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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?

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