"Concealer is like a magical blur; it's brightening, it's shaping, and it's often less commitment than full-on lacquering yourself with foundation," says Sir John, celebrity makeup artist and instructor at Assemble.
Ok, so the burning question you probably have is where should you apply concealer — and how should it be applied in the first place? Sure, we all think to place concealer on our under-eye circles and blemishes, but to master a truly flawless complexion, there are some spots you may want to consider revisiting.
Below, we've outlined everything you need to know for a flawless finish.
What Should You Apply First? Concealer or Foundation?
If you often find yourself wondering what you should apply first: foundation or concealer, you're not alone. "It's best to moisturize your skin and start off by applying a good foundation, using a wet beauty blender," says Sir John.
"While the skin is damp from the moisturizer, I go in with a little bit of foundation on the back of my hand and start to stipple the foundation where I need it, then I'll go in with the concealer. If you use your foundation last, you're knocking your concealer out of the way. So, foundation first, concealer second! I talk all things foundation on Assemble."
What Should You Use to Apply Concealer?
There are a few ways you can apply concealer but most makeup artists in the business like to use a fluffy, synthetic eyeshadow brush, like Mac 224.
"The Mac 224 gives a beautiful airbrush quality to the concealer," says Sir John. "If I have to use concealer on myself for television or anything like that, that's what I use to apply it."
If you want fuller coverage, then it's best to apply your concealer with a sponge or beauty blender. After you're done with your application, always use your ring finger to tap and warm up your concealer wherever you applied it, the makeup artist recommends. "When you manipulate the product in this way, it makes it really blend into the skin, it looks super organic, like it's lived in, and you woke with it."
Where Should You Apply Concealer to Help Achieve a Flawless Makeup Finish?
Start by filling your brows with your favorite pencil, then take a liquid concealer and apply it right below your brows in a smooth line using a flat-tip, angled brush. You can also apply the concealer on top of your brows to define the arch and add definition to your look. Finish off by blending the concealer down, towards your eyelid.
If you want your freshly shaped eyebrows to really pop, blending in a few dots of concealer below your brows helps to define and highlight their shape. Apply a concealer that's about two shades lighter than your skin under your brow arches to highlight them.
By The Nostrils
"Broken capillaries are common around the nostrils and can cause a lot of redness, especially during the winter," says Sir John. Using a smidge of creamy concealer in a C-shaped swipe near the nostrils can help to tone down discoloration.
To help the concealer around your nose stay put, dab it in place using your ring finger and blend it in, focusing on the crease around your nose.
The Inner Corner of The Eyes
If you've had a late night, you'll know that the following day, your eyes literally tell everyone you're tired, without you having to say a word. According to Sir John, using a concealer at the inner corner of the eyes can help to brighten the eye area and disguise any signs of tiredness. "I love to use concealer to lift the eyes, as we lack a lot of light in this area," explains the makeup artist.
Around The Mouth
If around your mouth appears slightly darker than the rest of your face, applying concealer to this area can help even out your skin tone and hide hyperpigmentation.
Once you've applied your foundation, use a slightly lighter shade of concealer and apply it to the darker areas around your mouth, using your fingers to dab it on. Allow the concealer to dry down for a few seconds then blend it in to achieve higher coverage.
Around The Lips
This concealer hack is perfect if you want to plump up your pout. Start by applying foundation all over your face, then carefully use a fine-tip lip brush to outline your lips with concealer.
Whether you choose to wear lipstick or go au natural, this reverse-lining technique will instantly highlight your pout and make your lips appear fuller.
Which Concealer Should You Use?
Lastly, you're probably wondering what concealer you should be using. If you're looking for a concealer that's easy to apply and control, it's best to opt for one with a doe-foot applicator, like L'Oreal Paris Infallible Full Wear, Full Coverage, Waterproof Concealer. "I love a doe-foot applicator because I like to just tap a few dots of concealer where I need it," says Sir John.
Another thing to consider when you're looking for a concealer is texture. "The creamier the texture the better," says the makeup artist. "Look for something that gives you a little bit of room before it dries. I don't like a concealer that dries too fast or is dry in general. Everyone needs hydration around the eyes, everyone needs hydration around the nose – it doesn't matter how oily you are. Pot concealers are great for this because they are cream-based, they offer more coverage, and you can do more highlighting and sculpting."
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