Let's be real, there are a tiny minuscule number of people that do not need concealer, but for the majority of us, it needs to be part of our makeup kit. Yet it is one of the main causes of anxiety for both the old and young. Why? Because if you get it wrong, then it's 100% going to show! Caked concealer, visible wrinkles, gathering in fine lines, grey circles - Yes concealer has a lot to answer for!
Let's start at the beginning; what does it do?
It corrects skin tone. Certain concealers will have undertones of orange or peach, which will help combat any dark areas.
It helps with dreaded dark circles!
It can be used as a base for eyeshadow. This stops the shadow moving & helps the colour to pop.
It evens the skin tone, especially around the nose and mouth.
They are great at highlighting and contouring features.
Now let's address the issue of ageing...
I remember the days when I could apply my makeup without even thinking about a fine line. Unfortunately that is not the case now. I have made it my life's work to try a tonne of concealers and watched a million videos on 'how to stop your concealer creasing!' The reason being, I have the worst dark circles! If you've watched any of my tutorials, you will have seen them! So as someone speaking with experience, let's go through the most common questions when using concealer when you're (ahem) slightly older than 21!
What type of Concealer should I use?
I cannot stress how it important it is to use the right product with the right finish. There are some amazing concealers out there but many have a matt finish. This is perfect for brightening and contouring. However, it is terrible for around the eyes. As you get older, you need to opt for the creamier hydrating formulas. The downside is these won't be as long-wearing so you will need to top them up during the day. The upside is that they won't highlight the fine lines under your eyes.
My absolute favourites are:
Revolution Conceal & Define
This concealer is a great one to start with if you're a beginner. It is reasonably priced and performs very well!
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
There's a reason this concealer is so popular! The creamy texture is beautiful on all skin types.
Tarte Creaseless Concealer
This product comes from the same company as the famous Shape Tape. It has a gorgeous luminous finish to it & promised to hydrate for up to 16 hours!
Fenty Pro Fil'r Concealer
This concealer definitely lives up to the hype! It gives a good coverge but has a more matt finish than other concealers.
Is there a Concealer that won't gather in my Fine Lines?
To be completely honest, I don't believe there is a single concealer that won't gather in your fine lines. This is because they will gather product by the pure fact, that wrinkles are crevices in your skin. It's like icing a cake and expecting the icing to miss any indents in the cake!
My top tip is to apply the concealer around the area and let it sit there for 5-10 minutes while you finish the rest of your makeup. Then come back to the area and gently press the concealer to smooth out any lines of concealer that are visible. Building up thin layers where you need them, will work far better than one thick one. To use another analogy, it is better to paint a wall 2-3 times with thin layers of paint, rather than slap on a thick layer!
Will Baking stop my Concealer creasing?
If only I had a penny each time I was asked this! We all watch tutorials and see them apply a tonne of concealer followed by a tonne of powder. If you have no lines, are 18 years old or applying makeup for an editorial shoot, then baking will work. However, if you're more mature, then in my personal opinion, baking is terrible! It completely dries out the area and removes all hydration, causing every single line to show. Mature skin needs to look glowy and plump to mimic younger skin. Instead, use a hydrating powder (yes it exists!) with a small fluffy eyeshadow brush, and press the powder ONLY into the areas that need it - such as in the inner corners of the eyes, around the nose and mouth. Always tap the brush to remove the excess before applying the powder and apply minimal amounts. Then finally use a larger brush to go over any other areas that you want to remove shine, such as the T zone. Remember, the key thing is to leave some of the dewy skin as a matt face is very ageing!
These are my favourite 'hydrating' powders:
Nars Soft Velvet Pressed Powder
Becca Hydra-Mist & Refresh Powder
By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder
Why does my Concealer look grey?
This will be down to one thing - your concealer is too light! If you have really dark circles then you need to bring your eye area colour up so it matches the rest of your face first. The aim is to look like you have no dark circles, rather than highlighting the area. This can be done by using either a colour corrector and concealer, or just a concealer. Once you've done this, then apply a slightly lighter concealer to highlight the triangle area under your eye, if you wish to do so. Again, only use minimal amounts of product to highlight otherwise your face will look very caked.
I only have a little darkness under my eyes - do I need a Concealer?
If you're lucky enough to have beautiful skin or minimal dark circles, then you can get away with using your foundation to even out the eye area. Whilst foundations have a different formulation to concealers, they are lighter and can be perfect for mature skin as they are less likely to crease. You can then use a little concealer to highlight. If I feel like I'm looking especially tired, I'll use a thin layer of my foundation under my eyes and then apply concealer.
How can I use my Concealer to make Eyeshadow Colour pop?
If you're using a bright or intense colour, go a shade lighter when using concealer on the upper lid. Blend it out well and dust with setting powder if you have a creamy concealer. Or alternatively use a matt finish concealer. Then apply the eyeshadow and build up the colour. The lighter coloured concealer will provide a great canvas and make the eyeshadow colours stand out.
Hopefully this isn't information overload! If you're a beginner, start with a reasonably priced concealer until you're more confident, or head to a make up counter to ask for advice (when normality resumes). I hope I've answered all your questions, if not feel free to leave me a comment and I'll do my best to help you!
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Monica is a Professional Hair and Makeup Artist based in Leicester, East Midlands. She is a mother to daughters & loves all things skin and makeup related! Whilst she helps everyone feel their best, she especially enjoys working with clients over the age of 40, suffering with skin issues such as Psoriasis or thinning hair as she suffers with all of these herself! Her goal is to create looks that show her client's natural beauty and not mask them. Services range from bridal makeup to event makeup and occasion hair styling. For more details, please contact her via the contact form by clicking on www.monicaproartist.com.