Have you been wondering ‘which concealer is right for me?’.
We know it can be a challenge, but we’re here to guide you on the path to discovering your perfect match. Whether you’re a makeup novice or just struggling to find your shade, get ready to unlock the key to (seemingly) flawless skin and confidently conquer the world of concealers.
What is Concealer Used For?
What exactly is concealer used for? Although it is most commonly used to cover up blemishes, dark circles and redness, in more recent years, concealer has diversified as a brightening and contouring tool too.
When applied correctly, the product works well to add dimension to the face and draw attention to the high points to give a brighter, more sculpted appearance.
Due to its diverse uses, concealer comes with many different consistencies, formulas and applicator types. While your perfect concealer will depend on personal preference, there is often a recommended style to help achieve your signature makeup look.
Here are the different types of concealers available:
1. Stick Concealers: these usually come as a solid, compact formula to conceal blemishes or dark spots and generally come in matte formulas.
To ensure it remains as hygienic as possible, it’s recommended to transfer the product onto a concealer brush, rather than applying the stick directly to the face.
2. Liquid Concealers: this is the most versatile concealer style and suits most skin types. Liquids have a more buildable quality, allowing you to customize the coverage for different areas of the face. For example, you may want to use less product on the under-eye than for a blemish.
Often found with a doe-foot applicator, liquids provide an easy, precise application. They come in various finishes such as matte, satin and radiant.
3. Cream Concealers: this type is thicker in consistency and also provides full coverage. Think of this as the sister of a stick concealer; while they provide similar results, creams are often more bendable as they are more malleable on the skin.
4. Color Correcting Concealers: usually applied beneath your foundation, this style works to neutralize any pigmentation that may otherwise peer through your foundation. For example, excess redness, an angry spot or even dark circles can all be disguised with these.
They come in various colors like green, lavender, pink and yellow, all of which counteract different skin concerns.
How to Apply Concealer
With so many concealers out there, all with different capabilities, it can be challenging to know how to incorporate it into your makeup routine. So, here’s a basic guide on how to use concealer:
1. Prepare Your Skin: a good skincare routine will help all products apply more effectively. It’s best to start with a clean, moisturized face to ensure the product doesn’t attach to any dry areas. If you use a primer, apply it before you put on your concealer.
2. Apply Foundation: this step will depend on what concealer you choose; if you want to color-correct, apply this before your foundation. If you only want to do some light concealing or brighten the complexion, apply your foundation first for the best results.
3. Apply Concealer: you can apply in whichever way works best for you. If you opt for a stick, a concealer brush can be used to transfer the product. However, with a doe foot applicator, we recommend decanting the product onto the back of a (clean) hand, where a brush can then be used to apply onto the face. This stops bacteria from going back into the bottle. If using your fingers is your preferred method, dab a small amount of concealer on the area and lightly blend using tapping motions.
4. Blend the Concealer: after you’ve applied the concealer, use your fingertips, a brush, or a makeup sponge to gently blend out. Be sure to blur the edges of the concealed area into your skin or foundation to avoid harsh lines.
5. Set the Concealer: we always recommend setting concealed areas with translucent powder to prevent it creasing or rubbing off.
Where to Put Concealer
Concealer can be one of the most diverse products in your makeup bag and you may not be using yours to its full potential; here are our favorite areas for application:
Under the Eyes: concealer can help cover dark circles or ‘bags’ under the eyes. Apply it in an upside-down triangle shape and blend with a sponge, using tapping motions to avoid moving the product or diluting its coverage.
Blemishes: if you have any spots or pimples, a dab of concealer can help hide them. Use a dense concealer brush to apply directly onto the blemish and gently blend the edges using a small, fluffy brush.
Hyperpigmentation: if you have areas of dark spots or age spots, a concealer is one of the best tools to even out your skin tone. Depending on the levels of hyperpigmentation, it might be useful to use a color correcting concealer. If you are experiencing fewer spots, touch up with concealer and gently blend.
Highlighting: to brighten or sculpt the face, choose a concealer that’s one to two shades lighter than your foundation. Apply to the high points of the face, like the bridge of the nose, the center of the forehead, the chin, and the undereye to add dimension.
Remember! Less is more when it comes to concealer, it’s easier to add more as you go, rather than having to blend out too much product.
How Long Does Concealer Last?
Staying power will be largely dependent on the product’s formula and your skin type, but with your own personalized approach, you’ll be able to enjoy good lasting power. Here’s how:
For oily skin – we recommend opting for matte formulas and using setting powder to ensure long-lasting coverage and avoid creasing and separation.
