Beauty Tips & Tricks


Are You Absolutely Sure You're Not Using Your Concealer All Wrong?

26 Jun, 2018
By Andie Reeves
We have all sat through a cat-eye tutorial at least once or read up on how to apply your mascara correctly or Googled the correct spots to sweep highlighter onto. But when it comes to concealer it’s easy; just dab it on your blemishes and you’re good to go, right? Wrong!

You’re not alone if you thought concealer was just a matter of dotting a bit of product on your finger and hitting the problem areas. But if you want to get the most out of your concealer there’s a bit more to it. Here are the ways you’re probably getting your concealer all wrong, and how to apply it perfectly every time…

Mistake #1: Applying Your Under-Eye Concealer in The Wrong Shape

Most of us will simply dab a couple of dots of concealer under our eyes, blend it a bit, and hope our dark rings appear a bit lighter. But the trick to truly minimizing those dark circles is by using a triangle shape.

Use a brush to apply your concealer in an upside-down triangle under each eye, with the point of the triangle landing in the middle of your cheek. Use a beauty blender to blend the triangles into the rest of your face and voila: your eyes look wide-awake. Don’t apply concealer to the outer corners of your eyes as product will gather and crease here.

The best type of concealer for around your eyes is one with light-reflecting pigments which makes dark shadows under the eyes disappear. Try Essence Get Picture Ready Brightening Concealer in Nude.

Mistake #2: Expecting Too Much of Your Concealer

Some blemishes are too red and some circles are too dark. No matter how much concealer you pile on these imperfections just don’t seem to disappear. Give your concealer a bit of help by using colour correctors.

Use yellow or orange to counteract dark circles (dark skinned girls can even use an orange red lipstick) and green to zap any redness. Then add a layer of foundation, a layer of flesh toned concealer, and blend, blend, blend. And just in case you’re wondering, the violet shade is used to brighten up dull sallow skin.

Both the Essence Correct to Perfect CC Concealer Palette and Catrice AllRound Concealer Palette offer all the colour correcting shades you need.

Read More. Insider Secrets on How to Use Colour Correcting Concealers

Mistake #3: Buying the Wrong Shade

It’s a common misconception that you need to buy your concealer in a shade or two lighter than your foundation and skin tone. This won’t brighten your face the way you hope it might; it’s going to look ashy and obvious. Buy one that matches your skin exactly.

If you are specifically interested in targeting the bags under your eyes then buy a peach-tinged hue. This will counter the blue and purple tones (helped along by colour correcting).

Our fave is LA Girl Pro Concealer in Peach - they have many other colour correcting and skin toned concealers in their range.

Mistake #4: Skipping the Eye Cream

Make applying eye cream part of your make up routine.

A hydrated and moisturised eye area means a smooth and velvety canvas for concealer to be applied to and less risk of caking and flaking.

Our eye cream product picks:
Uriage Eau Thermal Water Eye Contour Cream is an ultra-refreshing eye gel which promises to remove signs of fatigue and provide lasting hydration to the eye area – so bye-bye puffiness and hello to more radiance.

Eucerin Anti-Age Volume Filler Eye Cream (with a bonus SPF15) includes magnolol which works to reduce and prevent fine lines and hyaluronic acid to plump up the eye area. The result? Your eyes will look fresher and smoother.

Read More. How to Seriously Improve Your Skincare Routine in a Few Easy Steps

Mistake #5: Using Your Finger

Well, the wrong finger any way. If you like to dot concealer on using your finger that’s fine, just be sure to use your ring finger, not your index finger. It’s weaker and will therefore be more gentle, and use light tapping motions.

This actually warms up the product, which helps it to melt into your skin. But if you want a truly perfect look then after you’ve used your finger you need to go in with your beauty blender to get that seamless finish.

Our product pick is Cala Makeup Blending Sponge, which is a wallet friendly beauty blender.

Mistake #6: Using the Wrong Tools

If you prefer to use tools then a concealer brush is your best bet. Be sure to use as little product as possible at first. Concealer is buildable so assess after each layer whether you need another one. Then once you’re done blend it outwards with your beauty blender to eliminate any harsh lines and blend it into your skin.

For small spots use a small and sharp brush. This will apply just the right amount of product directly to the area (that you’ve prepped with primer and a layer of foundation). Gently stipple around the spot and outwards until it totally disappears (hopefully!).

