Cult Concealer: A Clé de Peau review

To splurge or not to splurge, that is the question.

Base - Concealer - Makeup

I resisted for as long as I could. I really, really did. Recommendation after recommendation, instagram post after Youtube video, I resisted the urge to spend Seventy US Dollars on a small stick concealer. Because really, how good could it be? I’m talking Clé de Peau.

Clé de Peau is not an easy brand to get hold of for a lot of people. Recently gracing a counter of Harrods’ beauty hall, it is still unattainable for the Australian market despite supposedly being Japan’s no.1 luxury beauty brand. This made my not succumbing to the temptation mission a little easier. But every so often I’d find myself googling stockists, scrolling around not entirely official online stores, calculating shipping costs and converting currencies. One evening, long after my screen should have switched to yellow-light-mode and restricted all purchases, it happened. The cult concealer was added to my cart.

When you’re talking cult (in this instance read, expensive) products the question most of us want to know is simple. Is it worth it? Is it worth seventy US dollars? That depends entirely on what value seventy dollars holds for you and is a question I just cannot answer in terms of financial cost. There are undoubtedly plenty of excellent lower-priced makeup options on the market. What I can tell you about is how this concealer applies, looks, lasts and feels on my skin – and how it compares to others I’ve tried.

Impatient and won’t read to the end? Here’s the low down: If you’re someone who happily spends this much money on a makeup product, then yes, this is a very good one to buy. Will it be the only concealer I ever choose to buy – ever again? No.

I know a lot of people aren’t fond of makeup in stick form. I personally love it. Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick is a classic, Tom Ford’s Traceless Foundation Stick is a pricey but wonderful competitor, Milk Makeup’s Baked Bronzer is a dream, and Nudestix blushes are almost faultless. The only hesitation I have with stick concealers is: will it be creamy enough?

The first thing to note about Clé de Peau’s concealer is that it’s petite. This is a skinny little lipstick-sized tube. It’s not particularly luxe or heavy to the touch. Inside the dark blue tube the concealer is at once both creamy and blendable. Tick, tick. A drying concealer is the biggest no-no for me – in fact if you’ve tried every concealer on the market but never bought an eye cream, get yourself to a skincare counter asap. Nothing will give the appearance of youth and radiance like hydration.

Applied on top of a lightly hydrating eye cream, I genuinely took a double take in the mirror at where my dark circles had gone. I might have even whispered an internal wow”. This isn’t a case of someone on Youtube with absolutely zero undereye darkness testing a concealer – I had some decent, bluey-purple bags to cover. This concealer is medium to full coverage at the first swipe, but doesn’t drag the skin at all. Without a layer of eye cream beneath it’s a touch drying on my skin, but every concealer looks it’s best on well-prepped skin. Eye cream people, eye cream.

The following day I used it more liberally around the face – over some redness on my cheeks and chin – and it performed very, very well.  This does feel like quite a high-coverage product so if you like a barely-there vibe it may not be for you. I was really surprised to see the amount of coverage this delivers by just tapping my fingertip on the bullet, and then patting into my skin – it’s impressive, and definitely the way to achieve a more natural result than swiping directly from the tube. My take-home would be that you don’t need to swamp your face in this concealer – go gently, go lightly, and really press the product into your skin.

This concealer is unlike others I’ve tried, so I don’t have a direct comparison. The Benefit stick concealer is much balmier and with a sheerer coverage. The classic Bobbi Brown pot concealer is creamier, while also thinner to touch. Perhaps what the Cle De Peau reminds me of the most is actually Bobbi Brown’s stick foundation, in smaller packaging. I’ve also heard it compared to Bare Minerals latest stick concealer, and the textures do feel similar. I’ll soon be reviewing Chantecaille’s new Real Skin+ stick concealer, so stay tuned for a side-by-side.

This concealer makes an excellent travel makeup bag product for simple versatility.  The creamy texture is great for mid-afternoon touch ups, and also helps you out in a pinch if you’ve left your foundation behind on holiday. It mixes well with a moisturiser to provide impressive all-over face coverage. It’s not magical and can’t make bags or spots disappear entirely, this is just makeup after all, but it does do a mighty fine job at disguising them. And it does it now with SFP 25, which is worth an honourable mention. So often the undereye area is neglected when applying sun protection – as are the ears – so a little extra in your concealer is only a good thing.

Other than Clé de Peau’s limited distribution, my other gripe is the extremely limited shade range and even the lightest shade Ivory (pictured) may prove too yellow-toned for very fair skin.

I know you’re reading to the end hoping for a simple straight answer – a to buy or not to buy outcome. But it’s a tricky one when the product comes with such a hefty price tag as this does. Do I recommend this concealer? Absolutely, but I would also recommend quite a few others as well. I don’t reach for this concealer every single day. More often than not, serious dark circles can be well concealed with the light use of a salmon or peach toned corrector first to neutralise the blue or purple hues. Having said that, this is a great concealer that does an excellent job of hiding things I want hidden, and I’ll be using it up until the very last scrap – or until the next cult product lures me in.

Find Clé de Peau Beauté at Harrods