Using a high-quality concealer is essential for achieving a flawless-looking makeup application. The best concealers conceal discolorations, lighten dark areas, conceal blemishes, and work with your foundation to create the appearance of even skin tone.

A poorly formulated or improperly applied concealer, on the other hand, can draw attention to problem areas, make blemishes appear more visible, and create a white cast around dark spots, particularly under the eye. The key is to understand which type of concealer you require and how to apply it.

Choosing a Concealer

Choose a concealer that is appropriate for your skin type and concerns. If you have dry skin, avoid liquid concealers with a matte finish because the finish will highlight the dryness.

Avoid creamy or stick concealers if you have oily skin with enlarged pores because they tend to clog and magnify the appearance of pores and add an oily shine. Although this may seem obvious, it is surprising how frequently the incorrect concealer is used.

A light to medium coverage concealer will work well for creating a more even finish over minor skin discolorations.

To avoid an obvious white circle around the eye, choose a concealer shade for the undereye area that is no more than one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone.

Choose a concealer that is the exact color of your foundation for your face. Noticeably pink concealer shades, rose, peach, white, yellow, or copper will show through your foundation, creating an unnatural look.

Using the above guidelines, you can begin experimenting to find the textures, finishes, and application techniques that work best for you. Of course, having a makeup artist demonstrate application tools and techniques to you is always beneficial so that you can adapt those techniques to your specific needs.

Types of Concealers

Liquid Concealer

  • Ideal for normal, combination, oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin types.
  • Coverage is buildable, ranging from light to full
  • Available finishes include dewy, satin, radiant shimmer, and matte

Liquid concealer is the most flexible form of concealer because it provides buildable coverage and is suitable for all skin types except very dry. This concealer is also simple to add. Liquid concealer is favored for covering pimples because it is less likely to cake up and poses little to no risk of clogging pores, as a creamier concealer might.

It’s also ideal for use on wrinkled areas because its thin texture prevents it from crinkling during the day, though some slippage into lines is always possible. Liquid concealers with a matte finish last longer and are less likely to migrate during the day than those with a satin finish.

Satin-finish liquid concealer moves more, but it can provide a more natural look, especially over dry areas. A liquid concealer with a radiant shimmer finish is perfect for under the eyes because it conceals and highlights the region with a soft glow, but it should be a subtle glow rather than an overt, sparkling shine.

Stick Concealer

  • Best for normal, dry, and sensitive skin
  • Coverage is buildable, ranging from medium to full
  • Available finishes include satin and powdery matte

Stick concealer is so named for its semi-solid texture, rich pigmentation, and thick, creamy texture. This concealer should be dotted or swiped on in a line of pigment, then blended. With a clean finger or a small concealer brush, blend the substance in a stippling motion, feathering the edges into the surrounding skin.

It’s important to remember that the ingredients used to hold these concealers in stick form have a high risk of clogging pores, making it a less-than-ideal choice for those with oily or mixed skin.

Cream Concealer

  • Best for normal, dry, combination, or sensitive skin
  • Coverage is buildable, ranging from medium to full
  • Available finishes include satin and creamy

Cream concealer, in general, offers medium to maximum coverage. This concealer is usually sold in a small jar, palette, or compact. Cream concealer is one of the best concealer choices for covering discolorations and works well under the eyes.

Cream concealers have more slip and can be applied stipplingly with a clean finger, sponge, or small concealer brush. Those with a notably creamier finish, on the other hand, are more prone to creasing into lines and wrinkles and should be set with pressed or loose powder before blended.

How to Apply Concealer

The application methods are usually the same regardless of the type of concealer you’re using. Preparing your face with moisturizer (use a light layer, so makeup doesn’t slip and fall off your face) or a foundation primer is necessary for almost every skin type. If you have normal to oily skin, look for a lightweight liquid or fluid moisturizer with a soft matte finish.

Some people believe it is best to apply concealer first, followed by a base, while others believe the reverse is true. Except for powder makeup, this is a personal choice, and there is no clear right or wrong approach.

With a clean finger, brush, or sponge, dab the concealer onto discolorations, dark areas, or skin imperfections and gently smooth out until there are no noticeable lines of demarcation between the concealer and your skin or makeup.

Liquid concealer, cream, or cream-to-powder should not be used over powder foundation because it can cause clumping and a mottled appearance. Apply concealer first, allow it to set, and then apply your foundation if you’re using powder foundation.

Set the concealer with a light dusting of loose or pressed powder. A concealer with a matte finish does not need to be set with powder because it can look or feel too dry, so you may experiment to see how your matte-finish concealer looks and lasts with and without powder.

When applying concealer to the undereye area, consider using one with a radiant finish or layering a luminescent highlighter on top for a light-reflective finish that conceals shadowed areas even more.

Armed with this knowledge, you can now choose and apply the concealer that works best for you!

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