Concealer truly is a hero beauty product because it can do so many things. From waking up your complexion to covering spots and even contouring, there are few things it can’t do in creating flawless makeup looks.
But concealer is one product that tends to create a lot of questions about how to get the most out of it, when you should apply it and what shade you should choose. So, we’ve rounded up your FAQs to make navigating this must-have product a little easier.
Should you use concealer or foundation first?
This depends on the area you’re covering. For the under-eye area, you should apply your concealer first as you may find you can then skip foundation in the area. The more product you put around your eyes, the more caked and aged it looks, so try concealer first and blend in a small amount of foundation afterwards, but only if you need to.
When disguising blemishes, it’s best to go in with a light layer of foundation first to get as much natural looking coverage as you can. If you then need a bit more coverage, choose your concealer shade to match your foundation and conceal just on top of the spot.
What’s the best way to apply concealer?
There’s no one size fits all when it comes to applying your concealer and it will vary depending on the area you’re applying it, the kind of coverage you’re after and the formulation of the product. The one rule is to use light layers and build your coverage slowly for the most natural, crease-free finish.
For concealers that are quite thick in consistency, you should warm a small amount between your ring fingers until it becomes creamy and malleable. Then, tap it into the corners of your eye and gently blend around the eye area.
A fluffy blending brush is a great concealer tool for buffing it into slightly larger areas like the corners of your nose or mouth. You’ll always get a lighter application if you apply the product to your brush first instead of directly onto your skin. If your concealer is a liquid with a doe foot applicator, like most are, use a makeup artist palette or the back of your hand to apply the product to before swirling your brush in it and applying it to your face.
How do you choose your concealer shade?
Many beauty lovers will tell you that you should have a variety of concealer colours in your kit. The shade you use for under your eyes will likely be different to the shade needed to cover redness or blemishes around the face.
Generally speaking, you should choose a concealer that is one to two shades lighter than your skin tone to use for brightening around the eyes. If you’re trying to cover dark circles, choose a shade with a peachy undertone so it can balance out the blues and purples of your circles without looking grey.
Then you should of course have a concealer that is a perfect match for your skin tone to use around the corners of the nose, mouth and on blemishes for the most natural coverage possible. Choosing an exact skin tone match also means you’ll be able to apply a thin layer of concealer in your t-zone and skip foundation all together on days you want a minimal look.
What’s the best way to cover blemishes with concealer?
Pimples and pigmentation can be notoriously difficult to cover but there are a few foolproof tricks that tend to get great results. Firstly, you don’t want to apply too much product. Caking your spot in an attempt to cover it will do the opposite and bring it forward. Instead, light layers are the way to go.
When you’re concealing spots, use a dense and pointed brush so you can accurately pinpoint your coverage area and cover only the spot itself. Put a spot of concealer on, give it some time to dry a little, then gently use your finger to tap and blend in the product. Using a brush to blend can often move the product around too much and take away your coverage, especially if you’re trying to cover a spot with some texture.