Mary Kay
Category:Makeup > Concealers & Highlighters > Liquid Concealer
Last Updated:12.18.2014
Jar Packaging:False
Tested on animals:Yes

Mary Kay Concealer comes in a squeeze tube and is very concentrated. This has an excellent, silicone-enhanced texture that blends without slip-sliding all over your face or creasing into lines. It provides almost full coverage without looking thick or creasing, so it’s a top choice if you have very dark circles.

Note that this concealer's finish magnifies dry, flaky skin, so be sure to apply moisturizer or serum first. The seven colors are fairly good, with the best ones being Ivory 1, Beige 1, Beige 2, and Bronze 1. The Bronze 2 shade is not recommended due to its strong copper cast. The Yellow shade should be considered carefully; most will find it too yellow, and it is best applied before rather than after foundation to help minimize its yellow overtone.

Brand Overview

Mary Kay At-A-Glance

Strengths: Most of the products are fragrance-free; packaging that keeps light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use; a handful of well-formulated moisturizers; very good eye-makeup remover; effective wrinkle filler; excellent cream blush and several other impressive makeup products.

Weaknesses: The overall collection is a mixed bag of exciting and disappointing products; several outdated moisturizers and cleansers; no AHA or acceptable BHA products; the CC Cream doesn't provide good enough UVA protection; some lackluster makeup products.

The last few years haven't been glamorous for one of the world's largest direct sellers of cosmetics. Mary Kay lost a lawsuit filed by TriStrata, the company whose founders hold over 100 patents on the use of AHAs in skin-care products. It was revealed that Mary Kay's former AHA products infringed on three of these patents, and, after some back-and-forths in court, Mary Kay ended up paying royalties of over $40 million (interest included) to TriStrata. Perhaps because they're still licking their wounds after this defeat, the company has not launched any new AHA products, and no longer sells the ones that were in question during the legal battle (Source: www.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2006/04/03/daily26.html).

However, the company's spin on the issue of AHAs is that they no longer use them because skin-care technology has advanced. That's an interesting twist, but the fact of the matter is that AHA products, when well-formulated, are still considered advanced and capable of doing far more for skin than the alternatives Mary Kay has devised (including an at-home microdermabrasion scrub and products with vitamin C derivatives).

Although they're not a company for you if you are looking for exfoliants (though you should be looking for a good exfoliant), Mary Kay has recently developed a surprising number of excellent products. With over 1.6 million Mary Kay consultants selling products in 30 countries, this family-owned company (founder Mary Kay Ash passed away in 2001) has slowly been proving that they intend to remain competitive with the best of the best. A refreshing change of pace is the omission of fragrance from almost all of the products. Now that is what we call progress!

Despite its size and capital (wholesale figures were $3 billion in 2012), Mary Kay still has a lot to learn. For instance, although their guiding philosophy of empowering women is admirable, the assortment of products still leaves much to be desired. Yes, things are looking up, but there are several weak spots that keep Mary Kay from being in the same league as Avon, Estee Lauder, Procter & Gamble (Olay), and Johnson & Johnson (Neutrogena, Aveeno, RoC). These include outdated cleansers, toners, and moisturizers, along with letdowns in products designed for oily, blemish-prone skin. The TimeWise product range has expanded considerably, and offers a few state-of-the-art products worthy of its name (although, as with all skin-care products, they're not going to turn back the hands of time and erase all signs of aging).

If improvements like those in Mary Kay's latest products were translated to the entire line, it would be standing much taller, at least as far as what current, substantiated skin-care research indicates is optimum for creating and maintaining healthy skin. As is, this is a line to approach with a keen understanding of what to focus on and what to avoid. One last bit of good news: Mary Kay offers well-packaged samples of selected products, either directly or from your consultant.

Unless mentioned otherwise, all Mary Kay products are fragrance-free.

Note: Mary Kay is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Mary Kay does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more information about Mary Kay, call (800) 627-9529 or visit www.marykay.com

About the Experts

The Beautypedia 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 Begoun herself.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Complete, creamy coverage. It's extremely blendable & buildable if needed. I set it with the translucent powder & it never slides of my face or disappears. ??

Reviewed by
Lorin T
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Makes my "fine lines" look like crepe paper

I sell Mary Kay, and i hate the concealer! It makes my nearly-50-year-old-eyes look horrible. Coverage is good, but not worth it. Also, most of the concealer colors have a yellow base; not great for skin with neutral or rose undertones.

Reviewed by
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Only concealer I use!

I've literally tried dozens of concealers, and this one is the best for me by far! I have oily skin with some fine lines now developing (yeah - I'm no longer a youngun), and this concealer is opaque enough to be effective on my under eye darkness, has the staying power to last all day, yet doesn't get chalky and make my lines more noticeable. It also isn't too emollient - no collection of overly creamy product in my creases. I love this stuff!

Reviewed by
Susan R.
Saturday, December 01, 2012
Love it

I love this concealer! I have very dark under eye circles and this is the only product that lasts. I've tried other concealers that crease into my 25 year old "wrinkles" and don't offer enough coverage. I want a fresh face when I go out. I apply the concealer before my foundation. I used to use a powder foundation and the concealer actually is more noticeable, especially in photos. I switched to a liquid foundation and the two just blend better. I have light skin with pink undertones and had Ivory 1, which is too yellow in the winter, but works great in the summer with tanned skin. I switched to Ivory 2 in the winter, but I find it too fair for my not-so-porcelain winter skin tone. I actually combined even parts of both concealers and have almost a perfect match. Added some bronzer and set with Mineral Veil by Bare Minerals and it worked great. To my surprise, the next morning it was still in tip-top shape, no creases, no reapplying and no smudges. Washes off easily too. I would recommend this when applying medium to full coverage makeup because it won't blend well with sheer foundations. The downfalls would be that you have to order it from a consultant and you can't get it immediately in case of emergency, and their color selection doesn't have enough variety. I would suggest testing some samples with your consultant during summer and winter months to find the best shade. I just wish I didn't have to buy two bottles to match my skin tone, but I definitely won't be buying any other brand!

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