The ‘baking’ method may also be useful to keep your makeup on lock. Here’s more on the method that took over your feeds.
For combination skin – you may still experience excess oil on your T-zone or in areas where acne is present. To combat this, lightly dust over these specific areas with powder so you can enjoy a natural finish and long-wear. Keep a pressed powder, and a touch-up concealer on-hand throughout the day to keep your makeup looking fresh and flawless.
For dry skin – opt for lighter-weight formulas that hydrate the skin and add a luminous glow, without settling in any dryer patches.
Note: A light dusting of powder is always recommended for any skin type – especially if you’re looking for longevity.
How to Find your Concealer Shade
Finding the right concealer shade can be a bit tricky, but here are some tips to help you:
1. Identify Your Undertone: the first step to finding the perfect concealer shade is to identify your skin’s undertone. There are generally three categories: warm (yellow), cool (pink) and neutral (a mix of both).
Expert Tip: don’t know how to determine your undertone? It can be as simple as looking at the veins in your wrist. If they appear blue or purple, you likely have cool undertones. If they appear green, you may have warm undertones. If it’s hard to tell and see both tones, you have neutral undertones.
2. Match to Your Foundation: if you already have a foundation that matches your skin tone perfectly, you can use that as a guide. Your concealer should match your foundation exactly for cover-ups or be one shade lighter if you’re using it for highlighting or brightening the under eye area.
3. Test Shades: when choosing a concealer, it’s always a good idea to try a few different shades on your skin before making a purchase. We recommend testing on your jawline, as this will help you see if it’s a good shade match.
4. Use Different Concealer Shades Depending on the Area: your concealer should be an exact match to your foundation when covering up blemishes or pigmentation, so, use your everyday go-to foundation as a guide. For highlighting, use a color that’s one or two shades lighter than your skin tone to brighten up the area. For adding depth and dimension, why not choose one that’s two to three shades darker to add shadow to the face?
5. Consider Color Correcting: if you have particularly stubborn areas of discoloration, you might need a color correcting concealer. These come in a variety of shades (like green, lavender, and peach) designed to counteract specific colors of the skin concern. For example, a green concealer can neutralize redness, while a peach or orange concealer can help with dark circles or spots on deeper skin tones.
Remember! Lighting is key when choosing your shade. Natural light is the best for this, so, if possible, try to check the color in daylight.
Our Best Concealers
It’s fair to say we are concealer crazy and have an amazing range of different styles to try, but here are our three most highly rated:
This is one of our most popular concealers – and for good reason too! Its long-wearing, crease-proof formula makes it a no-brainer for long days when you need your makeup to stay for hours (pssst! Those with oily skin will love this one).
Providing a matte finish, the concealer also works well to disguise blemishes or texture on the skin.
How to use:
- Apply a few dots under your eyes and blend using a fluffy concealer brush or damp beauty sponge to buff out until flawless.
- For blemishes or dark spots, one dot is sufficient, gently tap over with a brush or sponge, and build up if necessary.
- For added staying power, finish with a setting powder and fixing spray to lock in place all day.
Our IRL concealer is the latest addition to our collection, and we’ve fallen in love!
Breathable and lightweight with a full coverage matte finish, this product will be a hard worker in your makeup bag and loved by oily to combination skin types.
Oh, and with a precision flat tip applicator, it’s super effective when applying to blemishes and dark spots without caking your skin with product.
How to use:
- Use the flat tip applicator to dab it under the eyes and onto blemishes, contour points or any other areas you want to cover.
- This concealer is blended best with a makeup brush or a beauty sponge.
Expert Tip: Pair with our bestselling IRL Filter Foundation for the most flawless results.
Lightweight and buildable, Fast Base is designed for a quick application. The perfect handbag partner, this concealer will be your go-to for touch-ups throughout the day. Its twist-and-fix function helps you to distribute a personalized amount of product so you can master your base in minutes.
Whether your goal is to brighten the eye area or banish dark circles, simply apply a few dots (a little goes a long way), under the eye with the small cushion applicator.
We love this option for dry skin, as its lightweight formula and precise applicator allow you to apply to the desired areas without the product caking or clinging to dry, textured spots.
How to use:
- Twist the product until you have released a sufficient amount of product and apply it directly to the face.
- When you’re on-the-go, gently blend out the product using your fingers, or if you are a little more prepared, a face brush or makeup sponge work well to add the coverage you’ve been lusting after.
With a choice so vast, the world of concealer can be daunting! With our tips and tricks, hopefully, the journey to your perfect match is well underway.