As someone with hereditary dark circles, itty-bitty fine lines, and an insane amount of dryness underneath the eyes, I have high standards when it comes to concealers. Considering I go foundation-less more often than not, I ask a lot of these everyday formulas, but the majority of them are not up to the task. One concealer may be able to annihilate my dark circles with rich-coverage creaminess, but it usually tends to suck every ounce of moisture out of my already-dry skin. Others have a wonderfully hydrating consistency, but leave more to be desired on the coverage front. Enter: Makeup By Mario SurrealSkin Awakening Concealer, which heeds the call of every dark, dull, and dehydrated under-eye woe I’ve ever had. I’m so obsessed with this formula, I practically pay homage to it every single time I sit down to do my makeup.
Mario Dedivanovic’s brand Makeup by Mario is currently on fixed rotation in my beauty routine. But when the Kardashian-favorite makeup artist first launched his line of concealers, I was skeptical. I have several complexion favorites from his line, including the SoftSculp Transforming Skin Enhancer, Soft Pop Plumping Blush Veil, and the SurrealSkin Foundation (which, spoiler alert, pairs beautifully with this concealer). But until that point, I hadn’t been able to find “the one” when it came to concealers.
MBM’s concealer, however, contains “Lift & Lock” technology, which brightens the skin under the eyes—all while the product self-sets without the need for any powder on top. The SurrealSkin Awakening Concealer is also laced with a diverse range of ingredients that symbiotically work together: caffeine to depuff and tighten, squalane to smooth, and saccharide isomerate to seal in moisture.
So, how does the concealer actually perform? On my skin, it’s able to camouflage my dark circles without the need for a color corrector—a tough feat considering this is a step I typically never skip. (On days when I do need some extra help, though, the shade 220 is a soft peach that cancels out any purple tones in the skin.) The concealer provides a second-skin luminosity to my under eyes without feeling tacky to the touch. Wearing it throughout the day feels like I’ve got nothing on my face at all.
I’m able to go several hours wearing this concealer sans setting powder before noticing the slightest bit of creasing. (I don’t mind minimal creasing—I’d rather look semi-creasy and hydrated than severely creasy and dry, as is the case with other concealers I’ve tried.) Not having to dust a setting powder on my sandpaper-like under eyes is a monumental change in my beauty routine.
Application-wise, this concealer checks all the boxes. I don’t typically struggle with breakouts other than the occasional hormonal blemish, so my concealers are mainly tasked with faking a bright under eye and erasing fine lines as much as possible. I’m pleased with Makeup by Mario’s flat, slightly angled doe-foot applicator, which deposits a small amount of product and makes it easy to build up and apply with precision where necessary (like on the inner corners). I also love that it comes in five shade categories and 22 colors altogether, with enough variety to find your perfect highlighting, concealing, color correcting, and contouring hue. Consider picking up a tube for yourself—it might just change the way you apply makeup.