Back in January, Fenty launched a concealer version of their 50-shade, full-coverage Pro Filt’r matte foundation. As an eczema-prone girl, trying it out made me nervous — matte products tend to dry me out further. But I was also intrigued: matte concealers tend to slip around your skin less than their wet, dewy counterparts.
This makes matte concealers better candidates for concealing zits, as the formula tends to stay in place for longer throughout the day. They are also perfect for going into areas of your skin that tend to be a little red and oily — for me, this is around my nose and on my chin and forehead. And I’d heard from fellow dry-skinned, makeup-obsessed friends that if you keep the base of your skin super hydrated and dewy, going into certain problem areas with a matte concealer is actually a great way to create a flawless, balanced complexion. So I pushed my nerves aside, and decided to try it out.
After a solid 15 minutes of swatching at Sephora, I tried shade number 145 against my jawline, and threw my arms up in victory: the color blended totally seamlessly into my skin. I had never really found a concealer that was such an exact color match: my skin is fair with very olive undertones, and most concealers in my range tend to skew a little pink. I bought it and put it on my dark circles and a few old blemishes. Which is when I realized just how many things I loved about this product.
For one, it’s insanely full-coverage (kind of like Tarte’s Shape Tape) which makes it perfect for completely eradicating any pesky blemishes, dark circles, or hyperpigmentation. But unlike the Shape Tape, this formula truly does not budge. When I have zits, I tend to throw a little bit of Laura Mercier setting powder on top of my concealer to make sure the blemish stays concealed all day long. But this concealer is so mattifying, it doesn’t need powder to lock it in. This is the perfect concealer for days when you don’t want to wear a full-fledged foundation, but do want to cancel out problem areas so that your skin looks totally flawless. Now, after my skin-care routine, I apply this under my eyes to conceal any dark circles, tap it around my nose, and dot it anywhere else that needs some concealing magic. A little goes a long way, so you really feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.
I now have to talk about the other Fenty product I took home that fateful day at Sephora. I’ve written before about how I don’t tend to like wearing daytime bronzer in winter, as that warmth in 21-degree weather can look a little fake. But I’d recently seen a video with Fenty Beauty’s Global Makeup Artist, Priscilla Ono, in which she explained that she loves using Fenty’s Matchstix in the Amber shade even during the cold months — the color pigment is so incredibly cool-toned, she said, that even if you pack a lot on, it never, ever looks orange or overly warm.
I put it on and immediately understood what she meant. Unlike a lot of contour sticks with caramel undertones (like my beloved KKW contour stick and my Milk Makeup bronzer stick in Baked), this product is incredibly subtle; it doesn’t fake a youthful, sun-kissed look. It’s so subtle, in fact, that when I first tried it out on my skin, I wasn’t sure it had even done anything. But the more I stared at myself in the mirror, I realized that my cheek bones looked incredibly high, and the product had added all this dimension and lift to my skin that it didn’t have before. I’ve used it every single day since I’ve gotten it.
There is one problem with this magical contour stick: it can be a bit drying. But after watching 10,000 more Priscilla Ono videos on the subject, I figured out the best way to use it without drying my skin out. Instead of applying the contour directly onto my skin, I warm it up by rubbing it on the back of my hand. Then I take a brush, scoop up the (slightly melted) product from my hand, and apply it in a “3” shape, from my hairline, to my temple, down to my jaw. On days where it’s incredibly frigid outside, I’ll even add a little face oil (like the Ordinary’s Marula Oil) on top to make it extra moisturizing and easier to apply. The whole thing makes my face look kind of shockingly chiseled, in an extremely nonobvious way. It’s a blessing.
The shade I use, Amber, is great for fair skin tones, but the Fenty Matchstix collection has three other cool-toned shades that can be used as contours for people with darker complexions: espresso, cocoa, and mocha.
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