Beauty School: Concealer 101
I think its fair to assume that we’ve all woken up with an angry blemish or crazy dark circles under our eyes and struggled to hide them with a random dab of concealer (typically while half asleep). There are so many concealer options out there & choosing a formula can be tricky, but new formulas can help you work smarter, not harder. So here are some or my pro tips & tricks to help you navigate the world of concealing, becuase the struggle doesn't need to be so real.
Concealer Lingo: What do those words mean?
"Full Coverage": Generally these are quite thick formulas packaged in sticks and pots that provide a more matte finish in a cream texture. Ideal for concealing acne & hard to cover pigmentation.
(Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Full Coverage Concealer)
"Medium Coverage": Typically packaged in tubes & wands, medium coverage concealers offer a more build-able formula with a liquid texture (read: easier to blend). Ideal for concealing minor blemishes and discoloration around the nose, chin, and under eyes.
(NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage, Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer)
"Sheer Coverage": Often these are brightening formulas that work to conceal & brighten the under eye area. Sheer concealers are usually packaged in a pen or wand. Ideal for those who don’t need much coverage or color correction.
(Yves Saint Laurent TOUCHE ÉCLAT Radiant Touch, Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener, Perricone MD No Concealer Concealer)
Concealer Rules: Does it really matter?
It’s not often that you’ll hear me say that makeup requires rules, but these concealer rules can certainly help a sister out.
(1) Foundation first, concealer second. If you conceal first, you’ll wind up concealing everything & using a lot more product. Let your foundation work for you! Applying your foundation first allows you to go back in with your concealer only where you really need additional coverage.
(2) Use a concealer brush & a gentle patting or tapping motion to conceal imperfections. Rubbing with your fingers will only remove the product you’re trying to blend.
(3) Avoid using a concealer that is more than 1 shade lighter than your skin tone - while its nice to have a little extra brightness under the eye, using a concealer thats too light will give you a reverse-raccoon effect (not so cute).
(4) Avoid heavy, dry concealers for the under eye area - they will always look cakey & crease in fine lines. Instead, choose a more hydrating formula for the fragile skin under your eyes.
(5) If your concealer always creases or fades, try setting it with a finely milled setting powder - my favorite is Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.
Still not able to hide it?
If you’re having a hard time covering up discoloration, you may need to color correct first. Here, color theory writes all the rules.
(image from: http://www.beautysecrets-bh.com/index.php/tips/)
There are 3 main colors you’ll want to remember for mastering the art of concealing hard to cover imperfections (aka: basically anything beyond a minor discoloration) This will seriously make your life so so much easier.
* PURPLE corrects yellow-toned discoloration & bruises
* PEACH corrects blue/purple under eye darkness, bruises, and dark spots (orange does the same on a deeper skin tone)
* GREEN corrects breakouts, red and pink-toned scarring, redness around the eyes & nose
(Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector, Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette Color Correct & Concealer, Becca Backlit Targeted Color Corrector)
Color correcting products seem intimidating, but the technique is simple! Pat the color corrector directly over the discoloration & top with your favorite concealer. Remember: the foundation before concealer rule still applies here and less is always more, you'll find that color correcting before concealing allows you to use much less concealer!