Concealer is a makeup artist’s secret weapon for creating a flawless complexion. When used correctly, concealers lighten shadowed areas, camouflage blemishes, counteract discolorations, and create a lovely palette on which to apply makeup.
But concealer is never a one-size-fits-all product. There are a number of concealers for different purposes, and there’s certainly a right and a wrong way to apply them.
Your makeup artist’s kit should contain a wide selection of different concealers and colors so you can help clients achieve gorgeous, glowing, healthy looking skin – flawless even under the scrutiny of high-definition television cameras, zoom lenses, and the discriminating eyes of the public.
Advanced Training in the Art and Science of Creating Flawless Looking Skin
Advanced makeup artistry courses and workshops in corrective and camouflaging practices and theory allow makeup artists, licensed estheticians and cosmetologists to take their makeup artistry techniques to the next level.
Pursuing additional training in correcting and concealing through a local beauty academy or through a product-line sponsored event at your favorite salon will allow you to become an expert in the art and science of camouflage – and a leader in your craft.
Advanced makeup artist courses and workshops in pro-level contouring, highlighting and concealing cover the fundamentals and the advanced methods of applying and blending concealers and foundation and the techniques for correcting and concealing imperfections and creating a flawless-looking complexion.
In most cases, clients may be looking to create a more even tone or conceal a few blemishes or fine lines, but in more severe cases you may find yourself in a position to help restore confidence in a client suffering with severe rosacea, psoriasis or even significant acne scarring. For these clients, makeup artists can be heroes. Having an eye for detail and a practiced hand can put you in a position to offer niche services these clients can’t find anywhere else.
And it’s not just the methods you’ll be mastering; it’s also the subtle art of selecting the right products for clients with very different types of skin and skin imperfections.
For example, dry skin requires a creamy or stick concealer, while a liquid concealer with a matte finish is best for oily skin.
Under-eye circles call for a shade of concealer that’s no more than one or two shades lighter than the natural skin tone, while for other parts of the face, a concealer should match the skin tone.
Confused yet? You’re not alone! Here’s the breakdown on concealers:
Liquid concealers are best for the following skin-types:
- Oily sensitive
Liquid concealers are a great choice because you can build different levels of coverage, depending on the type of imperfection. Liquid concealers are also available in a number of finishes, including dewy, matte, and satin, making this type of concealer the most versatile. They are also very easy to apply. You can either use the wand applicator or you finger for blending the concealer. If you need more precision, ditch the wand in favor of a flat concealer brush.
Liquid concealers are also the best for covering up acne and wrinkles because they are less likely to cake and crease due to their thin consistency.
A liquid concealer with a satin finish does not last as long as one with a matte finish, although it often provides a more natural look, particularly over dry areas. One with a radiant shimmer is great for under the eyes because it highlights this normally dark area.
Stick concealers have a semi-solid consistency, similar to lipstick, making them super easy to apply. They are best for normal, dry, and sensitive skin, and coverage is buildable – meaning if you apply an application and find more may be necessary, you can add it in stages rather than all at once and it still looks natural. Finishes include satin and powdery matte.
Stick concealers are applied and blended using a clean finger or small concealer brush. Their coverage is thicker than liquid concealer, making them ideal for covering dark areas like under the eyes, as well as brown spots and red patches of skin.
One of the downsides of stick concealers is they may clog pores and cause breakouts because of their thick consistency. However, stick concealers have great staying power, particularly if they are set with loose powder.
Cream concealers are typically packaged in small compacts and applied using a clean finger or concealer brush. They provide medium to full coverage and are good for normal, dry, combination, and sensitive skin. They are also ideal for building coverage where needed. However, if they aren’t blended well, they can look heavy on the skin. They should be set with loose powder once blended.
You can usually purchase cream concealers in satin or creamy finishes. Cream concealer is the best option for covering severe discolorations, such as birthmarks and vascular anomalies known as port-wine stains or firemarks.
Cream-to-powder concealers are packaged in small compacts, and finishes include both powdery and smooth matte. They are best for normal to dry skin and skin not prone to breakouts. Like cream concealers, they can build coverage. However, they dry fast, so it’s important to immediately blend them using a finger or concealer brush.
Cream-to-powder concealers have great staying power, but they also tend to settle into deeper wrinkles. The powdery finish can also exaggerate and emphasize wrinkles.
Color-correcting concealers are best for skin color issues, such as bluish under eye circles, red patches, and sallowness. Color-correcting concealers are available in multiple finishes, and they are most commonly available in cream or stick form.
It is best to apply a color-correcting concealer before applying foundation in order to balance the less natural color of the concealer.
The proper shade of color-correcting concealer will depend on the skin imperfection you’re covering:
- Yellow: Good for dark circles and scarring
- Lavender: Counteracts sallow skin
- Green: Counteracts redness, such as blemishes and rosacea
- Pink: Ideal for very pale skin
- Orange: Counteracts blue or deep purple shades, such as dark circles
Tried-and-True Tips for Applying Concealers
The key to applying concealers is to blend, blend, blend. This is usually achieved by blending outward using small, feathery strokes. Makeup artists also rely on a few other tips and trade secrets when it comes to correcting and concealing skin imperfections …
Foundation first – It is usually best to apply foundation first, and then concealer. Doing so eliminates the need to use as much concealer.
Brighten the eye – Applying concealer in a triangle shape (with the point near the check) under the eyes covers dark circles while creating the illusion of a brighter eye.
Prime the lids – Concealer is also great for preventing eyeshadow from settling into the eye crease. Prime the lids with a small amount of concealer and then apply the shadow.
Foundation in lieu of concealer – If you are without concealer, place a small amount of liquid foundation on the area, wait a few minutes for the foundation to set, and then lightly blend it out with a concealer brush.
Use the ring finger – If applying concealer to the under eye area using your finger, choose your ring finger. The ring finger is the weakest, preventing you from applying too much pressure to the delicate under eye area.
Mixing concealer to achieve the shade – The best place to mix concealers to achieve the right shade is on the back of your hand.
Fix mistakes with concealer – Concealer is perfect for correcting any eyeliner or eyeshadow mistakes. Dip an angled brush in concealer and then lightly brush it over the mistake.
Outline the lips – To prevent lipstick from bleeding, first line the outside of the lips with a bit of concealer using a fine-tip brush.
Define the brows – You can define brows by lining them, above and below, with a small amount of concealer. Then blend with a clean finger.
Mixing your own tinted moisturizer – Create a tinted moisturizer by mixing a daily face lotion with a bit of concealer.