Monday, September 8, 2014

Help! I'm New To The Makeup World - Let's Talk Concealers.

As part of my 'Help! I'm New To The Makeup World' series, I'm going to be talking about *dun dun dun* concealers today.

So, what's concealer?

Concealer is a product that looks similar to foundation - in that it's a tinted product - but it's main purpose is to cover under eye dark cicles, and blemishes. It's a great way to hide fatigue, illness, or just to brighten up your face.

Concealer can be worn under, or over foundation. Most of the time, I wear concealer over foundation, because I find that foundation gives me a certain amount of coverage, and I can use concealer only on those areas where I want more coverage. However, certain formulas of concealer and foundation might need tweaking - that is, sometimes applying concealer over foundation causes the concealer to slip and slide about, or causes the foundation to wear off, in which case it needs to be worn under foundation. You'll know how a foundation and concealer work together only with practice.

That being said, concealer can also be worn on it's own! This is what I do most days, as I don't have the patience to put on a 'full face'. I use concealer under my eyes, over blemishes, and I'm done!

Concealers come in two main formulas - liquid and cream. Liquid concealers will either come in a pump (like the MAC Pro Longwear concealer) or in a tube with a doefoot applicator (like the NARS Creamy C\concealer, or the Maybelline Fit Me concealer) or even as a brush-type concealer (Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting concealer). Cream concealers tend to come in a pot (theBalm Time Balm concealer, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage). Some cream concealers even come in stick form (L'Oreal True Match concealer crayon).

Neither formula has an advantage over the other. Cream formulas tend to be more moisturizing and easy to blend, but they can also be prone to creasing. Liquid formulas are easy to blend and (in my personal experience) less prone to creasing, but they offer slightly less coverage than cream formulas.

I do tend to prefer liquid formulas over cream formulas for the under eye region, because it's easy to apply and blend out. That being said. I have cream formulas I adore, too!

Let's move on to some concealer tips and tricks:
  1. Different parts of your face require different shades of concealers.
    Under eye concealers tend to be a shade lighter than your skin tone - this helps to highlight and brighten up the area. I also use this 'highlighting' concealer under my brows, and wherever else I might want a subtle highlight (down the bridge of the nose, and my cupid's bow).
    On the other hand, if I want to cover up any blemishes, I use a concealer the same shade as my skintone. As an example, I use MAC Pro Longwear concealer in NC35 under my eyes, and NC42 (my skin tone) to conceal blemishes.
  2. Certain issues may require color-correcting.
    Some people are prone to really dark circles under their eyes. Others are prone to redness. Depending on your issue, you might need to apply a color corrector before concealing. This helps to neutralize the color, so that your concealer is better able to conceal.
    Let me explain. For example, I have dark purple-y blue under eye circles, and sometimes my concealer can't cover them. In that case, I use an orange color corrector to neutralize the color of my dark circles. Once that's done, my concealer is better able to hide them!
    As a general rule:
    Purple, or blue (usually in under eye dark circles) require an orange corrector (opposite on the color wheel). Light skins should go for a peach, or salmon color, while deeper skins need a more vibrant orange shade.
    Red (usually in inflamed areas, certain bruises, or even regular skin) require a green corrector.
    Yellow (called 'sallowness', usually comes with illness) requires a lavender/purple corrector.
  3. Prep, prep, prep!
    Your under eye are also needs some TLC! Try to prep the skin with a moisturizer, or hydrating primer. This helps to 'plump up' the skin, making the concealer less prone to creasing (or pooling up) in the fine lines under your eyes (hey, everyone has them!)
  4. It's all about the location.
    Under eye concealers don't go only under the eye. Apply it in a triangular pattern under your eye, and also to the inner eye corner .
    Here's a picture to give you an idea:

    Yellow - highlighting concealer; Red; to cover redness
    And yes, I've never looked more appealing!
    As you can see, 'under eye' concealer is more than just under your eye.
  5. Apply concealer all around the area to be concealer for easier blending.
    Concealer can be thick sometimes, and hard to spread. The easiest way to get the coverage you want, without much effort, is to lightly tap a little bit of concealer all over the area to be concealed, wait a few seconds for your body heat to warm up the concealer, then pat to blend out.
  6. Pat, not smear!
    Concealer should always be patted out, not smeared around! Patting will ensure that the concealer stays in the area its supposed to, and won't reduce coverage. Smearing will reduce coverage, and also isn't good for the delicate skin under your eye.
  7. Make a cocktail of concealer!
    Okay, so this one isn't necessarily a must-do, but sometimes I mix my concealer (if it's too thick) with some hydrating primer. This helps me to give some moisture to my under eye area, which can be a little drier than the rest of my face. You can also mix in a little bit of your color corrector, for when you have dark circles that aren't very pronounced.
  8. Set your concealer with powder.
    Powders help to set your concealer and help it last longer, but you can also use different powders to brighten up your undereye area (e.g the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders) or you can use colored powders to give some additional color correcting (Ben Nye Banana powder). So don't skip the powder!
  9. Concealers make a great subtle, everyday-appropriate highlight.
    In the picture above, you can see all the areas I apply concealer - under my brows, down my nose, on my chin. Using concealer is a great way to add a subtle highlight for your face. This is especially helpful for those with oily skins like myself - using concealers allow for a matte finish for your highlighting, so there's a lower chance of your 'glow' being attributed to excessive sebum production! Alternatively, use a concealer in a darker shade for contouring!
  10. Play around with tools and applicators to discover what's best for you.
    I used to apply my concealer with my fingers (still do!) but I've discovered that the Real Techniques deluxe crease brush is really great for blending out concealer (for me, at least). Some people use fingers, others use concealer brushes, and beauty blenders, and most people use a mix of fingers and brushes. That's okay. Try different things to see what works for you, and what doesn't.                        
I hope this has been a helpful post! Comment below and let me know if I missed out anything!


  1. Awesome post! Super informative, and helpful :-) I'm between concealers myself at the moment - need to find a good one that will do my undereye area especially!

    1. Awww, thanks! Have you tried the MAc Pro Longwear concealer? It's really good for the undereye area, and is quite long lasting! :)