I can live without foundation, but don’t dare take away my concealer! Just a dab of this little versatile product can hide imperfections, dark circles, and signs of fatigue, making you look awake, well-rested, and flawless. When applied properly, that is. Too often, concealer has the opposite effect, and seems to emphasise our imperfections rather than hiding them. Argh!
How can you avoid that, and make concealer work for you? Here are a few tips to help you:
1. You need more than one concealer
Dark circles, sun spots, pimples, redness… All these flaws can be hidden with concealer. But if you use the same product on all of them, you’ll notice that some imperfections are covered better than others. We’re told to use concealer that’s one shade lighter than our skintone, but while that, in some cases, can work ok for the under eye area (just don’t go too light or you’ll emphasize those dark circles even more), it just makes other blemishes stand out. That zit will still attract attention if it is lighter than the rest of your face! Instead, use a shade that matches your skintone exactly. Consistency matters too. If the imperfection you’re trying to cover is on a dry area, you’ll need a moisturiszing formula, while if it is on an oilier area, a dryer texture will work better.
2. For serious imperfections, apply a color corrector first
Sometimes, concealer alone is not enough. In that case, apply a colour corrector first. If you want to hide redness, try a green shade. Purple can brighten sallow skin, while blue can reduce fake tan disasters. My favourite colour corrector is Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette, which is available in three shade (for light, medium, and dark skintones).
3. Prep your skin
Does your concealer always settle into fine lines or wrinkles? Or maybe it accentuates, rather than hide, your dry patches? Both problems can be solved by applying moisturizer first. It’ll plump up skin and give the concealer a nicer, smoother base to glide on and adhere to. Just don’t apply too much or the concealer won’t be able to settle.
4. Apply concealer on top of foundation
Foundation helps even out the skintone and minimize imperfections. Sometimes, alone, it is enough to conceal everything you want to conceal. If not, you can always apply a layer of concealer on top. Because the imperfection has already been partially hidden, you’ll need less product. If, instead, you do it the other way around and apply concealer first, you’ll be wasting product. That’s because when you apply foundation on top, some of the concealer will be removed.
5. Pat, don’t spread
A lot of women apply concealer using sweeping motions, spreading it around all over the area they want to cover. Doing this just removes product, reducing the pigmentation of the concealer and forcing you to apply a higher amount than necessary. Instead, tap it or pat it gently on the area you’d like to cover.
6. Dark circles? Use the triangle method
This is my favourite technique to hide dark circles. Basically, you apply concealer in a triangular shape, starting under your eye, then down your nose and up to the outer corner of the eye again. Blend well. This will give you a more natural result.
7. Warm it up
Benefit Erase Paste is one of my favourite concealers. Its salmon hue and excellent pigmentation can cover even the most stubborn dark circles. But its texture is so thick and hard to apply! The solution? Warm it up between your fingers before application. It’ll allow it to spread more easily on the skin.
8. Set it
I rarely use powders. That’s because my makeup usually stays put for hours even if I don’t set it. The only exception is concealer. I need to settle that, or, during the day, it’ll travel around, settle into fine lines, and then disappear. A thin layer of powder prevents all that. I use Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Porcelain, which contains both a concealer and a translucent powder to set it. But you can use whatever works best for you.
9. Concealer isn’t just for concealing
Concealers are very versatile. You can use them to hide imperfections, but also for contouring. If you’re struggling to find a matte bronzer that doesn’t look orange or muddy on you, use a concealer that’s slightly darker than your skintone. Concealers that are too light instead can be used for highlighting. Applying some concealer underneath your brows, for instance, will clean up the area and highlight it, giving the illusion of a brow lift. You can also use it around your mouth, for a cleaner, more defined, look.
Do you follow these tips? Do you have more that you can share?
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