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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Quest For Concealer: How to Find, Apply, and Appreciate Your Perfect Shade


Concealer seems to be a must have in any make up bag. Lets face it, no face is perfect, and sometimes we need a little help erasing some blemishes or dark circles. Choosing a concealer is important, because you want a concealer that will last long, and actually conceal well.
Under Eye Concealers
  • 1. Peach and yellow bases. This is most important when looking for an under eye concealer. You’re trying to neutralize the blue/purple hues. Using a yellow base is best, but if you’re like me, and have a very cool complexion, yellow may just be too warm. I use a peach base because, during the winter especially, the yellow is too bright and visible against my skin tone.
  • 2. Don’t use a dry consistency. If you’re going for under the eye, you want something with a creamy or liquid texture so it doesn’t dry up the sensitive skin.
  • 3. Dab not drag. You can use a concealer brush, but I recommend using (clean) fingers. This may take a little longer, but it’s better for your eyes. Merely smudging on concealer will tug in the skin of your eyes too much. Instead, gently dab it on and keep doing do until you get it right. Working your fingers in small, gentle circular motions will help too, and preserve the elasticity of your skin. 
  • 4. Go a shade or two lighter. Simply by doing this, you’re going to brighten the area around your eyes, and it’ll make you look more awake.  If you wear glasses, you need to keep it lighter since frames sometimes make eyes look darker.
  • 5. Make sure to set with powder. Using any concealer under the eyes will usually tend to crease, that’s just the nature of it, so remember to set it with powder to preserve the look and limit the appearance of creases.
The concealer I currently use under my eyes is MAC’s Studio Sculpt Concealer. It’s creamy and it really does the job well.  Also, it comes in the NC formula, which has the yellow undertone that most people need. It also has the NW formula, which I use, which is cooler, and more peach-ish. It’s only $16.50. If you have oily skin, though, I highly recommend using MAC’s Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer. If the skin under you eyes is still oily, this will absorb those oils, protects against sunlight, and has vitamins enriched in the formula. Like the Sculpt Concealer it has the yellow NC formulas and the peach NW formulas. This one is more opaque, though, and so it won’t go only as heavy as the Sculpt. It is also only $16.50. Both are highly recommended.


A drugstore concealer that I use during the summer, which I really love is L’Oreal’s Visible Lift Line-Minimizing & Tone-Enhancing Under Eye Concealer. It comes in a Medium and Medium-Dark shade only, but it really is a great product. It’s a liquid formula that works wonders under the eyes. A little goes a long way and it really does cover up dark circles. Be sure, though, that you set with powder after using this. It’s only $10.99 at your local drugstore or Ulta.


For the Face Concealers
  • 1. Consider green concealer. Most green concealers are great if you’re trying to cover up redness.
  • 2. Use a shade lighter. Don’t go beyond a shade. And don’t go darker. Darker will stand out more, while the lighter tone is more blend-able and still brightens up the face.
  • 3. Yellow vs. Peach. Unlike with under eye concealer, you really have to know which one is right for you. Yellow should work with warm skin tones while peach with cool. Darker skin tones should look for whether their skin would need orange tones, red tones, or cooler tones.
  • 4. Dry vs. Creamy. If you have oily skin, using a powdery concealer will absorb oils, while creamier concealers will nourish dry skin.
  • 5. Set with powder. If you’re using a creamy or liquid based concealer, always set with powder to keep it from smudging.
With facial concealers, I, again, highly recommend the two from MAC listed above, or any of the MAC concealers. I’ve also heard great things about concealers made by Bobbi Brown, and I’ve seen them to have great consistencies, so check any of those out as well.
My final, and possibly, the most important tip I have for you is:
Don’t just rely on the concealer. We keep looking to concealers to simply cover up blemishes and dark circles, but really, we should try to prevent them in the first place. Skincare is always important. For redness, look at Clinique’s Redness Relief formulas (I use their daily moisturizer and primer), and for dark circles look into anything by Shiseido. I swear by Shiseido because it is an absolutely amazing brand. Prevention is key. 

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