Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Girl's Guide To.... Concealers

Clear skin is always in... and if you don't have it, you fake it! A flawless complexion is what we women strive for. Although genetics play a crucial role in who gets bestowed with the porcelain skin, the right concealer can be just as beneficial!

Applying concealer can be somewhat of a daunting feat. Too much looks cakey. Too little doesn't do the trick. And how about the bevy of colors... yellows, pinks, even greens! Certain colors combat specific areas of your face (i.e. dark circles as opposed to pimples) and it's important to know what type of concealer to use, and where. And, of course, how to apply? Brush, finger, straight from the wand?

The truth is, each concealer has it's purpose... you just need to educate yourself on the pros and cons and sift through the hype, straight to the core. How to apply concealer? We asked some of our FAVORITE makeup artists for their wise and helpful tips...

Here's A Girl's Guide to Concealer:

Emmy nominated makeup artist Patty Bunch has this to say about applying concealer to the ever-sensitive under eye area:

  • Always start with a nourishing Eye Cream to hydrate your delicate eye tissue.
  • There are many shades of Concealer. Pick a color that matches your undertone. If it’s blue pick a color that’s has a slight peach tone. Orange reutilizes blue. If you have red undertones pick a concealer that has a slight yellow tone. Yellow neutralizes red.
  • Once you’ve made your choice, pick a shade that’s one to two shades lighter than your skin tone.
  • With clean fingers apply the concealer mixing with your favorite Eye Cream or Gel. Warm the mixture between your fingertips and stipple starting at the inside corners and blend out. Stipple delicately several times to push the formula into the pores.
Prescriptives Director of Artistry, Jillian Veran, offers these tips to applying concealer to the eye area:
  • Most dark circles start at the very inner corner of the eye and drop to the top of the cheek bone, creating a deep line of demarcation as we age. Using the top flat side of the applicator (sponge), dot the concealer from the inner corner of the eye down and around toward the top of the cheek bone. The shape would look like a crescent moon.
  • Using the ring finger, tap upward toward the under lash line and inner corner until smooth.
LancĂ´me's National Artistic Director, Robert Cook, offers these incredible tips :
  • When applying concealer it is always best to start with a very hydrating cream all over the face and eye area.
  • After the eye area is hydrated, use a concealer brush and apply concealer only to the darkest areas. Most people apply to the entire under eye when only a small area may need attention. If concealer is put where it is not needed, you lose the highlighting effect.
  • When choosing a concealer for the under eye area, it is best to go a little darker than you might normally think. Choose a concealer with a yellow or gold undertone.
  • Often, women choose concealers that are too light which ultimately do not have enough color in them to neutralize purple or blue areas. This can make the circle under the eyes look muddy or grey.
For spot correction, Cook suggests:
  • The concealer to use for spot correction on other parts of the face (side of the nose, blemishes, etc.) should be the same tone and color intensity of your skin or one or two shades lighter.
  • Using the concealer brush, apply the lighter concealer with a tapping/ patting motion so you do not disturb the makeup underneath the concealer.
  • If you feel like you have applied too much, pat a small amount of moisturizer over makeup. This will give a radiant glow and eliminate any dehydration. (LOVE THIS TIP!)
Makeup artist Cari Lynn Orr of Starlet Cosmetics has these great tips for applying concealer evenly:
  • Try to use a small, sable or nylon brush in order to apply the product appropriately and evenly.
  • Warm up your concealer on your skin(or hand) first, it will warm to your body temperature and smooth on with a flawless finish.
And in regards to choosing the appropriate color, Orr says:
  • Salmon colored undertones work great on the undereye to diminish blue based dark undereyes.
Kevin Bennett, Director of Artistry for MAKE UP FOR EVER, explains how to apply the perfect amount of concealer:
  • The key to making concealer conceal and not cake is using small amounts.
  • I find it best to take a tiny amount of concealer on a soft synthetic brush and thin it out on the heal of my palm. I then apply very thin layers until the desired coverage is achieved.
  • It’s always better to apply a few thin, well blended coats as opposed to one thick layer (which will inevitably cake, crack and look horrible).
And when choosing the correct color, Bennett suggests:
  • For normal concealing try a concealer about 1 shade lighter than your foundation/skin color. For noticeable or intense dark circles, try to match your skintone exactly.
  • To color correct excessively purple/grey discoloration try a peach tinted concealer.
  • For excessive redness, try for a stronger olive undertoned concealer.
Wow, that's a ton of useful information! So, next time you're in the market for a new concealer, check back to this post before purchasing!

And next week, we'll be posting our favorite concealers on the market!!! Let us know which concealer you DIE over!


jana said...


BeautyTalk said...

This was very helpful! have you tried LM's secret brightener?

Shelley said...

What a great post! thanks for the useful tips. I like the prescriptives cover up. It doesn;t clog pores and realy covers everything.


kara said...

i literally DIE for Bobbi Brown's Corrector in Light Bisque-- i have had horrible genetic dark circles since conception i swear and tried many, many concealers. Laura Mercier's Secret concealer was one i was faithful to for a long time but in the end it didn't cover enough for my very dark bluish/purple circles. also, it can be a little bit too creamy and make your mascara smudge. Amazing Cosmetics makes a really great FULL coverage concealer called Amazing Concealer that i use on top of my BB Corrector on my darkest bits when my circles are extra bad. BB's Corrector is heaven, you only need a tiny bit and it covers amazingly well and NEVER cakes or looks gross. if your circles are blue/purple the pinkish Bisque shades will work and if your circles are more brownish, try the Peach shades.

the Muse said...

great advice!

very useful tips!

katwoman08 said...

I was very interested in the information about the concealers, and I can't wait to hear which of them are the best ones. I have trouble covering the under eye area. I was told in the past to use a lighter shade and it looked like I had white rings around my eyes! (not really, but that's what I FELT like!). I'm going to try to use the same shade and see how that works. Thanx!

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