How to Conceal Effectively
The purpose of concealer is to cover blemishes, dark circles, redness, broken capillaries, and any other small imperfections that find their way onto your skin. Heavy camouflage concealer can also be used to cover scars and birthmarks. It is much better to use a lighter formula of foundation and apply coverage where required rather than covering the whole face in a heavy foundation. Concealer looks most natural when it is applied in sheer layers; building up gradually until you achieve the fresh face look you’re after. Ideally you should have two different shades of concealer: one that is one or two shades lighter than your skin tone and one that matches your skin. To find the perfect shade, test the foundation along the jaw line, it should disappear into your skin. Between the two shades you can flatten a raised blemish, cover all imperfections, and banish dark under eye circles and discoloration.
Concealer should have either a yellow (ideal for olive skin tones) or a soft pink undertone, the shade of which will depend on your skin tone; very pale ivory, caramel honey, very dark – cocoa. Avoid concealers that look too pink or white. Using a concealer that is too light under the eye will emphasize the dark area instead of concealing it. The best concealers should be enriched with vitamins and have a smooth, silky texture. There are many different formulas of concealer available that provide varying degrees of coverage. Your choice of a concealer will depend on your skin type and the area you want to conceal.
It is important to use the correct technique when applying concealer; otherwise, it will be visible and will highlight exactly what you are trying to conceal. For the skin under the eye apply a thinner layer of concealer than elsewhere on the face.
1. Use a cream concealer one or two shades lighter than the skin tone to cover dark circles. Apply the product from the inner corner of the eye along the orbital bone approximately a third of the way across the width of the socket. For precise application, apply with a concealer brush.
2. Apply eye-brightener on the inner bridge of the nose around the corner of the eye. If there is a visible crease or fold of skin, apply in the crease under the eye to lift and flatten. Also apply under the outer corner of the eye for an instant lift.
3. Use the pad of your middle finger to tap the concealer into the skin. Tap and lightly rub outward and back inward; don’t drag or pull the skin.
4. Use a loose translucent setting powder over the whole eye area to prevent creasing. Use a small dome brush (an eye shadow blending brush) for precise application
5. Conceal any redness around the edge of the nose using a fine-tipped concealer brush. This enables you to get right into the corners.
6. Conceal around the lip line to enhance the lip shape and stop your lipstick from bleeding. Using your eye-brightener under the outer two-thirds of the lower lips will give you an enviably pouty look.
There are many different forms of concealers that can be used, but based on what you are looking to achieve, it’s important to select the concealer that will suit your problem areas best.
Cream: Gives full coverage, is creamy and easy to blend so can be used under eyes, and is heavy enough to cover dark circles. You snag this concealer in a tube, compact, or pot. The creamiest versions are good for older skin as they are hydrating and are easy to apply without dragging the skin.
Highlighting Pens: Used on the inner corner of the eye to brighten dark circles and shadows. Can be used to flatten and even out wrinkles, around the edges of the mouth, and under the outer corner of the eye to lift.
Color Correctors: Used to cover discoloration. Use green to counteract redness, lilac for sallowness, yellow for purple or blue-tinged circles. Blue tones down orange, and orange-toned correctors are used to cover a bruise or tattoo.
Camouflage: This is the heaviest concealer and it can be used to cover birthmarks, sunspots, scars, and even tattoos.
Solid Stick: Perfect for blemishes and provides direct on-the-spot application. The consistency is thick but fairly dry, so it is not so easy to use under the eyes.
Mineral Powder: Easy application, good for sensitive skin and eyes. Gives light to medium coverage for dark circles and blemishes.
Liquid: Usually comes in a wand, pen or tube and gives the lightest coverage. It has a creamy formula and is easy to blend. This is a multi-use product that covers minor blemishes and slight shadows for picture perfect touch-ups.
Pencils: For medium coverage and to use on small imperfections; not suited for shadows and dark circles. Very portable and good for touch-ups.