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Doing Drugstore: Almay Smart Shade Concealer

Color-changing cosmetics seem to be the big fad these days. Smashbox O-Glow, which changes from a clear gel to a pink cheek stain, gets most of the attention, but Almay is making a sizeable push for its own "Smart Shade" foundations, blushes, and concealers. The concept is pretty simple: The formula is white when it comes out of the tube, but it changes color when rubbed on skin.

Almay claims that it "transforms into your ideal shade," but watch the wording. This doesn't mean that the product magically senses your specific skin color and adjusts accordingly; it means that the end result will be a shade that should complement your skin. Don't be mislead into thinking that the product is that smart. (If such a result were possible, then Almay wouldn't need to make multiple shades, right?)

To find out what I thought of the concealer,


I bought Smart Shade Concealer on sale for $6.99, and it has its pros and cons. On the bright side, the formula has SPF 15 to block those age-accelerating UVA rays. The light texture is easy to spread, and even if it's just for show, it's fun to watch the concealer change color.

Unfortunately, though, the shade-matching ultimately doesn't work for me. I tried 010, the lightest color, and it was too dark (and a bit orangey) for my fair skin. Of course, that's just my experience, and you might find a shade that works. The coverage is light, so it's good for small skin problems — but not opaque enough to cover every last bit of my Uncle Fester undereye circles. So between the gimmick factor and the so-so coverage, I won't buy this again. It's hardly a disaster, it's just not right for me. Have you tried this concealer? Did it work better for you?

Join The Conversation
MissRight MissRight 5 years
Wow...I cannot believe my eyes. Do you really pin your hopes on the advice of these people? Seriously, they haven't even tried it yet they give it a failed rating. It's preposterous. Did anyone research this product outside of this forum? No? It is revolutionary and yet, no? I saw it, bought it, used it and loved it. People are rating this product 5 stars nicknaming it voodoo because of how perfect it matches. I'm pale, I used the light and it was glowing. I have oily skin and no longer need to blot my skin after applying foundation. The product is light and I don't feel like I'm wearing ANYTHING on my skin, yet that's not worth a glowing review? I have fine lines that weren't even visible after wearing the foundation. Now perhaps it's time to stop following these idiots advice and actually spend the 5 freakn dollars for the product and try it yourself...I'm sickened by you people. What a bunch of mindless drones. Stay ffff ugly you deserve it.
Tamma1387 Tamma1387 8 years
Wow, I actually have this stuff and have been using it for months. I love it. I must just have that key skin tone...Its disappointing to see a product you love not work so great for someone else.
bacon1 bacon1 8 years
I tried this and was not impressed. It worked okay for my blemish spots, but it made my undereye circles look worse. It is definitely not made for that coverage at all. Personally I think its too expensive to not be able to be used under my eyes as well.
summerteeth summerteeth 8 years
The light formula is not even close to matching my skin color. And the consistency is very strange.
girlinbtwn girlinbtwn 8 years
I got the blush (on clearance..maybe that should have been a hint?!) and I can't remember what color I got but it wasn't the lightest and I have an "in between" skin color- not pale but not tan and it took like 5 layers to even get a color... who wants that much gunk on their face?
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I haven't tried the concealer but I tried the foundation. It was too orange and dark for my skin too.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
ivygreene ivygreene 8 years
When I first saw an ad for this I laughed out loud! If someone had invented a product that could adjust it's color to what ever its on, it's more likely to be invented by NASA than Almay! I hate these self adjusting products (In my opinion o-glow looks horrible on 50% of people), because we just don't have the technology for them to actually work yet.
hovishops hovishops 8 years
The Revlon (Jessica Alba) one is actually two shades of foundation in one bottle and you rotate the nozzle to dispense more from the darker side or the lighter side - the idea being that you can "create" your own shade from a mixture of two shades. The Almay is a little gimmickey for me - it's really just beads of color that break when you rub it on and blend with the white moisturizer. So it is only going to create one color - not magically match your skin tone. Plus all of the shades look very orange or pink. Revlon also just came out with a "skin-matching" makeup that looks like the same thing as the Almay.
HipMom HipMom 8 years
I don't usually buy blush and foundation at the drugstore, but I got one of these blushes for free and I actually really like it. I used it a lot while on vacation, I would put on mascara, gloss and a bit of the Almay smart blush on my cheeks. It's great to look fresh and give that healthy touch of pink without looking like you put on lots of makeup.
lucyS lucyS 8 years
I wold find it very odd trying to put on a white concealer and watch it change hoping that it matched my skin tone!!! The whole idea seems stupid to me. You want to see the color of the concealer and match it perfectly to your skin. Almay must think we're all dumb.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 8 years
Yikes. I struggle to find shades that are pale enough for my skin - I don't think I'd ever risk a color-changing product, especially with something as important as concealer!
piksie007 piksie007 8 years
no jennisuga, the revlon one with jessica alba is one that mixes foundation with like moisturizer, so you can create your own shade. but the almay one is supposed to be designed to actually transform when it comes in contact with your's much more hit and miss as bella proved
tglynn tglynn 8 years
I've never liked Almay cosmetics, so I'm not surprised.
Bella73 Bella73 8 years
I bought this a couple of days ago, because of the smart shade technology. I thought it would match my skin perfectly, but as you said it doesn't. The color is too light and it doesn't really cover dark circles too well. So am disappointed in this product and wouldn’t buy it again.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I picked up the blush, too, so I'll try it out and review it soon.
L0neLyHeArT L0neLyHeArT 8 years
Thanks for the review. I won't be buying this.
emalove emalove 8 years
Most drugstore concealers and foundations are too dark for my skintone. It's so fair and I find that they're all kind of orangey on me, like you found Bella.
chiquita29 chiquita29 8 years
*things to try list* sorry
chiquita29 chiquita29 8 years
Have you ever tried the smart shade blush? I have it on my thing to try list and would love to hear what you thought of it before I bought it. Judging from what you thought of the concealer though, maybe I should just fork over the extra cash and buy the one by Smashbox.
Bksuga Bksuga 8 years
i saw one on tv with jessica alba where u can change the shade is this simular to that one?
Rose-Cullen Rose-Cullen 8 years
I tried the smart-shade blush in wasn't all that great I mean I knew it would be a darkish color but I'm EXTEREMELY pale so I have a naturally deep flush. But it looked like mud on my face and was impossible to blended! :(
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