Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Would you buy a $70 concealer? (Review of Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige)

Disclosure: Affiliate links.
Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige

A couple months ago, Clé de Peau Beauté offered a free sample online of their cult favorite concealer, which came with a very nice brush. Look at that translucent indigo handle! (If you prefer to look at the untouched, unsmudged sample, here it is on my Instagram.) It's a very nice freebie. I don't think I ever managed to post this offer on my blog here, because it went out of stock very quickly.

But the fun thing is that it gives me a chance to review something I would never, ever have purchased--a stick concealer that sells for $70. Two caveats to my review here: first, the shade they sent is the second lightest in the very limited range, Beige (see all the shades swatched here), and it's a bit too dark for me, as you can see in my swatches below; and second, since this is a sample, I obviously can't comment on the packaging or anything like that.

Here are comparison swatches with some other concealers I had on hand. From left to right, we have Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige, Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in Fondant, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, and LA Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer in Classic Ivory (reviews of those last two forthcoming!).

Swatches of Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige, Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in Fondant, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, and LA Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer in Classic Ivory

Nevertheless, I don't consider these two things (shade, packaging) to be major impediments to a decent review, because slightly darker, peachy shades of concealer work pretty well under my eyes, at least if I'm going for a natural look. If I pick a pale shade that matches the edges of my face and use it to completely blank out my under-eye area, it creates a more polished and slightly artificial look. (Almost?) no one has bright, completely shadow-free skin below their eyes. That's good for photos but sometimes a bit more than what I want for normal everyday makeup. Also, I don't really give a fuck about the packaging. Sure, if the packaging were terrible I would be annoyed at paying $70 for it, but if the packaging were amazing and the product itself shitty, that would be much worse. I really only care about the concealer itself. And people have indeed suggested that, okay maybe this stuff is super expensive but it's totally worth it. JUST TRY IT YOU'LL SEE.

Is it? Here are my results, left side with no makeup (except filled-in brows) and right side with just Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer in Beige. You can see that the color, which looked much too dark on my arm, blends in pretty well on my face.

Slightly cross-eyed from staring into the sun while taking this photo.
I'd read tips saying that the best way to apply solid concealers like this one is to apply them to the back of your hand so that your body heat can warm them up a little and then spread them from there to your face with fingers or a brush. That does, indeed, seem to work best. Otherwise it's a bit stiff. The texture is nice and skin-like. It is quite pigmented, so that you can get good coverage with only a small amount of product. That said, if I want completely opaque coverage, I do have to layer it a little, and that tends not to work great. The problem with this stuff is that it creases, and the more I use, the more it creases. I haven't been able to do anything to prevent that (moisturizing or not, using different application techniques, primer, etc.), and it's one of my biggest annoyances with concealer. Most products crease on me, but if I had paid $70 for it, I would really not be impressed. Here is a photo of it about 20 minutes after application, after it had creased once and I had patted it down to smooth out the creasing and added some powder. It creased again. It continues to do that throughout the day, and the texture and opacity become less flawless.

So in the end, it's a good concealer in terms of coverage and texture. Since I only need to use a very small amount, one stick would probably last me years. But since it creases, I would never consider spending $70 on it--or even half that. My Sephora serum concealer (reviewed here) is still my favorite. It's slightly creasy, but it can be built up to increase the opacity without any problems, and the creasing tends not to recur after I smooth it out during the first half hour or so of wear.

Anyone have a different experience with that stuff? What's your upper spending limit for experimenting with products that have cult reputations like this stuff?


  1. You're one of the lucky few who managed to snag one of these samples. I think Clé de Peau already hit their quota by the time I requested mine, even though it was still pretty early. I was more excited about the brush, though!

    Beige looks quite nice on your under eye area. I feel like dealing with creasy concealer is a constant battle. I recently got the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Light so I'm testing the formula right now. My favorite concealer so far has to be one that I picked up while in Japan from Muji so I'm hoping to find one that's easily available in the US with just a bit more coverage.

    I personally can't bring myself to spend more than maybe $60 on a single makeup item, especially since lots of drugstore brands are stepping up their quality. The only exception would be perfume. To kind of cushion the blow to my wallet, I make myself wait for some kind of sale or nice GWP.

    1. In person this shade looks a bit darker than in the photo, but it's workable. I have never really had a concealer that didn't crease at all, but for me to spend $70 it would have to be perfect. This is just as good as some others that are much cheaper.

  2. I'm more interested in what you think of the RCC and LA girl! Although chantilly seems far too light for you

    1. Yes, Chantilly is too light--and too cool, even though it looks sort of yellow in the swatch. It looks slightly ghastly on my face, but I can make it work. I like how pigmented the RCC is, but it doesn't help with the weird texture issues that I get under my eyes and it creases too. It's just okay. I still haven't reached a verdict on the LA Girl. I need to use it a few more times.


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