1. Choose the right concealer. Concealer is most commonly used to cover up two skin care woes: under-eye circles and blemishes, but it can also be used to camouflage scars, birthmarks, and other issues that cause uneven skin tone. Many different types of concealers are available, and you’ll generally want to use different types to combat different issues. I find that a pinkish tone in a slightly heavier formula works best for my dark under-eye circles, whereas I like a lighter tinted and medicated formula to treat blemishes. Beauty counters and stores like Sephora allow you to test different shades and formulas, so I like to shop for my concealer there, even if I end up buying it somewhere else. I protect my skin with SPF year round, but if you tend to get bronzed in the summer, you might need to go a shade darker.
2. Prepare your canvas. To avoid blemishes and have my concealer go on smoothly, I like to start by washing and drying my face well before putting on a light layer of oil-free moisturizer. Concealer won’t blend well on dry skin, so hydrating is important.
3. Blend well. The key to applying concealer, beyond selecting the right shade and formula for the job, is blending well. You want your skin to look flawless and natural, not obviously “covered up.” Covering under-eye circles is especially tricky, but I like to gradually build up sheer layers of concealer for a more natural look. A few dots of concealer gently tapped (never rubbed) into the area and blended outward works well. When covering scars or blemishes, I use a Q-tip to blend concealer in a circular motion, because using your finger can transfer oil to your face and further aggravate problem skin.
4. Set the look. If you’re going to apply foundation, now is the time to blend it into your concealer; however, if you’re skipping this step, you’ll still want to set your concealer with loose powder. I like to use a big fluffy brush. This step ensures that your concealer stays put, and it provides a nice matte finish.
Once I learned how to properly apply concealer and pick the right shade for my skin type, it instantly became a daily part of my makeup routine and I never leave home without it. Now, I like to think of a good concealer as being like a trusted girlfriend: it always comes through for me when I’m in a bind.