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Guide & Tips

Your Definitive Guide to Concealers

Of all the items in your makeup bag, concealer should be the one you use the most. The key to achieving a flawless makeup application is concealer. A top quality concealer works together with your foundation to achieve even skin tone and texture.

A top-notch concealer can do many things like:

  • Cover discoloration
  • Lighten dark areas
  • Disguise blemishes
  • Diminish the appearance of large pores, fine lines, and wrinkles
  • Even out skin tone

On the flip side, using a poor quality concealer can draw unwanted attention to problem areas. It can also make blemishes look more obvious and create a whiteish cast around dark areas, like under the eyes. That’s why you need to always use a good quality concealer and know how to apply it.

In this guide to concealers, we’ll cover everything you need to know. We’ll explain what concealer is, the different types, and how to choose one. Then we’ll get into how best to apply concealer. Let’s get started, shall we?

What is Concealer? 

Concealer is a skin-toned cosmetic designed primarily to cover-up skin imperfections. It’s a bit like foundation, only thicker. It’s commonly used to hide different pigments. It does this by blending the pigment imperfection or inbalance into the surrounding skin tone.

Concealer is often called cover-up. It’s available in liquid, cream, and stick form. Because concealer obscures blemishes, both women and men use it. It’s one of those products that most people have in their makeup kit or medicine cabinet. While it isn’t the most exciting cosmetic, it is a must-have.

Different Types of Concealers

Have you stood in front of concealers at the makeup counter lately? There are so many to choose from! How do you know which one’s right for you?  There are different types of containers, various colors, and many formulas. It’s a head-spinning situation to be in, for sure!

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ll go over the various types of concealers so you’ll have a good idea of what’s right for you. When you understand the different types of concealers you won’t have to spend money on products that don’t work for you.

Stick Concealers

Concealers that look like lipsticks are cream-based products made for covering small blemishes. These concealers work best for dry and sensitive skin. Stick concealers come in satin and powdery matte finishes and are often richly pigmented.

You can dot or swipe this type of concealer on your skin, and blend it with your fingers or a small concealer brush. It’s best not to use a stick concealer if your skin is pimple-prone because the creamy base can clog pores.

Liquid Concealers

Liquid concealers are the most versatile types of concealers. Why? Because they work for all skin types except very dry. Liquid concealer is easy to apply. This type of concealer works great for covering blemishes because it’s less likely to cake up. Plus, it typically doesn’t clog pores like creamer concealers may do.

You can find liquid concealers in matte, shimmer, and satin finishes. A matte finish tends to last longer than a satin finish. Plus, a matte finish tends to stay put and not migrate to fine lines and wrinkles.

Satin liquid concealers provide a natural look. A satin finish also has more movement than a  matte finish. Satin finishes work wonderfully over dry areas of the face like the cheekbones or lower forehead.

Shimmery liquid concealers work great lifting and brightening the eyes. In this case, you’d apply the shimmery concealer just under your eyes using a wand applicator. You could also apply it with your fingertips or a concealer brush.

Cream Concealers

These concealers provide medium to full coverage. Cream concealers come in small pots, palettes, or compacts. A cream concealer works for people with normal, dry, combination, or sensitive skin. Cream concealers are typically available in satin and creamy finishes.

A cream concealer can be applied with a sponge, small concealer brush, or fingertips. If you use a creamy finish, the concealer can crease into lines and wrinkles. Therefore, it’s best to set the concealer with a loose or pressed powder once blended.

How to Choose the Right Concealer

Choosing the right concealer may seem like a hard thing to do. But it’s not rocket science. All you have to do is think about your skin type and what problem you’re trying to hide. Do you have sensitive skin and are trying to fake a good night’s sleep? You should use a stick, concealer that covers dark areas like undereye shadows. Is your skin dry with blemishes? A liquid concealer that matches your skin tone will work well for you.

