As self explanatory as the name “concealer” may be, concealers are also a product that a lot of people get confused about. In today’s Product Series, we’ll look at different concealer formulas, what they do, tips and tricks to achieve the best results and of course some of my personal (and industry) favorite brands.
If you have specific skin issues such as major pigmentation, dark circles or discoloration, make sure to check out my post on Color Correctors HERE
WHAT ARE CONCEALERS
In a nut shell, concealers are a more concentrated, pigmented version of foundations designed to provide coverage in areas where there are scars, marks, pigmentation or to brighten areas that may need a boost of light (mainly the under eye area and higher points of the face). I have an in-depth post on how concealers are used to highlight the face and features which you can check out HERE
THE MOST COMMON CONCEALER PROBLEM: What color to go for?
Most people think concealers should be 1-2 shades lighter than the skin tone. Although this is true when concealers are used for “highlighting and brightening” purposes, it doesn’t really go down too well when covering blemishes, acne and pimples. A pimple/acne is usually raised, so it’s already highlighted against the skin. When we use a concealer lighter than our skin tone for the purpose of covering it, we’re actually doing exactly the opposite…we’re highlighting it further – not to mention any dry skin on or around it.
Lucky for you guys (not so much for me), I’m sporting couple of nice little numbers on my cheek so I can demonstrate exactly what I mean in pictures :) Although no product will help flatten a raised blemish, the color makes a huge difference in making it as invisible as possible.
On the very left is my bare face. Middle is where I’ve used a lighter shade of concealer and as you can see, it practically grabbed onto any dry skin on the blemish and obviously didn’t blend in with my skin color either, highlighting the problem area further. On the very right is my Maybelline Fit Me concealer in the same shade as my skin tone/foundation:
*I didn’t use any foundation or setting powder in the pictures, so once these products go on top, the blemishes will be even less visible.
In summary, if you need a concealer to cover blemishes, acne and pimples, it’s best to go for a color that is the same as your skin or foundation tone. If you need a concealer for brightening/highlighting purposes, it’s better to go for 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone or foundation. For both purposes, it’s best to have 2 different shades of concealers to achieve the most flawless results.
TYPES OF CONCEALERS
Liquid concealers: are most commonly used and they provide light to medium coverage – although most are buildable to a full coverage. They usually come in squeezable or lip gloss type of tubes with either a sponge or brush applicator.
Cream concealers: usually offer the heaviest coverage as they are much thicker in consistency. Cream concealers come in little pots or pressed pans, and occasionally in a stick/chubby pencil form. We tend to use cream concealers more for pro work in the studio or for covering tattoos or deep scars and pigmentation.
TRIED and TESTED FAVORITES
The products I’ve listed below are possibly the best in their categories and I’ve been using them in rotation for years now. The long wearing formulas are my favorite as they’re so easy to work with. They set quickly (most of the time they don’t even need extra setting powder on top) and they don’t crease. I love the others just as much, though I only use the heavy coverage formulas for specific jobs as mentioned above.
Click on the product pictures below to be taken to the stores; except DS=Drugstore
MAC Select Cover-Up Concealer / Giorgio Armani Concealer / Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (DS) / Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (DS)
Colorstay / LongWear Concealers
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer / NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer / Revlon Colorstay Range Concealers (DS) / Maybelline Super Stay Concealer (DS)
Heavy Coverage Concealers
MAC Studio Finish Concealer / Kat Von D Lock It Tattoo Concealer / Hard Candy Glamoflage (DS) / Dermablend Professional Cover Creme (DS)
Tools for Application
Using fingers are a great everyday way of applying concealers as the warmth of the skin helps melt the product and blend it in. However, the brushes/brush sets below, as well as the Beauty Blenders are my go-to concealer tools when it comes to achieving the most flawless finish.
For under eyes and highlighting, fluffy blending brushes and the beauty blenders (especially the new micro mini size for smaller areas) work best. A fine tip brush such as the Sigma E11 below is perfect for precise coverage of blemishes/pimples but any fine tip brush (even from art shops) is good for this.
Real Techniques Starter Kit (DS) / Sigma Precision Kit (also available individually) / Sigma E11 brush / Beauty Blender / Beauty Blender Micro Minis
CONCEALER TIPS AND TRICKS
* For concealing darkness, pigmentation and blemishes, I find it best to apply the concealer first, followed by foundation and powder to further conceal the problem areas. For highlighting purposes, you can apply the foundation first and then the concealer and powder which help emphasise the highlighted areas.
* When covering blemishes or under eyes, work in thin layers and build up the product as needed, rather than a thick layer. Most of the creasing problems occur because of the amount of product applied. Take your time and blend each layer really well, allowing the product to settle into the skin for a few minutes before moving onto the next layer.
* Try to go for a light setting powder – even a translucent one when setting concealers. This will help eliminate product build up and cakey heavy finishes. A fluffy powder brush is usually best. I will cover all these in more detail when we get to the Product Series post on powders so stay tuned.
* You can turn your regular concealer formulas into colorstay / long wearing formulas by applying your favorite eye primer to the area before you go in with your concealer ;)
And here we are beauties! I know this was a long post but I didn’t want to leave anything out. I hope this post helped answer some of your questions and let me know in the comments if you need further info on anything.
What’s your favorite concealer and tool to apply it with? xx