Our tips for choosing the best concealer for your skin
Concealer is like the magic wand of makeup products—a few dots of the right concealer can mask any blemish or mark with an effortless swipe of the applicator, or even make dark circles vanish. Like any other makeup product, though, choosing the right type of concealer for your skin can be challenging. Besides selecting the right shade, there are other factors to consider when shopping for the perfect concealer for your skin.
What Shade of Concealer Should I Choose?
Choosing a good shade of concealer for your skin can be tricky. It’s often best to choose two different shades rather than selecting only one. Why select two? Often, your skin tone appears completely different when it’s washed out in office space-style fluorescent lighting versus natural lighting. Having two concealers ensures you can apply a shade that won’t stand out harshly in different lighting.
Another factor to consider when selecting a shade of concealer is the color of whatever spot or blemish you’re trying to cover with it. For example, if you are trying to conceal dark circles, it is best to choose a yellow-toned concealer to balance out the darker, purple-hued spots under eyes. For patches of redness on the skin, a concealer that best matches your exact skin tone will conceal them and even out your skin’s color.
A great way to ensure you’re choosing a smart shade of concealer is to do a test patch in a place that gets a lot of natural light, such as next to an open window. This way, you can see how the concealer will appear once you step out of an office, store, or bathroom and into natural sunlight. This ensures that you’re choosing a concealer shade that is flexible enough to move in between different lighting during use without looking mismatched on your skin.
Shades of concealer can also depend on where they’re going to be applied. For example, when covering the area underneath the eyes, it is best to choose a concealer that is one to two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Going slightly lighter helps highlight this area and brighten it, taking some of the shading away from the dark circles in a way that doesn’t completely wash the area out into the rest of your skin. While it still conceals the brash darkness, it also helps establish some dimension between the area under your eyes and the rest of your skin.
What Concealer Consistency Should I Choose?
Different concealers are made in different consistencies. The consistency of the concealer can make or break a good cover up—choosing the wrong type of consistency can make your blemishes stand out under your makeup.
If you are trying to cover dark under-eye circles, it is best to choose a concealer that feels rich, creamy, and hydrating. Since the skin under the eyes is delicate, a heavier concealer will bond well with moisturizers and last longer on the skin there.
For concealing blemishes such as pimples, a pigment-heavy, opaque blend will expertly diminish the appearance of raised bumps with a thin layer or two of product. It is best to avoid a concealer with a bright or sheer appearance since this can highlight pimples and make them appear larger and more obvious.
How Can I Test a Concealer Before Buying It?
If you are purchasing your concealer from a store that allows free sampling, you can perform a swatch test to determine if a concealer will work for you. If there are sanitary swabs available, dot a little bit of the product onto a small patch of skin to see how well it will conceal and blend there.
Another method for testing concealer shades is to dab them along your wrist. If they effectively blend and cover your veins, then the shade will perform as well when used to hide blemishes on the face.
How Can I Get the Most out of Applying My Concealer?
One of the best ways to help your concealer stay on your face all day and effectively hide blemishes is to prime your skin with a makeup primer before using any of the product. This creates a clean, smooth foundation for application and ensures the makeup won’t budge easily during your daily activities.
Another tip for applying concealer to trouble spots such as pimples is to use a thin makeup brush to gently apply the concealer. This prevents the concealer from streaking along the sides of a raised area, such as a pimple, to create a brighter spot. Gentle strokes from a makeup brush distributes the product lightly and evenly, preventing any unintentional highlighting.