the product, however, this might be a welcome alternative. I've also noticed that this concealer tends to separate so that when I squeeze it out there is some clear fluid and some chunky pigment. I deal with that problem by brushing it on to the back of my hand to mix it and then applying it to my face from there. I wonder if the separation happened because I bought it online in the winter. It may have been frozen during shipping.
In the end, the L.A. Girl Pro Conceal Concealer in Classic Ivory is a decent product for the price. I like the natural finish, but I think it would only be ideal for people without too much to cover (though it's entirely possible that other shades are more opaque). It would work best for people who don't worry about creasing and probably for those with skin on the drier side.
The concealers that people have most often recommended to me are (on opposite ends of the price spectrum) Hard Candy Glamoflauge and IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer, so when Sephora inevitably discontinues my holy grail (yeah, I said it) Serum Concealer, I will try one of those next.
Have you tried the L.A. Girl concealer? Any better luck? And where did you buy it? Drugstore.com has it marked down to $2.25, but they will soon be gone. And Amazon seems to only have it in 3-packs (for a reasonable price).