For the past year or so, I've been a MAC Studio Finish Concealer kinda gal. It gives impeccable coverage, something ladies with serious acne and/or acne scarring would most definitely appreciate, but I always found the color a bit off (NC30 was too yellow but NW30 wasn't yellow enough) and didn't love how it would sometimes get cakey or tend to accentuate dry patches on my skin. Still, I stuck with it and grew to love it despite it's flaws...until now. Why? Because I've found a new concealer that gives nearly as good coverage without any of the flaws of MAC Studio Finish. Introducing Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette.
(Note: The darker concealer shade has some of the lighter shade mixed into it because when I use it, I first swirl my brush in the lighter shade before swirling it in the darker shade to match my skin tone. The color you see around the edges is the actual color of that concealer.)
Clockwise from top left:
neutralizer (i.e. green-toned concealer)
The palette only comes in one "shade", so if your skin tone is either lighter than the lighter concealer or darker than the darker concealer, this palette won't work for you. Skin tones that fall in between the two, however, can mix the two shades as needed to create a custom shade that will match you. If I had to guesstimate, I'd say the lighter shade is roughly an NW/NC15 and the darker shade is roughly an NW/NC30-35. I'm NC25 right now and I have no issues mixing the two shades to create my perfect shade.
The neutralizer is a green-toned concealer (it's much more obviously green-toned in real life), and the green acts to neutralize redness. I apply it on blemishes and around my nose where I experience the most redness before going over the same areas again with the skin colored concealer. The green counteracts the red, and the skin colored concealer conceals the green and blends it into the skin.
Lastly, I've been using the setting powder to set my under-eye concealer, which also happens to be the lighter of the two concealers. I still love my Dior Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer for under-eyes, by the way, but in the mornings when I can barely keep my eyes open, it's just easier to use everything from one palette. I find the color of the setting powder to be subtle but really brightening as well - perfect for the under-eye area! It's like a more subtle version of Bare Minerals Well-Rested but doesn't get cakey at all throughout the day, unlike Well-Rested that can often turn cakey later on unless your eye area was perfectly prepped prior to application. It's extremely smooth and soft but not powdery at all. In all honesty, I thought the setting powder in this palette was going to be a dud and not really get much usage from me, but I was more than pleasantly surprised at how useful and nice it actually is!
All three of the concealers in this palette are fantastic. They're creamy (not oily, greasy, or watery at all), blend like a dream, and really pigmented. Because they're creamier and much easier to blend than MAC Studio Finish, I'd say they're also a tiny bit less pigmented compared to Studio Finish's obvious full-coverage-ness, but I'd still say they're still very nearly full-coverage in their own right. Unlike MAC Studio Finish, I can use this concealer under my eyes without experiencing any cakey-ness or patchiness. It goes on just as smoothly and evenly under my eyes as it does on blemishes, and it covers dark circles really nicely. And even when I layer the concealer over the neutralizer on blemishes and redness, it still doesn't get cakey at all. In addition, I don't experience any creasing with these concealers either.
Sounds kind of amazing, right? That's because I think it is. This palette retails for around $10 and it was worth every shiny penny. It's usually sold-out at my local Target so when I saw that they had 3 in-stock the other week, I obviously jumped at the chance to grab one and I'm so glad I did!
Have you tried this palette? If so, do you love it as much as I do?