I’ve used the same concealer for over a decade—it’s the beauty industry's secret to imperceptible coverage

Whether I’m wearing a full face of foundation or am mostly make-up free, this concealer has my back

valeza holding laura mercier secret camouflage concealer
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re on the lookout for one of the best concealers around then I need to draw your attention to the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer. IMO, it’s unparalleled when it comes to natural-looking coverage (it’s been named one of our best concealers for acne, after all), and its unique formula is the reason it’s remained a staple for beauty editors and make-up artists alike.

I’m definitely a creature of habit when it comes to my make-up routine. Sure, as a shopping editor, I love to try a new lipstick, foundation or mascara when an exciting launch lands on my desk, but there are certain products that remain staples in my make-up bag for years on end. This is absolutely true of the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer. 

What’s the reason for my long-running obsession? Well, there are quite a few.

My review of the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer

I was first introduced to the Secret Camouflage concealer via YouTube circa 2010. As a long-time fan of make-up artist and brand founder, Lisa Eldridge, when she proclaimed Secret Camouflage as her go-to concealer for acne coverage, I listened and was not disappointed. 

Unlike under-eye brighteners, this drier concealer formula aims to flawlessly cover smaller areas of acne and pigmentation. Using Eldridge’s pinpoint concealing technique (using as small a brush as possible—lip brushes and small flat eyeshadow brushes are great), the aim is to sort of ‘retouch’ your skin, only going over the spots you wish to cover using a custom-blended colour to perfectly match the skin around it. The result? Seamless spot coverage without completely masking your natural skin.

I had quite a lot of acne in my late teens and early twenties, and didn’t like to wear foundation as I felt that masking my face completely would enhance the uneven texture and actually draw more attention to my spots. While I no longer experience extreme acne, I still have the occasional breakout and have been using this technique for years to cover my spots without looking too obvious.

So why is Secret Camouflage so well-equipped to cover spots so seamlessly? Well, this lies in its genius combination of consistency, shade selection and design.

Let’s start with the consistency—which is quite thick, dry and highly-pigmented. Using a small-tipped brush, you only need to use a tiny amount to effectively cover the spot in question, and it’s also super long-lasting. Once it’s on, it won’t budge. 

valeza holding laura mercier secret camouflage concealer palette open

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to shade selection and design, the brand has been very clever. Each palette contains two concealer shades that you can blend together to create your perfect match. I like to mix these on the back of my hand when I have ample time, but when you’re familiar enough with your blend you can mix it straight in the pan for efficiency.

Why is this customisable aspect important? Different parts of your face are often different colours, so when you haven’t neutralised your skin’s natural tone with foundation and are relatively make-up-free (as I am in the picture below), this is the perfect cheat product to cover any spots, marks or scars.

It also makes this the perfect year-round beauty product. For example, during the winter I use more of the lighter shade, and I mix more of the deeper shade into my blend when I have a tan. As someone with quite fair skin, I use the lightest shade option, SC-1, and adore the peachy colour to correct any purple/blue-hued spots before going in with my custom blend over the top. The versatility of this concealer truly is endless.

valeza wearing the secret camouflage concealer

(Image credit: Future)

In my efforts to make the product stretch even further, I’ve tried mixing it with moisturiser to create a lighter consistency to use under my eyes. If I’m honest though, this product’s strength lies in its thicker, high-coverage formula, so I’d stick to using it for spot coverage.

My current palette has lasted me years and is showing no signs of running out anytime soon. In fact, I’ve only repurchased the concealer once in over 10 years (bar the one I procured above for photographic purposes). Trust me, you don’t want to see the state of my current palette. 

Whether I’m wearing a full face of make-up or have a mostly-bare face, this concealer will always be a part of my make-up routine. I use it pretty much every day, so the small investment stretches a long way. When it comes to covering up spots without looking at all obvious, I really can’t fault it. 

Valeza Bakolli
Junior Shopping Editor

Valeza Bakolli is Marie Claire’s Junior Shopping Editor. She previously worked at BuzzFeed, where she honed her skills in all things shopping - from gift guide curation to being first on the scene to feature the latest fashion and beauty drops. She’s made it her mission to encourage people to shop mindfully and with purpose. That’s why she dedicates hours of her time every day to finding the best products online so you don’t have to - from small and sustainable businesses wherever possible, of course.