Save the Day Anti-Acne Concealer Stick (Discontinued)

by Avon Mark  
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Makeup > Concealers & Highlighters > Stick Concealer
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Covering a blemish is tricky: You want enough coverage to conceal redness, but not in a formula that will make matters worse. That’s exactly the dilemma with this twist-up stick concealer: It offers great, nearly full coverage, but the formula is not recommended for use on acne or blemish-prone skin because of its potential to clog pores and aggravate existing acne.

That said, this blendable, matte-finish concealer is a good option for dealing with redness or discoloration from post-acne red marks for those who break out only occasionally. However, it’s not for undereye discolorations because the formula contains the anti-acne ingredient salicylic acid, which can be a problem for use so close to the eye.

The bottom line: This concealer is not going to clear acne or make it heal faster, but the coverage and formula still has merit for discolorations if one of the four shades proves a good match for your skin tone. This concealer’s limitations keep it from earning a higher rating.

  • Blendable texture.
  • Sets to a natural-looking matte finish.
  • Shades are neutral and workable for fair to medium skin tones.
  • Wax-heavy formula is not suitable for use on acne lesions or blemish-prone skin.
  • Not recommended for use around the eye.
  • Doesn’t help acne heal faster, as claimed (see More Info for details).

More Info:

The 2% salicylic acid included in this concealer isn’t going to help heal acne because the non-aqueous formula does not have the correct pH for the salicylic acid to have an effect on skin. If anything, the combination of waxes and emollients make this problematic for use on acne or acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid (BHA) is a proven, effective anti-acne ingredient, but it must be kept stable and at a pH of 3–4 in order to work.

Avon had every reason to be excited about launching its first comprehensive line marketed toward women aged 16 to 24. That's because, according to research conducted by the company, there are over 300 million teens in Avon's top 30 markets worldwide. These teens and young adults spend over $200 billion each year on consumer goods, a powerful incentive for companies to create niche cosmetics, fragrances, and accessory lines from scratch, and then couple them with aggressive, ongoing ad campaigns. Avon's Mark line comes from the company's Avon Future division. Debuting in September 2003, the line is sold through Avon's network of 500,000 representatives as well as a wave of new younger recruits—high school and college students—looking to earn some extra money by selling the products as well as enlisting others to sell the products. (Sales representatives get commissions ranging between 25% and 40% plus additional money for each new salesperson they enlist.)

From a youth-appeal standpoint, Mark combines cutesy-clever names like those seen in the Origins and BeneFit department-store lines, coupling them with modern packaging and prices that fit teens' budgets (Mark is priced competitively with drugstore-brand skin-care and makeup lines). Avon's distribution of some 13 to 16 million "magalogs" (catalogs) to their target market every four to six weeks (Source: The Rose Sheet, May 12, 2003, page 3) has kept this line in the forefront, as have monthly ads in teen-oriented magazines.

Beyond its target markets, fun packaging, and an eager audience with money to burn, does Mark make the grade when it comes to the products themselves? Mark's makeup (and its customization options) has proven to be the major draw and expanding force of this line. Although the skin care offerings are better than they used to be, Mark's act improves considerably because of their makeup, though we wish most of it weren’t so highly fragranced. The operative word for every Mark makeup product and shade is "sheer." From foundations to eyeshadow and lip products, these are soft, low-commitment colors, ideal for experimentation. Since this is a youth-oriented line, there is shine aplenty, and more lip gloss options than anyone could possibly need. Still, if you shop carefully, there's no reason you can't put together a workable makeup wardrobe of Mark products. The prices on many high-quality items make them bona fide steals, though if you're an adult shopping this line do keep in mind that what appeals to young women and teens (namely, lots of glittery shine, gloss, and novel packaging) may not appeal to you or meet your needs.

For more information about Avon Mark, call (866) MEETMARK or visit

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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