Cala has a couple of options for you: the straight up Cala Concealer Brush or the value for money two-in-one Cala Dual Foundation Concealer Brush.

Mistake #7: Skipping the Powder

If you use a liquid of cream-based concealer you need to set it with powder or else it will eventually shift and melt off, leaving you red-faced (literally). Use a lightweight translucent powder.

Our pick is Maybelline Master Fix Setting & Perfecting Loose Powder in Translucent which gives you a soft-focus finish, blurs imperfections and leaves your skin smooth and matte.

When powdering the under-eye area be careful to avoid the outer corner of your eyes. Powder tends to gather in creases and you don’t want to load up your crow’s feet with product. If, however, you are concealing a pimple that is really dry then you can skip the powder step, as this will make it worse.

Read More. Want to Find Your Perfect Foundation? Here's What NOT to Do

Mistake #8: Concealer That Creases

Creased concealer is such a common complaint it’s enough to make you want to skip the stuff all together. Part of being a human is moving our faces a lot, when we smile, eat and talk. This means your make up is bound to shift and therefore crease a little - but it is possible to minimise the damage without having to resort to Botox.

The texture of your concealer is important. Stiff and dry ones are prone to creasing so stick to light and creamy formulas. Next, try and only apply to the smoothest areas of your face. That means avoiding crow’s feet, laughter line and frown line territory. Once applied set it with powder, using a small, flat brush for precision.

A great lightweight formula with light reflecting pigments to brighten up your eye area is Revlon Youth FX Fill & Blur Concealer in Light Medium.

Mistake #9: Applying Concealer Before Foundation

Someone started a myth that by applying your concealer first you will end up using less foundation. What actually happens is you shift it around when applying foundation, making your careful concealer application a waste of time.

Always use your foundation first, wait a few moments for it to settle, and then you’re free to go in with your concealer.

We like Maybelline Fit Me Concealer which is an oil-free natural coverage liquid concealer and said to be a dupe for the iconic Nars Concealer. It is available in a wide variety of shades including medium and deep, as well as ones designed for your skin tone like Sand (for yellow toned light/medium skins) and Honey (for olive skins).

Mistake #10: Using the Same Formula All Over

It’s likely you will need more than one type of concealer. If you’re covering up a pimple then you need a thick tub or stick formula that won’t budge and expose you midday. Dermatologically tested Yardley Oatmeal Blemish Stick is a handy 2in1 product which both conceals and helps treat pimples with tea tree oil and moisturizing oat extract - with shades such as Sand and Caramel.

But when you apply a heavy-duty formula like this to the delicate and thin eye area it’s too thick, and it settles into the fine lines there. Rather use a lighter liquid formula for under eye blemishes.

When choosing concealer formula, it’s also important to consider your foundation. If you use a powder foundation then a liquid concealer is going to cake, and vice versa. Use one formula throughout your beauty routine to avoid your products clumping together on your skin.

Mistake #11: Limiting Your Concealer to Just, Well, Concealing

Concealer isn’t only good for hiding imperfections. You can use it to tidy up the ‘edges’ of your make up, giving you a crisp and perfect finish. With a brush and a steady hand, drag a creamy lightweight concealer under your brows, along winged eyeliner edges and around your lips to sharpen the finish and minimise any bleeding or smudging.

You can also coat your lips with a layer of concealer before applying your lip colour. This creates a neutral base for product, meaning the colour will really pop, plus it makes it stay put for longer. If you’re still saving up for an eye shadow primer then a slick of concealer over your eyelids will do in the meantime to help grab onto eye product and reduce the dreaded panda eye effect.

Our product pick is Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Precision Concealer in Sand Beige 030 for the control its precision brush offers for those ‘finishing off’ jobs.

Mistake #12: Using the Wrong Formula to Cover Acne and Scarring

Another amazing use of concealer is covering up any acne or scars you might have. But choosing the right formula is vital. A thick and matte formula works best for flat or indented scars, but if your acne or scar is raised then use a creamy and more lightweight concealer.

Recommended by dermatologists and makeup artists worldwide, Coverderm Concealer No 3 is part of the Coverderm Camouflage range which is famous for concealing both major and minor skin imperfections on the face.

The Vichy Dermablend range is also very effective in covering up both acne and scars using both the SOS Cover Stick concealer and high coverage 3D Correction Resurfacing foundation. Here’s a full coverup tutorial to help you along.

Read More. Valuable Tips on How to Use Concealers to Really Conceal

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