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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: Nuance Salma Hayek Front & Center Concealer & Brightener in Medium

In preparation for next week's BOGOFREE sale at CVS, I'm going to be bringing you some additional Nuance Salma Hayek reviews, including a reader review and also a review of the eyeshadow duo I purchased a while back. Hopefully this might help those of you who are considering making some purchases during this sale!

But today I'd like to talk about the Front & Center Concealer & Brightener in Medium, which I purchased at CVS and have been using for a few weeks now:

Nuance Salma Hayek Front & Center Concealer & Brightener in Medium
(retail: $10.99, 0.35 oz)

From the CVS website:


As you can see, this concealer is paraben-free but not vegan. It contains one of my favorite ingredients for oily-skinned gals like myself: kaolin (clay).

The number one reason I purchased this concealer in Medium was because it's probably the most peachy-colored concealer I have ever seen at the drugstore:

 For some reason, most drugstore concealers are either super yellow or more on the pinkish side of the spectrum. For my undereye darkness, I can't use a yellow-based concealer because it makes my darkness turn ashy/gray. Pink-based concealers bring out the red undertones I'm trying to correct, so peach concealers are my very best bet in helping minimize/disguise my undereye darkness. And there's no debating that this concealer is peach-based:

Looking at the swatches above, you can see that the "brightener" side is a tad bit more yellow-based than the "concealer" side,  but just by a hair. Also, in the swatches above, you can see there there is absolutely no shimmer, sparkle or sheen to either the conceal or the brightener, which I very much appreciate. 

The texture of the concealer is drier than other stick concealers I've used, but when I say dry, I mean it doesn't have the oily slip that other drugstore stick concealers have (which I would probably attribute to the kaolin in this product). BUT, it's creamy when you blend it. When I run the stick under my eyes, there's no tugging or pulling, so please don't let the word "dry" scare you off.

The consistency of the brightener is thin and I'd say it's comparable in consistency to a liquid foundation. It's a sheer product, but then again it's not designed to concealer; it's designed to give an added brightness to the skin.

Let's take a look at some before-and-afters:

Photo 1: clean, bare skin (I'm wearing moisturizer and nothing else)
Photo 2: application of concealer
Photo 3: after blending concealer
Photo 4: after applying my foundation (Physicians Formula Healthy Wear Powder Foundation SPF50 in Translucent Light)
Photo 5: application of brightener
Photo 6: after blending brightener

I think it's important to compare pictures 1 and 4. Looking at those two pics, you can see exactly what it looks like before using this concealer, and after I've applied the concealer and my foundation. As you can see, some of my darkness has been concealed, but some darkness is still visible.

Comparing pictures 1 and 6, taken after using the concealer and my foundation, followed by the brightener, you can see that the brightener does add a subtle touch of brightness to my undereye darkness.

Actually, if you compare pictures 4 and 6, I'd say the brightener does detract from my darkness a bit more than when I'm just wearing the concealer and my foundation.

After using this concealer every day for a few weeks now, I can tell you that it's a bit more sheer than I prefer. I can build for more coverage however, if I apply too much, this concealer tends crease under my eyes within a few hours, which then calls attention to my fine lines. So I find that I have to keep it sheer and blend well (which is easy to do) but then it lacks the coverage I need for my undereye darkness.

Since the brightener is so close in shade to the concealer, I find that it provides a very subtle level of brightening to my skin. Perhaps the brightener would be more intense on deeper skintones, but for me (I'm a MAC NC20) it's a very subtle effect and I like that it does help to trick the eye into believing there's less darkness in that region. And I VERY much appreciate that unlike 99.9% of eye brighteners at the drugstore, there's no shimmer or sparkle in this formula.

FINAL VERDICT: If the darkness under your eyes is mild to moderate, Nuance Salma Hayek Front & Center Concealer & Brightener might be a very nice fit for you. Since I consider my undereye darkness to be more in the moderate-to-severe category, I found that this concealer isn't a love-match for me. It doesn't provide the coverage I need, and when I try to build for more coverage, it tends to crease under my eyes within a few hours of application. I was absolutely thrilled to see a peach-based concealer at the drugstore (heck, I'm STILL thrilled to see that!), so it breaks my heart that this one isn't a perfect fit for me (although I do really love the subtly of the brightener). But since concealers are so incredibly subjective to begin with, with factors like age, skin type, undereye darkness and climate all playing a major role, I encourage you peach-concealer-lovers to give this one a shot anyway. Because if you try and you don't like it, you can return it! That's the beauty of CVS's stellar return policy. (Just remember to keep your receipt in case you need to return it.)

Have you tried this concealer or any other products from the Nuance collection? Please check back soon for more Nuance reviews before the big BOGOFREE sale next week.


  1. Wow! What a difference between Pic #1 and #4! My CVS still doesn't have any Nuance products (yet) :(

  2. Thanks so much for the super helpful review and swatches. The Concealer/Brightener was the item I was the most interested in from Salma's line but I don't think it'll provide enough coverage for me. I love non-shimmery concealers too but it looks like it'll be too matte/mattifying for my dry/very dry skin. I tend to go for concealers that have a more dewy (moist/wet looking) finish. Thanks for saving me some money :D

  3. Today I tried the Color Vibrance Lipstick in "My Favorite." It's creamy with a hint of shine, but not glossy (in other words, corporate appropriate). It may just be my favorite lipstick. It's definitely MLBB and really brightens my face. I love the formula! I'll absolutely be back for more during BOGOFree week.

  4. I just started following you and I must say bravo! I too was most interested in the concealer and it seems like it might be a good fit for me. My dark circles are moderate and I do like a dryish concealer for my oily skin. Many thanks

  5. I LOVE peachy-toned concealers for my under-eye, but I haven't had great luck finding one in the drugstore. This new concealer just moved to the top of my wishlist! Thanks for the great review :)

  6. I'm really excited to try this! Thanks for the swatches and pictures! My CVS had some Nuance Skincare and haircare products but none of the cosmetics on display. Hopefully by next week they will. =) Great Post.

  7. I got the same of the body creams. My Secret is nice. Very light scent but rich moisture.

  8. Does anyone know if the buy one get one free offer is instore only???

  9. Thanks so much for this post! I've been looking for a good peach concealer so I definitely picked this one up this week, along with a pan of the mineral foundation (I'm a diehard Bare Minerals user, but I thought I'd try something different).

    I'm loving the concealer and how creamy it is - it really blends well!

    The mineral foundation has a nice finish, but makes a mess if you use a brush on the pan! I'm so used to my foundation being loose...I'll probably keep this as a back up.

    Thanks again! I'll try to run to CVS one more time to pick up a few more things - I hear the Rose Petal Hydrating Balm is pretty good.

  10. ok, so my dark undereye circle issues are identicale to yours. What undereye concealer DO you recommend. I am so sick of looking so tired. The only thing I have ever used that works well is meant for after plastic surgery and i bummed it from my mom after one of her "procedures" but I can't remember the name of it and u can't get it unless its thru a plastic surgeon....dirty buggers! Help me sister...I dont want to frighten the children!

  11. brenkat10: My holy grail drugstore concealer is Maybelline SuperStay! I have raved about it a zillion times on this blog and reviewed it a while back here. To date, I have yet to find a better concealer for my undereye darkness at the drugstore. Hope that helps, and please keep me posted if you try it! :)


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