From dark circles to acne to pigmentation, we want to cover them all. With the right types of concealer, you can mask any imperfections such as dark circles, acne, blemishes, redness and hyperpigmentation that you think you may have on your face. Ready to find out which concealer is right for you?
Don’t we all freak out when an unwanted pimple just pops up on the face right before an important occasion? It is such an annoying feeling. But don’t worry, I got you covered. This article is all about concealers and how it will help you cover up all the unwanted guests that appear at the wrong time.
What is a Concealer?
A concealer is also known as a color corrector. It is a makeup product that is used to cover dark spots, discoloration, large pores, acne, and other blemishes on the skin. It is also used for brightening and highlighting certain areas of the skin such as under the eyes or the chin.
The basic difference between a concealer and a foundation is that a concealer is used to mask dark circles, blemishes, acne, and other spots. Whereas a foundation is used on the entire face to even out the complexion. It also forms the base of the makeup. Concealer on the other hand has a thicker formula and is used to target a specific area and not the entire face. This is why a concealer comes in a smaller container as compared to a foundation.
We at ShilpaAhuja.com love makeup, and from photo-shoots to parties to weddings, our team has tried many different types and brands. So today, we have created a full guide on all types of concealer you need to know about.
Why do You Need a Concealer?
If you have dark spots, acne, pigmentation, or any mark on your face that you want to cover up, a concealer will do the job. All you wanna do is dab the concealer on the affected area and blend softly.
Just like most people, I often wondered whether the concealer should be applied before or after the foundation. I followed a few makeup artists and YouTubers and understood the difference in the results. Applying concealer before foundation will smear it all over which is not ideal for giving the right amount of coverage and you end up reapplying it. So it is best to apply concealer on the foundation. You can try out both the techniques and see which one works best for you.
Types of Concealer
Here are 4 types of concealer that are widely used. Let’s understand each type and find the most suitable one for your skin.
1. Liquid Concealer
It is one of the most versatile types of concealer. It usually has a sheer coverage but sometimes certain formula can give you full coverage. You can also build up the coverage by reapplying it. Liquid concealer works best on dry to normal skin types. It has a hydrating formula and glides on smoothly over the foundation or skin. It comes in matte, satin, and radiant finish. If you have acne-prone skin, look for a formula that is non-comedogenic and oil-free. This will prevent your skin from breaking out.
How to use: Use the wand to apply the concealer directly on the areas where you want to conceal such as under the eyes. Be careful not to get the product in your eye. Blend the concealer using a damp beauty blender or a brush.
Our Pick: Urban Decay Stay Naked Concealer
2. Stick Concealer
Stick concealers are best for normal to dry skin. It gives more coverage compared to other concealers and has a semi-solid texture leaving a very pigmented and vibrant look. This makes them perfect for covering up little blemishes and dark spots. Stick concealers are super compact and easy to carry for touch-ups on the go.
Because of its consistency, it needs to be blended a lot, and using your fingers, brush, or beauty blenders in stippling motion is best. Although it gives full coverage, it can be a little heavy on the skin. It is not recommended for oily skin, especially during summers as the heat can melt the concealer and smear it all over the face.
How to use: Use the stick concealer directly on your face and blend it well with your fingers or beauty sponge.
Our pick: Marc Jacobs Beauty Accomplice Concealer & Touch-Up Stick
3. Balm Concealer
The balm concealer has a thicker consistency as compared to liquid concealers and gives more coverage. These types of concealer are ideal for normal to oily skin. This concealer has a balm-like texture and thus the name balm concealer. Many balm concealers are color correctors, which means that you can use them before your foundation to neutralize the discoloration and redness. Let’s breakdown each color corrector and its uses:
Peach concealer: Neutralizes blue and purple shadows on medium skin tones.
Orange pink concealer: Neutralizes dark spots on dark skin tones. Pale pink conceals blue spots on fair skin tones.
Yellow concealers: Conceals purple or dark shadow on tan or olive skin tones.
Green concealer: Hides redness on the skin.
Lavender/green concealer: Hides yellow patches on the skin.
How to use: Use a brush or your fingers to apply the concealer. Blend it well. To mask the color of the corrector, apply your foundation over it. To make your makeup look pop even more, apply a concealer that matches your foundation.
Our pick: NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Concealer Palette
4. Cream Concealer
Cream concealers give medium to full coverage but are not as pigmented as stick concealers. It has a thick formula and is recommended for normal to dry skin. These types of concealer are perfect for masking dark circles, acne, and discoloring, or hyperpigmentation. Since cream concealers work well on dry skin, they will easily cover any dry patches on the skin or any blemish that has dried out. Cream concealers do tend to crease so anyone with fine lines or wrinkles should avoid this concealer. If you have acne-prone or sensitive skin, look for a cream concealer that is non- comedogenic, oil and alcohol-free.
How to use: Apply the concealer with a brush or your fingers. It is best to use your fingers for applying this concealer as the warmth of your figure will blend the concealer easily. However, a brush or beauty sponge works well, too.
Our pick: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
It is very essential to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. These days many makeup products come with SPF in them, which includes concealers. Beauty products with SPF will prevent discoloration from the sun, wrinkles, sunspots, and more. All concealers may not have SPF in them so look for brands that do have SPF.
How to Choose the Right Concealer
In your attempt to hide acne, discoloration, and others you might end up inviting more of them on your face. So choosing the right types of concealer is very important. The concealer should be based on your skin type and concerns.
