Vogue magazine’s beauty column a couple of months ago was devoted to tips from several well-known make-up artists for aging skin.  Possessed of an aging face myself (I’m 54), I read it avidly.  Sadly, there were few revelations—I’d already figured out that using loose powder only makes matters worse, and that nothing is scarier than lipstick ooze—but one of the experts touted Cle de Peau’s concealer ($78).  And any online search reveals that it gets lots of raves generally.  So I made a note of it.

I had never tried Cle de Peau—and only recently learned that it is Shiseido’s high-end line.  But while I almost never leave the house without mascara and lipstick, concealer comes in a close third in terms of can’t-do-without.  I am self-conscious about thin skin around the eyes and rely on concealer to cover under-eye circles, lighten the skin on the side of the bridge, and serve as a base for a little eye shadow on the lid and crease.  (And, of course, occasionally camouflage a spot or two.)

By way of background:  I’ve used Chanel makeup products for years, and wasn’t unhappy with their newer concealer product.  It comes in a tube with a brush at one end; rotating the mechanism at the other end releases a dollop of product onto the brush.  (That was a big improvement over the older, lipstick-format stuff.)  And when I read about Tarte’s The Eraser on Truth in Aging last year, I hurried to try it, too.  And I liked it a lot:  it’s certainly comparable to Chanel’s (same delivery format, though less sleek design), provides very good coverage, and, at $19, is half the price.

Cle de Peau, on the other hand….I found the $70 price tag somewhat stunning.  (Though I’m still dying to try their $55 lipsticks, assuming the recession ends in my lifetime.)  But I persevered.  The nice lady at the counter assured me that it was full of beneficial ingredients, including, I think, vitamins C and E.  After a lengthy comparison between the ivory and beige tones (it comes in four shades), we concluded that the beige was the better match.

And as it turns out, there’s some there here.  The concealer comes in a slim stick, with a lipstick-like mechanism.  It goes on smoothly (I actually apply it with my finger, but I do that with the liquid, brush-on products too); covers well but is not cake-y or heavy; is creamy (but not oily, and doesn’t make mascara run); has a nice, powdery finish; and doesn’t dry or settle too much into those little eye lines.  Most of all, I think it lasts better than the other products I’ve used, and that, along with its creaminess, may be its biggest advantage over Tarte, especially for those of us with older skin.  And that $70 stick should last a long time.

Ingredients in Cle de Peau Concealer:

Squalane, Cyclomethicone, Kaolin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Paraffin, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Polyethylene, Sorbitan Sesquisostearate, Carnuba, Mictocrystalline Wax, Water, Dimethicone Copoyol, Cholesteryl Hydroxsterate, Glycerin, Boron Nitride, Polysilicone-5, Tocoppheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Fragrance, Aluminum Hydroxide, Aluminum Disterate, Simethicone, Methicone, Ascorbyl Dipalmiate, Soy Sterol, Sodium Acetylhaluronate, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides

Ingredients in Tarte The Eraser Concealer:

Aqua, Ethylhexyl Palmitate,Caprylic/Capric Triglyceide, Dimethicone, Bentonite, Isododecane, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cetyl Dimethicone Copolyol, Glycerin, Ethylene Brossalate, Butylene Glycol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Polysorbate 20, Propylene Carbonate, Sodium Benzoate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Chloride, Gluconolactone, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ceramide 3, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cholesterol. (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica.