Concealer is by far one of my favourite pieces of makeup. I can have a day where the only makeup I put on my face is concealer and a bit of powder. It’s one of those things that can be used in so many different ways; to cover under eye circles, conceal spots or any unwanted blemishes. But when you’re first starting out it can be pretty confusing. There’s liquid, matte, crayon-like sticks, skin coloured, green ones, purple ones and the whole thing can feel a bit daunting! So, let’s take it back to basics and look at concealer 101.
First up, what type of concealer to use? There are honestly so many different types and colours to choose from, I know in the beginning I found myself blankly staring at the makeup counters trying work out the difference! First of all, it really depends what type of texture you prefer; do you want a liquid based product or a creamy stick?
Personally, I prefer liquid. I feel like it rubs and blends in better and is easier to use. I also suffer from dry skin on my face and find that sometimes when I apply a more matte cream type concealer, it can sometimes leave me with flaky skin and uneven patches around the area that I’ve applied it to. But, as with everything it did take a bit of trial and error to find my perfect product.
I found I didn’t fit into the normal rules of dry skin = stick / cream concealer. My most important tip is to experiment until you find the product that’s right for you, regardless of the rules. And, as with any makeup it’s important that you get one which matches your skin tone as best you can to ensure you have an even finish. Another quick tip: to help find the perfect shade for you always apply samples to your jaw line and neck NOT the back of your hand!
But, finding your favourite texture is the easy part! Next, we have to look at all the different types available. There are your bog-standard skin tones, but there are also ones that come in all different wacky colours. Now I know that it is a little strange to see blue or green concealer, but they’re designed to do all different things.
Using coloured concealer is known as ‘colour correcting’. It may sound confusing, but the concept behind it all is pretty simple. The basis of it goes back to the colour wheel. Yep, that thing from art class. And, if you’re anything like me, then it’s something that you’ve never really paid any attention to. It uses the idea that the colours opposite to one another on the colour wheel cancel each other out. For example green will help tame red patches/spots, whereas purple is best for covering yellow tones. Still with me? Great, lets go through the benefits and uses of each concealer colour.
I actually really love green concealer. As green is opposite to red on the colour wheel, the green will help to dye down the appearance of red skin, blemishes, or in most cases, red spots.
This one is best for darker tones and isn’t recommended for someone with fairer skin. If you do have fairer skin, skip to pink. Orange is opposite blue on the colour wheel, meaning that it will help to cover blue dark circles, such as under the eyes and helps to conceal uneven skin tones. This may look more like a peach colour than a bright orange.
Now this one is for fairer skin tones. A mixture of red, orange and yellow these colours help to conceal those blue, green and purple patches on the face. Yep, I’m looking at you under eye bags. Pink concealer (usually a salmon colour) is perfect to cover dark circles on fair – light skin tones.
Yellow concealer is kind of the universal cover up. It helps to hide any purple tones and is great for concealing light bruising, dark veins / capillaries or purple toned under eye circles.
Purple is used to cover up yellow undertones and is also known to brighten skin. Use a light blob of purple concealer to help cover up any yellow tones or yellow spots.
So now we have the basics (I know, it’s all pretty confusing), what do we do with it? Concealer should only ever be used in small amounts to cover light problem areas; a thin line or a small dot will do. It’s not something that you’re going to spread all over your face, that’s what foundation or tinted moisturiser is for. It’s more of a little top up to help cover any extra blemishes. Depending on what type of concealer you’re using, there’s a different order for application:
– Coloured concealer, blend, foundation, blend
– Foundation, blend, normal (skin coloured) concealer, blend
Or, if you’re using both:
– Coloured concealer, blend, foundation, blend, normal (skin coloured) concealer, blend
Make sure that you have a good blender to help apply the colour. You can use a makeup sponge, your fingers or a special concealer brush.
Remember, the main aim is to correct and cover any blemishes you might have. It’s one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can have in your make up bag and one of my absolute favourite products. If using coloured concealer only use the colours that you need. There’s no point turning yourself into a rainbow if you don’t need to. You only really need to use coloured concealers for large, dark or noticeable blemishes. Smaller marks can be covered with regular, skin coloured concealer. And last but not least, make sure that you use colours that work for your skin tone.
I know it can seem confusing, but when you break it down it’s really pretty simple. If it’s easier, when you start off just go for a basic skin coloured concealer which can act as a little bit of everything. Apply light strokes or soft dots only on the problem area and blend well. Now you’re one step close to truly fabulous, flawless skin!