I wanted to share with everyone a makeup post “covering” (ok, pun totally intended) extensive information regarding concealers. Most of you already know what they do: they cover and mask skin imperfections. However, the information doesn’t stop there! Read on, pretty dolls! :)
Styling Confession: I never used to wear concealer all that much. I simply didn’t need it as I found that basic foundation worked well enough for my skin (I’m a believer of less is more). Despite the fact my daily diet is the best it’s ever been and that I work out consistently, one would think my skin would be glowing thanks to my super healthy lifestyle.
Well unfortunately, I guess that’s where stress and hormones take a toll on the skin. This is something totally beyond my control, meaning daily breakouts are inescapable this point in my life. That’s where concealer comes into the picture as I need it more than ever!
To choose your perfect concealer, you need to first determine what you are concealing. From there, you will need to keep in mind two basic things: color AND coverage.
Okay, so what are we concealing?
1) Under eye circles:
* COLOR: I typically recommend going a shade lighter than your natural skin tone. Always match the skin tone or go LIGHTER (never darker). Remember, the lighter shades will brighten darkness.
Also, if you have severe under eye darkness, consider investing in a color corrector (or a color correcting concealer) with a yellow or peach base. The yellow and peach shades will counteract the blue from the dark under eye circles. Reason being that they are opposite colors on the color wheel and will neutralize by canceling each other out.
* COVERAGE: Being that the skin in the under eye area is the thinnest, you will not want to layer anything too heavy. I normally suggest a liquid with buildable coverage. If you’re going to use a cream, keep in mind that creams are typically a heavier medium, so A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY and you will need to take the time to blend it evenly to prevent a caking up effect to occur.
* COLOR: I would recommend matching to your skin tone, or again going a little lighter is okay. If the area is really red, definitely invest in a green tinted color corrector. Again with color theory, red and green are opposite colors, meaning they cancel each other out.
* COVERAGE: In this situation, it’s okay to go super heavy with the coverage (typically a cream) because blemishes are using textured (not flat) and need a lot more attention.
3) Dark spots (such as sun spots):
* COLOR: Again, try to match closest to the natural skin tone or go slightly lighter. A yellow based concealer also works well for counteracting dark spots.
* COVERAGE: Even though the area may be dark, typically it is flat. I’d say in a situation like this, you can use a liquid or cream but I’d tend to lean closer to a cream, just not a large amount.
4) Minor Skin Imperfections (Redness, blotchiness, random emergency situations, etc.):
* COLOR: I would choose a shade that best matches your natural skin tone.
* COVERAGE: You honestly may be able to skip concealer altogether and just layer your foundation (FYI powder DOES not count as foundation) a little heavier in the areas needed. You will not need anything too heavy in terms of coverage if you don’t have any major skin concerns. A liquid or cream is fine, depending on your preference.
APPLICATION TECHNIQUES: Concealer is one of the FEW things that I actually think is OKAY to apply with bare finger tips. For myself, I usually use my fingers because I feel I get the best manipulation of the product. I can blend it with a light touch and warm up the product with my fingers. A brush is definitely GREAT, but when using a brush, go very light handed (if you apply too much pressure, you end up not really layering the product properly).
I LOVE the MAC #224 brush (which is one of their most popular eye shadow blending brushes) for concealing purposes, especially under eye. Or you can use any loose tapered brush.
Once you’ve taken care of your skincare regime (I hope you use a moisturizer at the very least)…
When do you apply concealer? Depends on…
- You only wear concealer: I never recommend this option. It just looks unpolished if you wear concealer and don’t even take the time to do anything else. At least set it with powder to even out the whole face!!! (If you’re choosing to do this, then you would obviously just apply this and that’s it).
- You wear concealer and powder (NO foundation): Concealer will ALWAYS goes under powder. Any liquid or cream mediums go onto the face before powder.
- You wear concealer, foundation, and powder: This is the golden combo right here because all these products will achieve different things for the skin. (If you haven’t noticed, as a makeup artist, I don’t like the whole idea of wearing a concealer without taking the time to put on a foundation or a powder…I don’t like to cut corners!)
I just want to state there really is NO RIGHT OR WRONG on what order you decide to apply (foundation first or concealer first)..and I have to admit that I do BOTH! On myself, I tend to ALWAYS apply the concealer first, followed by my foundation all over the skin. If more concealer is needed, then I’ll go over it again. I think being that I know my own skin, I know what needs to be concealed, hence why I make it my first step.
When I apply makeup on my clients, I actually apply foundation first. Then I see if concealer is still needed. The only times I will apply concealer right away is if I am color correcting. Like if the skin has excessive redness or there is severe under eye darkness, then I will color correct and apply concealer first to even out the skin, then go ahead with foundation.
My Concealer of Choice (for myself): MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Extreme Camouflage Cream
I absolutely love this concealer! I wear it in the #6 shade and it matches nicely. It’s a liquid that comes in a squeeze tube which is just convenient. In terms of the texture, this concealer blends onto the skin beautifully and it’s considered waterproof. I have tried a good amount of concealers and will remain loyal to this product.
[In my professional makeup kit, I own one Make Up For Ever concealer palette along with a Cinema Secrets concealer palette. They are creams and work great on my clients!]
[Do you have a favorite concealer? Please share!!!]