We have become so concealer obsessed lately (Thanks Instagram & YouTube!), that I thought it would be appropriate to share my thoughts on such a wonder product and to share some of my favorites. In my previous post The Perfect Base: My Foundation Must Haves I mentioned that when it comes to foundation it is not a simple “One size fits all” approach, the same applies for concealer. I thought I would address some myths and the madness behind the craze that we are seeing with concealers in today’s beauty savvy social media madness.
What is Concealer?
Concealer is a cosmetic product used to conceal /correct blemishes, under eye circles, pigmentation, age spots, large pores and other imperfections on the face (or body).
How does if differ from foundation?
Concealer is highly pigmented (Strong in color) and ranges in coverage (sheer to opaque), it is generally used in smaller areas of the face, where as foundation covers a larger surface area. It is designed to help make the complexion more uniform in color.
Fun Fact : The first commercially available concealer was Max Factor’s “Erace” launched in 1938.
How is it used?
Concealer can be used with/without foundation. Like foundations it comes in a variety of shades and forms, light to deep , liquid to cream. It is used in a variety of different ways, even for camouflaging more serious skin conditions to covering tattoos.
What is ‘Color correcting’?
When skin is discolored from either dark eye circles, age spots, pigmentation or blemishes certain types of color correcting concealers may need to be used to correct the discoloration, these will generally not be a particular “skin colour” but more a concealer with special tones to counteract discoloration e.g. dark eye circles with a blue tone will need a concealer with an orange/warm/peach tone to counteract the darkness of the blue (depending on the depth of the color).
Makeup Artists’ use these techniques without you realizing, it all comes down to color theory.
How do I know what shade suits me?
You may of watched YouTube tutorials, seen an Instagram picture or watched a Makeup Artist use concealer, but as I’ve said before it is not a one size fits all. What you see one person doing in a tutorial may suit them, but it doesn’t mean it’s the solution for you. My best recommendation is visiting a Makeup professional.
Should my concealer be two shades lighter than my foundation?
Wouldn’t that be great if that was the case? In my opinion the answer is simply “Not necessarily”. For example when you add a lighter color to a darker area of the face e.g. dark eye circles, without color correcting them first , you will end up with lovely ashy, grey looking under eye circles not to mention if you wanted to use this concealer on blemishes it’s going to be two shades lighter than your foundation and stick out like a sore thumb.
Should I conceal before or after foundation?
Everybody likes to apply their makeup differently, and that is more than fine. I prefer to apply foundation first, reason being is that I like foundation to do majority of the work at evening out the complexion, I then follow with concealer to spot correct, this way you are not applying unnecessary amounts of product.
Can I highlight with concealer?
The highlight/contouring craze is one of the most controversial yet coveted makeup trends that have the beauty world divided.
My personal opinion; I do not like an overly highlighted/contoured/drag look, for me it’s beyond natural looking and does not represent how I like my work to look. I can appreciate the skill in the artistry and do find the transformations amazing, but for me I would prefer to leave it to the Theatre and the Drag Queens (where it all started).
Having said this, I do highlight with concealer but not so heavy handed that it looks like it could be peeled off, rather I like to highlight with an illuminating concealing product ( I have listed my favorite below) so the answer is yes absolutely, just depends on your desired look.
Where’s the best place to buy concealer?
Like a foundation , I always recommend going to a Makeup Professional, we wear our face every day and just like our clothes we need to get the right size and color. Makeup Artist’s are trained to colour correct and to find the right solution for you.
My Top picks
This is a luxurious creamy concealer that is a medium to full buildable coverage, but still feels lightweight and is great for a drier skin. It’s hydrating and adds luminosity. It’s long wearing, alcohol free, paraben free, synthetic fragrance free and non-comdeogenic (pore clogging).
Studio Finish is a lightweight but full coverage concealer, it’s water resistant and can be used for a light to opaque coverage (even tattoos!) It’s enriched with Vitamin’s A & E and also contains silica which helps to control oil. You can buy them in separate pots, or the concealer palettes come with 4 shades and 2 correcting shades. There are 4 palettes Light, Medium, Medium Deep and Dark. These are an amazing staple for Makeup Artists.
Creamy in texture but high in coverage, comes in a wide variety of shades and also comes in a duo palette with a corrector shade, also comes in a professional palette with 13 Creamy Concealer shades, 14 correctors and 20 shades of her foundation stick, very popular for the Makeup Artist Kit.
The ultimate cover, designed to cover scars, vitiligo, tattoos and discoloration. A little goes a very long way and can be used lightly or for an opaque coverage. It last’s up to 16 hours when set with a powder and has a velvet smooth finish.
Serious coverage from a lightweight fluid. Provides medium to full cover, with a natural matte finish. If using under the eyes I do suggest priming the eyes first with a light moisture gel as it can tend to be on the drier side, however once it has set it will not move and provides up to 15 hours of coverage.
Many people tend to get this product confused for a coverage concealer, but unless you don’t have problems with dark circles this will not exactly cover. Touche Eclat adds light coverage but adds luminosity and is amazing for highlighting areas of the face such as under the eyes, cheekbones, top of the cupid’s bow on the lips and anywhere you want to attract the light. It’s subtle but effective, a favorite tool of Makeup Artists.
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