In essence, you can use concealer to hide skin imperfections, and to even out and/or brighten your complexion. Always consider these two things when deciding what concealer to use:

Your skin type

If your skin is oily, steer clear of creamy concealers. These concealers are pore-cloggers. Plus, they add shine to your complexion, which is something oily skin doesn’t need.

Dry skin needs to be hydrated. If you have dry skin, choose a liquid or cream concealer to hide imperfections. Don’t use a stick concealer on your dry skin because it may cake and build up on top of your skin.

If your skin is normal or sensitive, a stick concealer is a good choice. It has a thick, creamy texture and comes in matte and satin finishes. If your skin is overly-sensitive to chemicals and other irritants, look for an all-natural concealer that’s chemical-free.

If you have combination skin, you can use a stick, cream, or liquid concealer. Just find one that matches your skin tone and go from there.

Your skin concern

Is your goal to cover dark circles or unsightly red spots on your skin? You need a stick or cream concealer designed to conceal blemishes and color imperfections.

If you suffer from frequent acne breakouts, your concealer should contain acne-fighting ingredients. Look for one with Vitamin E and salicylic acid to clear up acne and prevent future breakouts. Cream concealers work best for acne-prone skin because they cover well and don’t look cakey.

Aging skin deserves nourishing concealer that will hide fine lines and wrinkles.

If you have mature skin, look for a concealer with Vitamins E, C, and A. These powerful antioxidants will reduce those tell-tale signs of aging. To firm and moisturize your skin, choose a concealer with hyaluronic acid and peptides.

Choosing the Right Concealer Color 

It’s always a good idea to color-test a concealer before you buy it. However, that’s not always possible, especially if you shop online. Here are some general guidelines that will help you choose the right concealer color.

If you need to obscure pimples, choose a concealer color that’s the same as your own skin. If your blemish is more red than pink, a yellow-based concealer will make it less noticeable.

If your skin is a light to medium tone, go for a yellow-based concealer. Just steer clear of light yellowish colors. These will only make your skin look lighter and more washed-out.

Do you have dark skin that’s more difficult to cover? Then you need a concealer that’s an orangey color. For medium to dark skin, the best color to go with is one with an orange undertone.

Are you only interested in covering dark circles under your eyes?  Find a concealer that’s one or two shades lighter than your natural skin tone. This way, you won’t end up with obvious light circles or “raccoon eyes”.

How to Apply Concealer 

Now it’s time to learn how to conceal the right way. Before you put on your foundation, you should apply a concealer. This will give your entire makeup application utter perfection. Don’t believe for a minute that you should apply concealer over your foundation, because that’s just wrong. Here are the steps needed to apply concealer the right way.

  • Thoroughly cleanse your face so your concealer goes on smoothly over a blank canvas.
  • Apply a facial moisturizer to avoid dryness.
  • Dab the concealer on using an applicator, brush, or your fingertips.
  • Blend the concealer around the edges so there’s no obvious change in skin tone.

That’s it! Now you can set your concealer by adding a layer of foundation over the top.

Where to Buy Concealer

It’s tempting to whip out your credit card and rush to the checkout with an expensive concealer in your basket. However, sometimes your bank account can’t justify buying a high-end concealer

The good news is that you don’t need to spend big bucks on concealer. There are lots of low-cost concealers out there. You can find plenty of quality drugstore concealers and many right online. The key to finding a budget concealer boils down to one thing: Knowing your skin type and concern. Then simply find a matching low-cost concealer and you’re good to go!


Don’t feel bad if you’ve stared at a web page of concealer with empty, confused eyes. It’s natural to feel clueless about what’s going to cover the imperfections you have. Shopping for a concealer is overwhelming for many women. There are just so many brands, colors, and textures all designed to do different things.

So how do women find that miracle concealer they can’t live without? They don’t sift through every single concealer on the market, that’s for sure. Instead, they use a definitive guide to concealers like you just did!

Once you find the right concealer, it will become your favorite cosmetic. You’ll always be able to cover up what you don’t want to show. More importantly, your face will look flawlessly smooth and beautiful all day long!

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