Concealer Confusion!

concealer_picConcealer has mystified people from inception…what’s the right color? when should it be applied? what’s the difference between concealing and correcting? can concealer be used as a highlighter? can it be used as foundation? There are many different variables that have to be considered before deciding the answers to these questions. I’ve outlined them here, in hopes of clearing up the confusion.

Concealers cover up problem spots (i.e. dark circles). They also serve as color correctors which neutralize unwanted colors in the skin (i.e. hyperpigmentation). You can apply one or the other in most cases.

Pot concealers provide the heaviest coverage. Pencil concealers provide sheer to medium coverage and contain some moisture. Wand concealers are a fluid consistency and can be used as highlighter to brighten and illuminate. Tube/stick concealers provide medium to sheer coverage and may double as foundation.

Tip: Concealer is best removed from the container with a spatula, to minimize bacteria. It is best applied with a concealer brush or sponge. The shelf life is 6-12 months.

 Concealer for dark circles

Tip: apply eye cream to the under eye area so the concealer goes on smooth and doesn’t look cakey. Match the concealer to your skin tone (exact match or 1 shade lighter).  Apply concealer over the dark area. Blend with ring finger and smooth it into the area. Typically, do not apply foundation on top of the concealer. Set with a translucent powder that matches the concealer. Tip: Never overdo concealer – too much will look rough and add years to your face!

Tip: If you are using concealer as a highlighter, it can be 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone.

Color Correctors

Concealer can be used to color correct the skin. Color correctors target areas of discoloration to balance skin tone. Tip:  Only place color corrector exactly where needed.

Color Corrector for dark circles

If you are using a color corrector, for example, and you have a yellow skin tone and dark under eye circles, gently brushing an orange color corrector under the eye area will help neutralize the dark circles and you can add exact match foundation OR exact match concealer on top, as needed. Be careful because adding too much product can lead to quick creasing and caking. Using a color corrector can greatly reduce the amount of product and time it takes to cover discoloration.

 Skin tones

  • Pale skin – choose bisque or light pink color correctors.
  • Light to Medium skin tones – choose yellow, light peach, lavender and light green color correctors.
  • Darker skin tones – choose orange or darker peach color correctors.

Skin types

Ruddy skin (skin that’s red, wind-burned, or Rosacea):  apply yellow or green color corrector to the affected areas.
Sallow Skin (skin that has a yellowish hue, i.e. Jaundice):  apply purple (mauve) color corrector to the face.

Applying Color Theory to correct discolored areas

  • Orange neutralizes blue veins and brown spots also known as hyperpigmentation.
  • Green neutralizes redness in lighter skin tones.
  • Mauve or light pink brightens and conceals dull skin.
  • Light yellow corrects under eye circles and purplish/blue discoloration.

Tip:  You can make your own color corrector by mixing a lipstick or pigment with your concealer.

There you have it, concealer confusion demystified! Below are some of the best concealers to hit any price point. Go forth and be flawless!

Top rated concealers:

L’Oreal Paris True Match concealer, $9.

MAC Studio Finish, $18.

Cover FX Cream concealer, $27.

Giorgio Armani Precision concealer, $37.

Make Up Forever Camouflage cream pallette, $38.

YSL  Touche Eclat (highlighter) concealer, $40.



Contributor | Holly Miller
Holly Byrd Miller, owner of Makeup By Holly is a 15 year makeup artistry veteran. Located in Richmond, VA her services include Bridal, TV, Runway, Fashion shows and Photo shoots. Holly also freelances for Giorgio Armani and is a Certified Makeup Instructor
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  1. Melanie

    I was definitely confused…so Thank You for the information!!!! Can’t wait for your next article!

    • Holly Miller

      Hi Melanie!! Thanks for the comment. Im happy the information helped. Keep me posted on your experiences, as you apply what you’ve learned.

  2. Karry

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