Concealer: What exactly does it conceal? Your deepest darkest secrets? That you accidentally ate a whole row of Oreos? That you’re sitting at work with the first button of your pants unbuttoned? Or, the fact that you are running on 4 hours of sleep and three cups of coffee? All of the above?
What is it?: Concealer is a flesh-colored paste-like cosmetic that comes in a stick, tube, pot or pencil form.
*This is not to be confused with a corrector, which is the opposite color to even out discoloration. Example: Green reverses red, pink compliments yellow, etc.*
What does it do?: It is used to cover under eye circles, cover blemishes, and hide any discoloration on the face.
How do I use it?: The most common area where concealer is applied is the under the eyes. Start on the inner corner of the eye and blend along your orbital bone (make a C shape). That is where the dark circle is most prominent. Blend the product up to the lower lash line (continuing that “C” motion). There is also usually a bit of redness on outer corners of the nose, right outside the nostrils. You can apply on that area (also in a C shape), and continue to blend out as needed. It can also be applied to the outer corners of the lips, further defining them and hiding any discoloration. Apply to blemishes and hyperpigmentation as needed.
What kind of brush should I use?: There are several brushes you can use, but there are two work the best. The first is the traditional concealer brush, it’s small and flat. The small brush head makes it easy to get a precise application, and its dense fibres picks up a good amount of product. This kind of brush is best when you want full coverage but can be trickier to blend with.
The other kind of brush is a fluffy dome brush, traditionally used for eyeshadow (the “crease” brush). Ones with very soft fibres work best. The dome shape fits perfectly under the eye and its soft texture picks up a small amount of product. You can simply layer until you reach your desired coverage.
Do I need a concealer?: It depends on your age and skin type. Young girls (25 and below) may not have a need for it unless they need it for blemishes. After hitting the after 26 mark, you may notice the dark circles under your eyes looking more prominent and may want to considering investing in one. For 35 and above, I strongly recommend using concealer, you will find that it instantly shaves off a couple of years on your appearance. That’s not to say you need to apply heavy make up all over your face, but adding the small step of applying concealer to your makeup routine may be very beneficial for your age group.
How do I know which one to choose?: Concealer comes in creme, liquid or powder form. Thick, creamy ones (ones that come in a pot or pencils) work best for covering blemishes, but tend to get a little cakey under the eyes (although, there are a few exceptions). Liquid concealers are best for under eye area because they blend easily on that thin skin. Powder concealers give very minimal coverage. My suggestion would be to skip the powder formula, since it doesn’t really “conceal” much.
There is no correct answer! It’s whatever you prefer. Some people like to apply it before, especially if their concealer is a little bit lighter than their skin. Others apply it after, only covering what their foundation didn’t cover up.
Keep in mind, all concealers are not created equal. Just because one concealer works on someone does not mean it will work for you. It may take a few tries, but I can ensure that you will be satisfied once you find the best fit for you!
Stay tuned for Makeup for Beginners, Vol. 3: Blush
What are some of your favorite concealers? How do you like to apply them?