Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New Staple: Kat Von D Lock-it Concealer Crème* & Edge Concealer Brush* Review

It's been so nice this month to have a few brand new products to play with in my everyday make-up routine, especially after reaching for the same old, same old from my 4 months-long Project Pan. While making a concentrated effort to use up older concealers in my stash, I came to the conclusion that I was no longer happy with how they were performing on my skin and I was more than ready to find a new staple for my daily make-up bag. Lo and behold, my wishes have been answered when I was selected to review the new Kat Von D Beauty Lock-it Concealer Crème* in the shades L3 Warm and L5 Neutral ($26 for 0.22 oz, available at Sephora and katvondbeauty.com), together with the brand's Edge Concealer Brush* ($24 each).
You may find this hard to believe but these are my first products I've ever tried from Kat Von D Beauty. I was strongly tempted by a few other items in the past (in fact, I gifted my BFF her Shade & Light Eye Palette for Christmas and she really loves it!) but never actually pulled the trigger. The brand has been generating a lot of buzz for the past few years and it's easy to see why: great shade range and broad availability, staying on top of the trends and building customer loyalty through consistently high quality products (ekhm - maybe with the exception of those now discontinued blush duos). So yeah, I don't really know why I never purchased anything from the brand, especially that it has a major plus for me personally - it caters to a wide range of skintones including very, very fair, and I mean even fairer than me in the middle of the winter.
In the past I wasn't feeling very inspired by KVD's design aesthetic but I have to say that once I unpacked my new goodies, I found myself really drawn to the look of these products. I like the black and silver color scheme, the Gothic lettering, the wax seals for the logo on the boxes and the ink drop on the actual concealer tubes (all of those things combined remind me of the World of Darkness role-playing games I used to play, especially Vampire: The Masquerade).
But the designs are also practical; the concealers have labels on the bottom indicating the shades, and most of the tube's been kept clear to allow you to see the shade inside at a glance. Moreover, these Lock-it Concealer Crèmes have very good stoppers that dispense just the right amount of product onto the applicator and prevent any messes or spilling at the neck of the bottle. I'm also quite fond of the shape of the doe foot itself: it tapers down towards the tip, allowing for a more precise application.
The product claims for the Lock-it Concealer Crème include 24-hour wear, instant full coverage, smooth, even finish, and a crease-proof but hydrating formula (it does contain glycerin and hyaluronic acid). It is meant to be used for all areas of the face (and body): under the eyes, on blemishes and discoloration, and even to contour and bake (huh?!). These sound like rather lofty goals to me, so obviously I was very curious to see if the concealer actually performs to such a high standard.
After 3 weeks of testing this concealer in different conditions, I now feel I have a pretty good grasp of how it works on my skin and for my individual needs. I have worn it under the eyes, on blemishes and hyperpigmented/ red areas of the face, alone and layered with other concealers, on top of two different eye creams, on its own as well as set with powder. The final verdict is that I really like it, although it's not my Holy Grail (still remains to be found). My review is pretty much a comparison to my previous staple, the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, which is also a high coverage cream concealer with a doe foot that can be used for under the eyes as well as spot concealing.
Between the NARS RCC and the Lock-It, I do prefer the Kat Von D. It has a slightly thinner texture with maybe a touch less coverage that I personally find much more flattering on the skin. With the NARS concealer, I had to be very mindful of the amount I was using because anything more than a tiny dot would result in a cakey, dry, aged-looking under eye area, and it would also crease and gather in my fine lines quite a bit by the end of the day. I liked the NARS a lot more on hyperpigmented spots and blemishes, but again had to be careful because it had a tendency to look heavy and textured. The Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème looks a lot more natural and seamless on my skin and I do find my under eyes look more rested & hydrated after application than with the NARS. However, it performs slightly worse on blemishes than the NARS RCC; it seems a little too emollient and can slide off the area if not applied properly; I like best to quickly dot it around my problem spots, wait for a few minutes, and then come back and blend it into my foundation. The Concealer Crème also definitely benefits from setting with powder (I've tested it with both MAC Blotting Powder and the Kat Von D Lock-it Setting Powder*, review coming soon), both on the face and under the eyes, where it unfortunately still creases for me - but I have yet to find an under eye concealer that doesn't crease.
L-R: KVD Lock-It Concealer in L5 Neutral, KVD Lock-It Concealer in L3 Warm, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, Surratt Beauty Concealer in no.2
As for the shade match, both Light 3 Warm and Light 5 Neutral are currently great matches for my very slightly darker summer skin tone. In theory, depending on your undertones, one shade should work better for the under eyes and the other for elsewhere on the face, but in practice, I have found very little difference in how L3 Warm and L5 Neutral look once blended in. As you can see from my arm swatch, both are definitely darker than my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly (but both of them are the same depth, regardless of the L-number); if you're looking for something truly fair, KVD also offers the shade Light 1 (Neutral) as well as a pure white shade (White Out).
I have also been very pleasantly surprised by the KVD Edge Concealer Brush*, and it has quickly become my favorite tool to blend out concealer on larger areas of the face (under the eyes, around the nose).
It's a dense duo-fiber synthetic brush with a pinched ferrule but a cut tapered edge; hopefully you can see what I mean in the close-up photo. When I first saw the shape, I thought it was a little gimmicky - I remember when Sigma first came out with their 3DHD brushes, which for the most part weren't reviewed very favorably. However, in the case of the KVD Edge Concealer Brush, I do think this design works very well - the sharper edge allows you to get very close to the contours of your eye/ nose without sacrificing softness or blendability.
I also enjoy the larger size of this concealer brush; compared to my other concealer blending brushes, you can see that the head of the KVD one is much wider, which allows it to cover a larger area quickly. The bristles are not as dense as to drag the product around (as is the case with my Zoeva Concealer Buffer) and the brush can be used both with a stippling and a buffing motion. Overall, I find the quality of this brush to be very good - I've washed it several times since receiving it and there's been no shedding nor any other issues. One thing that takes some getting used to is the length of the handle - most brushes I own are much shorter so I sometimes find myself hitting my mirror with the brush's end. But the elongated, narrowing shape certainly looks very cool... or even slightly lethal :)

I hope you enjoyed this rather lengthy review of these new products from Kat Von D; I realize they're gathering a lot of interest at the moment so I wanted to cover most potential questions. If there's anything else you'd like to know about these, please ask in the comments, and stay tuned for my review of the Lock-it Setting Powder* and Lock-it Setting Powder Brush*. Thank you for reading!

Disclaimer: Products marked with an asterix (*) are press samples I received for free from Influenster for testing purposes. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the products featured were purchased with my own monies or provided free of charge. Thank you for reading!


  1. It's a pity that we don't have kat von D products here. I like her designs.

  2. Great thorough review Monika! I too have never tried anything from this brand but I know so many people who adore it, so have always wanted to try it out. Looking forward to your next KVD reviews!

  3. That brush looks cool. I never really look at Kat Von D products though I did try that tattoo liner once a million years ago.