The Guyliner just wants a concealer that doesn’t blow its own cover. Is it really so much to ask? He tested heaps to find out.

The selfie. So all-pervading that if the top four rows on your Instagram don’t contain at least three extreme close-ups of your divine visage, people start to wonder: do you have something to hide?

That’s great when you’re in your teens or 20s and time has yet to bang on the door, tooled up with wrinkles, laughter lines, blotches and bags. But later, snapping yourself at such close range can be quite the leveller.

There are filters, of course, but if you want full control, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and ask for some extra help. It’s time to turn to make-up.

I tested one of the subtlest ways you can be selfie-ready in no time at all. It’s called concealer and it’s in its own best interests to stay a secret.

11091244-4684294076419650StriVectin Clinical Corrector ,£25,  was great at covering up dark circles. For guys who haven’t much experience with makeup, it might be quite a shock to the system, as it was fairly thick and took a bit of patting in, plus it’s applied with what’s called a doe-foot – like you might see on lip gloss – so watch out when slapping it on, you won’t need much.

df107100_5Diego Dalla Palma’s, £16.74,  concealer was even trickier to put on – no wand, no brush, it just squirted out of a tube, which caused a few initial mishaps. I really felt like I was wearing makeup and I was looking for a lighter feel. It took a while to blend in – again, because I misjudged the amount every time– and left something of a powdery effect.

UK120210919_LAURA_MERCLaura Mercier’s Secret Concealer, £19.50, came in a little tub, so not too handy to slip into your pocket while you’re out for a few drinks, but gave great coverage and left my eyes glowing subtly enough to let people think it could have been a natural twinkle. It’s a little wetter than you might expect so take care when dabbing it on with your finger. I can’t stress enough with all of these, you will NOT need loads. Be gentle.

11232478-8704358090419563Bourjois’ Radiance Reveal, £7.99, looks like a little bottle of nail varnish, so might not be laddish enough for your bathroom shelf, but it filled in some of those fine lines nicely, and my eyes felt brighter and younger. It’s quite strongly scented, so anyone leaning in for a smooch is going to smell it.

boi-ing-on-the-double-heroBeneFit Boi-ing, £17.50,  The back of the packaging for the ‘Boi-ing double’, a small tub featuring two shades, calls it industrial-strength concealer, and I have to say, I see no lies here. Just a few pats of this one under my tired old peepers and I looked instantly refreshed. It took care of the odd plook and made larger pores a memory in an instant. Because it’s in two shades, you can blend them to get a better colour match, or use each on different parts of your face. This was good for using the lighter shade in the very corner of your eyes on either side of your nose – it makes your eyes look brighter, apparently. A makeup artist told me that once. In fact, a dab of any concealer in there is a good trick, along with a flash down each side of your nose, not along the bone but just either side. She said it would make my nose look smaller. Maybe she was just trying to tell me I had a big nose. Anyway, this one was brilliant. Recommended.

UK200013661_CHANTECAILChantecaille’s Le Camouflage Stylo, £42, anti-fatigue corrector pen was another marvel. Applied with a built-in brush, which will appeal to any of us boys accustomed to Touche Éclat. It went on smoothly and needed barely any blending in. It lasted most of a very long, hot day and someone told me I looked “well”, which was nice. I think.

78495-0BareMinerals Complete Coverage Serum, £22, isn’t messing about – it certainly gets it covered. I definitely looked fresher and it attacked blemishes and my uneven complexion with glee, though it had quite a makeup-like sheen to it. Fine if you want the world to know you’re looking after yourself, but maybe not one for any guy hoping to keep his concealer habit on the down-low.

S_192054143_50_20140218Tom Ford’s well known for his style, elegance and unwavering knack for getting things right, whether it’s his tailoring or his fragrances. He’s like that school swot you want to fail just once to let someone else have a go. His Tom Ford For Men concealer, £42, comes in smaller, more discreet and, of course, aesthetically pleasing packaging, so it could be taken anywhere. It’s in a block and rolls up like lipstick, so you pat it on with your finger. It’s impossible to put too much on; if anything, you feel you’re not getting enough (but you are). Once on, it blends well, making light work of dark circles and adding youth anew to my jaded mug. It was the most matte of them all, too, as it’s the only product I tried made with men in mind, so this really helped make my freshness look natural. But despite all that, it wasn’t quite my favourite.

x354-q80I really hope you’ve read this far because I’m saving the best for last. It was Burberry who blew me away with their Cashmere Concealer, £25. I shouldn’t have loved it at all – so many things went wrong when I started using it, I thought it was cursed. It’s applied from a sponge-tipped pen, which is a revelation to me, and really does feel the easiest way to put it on as you have more control over the amount you use. Sadly, I wasn’t really paying attention when I used it the first time, and accidentally armed the sponge with enough concealer to wipe out every feature on my face, getting it all over myself, the mirror, the ironing board I was resting it on and basically concealing the whole room. Next, I coughed as I was applying it and poked myself in my eye, giving myself the look of someone suffering a terminal hay fever attack. But after these catastrophes, I became a big fan. It went on like a dream, felt super-light and covered everything I required of it, without looking unnatural or too makeup-like. It wasn’t shiny, or scented and even on the occasions I overdid it a little, it didn’t take too much patting to fix – even in the troubling stubble area.

It lasted pretty much all day and someone told me I looked ‘perky’ while I was wearing it. I’ll take perky.



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