Dry Skin: Choose a liquid concealer. When asked Shilpa about the types of concealers that work best on her skin, she said, “Personally, I have very dry skin, and I have used liquid and cream concealers both. And while cream works okay, I prefer liquid one better and use it for most of my shoots. Just like liquid foundation, it provides moisturization and glides on smoothly over my liquid foundation and blends very well with sponge, you can see results in our videos. In fact, cream one sometimes brings out my dry flaky skin, because I have to blend it with my fingers and it tends to get unevenly spread.”
Oily Skin: If you have oily skin with large pores then you should avoid cream and stick concealers and they tend to clog the pores. Such concealers also magnify the appearance of pores and add an oily shine. Balm concealers work best for oily skin.
Discoloration: Any medium to high coverage concealers will mask discoloration. You can reapply the concealer if you think that you didn’t get the desired result in the first application.
Under Eye Brightening: Use a color corrector if you need to cover any redness or discoloration. Then choose a concealer that is no more than one shade lighter than your skin. This will avoid any visible white circle around the eye area.
Dark Circles: Use a concealer that has high pigment and is closer to your skin tone. Build the coverage by reapplying the concealer if needed.
Apply Concealer the Right Way
After reading about the types of concealer that are available, you would definitely want to know how to use them. Regardless of the concealer you use, the application remains the same. Irrespective of your skin type, always prep your skin with a moisturizer and a primer. Use a lightweight moisturizer if you have normal to oily skin and a hydrating moisturizer if you have dry skin.
Some people prefer to apply concealer before foundation. As I mentioned before, it is better to apply concealer after foundation as applying it before will smudge it all over. However, it is a personal choice, so go for what works for you, as there is no right or wrong way.
Next, apply the concealer wherever you want to conceal and blend it using your finger, brush, or beauty sponge, until there are no distinct lines between the concealer and your skin or foundation. If you are using your finger, use your ring finger to blend the concealer as the ring finger is the most gentle and will apply less pressure. Applying a lot of pressure while concealing the undereye can cause unwanted wrinkles. I learned this trick from Michelle Phan, an American makeup artist who was a famous beauty YouTuber during 2010.
If you are using a powder foundation, apply the concealer before applying the foundation to avoid looking clumpy and patchy.
Set your concealer with a light dusting of translucent powder. In the case of a matt concealer, it usually does not need to be set with a powder. But if you think that it is not matt enough, go ahead and use a powder on the concealer.
If you are concealing under the eye, I suggest you use a radiant finish concealer or add a luminescent highlighter. It disguises shadowed areas and adds a light-reflective finish.
How to Find the Right Shade for You
The types of concealer you choose should ideally match your skin-tone, but you can also go for one shade lighter, especially under the eye.
To conceal any area of your face, use a foundation that is the exact shade of your foundation. This will blend the concealer perfectly with the foundation, providing the right coverage without leaving any obvious marks.
It is very important to pick the right types of concealer based on your skin’s undertone. Picking the wrong concealer will make your skin tone look unnatural. Here is how you can determine which undertone you have.
Look at the veins on your wrist.
Warm: If you have green veins then you probably have a warm undertone. Your skin has hints of yellow and gold in it. You will notice that your skin tans easily and rarely sunburns.
Cool: If you see bluish or purple veins then you have a cool undertone. Your skin has hints of bluish and pink in it. You will notice that your skin sunburns rather than getting tanned.
Neutral: If you see both green and purple veins then you have a neutral undertone. Your skin has no obvious bluish or pink hint to it.
Knowing your undertone will help you get the most suitable concealer for yourself. However, shades often vary between brands, so it’s ideal to try a couple before buying.
No, we are not baking in the kitchen, but in makeup. You must have heard about baking your under eye makeup as it was a trend. This technique was originally used by Drag. Recently it was brought into the spotlight by Kim Kardashian. Her makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic uses this technique to set her makeup for events. He said that this technique should not be used regularly and he uses it on celebrities for a very dramatic, long-lasting, matt finish look.
You can use any of the above types of concealer for baking your makeup. If you want to try your hands at baking then all you need is:
Loose setting powder
A fluffy makeup brush
First, you have to apply your foundation. Next apply the concealer under your eye, chin, underneath the hollows of your cheeks or wherever you want to set the makeup. If you want heavy coverage, don’t hesitate to apply a second coat. Blend it with the beauty sponge.
Now take a fluffy brush and dab a generous amount of loose powder on the concealer. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes. The translucent powder will allow the heat from your face to set your foundation and concealer firmly, giving it a matt finish. I know you might look funny and clownish for those 5 minutes, but this will end up setting your makeup like a pro, so trust the process. Finally, use a fluffy brush to dust the powder away from your face.
Voila. Your makeup is set.
I hope this article gave you a clear understanding of which concealer will work best for your skin. I would love to see you find your perfect match so don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @shilpaahujadotcom in your makeup pics.
Sadaf Naz is a Fashion Journalist Intern at Shilpaahuja.com. She is a graduate from Shri Shikshayatan College with B.Com and is currently pursuing her masters degree from Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration. She is from Kolkata, the city of joy.
She is a sucker for sketching, painting, calligraphy and reading (mostly fiction). She has experience working on a variety of projects like fashion design, jewelry design, entrepreneurship, digital marketing and more. Currently, she is working on her website and building a personal brand. She believes that people should take inspiration from everywhere but create and retain their own unique style.