Concealer Basics

Learn to hide a multitude of skin sins.
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In makeup circles, concealer is the ultimate miracle worker. It hides skin imperfections, brightens dark areas, and is the number one must-wear for many makeup artists. The challenge: picking the right shade and formula for you. Here, our mistake-proof tips:

  • Go one-half to one shade lighter than your skin. Concealer is often used to camouflage dark areas of the skin such as undereye circles and pigmentation spots. By going one-half or one shade lighter than your skin color, you'll sufficiently lighten these dark areas, without actually drawing attention to them -- which can happen when you choose a shade that's too light. You may want to head to the department store for concealer, where a cosmetics consultant can help you choose the perfect shade.
  • Skip color correctors. Concealers in shades of blue, yellow, and green are said to counteract dark and red patches on the skin. While this works in theory, using them correctly takes a lot of skill. What's more, you often have to cover these products with a layer of foundation; if you wear them alone, you risk having blue, yellow, or green circles under your eyes instead of dark ones!
  • For dry skin, try a cream concealer that's applied with a wand. But use sparingly, since too much concealer will settle into undereye lines.
  • For normal skin, pick a stick or pot concealer. These formulas are drier than cream concealers, so they'll look more matte on the skin. Again, apply sparingly.
  • Use a heavier stick concealer to hide very dark circles or heavy pigmentation spots. You may want to try a brand like Dermablend, which specializes in corrective color. Stick concealers are generally heavier and more opaque than regular concealers -- they work to put very dark areas under cover.
  • Pat it in. After you apply your concealer, whether with a brush, a wand, or your finger, use your middle finger to pat it into your skin. Rubbing will only move the concealer around or smear it off, and you'll be left with no coverage at all. Set concealer with translucent powder to help prevent midday migration into the lines around your eyes. --Lisa Kovalovich


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