Lately, I only wear makeup when I feel like it. But on barefaced days, I can’t help but notice more “Did you sleep well last night?” comments from friends, co-workers, and of course, my mother. I blame this on my chronic dark circles, which I’ve had since my early teens and have endearingly nicknamed my “raccoon eyes.”
I love eye creams for adding a big boost of hydration and to smooth out fine lines over time. But when it comes to brightening and quickly waking up my sleepy-looking under eyes, there’s nothing quite like a good concealer. Like many beauty obsessives (including Zoë Kravitz, Meghan Markle, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), I’ve long been a fan of YSL’s cult-favorite Touche Éclat. In my humble opinion, the formula is pretty much flawless — it’s lightweight, hydrating, illuminating, and does an excellent job of knocking out darkness without leaving a caky, makeup-y look behind.
A few weeks ago, during a daily peruse of Reddit r/makeupaddiction, I noticed people exchanging their favorite concealer dupes. On the thread, multiple concealer-passionate users swore that e.l.f. Cosmetics’ new $5 Flawless Brightening Concealer was a spot-on dupe for YSL’s $38 Touche Éclat. My jaw nearly hit the floor: “It gives the same dewy, brightening effect!” said one user. “It’s perfect for quick-and-easy dark circle correcting,” said another. I instantly purchased the concealer on Ulta, and eagerly awaited its arrival.
Like Touche Éclat, e.l.f’s Flawless Brightening Concealer comes in a click-pen packaging with a brush-tip applicator, which makes for excellent quick-and-easy, five-minutes-before-Zoom touch-ups. And the concealer itself is also impressively identical — it has that same creamy, blendable, no-crease formula that so many people adore. In fact, they’re so similar, in a blind test I’m honestly not sure I’d be able to tell the difference! I’ve been using this every day for about three weeks, and the only major distinction I’ve noticed is that e.l.f.’s concealer actually lasts a little bit longer throughout the day, which is a massive plus in my book (I usually have to touch up my Touche Éclat for afternoon Zooms, but I didn’t have to do that with e.l.f). I do have one complaint: Like Touche Éclat, the Flawless Brightening Concealer’s shade range isn’t very big (it only has 12 shades) — this isn’t uncommon for a new concealer launch, but I’m really hoping they extend their shades soon (e.l.f., if you’re reading this, pretty please!). I have yellow undertones, but I purchased the peachy shade 23c for that extra color-correcting kick, which I definitely recommend if dark circles are an issue for you.
Full disclosure, if you’re looking for a full-coverage concealer, you might not like Touche Éclat or Flawless Brightening Concealer. But if your goal is a simple, no-makeup-makeup zhuzh before a Zoom meeting or coffee run, this concealer is a great way to knock a little darkness from your under eyes. And listen, Touche Éclat was my first love and will always be dear to my heart, but for a fraction of the price, e.l.f Cosmetics’ $5 Flawless Brightening Concealer has become my new obsession.
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