My first review will be about Essence's Stay all day 16h longlasting concealer.
I decided to start my reviews with this product both because it is very cheap (and as such many more of you might actually be interest in trying it out) and because it is a product I have a love/hate relationship with.
But first things first. The Stay all day 16h longlasting concealer (couldn't they have picked a shorter name?) is a liquid/creamy concealer (liquid but with some consistency to it) with light-reflecting pigments that the brand claims to be very longlasting, up to 16 hours (the key is in the up) and which is advertised as perfect to cover dark circles, redness and shadows and give you a radiant look.
Let's start on the love/hate thing then. When I first bought this product, I guess it was around Christmas, I used it a couple of times and then put it away. I bought it on a whim: it was super cheap and had ligh-reflecting written in its description (which for me translates as: I have to have it! - if my under eye area is concerned). But then, when I tried it the next morning I couldn't have hated it more. It was not about the consistency or the colour but the fact that it looked streaky and instead of covering my dark circles it would build up in my fine lines. I put it away and didn't think about it again until the day I run out of under eye concealer. With no other alternative available I had to use it. I started applying it with my fingers and just wanted to cry, it looked awful. In pure desperation I grabbed a foundation brush to try and fix the situation and surprise, surprise it worked and it actually looked ok. There was still some product accumulated in my fine lines but nothing I couldn't deal with.
From then on I have used it almost every single day up to now and have to admit that this concealer scored some points with me:
- The colour (20- Soft Beige) is a perfect match for my under eye area, just a little bit lighter than my skin tone, and it has a certain salmon undertone to it that helps with the bluish of my circles. I have to admit though that the colour selection couldn't be much worse - there are only two colours available and they're not that different I guess, so if you have a darker skin tone this product isn't for you.
- I really like the coverage of this concealer, it covers enough but not too much, . By this I mean, I don't look flawless but I look very natural and awake especially due to the light-reflecting pigments that make my skin look brighter. I don't really care for full coverage concealer in a daily basis and think that in me it just looks a bit unnatural but I also HATE my under eye circles and like to have them disguised to a point that they are there but just barely noticeable (is this strange? I guess i must be crazy for not prefering a full coverage concealer... ).
- The duration isn't bad at all. It certainly doesn't last 16 hours, so the packaging is deceiving but in the website they say it can last up to 16 hours not that it actually lasts 16h, but anyway it was unnecessary to have the 16h duration reference on the product's name. Especially because the truth is not that bad, this concealer lasts 6-8 hours without a powder on top and up to two more if powdered (so 8-10 hours) which is not bad at all for the price. It is also very resistant, even when I am sweating a lot or have been crying it barely moves and I love that I don't have to worry about it melting all over me.
- The application is the thing I least enjoy about this product. I can't really apply it quickly with my fingers and be out the door - if you don't have any fine lines you may get away with doing it, though. I always have to use a brush to apply it. It looks best applied with a classic foundation brush - I used the Sephora one- and then gently pated with fingers on the edges to ensure a seamless blend. More recently I discovered that when applying it with the Real Techniques foundation brush (comes in the Travel Kit) I didn't really find a need to pat the edges because this brush blends the product while applying it in a fantastic way.
- About the fine lines build up problem, I found a good solution recently. I started following Lisa Eldridge's site (she is amazing! - she is the Queen of makeup) and the way she applies under eye concealer makes it much less prone to get into those lines, not just with this concealer but in general. She also makes Youtube videos so if you want to learn about this tip, I strongly advise you to check Lisa Eldridge's website.
All in all, even though it bugs me that I can't really apply it with my fingers I have to admit that this concealer isn't bad at all. In Portugal it costs about 3euros and brings 7ml of product. It is not one for using on pimples due to the light-reflecting properties (unless you want to highlight those problematic areas - and if so: great, keep doing it if that's your thing! :)) or for reapplying throughout the day (it's not liquid enough for you to be able to do so without your makeup looking cakey) but I do advise it if: you have a light skin tone, want an under eye concealer with light-medium coverage, want something to brighten your under eye area and make you look more awake (you can also use it to illuminate the bridge of your nose or any shadowy areas you might have - but not to correct redness because of its salmony tones), don't wear make up for more than 12 hours daily (the most you'll get from this concealer), have a foundation brush (or doesn't need one- skin under the eyes is not dry and no fine lines), want a concealer that you don't have to worry about in case you cry or sweat a lot and most important want a good quality concealer for the cheapest you can get them (at least in Portugal) and that will last you a really long time.
Sorry for the testament but I really wanted to be thorough. Please tell me if there is anything I can help with.
I hope it was helpful. :)