Makeup is a girl’s best friend these days. Actually, we should say a woman’s more so, because the younger you are, the less you need to use different products to conceal anything. While teenagers and young adults have a tendency to load on the concealer, they often end up doing more damage than good. As such, we have put together a little guideline to help you understand what this product actually is, and how to choose and apply concealer correctly. It does not always need to be for hiding pimples or discoloration either. And for many, the products currently being used are just not right at all. This should help you get the best skin possible without looking as if you have caked on the icing and just need a cherry to top off the caramel.
What is Concealer?
Also known as a color corrector, concealer products were invented by Lydia O’Leary in 1928, when the promising college graduate from New York decided she needed to do something to cover up the disfiguring red facial birthmark, as it is better known today, the port wine stain on the face. It was the first concealer to obtain a patent in the United States and was called Covermark. It pioneered the technology for makeup foundations and concealers.
It was O’Leary’s knowledge of chemistry and painting, combined with her desire to remove the offending birthmark from sight that led to her experimenting with different combinations and coming up with the final product that was able to give her the unblemished look she craved. To this day, Covermark is the best in the industry, with dermatologically and clinically conscious skin concealment lines, always changing its ingredients to match the technology of the day and ensure positive health along with a positive psyche.
Later in 1942, Helena Rubinstein would develop concealer shades that covered up burns as well, camouflaging the faces. It was called concealer because the name literally means to hide from or keep from sight. Marilyn Monroe would discover the great assets of using concealer even if you did not have any disfiguring marks on you, if only to make your skin look smoother and brighter. The idea has since spread to help men and women hide under a layer of foundation and concealer, thus making them better looking to onlookers.
While it is similar to foundation, it also differs greatly. It is thicker than the other form of makeup and is used to hide pigmentations, blending in to even out the skin tone. They are generally more pigmented but available in different opacities usually applied to smaller areas. They come in cream and liquid forms and in a variety of shades in order to match that of your own natural skin.
Types of Concealers
There are different types of concealers, as we mentioned, with different pigments and opacities. Each type is good for a different reason and thus each should be viewed as potentially good for your day or night out. Normally they come in four forms:
• Solid Concealers: These look more like a lipstick or a pencil stick, the former being a good one we have often used. They are best for hiding away spots, pimples and blemishes but are more difficult to blend in and should only be used on tiny areas for that reason.
• Liquid Concealers: If you like an even spread, the liquid concealers are great, for they can cover a large area of the face and blend in beautifully. They are easy to apply, offer a medium coverage, and can be worn without any foundation.
• Powder Concealers: If you are looking at light blemishes or scars, nothing that shows too much anyhow, then powder is the best route to take. They are easiest to blend in with your skin tone but offer too little in terms of coverage, so they would not work on anything that shows much, let alone a full-scale wine colored birthmark.
• Highlighter Pens: If you decide that instead of just concealing, you want to highlight that part of the face as well, you should opt for the creamier coverage of the highlighter pen that covers larger areas and reflects light, showing off even less of your imperfections. Personally, I love them on the under eyes as they really bring more light to the face and hide the tired look seen in the morning or after work.
How to Choose the Best Concealer
There are different types of concealers, as we have mentioned and each skin tone and type generally requires its own unique treatment. Choosing the right type can be a daunting task, though generally there are beauty experts there at the store to help you. But what if you want to do the shopping on your own, either in store or online from home, or there just is no help to be found in the ladies working at the store? There are a few tips and tricks to consider when buying your concealer. If you follow this recipe, you will generally be perfectly fine.
1. Go for a shade that is about a shade lighter than what you use for foundation.
2. If you have blue or purple regions under the eyes, go for a pink, orange or peach toned concealer.
3. If you have red blemishes, pick up a yellow toned concealer.
4. If you have a darker skin tone, an orange tint is your best bet.
5. Green concealer should be used first over a pimple, followed by the yellow skin tone.
6. Skin tone concealer should be used on the chest in a liquid form, covered with a translucent powder to set in place. This prevents it from wearing off.
7. Yellow toned concealers correct most all uneven skin tones.
8. Purple bases are to be used for sallow skin, effectively brightening it up and acting more like a highlighter than a concealer there.
9. Women of color normally have yellow or orange undertones, which means they should opt for more golden, while red undertones point towards an orange based shade.
10. Always tap on to blend in the concealer instead of rubbing.
11. Use eye creams for touch ups so that you are not over applying the concealer.
12. Also, make sure you keep more than one type of concealer in your bag, just in case you need to play with different problems.
