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Beauty Secrets: How to Apply Concealer

Beauty Secrets: How to Apply Concealer
How to apply concealer for a bright, spot-free face.

Concealer isn’t just for blemishes. Even spot-free skin can benefit from a little strategically applied corrector. Not only can concealer help hide a breakout, it can also brighten the dark corners of your face and give you that “I slept for eight dreamy hours” look—even if you barely managed six—not that concealer is any excuse to skimp on your sleep! 

Pick your formula

The oiliness of your skin will be your best guide in picking the right concealer formula. If you’re prone to oiliness, opt for a mineral powder concealer like this one by Everyday Minerals. Mineral powder helps absorb excess oil—plus, it’s buildable, so you have control over the level of coverage. 

A liquid (or cream), oil-based formula may be more appropriate for drier skin. Liquid and cream concealer need to be set with powder so they don’t smear throughout the day. I’m currently using Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Flexible Coverage Concealer. Although the ingredients aren’t as natural as I normally prefer, it’s a wonderful, high coverage concealer for blemishes that vegan and cruelty-free. 

Color corrector or concealer? 

If you’re plagued by both blemishes and dark under-eye circles, you may want to invest in a color corrector as well as a standard concealer. 

If you’re hiding blemishes, stick to a concealer in the same shade/darkness of your skin. A lighter color will make them stand out more. 

If you’re disguising dark circles, however, a color corrector in a lighter color (and in a tone opposite of your dark circles, i.e. yellow based corrector for blue/purple circles) can work wonders. 

If this color correcting business sounds too complicated, don’t fret. Picking a good concealer that matches your skin will also help with dark circles. I normally don’t bother with a color corrector because I prefer to keep things simple. The option is out there, though! 

Order matters 

Concealer can be fickle. Often it looks too opaque/obvious or it just blends in too much and doesn’t do any concealing! Here’s how to apply it like a pro. First, make sure you’re applying your concealer in the correct order. If you’re using a powder foundation, apply concealer before your powder. Your powder will set the concealer (a good thing). It’s tricky to blend concealer over powder—the effect is cakey, flakey, and not so good. 

If you’re wearing a liquid or cream foundation, apply your concealer on top. It will blend nicely and not be swept away by your foundation application. Finish with a setting powder. 

Choosing your tools

Powder concealers should be buffed onto skin with a small kabuki brush.

Liquid and cream concealers may be applied with a damp makeup sponge (great for blending), a concealer brush, like the Kelley Quan brush pictured above (ideal for blemishes), or your fingers (my personal favorite). 

The technique

For powder concealers, always begin with a thin layer. If the coverage is too thin, wait a moment and apply another layer. Gradual layering looks more natural than one thick application. 

For liquid and cream concealers, pat rather than wipe. Blend edges outward to avoid any hard lines. Set with powder. 

Where to apply

Beauty Secrets: How to Apply Concealer
Where to apply concealer.

Blemishes, of course, want a piece of the concealing action. But clear skin or no, most of us can benefit from a little concealer applied on the darker areas of our faces.

1.  Under eyes & inner corner of your eyes. These are usually the darkest corners of our faces. Concealer can brighten them while neutralizing any redness in your eyes.

2.  Nose & nose parentheses. The tip of the nose can look a little pink if you have sensitive skin. The nose parentheses can look shadowy like the corner of the eyes. 

3.  Above your upper lip & around the corners of your mouth. A little concealer around your mouth can help define your lip line and neutralize any redness (that’s not your lips, of course!). 

Do you use concealer everyday? What kind of formula do you use?

Also on Beauty Secrets: Heatproof Makeup Tips

Concealing Age Spots

Youthful Eyes – Makeup for Bright Eyes

DIY Brow Shaping

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Photos: Mary Hood

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