Concealer seems obvious: put it on a bump, blemish or discoloration and you're out the door. But we often find that in practice, concealer doesn't always hide, and in fact can draw attention to, problem spots. Here are a few tricks that teach you how to make your concealer work for you, the way it was meant to.
Consider Your Skin Type: The first thing you've got to do is pick out the right concealer. What you've got now may not be cutting it because of a few factors, one of them being your skin type. While there are many different packaging options, you pretty much have to choose between concealer in a pot and concealer in a wand/bottle. The wand/bottle is more fluid, and tends to work better for dry skin. The potted version can be more mattifying for oily skin, as it's thicker. Beyond that, check the label. Some brands offer specially formulated concealer for different skin types, which brings us to our next tip.
Brand Matters: It's true that you get what you pay for. When looking for concealer, the more refined formulas (those that won't clog pores, etc.) tend to be made by higher end brands. They also tend to provide higher quality color options and better coverage. If you can afford to spend an extra $10 on your concealer, it may be worth it for a professional finish
Consider the Blemish: Now you've got to think about what you're going to be concealing. Yellow-toned concealer a shade lighter than your natural skin color works best for dark circles; green-toned concealer works for redness and blemishes.
Prep Your Skin Right: If you're going to apply concealer directly on your skin, know that it works best when skin is moisturized and cleansed. Beyond that, feel free to use a line-plumping anti-wrinkle serum underneath the concealer to help cover fine lines. Applying primer beforehand helps keep things in place if you're using all-over concealer for uneven skin tone. Where once foundation used to be standard for makeup application, it's not necessary these days. But if you're a foundation user, read on to the next tip.
Foundation Favor: If you plan on using foundation, then you should apply your concealer on top of it. Why? Because that way you can see what your foundation missed. Oftentimes the right foundation alone can mask minor skin discoloration issues.
Brush: Use a short bristled brush to dab and blend your foundation, going over with your ring fingertip if necessary to further blend. Any other way and you risk uneven application. Never use a wiping motion during application. That actually wipes away the concealer, leading you to add more, which leads to that telltale caked-on look. No bueno.
Set it So You Can Forget it: A large brush dipped into translucent powder (with the excess tapped off) will set your coverage efforts and help prevent running.
Switch It Out: Don't let your concealer chill in your makeup bag for more than a year. After that it runs the risk of going bad, developing undetectable bacteria that can make you break out.