Not to sound dramatic, but we couldn’t survive in this crazy world without concealer. It brightens dull areas and hides blemishes like no other! But if you don’t get it right, the stuff can smudge, look strange, and even accentuate your flaws (PMS pimples, we’re looking at you). Could you be doing this concealer thing all wrong? We’ve uncovered six common mistakes that might be sabotaging your face.
MISTAKE #1: CHOOSING A TOO-LIGHT SHADE
Ever used a concealer several shades lighter than your natural skin tone? Eep! When you wear a shade that’s too pale, it highlights rather than hides your blemishes. Too-light concealers will also make your face look weirdly uneven, drawing attention to color discrepancies instead of correcting them.
THE FIX: Using your regular foundation as a reference, go for a concealer that’s half a shade, or at most, one full shade lighter. This will look the most natural and blend in seamlessly with your makeup.
MISTAKE #2: IGNORING THE UNDERTONES
Unfortunately, your one trusty concealer won’t perform equally well over blemishes of different colors. You’ll need concealers in a variety of undertones (yellow, peach, green) for truly effective camouflage. Ignore the undertone rule and you’ll end up with obvious, mask-like coverage—not the clean, silky look you want.
THE FIX: Try color-correcting concealers. Yellow tones neutralize bluish under-eye circles. Peach tones are perfect for brown spots. Green tones will camouflage redness—just layer your skin-matching concealer over the green afterwards.
MISTAKE #3: FORGETTING TO PREP
Concealer should never be applied to bare-naked skin. It will neither look as natural as you need it to nor stay put as long as it should. It will be prone to creasing and caking, and there’s no concealing that!
THE FIX: We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: use primer. Even if you don’t plan on wearing foundation, primer creates a barrier between your skin and the concealer to lock it in place. Primer will also smoothen your canvas, which in turn smoothens your concealer, allowing it to “melt” into the skin.
MISTAKE #4: RELYING SOLELY ON YOUR FINGERS
We get it: your fingers are built-in tools that don’t require packing. We love using our digits to apply concealer, too, especially when it comes to the delicate under-eye area. However, finger-blending is just the shortcut—the real makeup-magic-disappearing-act happens with tools.
THE FIX: For precision concealment, use a BeautyBlender or a concealer brush. These tools smooth out every last crease and hard edge with a laser-like focus your fingers just aren’t built for. Basically, everything will blend together perfectly and you’ll look as flawless as you feel.
MISTAKE #5: SKIPPING THE SETTING POWDER
Even the most industrial-strength concealers need extra help to stay in place. Like everything else in makeup, a lack of support will cause your concealer to slip and slide.
THE FIX: Set your concealer (and the rest of your face, for that matter) with a loose powder. We love the ones that are lightweight, colorless, and completely translucent. The flat-matte or radiant finish is totally up to you!
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