Concealer is used to cover up blemishes and under-eye circles. You can use it on a bare face, or if you use foundation, you can supplement it with concealer in only the areas where you need it. If you use powder foundation, you’d apply concealer first, then foundation; if you use liquid foundation, you could do that as well, but then you might move around your concealer as you apply/blend out your foundation. Plus, if you apply foundation first, you might find that it provides enough coverage of at least some places that you won’t need to use concealer.
You will most likely need different concealers for under-eye circles vs. blemishes. For the under-eye area, something moisturizing and lightweight is best. Here are recommendations from all price points:
- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer
- MAC Pro Longwear
- IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye
- Laura Mercier Secret Concealer
- Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer
- Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer
- Clé de Peau concealer
For blemishes, drier concealer will stick better.
- L’Oreal True Match crayon concealer
- Hard Candy Glamouflage
- Make Up For Ever Full Cover
- Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
- Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer
When applying concealer, pat it into your skin, don’t rub it! If you rub your concealer, it swipes it away. Just apply a bit and then gently pat, pat, pat with your finger, especially around the edges, to blend it in.
Color correctors are intended to neutralize/diminish unwanted facial discoloration. The idea is that opposite colors on the color wheel neutralize each other, so green neutralizes red, orange neutralizes blue, etc. Under-eye correctors are intended to cancel out the blue/purple tones under your eyes, so typically they are salmon/peach-y (for lighter skin tones) or orange-y (for darker skin tones), but other colors may also be used: yellow for purplish under-eye circles, or pink for brownish circles.
- Pixi Correction Concentrate
- Bobbi Brown corrector
- NYX Full Coverage Concealer in Orange
- MAC Studio Finish Skin Corrector in Pure Orange
- Armani Master Corrector in #2
- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind in Neutralizer
- NYX HD Photogenic Concealer Wand in Yellow
- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind in Brightener
- Armani Master Corrector in #1
- Ben Nye Mojave Adjuster in Apricot
- Yaby Liquid Foundation in Apricot
A concealer would go on top of that, to match with your skin tone. If you have strong dark circles and use a concealer by itself, it often leaves the under-eye area looking grayish, because the blue/purple tones are not canceled out. If you use just corrector by itself, it may look odd or noticeable, as it won’t blend in with the rest of your skin.
If parts of your face look ashy or gray after applying foundation, a corrector can help with that too. Many people with dark skin have lighter skin in the center of their face and darker skin around the perimeter. It’s also common to see darker skin around the mouth and chin. On these darker areas, a foundation that matches the lighter parts of your skin will look ashy. An apricot corrector (for light skin) or an orange corrector (for dark skin) applied to the darker area before foundation will help prevent this.
For under-eye concealer application, it always helps to moisturize in advance. Primer will also help smooth out your skin so the concealer goes on better. Make sure to use thin layers of lightweight corrector/concealer. If you’re using something thick, or if you’re piling a lot of it on, it will look cakey and sink into any fine lines or wrinkles.
I find that applying my corrector/concealer with a concealer brush rather than my finger makes it much easier to use only a small amount, and it also gives me better control over where I place it. Just blend it out with your finger, using a patting motion rather than a rubbing motion.
Also, extending your concealer down along your nose a little will help it blend in with the rest of your face better. Don’t forget to bring your corrector/concealer up to the dark spots on the sides of your nose bridge, as well.
If you have fine lines or wrinkles (which pretty much everyone does), then your concealer may sink into those lines. This is called creasing. The standard advice to prevent this is to (a) apply an eye primer before applying corrector/concealer and (b) set your concealer with powder – after application, dip a fluffy brush or powder puff in powder and gently press it into your under-eye area. Another thing you can do is spray a little setting spray on a brush and press it into your under-eye area.
However, if you have actual wrinkles (like I do), based on my experience I would say first, don’t apply your concealer all over your under-eye area; put it on the darkest areas only. The more area is covered up with concealer, the more places there are for the concealer to sink into. Second, do not put your concealer right around or over your wrinkles, because if you do that, it’s guaranteed to crease.
To go back to correctors, if you have facial redness or if you really want to neutralize the redness in pimples before covering them up, green corrector can help. You’d just apply the green corrector, then put your foundation/concealer on top of it.
- NYX HD Photogenic Concealer Wand in Green
- Correcting/concealing under-eye circles
- Selecting the right color corrector for under-eye circles
- Under-eye correctors and concealers
- Covering blemishes