There are certain things to consider as well. If you want high coverage, you want to use a cream with thick consistency and a matte finish for the pimples, blemishes and circles under the eyes; a body stick with a thick consistency and matte finish for the veins, tattoos, birthmarks and scars; and a stick meant for those on the go to conceal pimples and blemishes.
If you want medium to high coverage, pencil concealers are great with a thick consistency and a semi-matte finishing, used mostly for highlights and contouring. Medium coverage can be found in liquids to blend easily and conceal under eye darkness, while liquids with wands are better for drawing highlights. As for the lighter coverage, a pen with a metal tip is better for reducing puffiness, while both metal and brush are perfect for concealing and brightening under the eyes, the brush better at blending it all in.
To choose the right shade of concealer, apply a strip to the neck skin below the ear instead of the cheeks. It will make sure that you pick up the shade one step lighter and prevent your eyes from looking like a raccoon or panda because it is too light for you.
Women of Color and Concealers
Women of color should not be buying anything that is over a shade lighter from one’s own skin tone, whether that is chocolate, mocha, coffee or otherwise. Make sure that the brand you shop from has products for women of color or else you are stuck with something that is simply too light for your own complexion and just ends up giving you an ashen effect. To check undertones, try two shades, one with a red base and one with yellow, the one that looks unnatural and just does not blend in is the one you avoid. Choose accordingly.
Some important tips include:
• You only need one shade, or you can go for a duo concealer that blends in perfectly.
• Concealer should be layered over eye cream always, to prevent a cake-like look.
• Always use a darker shade if you have puffy eyes, and a quarter shade is normally enough.
The Best Hacks for Concealer Use
Women have been using concealer for quite some time now, though not quite a century yet. They have learned quite a bit about how and where to use the product and there are any hacks that appear all over the Internet that we have looked into and gathered some of the best tips from. These include:
• Use your foundation before the concealer: You will not need to use as much concealer if you use foundation first and cover up the worst of it. If you go concealer first though, the foundation will remove most of it when you try to add that on top. Just makes more sense to lay the foundations first and then work on the cosmetic retouching.
• Triangles are the best for under eye concealment: While many women like to do warrior brushes under the eyes, it is better to draw an upside down triangle, filled out slightly, and blended that in. This draws the focus back up towards the eyes, while creating the lifted cheeks illusion we are all fond of.
• Use in Case of Hangovers or lack of sleep: The way to do this is to use a concealer a little lighter in tone than your skin and apply to the inner V of your eyes, across the center of the lids and just below the brow bone, blending it in for a gorgeous highlight.
• Use the ring finger for blending under eyes: You can use any finger to blend, but the best and right amount of pressure comes from using the ring finger under the eyes, without pulling on the delicate skin. The colors have been mentioned above, but go for peach, orange or pink to cancel out the blue and purple.
• Use tissue to blot: You will need to blot out the concealer in order to prevent the cream or liquid or even the powder from settling into the creases and thus making you look caked. This removes the excess oil from your gorgeous visage.
• Contour with Concealers: If you want to contour but do not want to invest in highlighters and bronzers, you can use two shades of concealer to get the job done. Use one that is two shades lighter and one that is two shades darker, shading the parts that should be naturally shaded and brightening up the rest where the light hits normally. Blend it all in with a contouring brush and check out the final product.
• Intensify the collarbone: If you want to have a sexy décolletage particularly when you head out to party at night, you can play up the collarbone’s structure with a similar approach to the concealer contouring of the facial features, using one piece that is two shades darker, and one that is two shades lighter. The lighter will be used on the parts protruding outwards, while the darker used on where the shadows are or should be. A damp blending sponge will swirl them all together and create the softer but deeper bone structure you want to show off.
Paired With Other Makeup Hacks
There are a few different makeup hacks that come in handy when paired with other makeup products as well that you should know.
• To make your life easier and prevent eyeshadow from disappearing, use concealer underneath to both brighten things up and keep the powder in place.
• To hide imperfections on your eyeliner and add sharpness to your cat eye, use an angle brush dipped in concealer to smooth things out and appear like a professional.
• To make your lipstick pop and prevent the color from bleeding out, use concealer to line the lips or cover it under the pigment entirely.
• To reshape the lips and give yourself a better pout, trace the concealer around the outer edge of the lip, before drawing outside of it with a lip pencil and finishing it off with a matte or glossy lipstick.
• To make the wings of the brows pop out and look more defined, use a concealer that is a shade lighter than your skin tone and draw above and below the brows before blending it in and using the warmth of your finger to soften the formula.
Photos courtesy of Viva Luxury