Learn how to use concealer for beautiful results

Learn how to use concealer for beautiful results

Many of us use cosmetics to play up our best features and diminish the not-so-great ones. Concealers help with both issues. A good one can help hide dark circles under the eyes, correct uneven skin tone and of course to cover up blemishes of all kinds. Concealers are used by great makeup artists to create the look of near-perfect skin.

Used properly, a good concealer provides coverage that is both complete and natural. But admit it, we’ve all stared at those made-up faces with strange pale circles in all the wrong places. You may have seen your own concealer become pasty-looking and cracked, not doing a thing to glam up your eyes. Using concealers takes a bit of finesse and practice. When done correctly, you can do wonders for your look. You should also take some time to get the right shade and consistency for your skin.

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Here are concealer tips to help you get the most from this beauty essential:

Know when to apply concealer

The hotly debated question in makeup circles is whether to apply concealer before or after your foundation. There are great arguments for both. Apply your product before foundation, if you use your foundation only in select areas of your face. For more targeted (and intense) spot coverage, you may want to apply foundation first so that it stays where you apply it. You just need to take extra care that it is well blended with the rest of your makeup.

Get the right color

You’ll want to look for two things here: color and shade. The color should resemble your skin tone, whether it’s cream, honey, caramel or coffee. Use a matching concealer for blemishes and freckles. Then for under-the-eye coverage you need to take that skin color and go lighter by about one shade. Why? You want a very slight “lift” from your concealer that reflects light. You’ll notice these days that there are yellow and green tinted concealers available. Concealers with a green tint are said to help mask spots of redness.

With so many choices out there, I strongly recommend going into your trusted cosmetics store and selecting one in person. Once you find the best product, you can reorder it online. But it’s hard to get the right concealer without actually seeing it on your face. Here’s another added tip: If you are looking at solid concealers, consider a duo or trio combination. Then you can mix and blend for greater flexibility.

Select the best concealer option

The good news is that there are so many excellent concealers to choose from, but the variety makes it hard to decide. Liquid concealers will smooth on easily and blend well. They are ideal for dry skin and in the eye area, since they don’t cake and provide a slightly shinier finish. Cream and solid concealers tend to have more opacity and staying power. They are great for balancing uneven skin tone but may take a bit more practice to blend in just right. Here’s a quick tip: Mix a little of your liquid foundation in with your concealer to get a better match.

Try concealer as a highlighting tool

The funny thing about concealers is that they can minimize and maximize at the same time. If you take advantage of your concealer’s light-reflecting properties, you can add a really wonderful brightness. That’s especially true around the eyes, which will actually make you look wide awake and full of energy (even if you aren’t).

Learn the best way to apply concealer

Concealer, like foundation, benefits from a practiced technique of patting and blending. Ideally you should have a few tools to help, such as a designated brush, clean makeup sponges and a well-lit mirror. For your eyes, dab concealer along the edge of your under-eye crescent. Starting at the bridge of nose, continue dotting a line about 2/3 of the way to the outer edge of the eye. Using a concealer brush or small corner of a makeup sponge, lightly pat and blend the product. Keep the layer very thin and let dry, then apply another layer if necessary. Gradual layers of concealer create a more natural look for the final result.