What’s the deal with concealer?

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Every make-up artist’s top tips usually begin with “conceal, conceal, conceal,” but to the average make-up user, this is more complicated than it sounds. What should you be concealing, what type of concealer should you use and how should you apply it? Before you start experimenting, read our concealer tips below to help you find the perfect product and learn how to apply it like a pro.

Different types of concealer

What concealer does:
Concealer is used to cover up imperfections on the surface of the skin. It is matched to your skin tone, and then used to hide breakouts, scars, redness and dark circles. As it contains more pigment than foundation does, it offers better coverage, thereby helping you get closer to a flawless complexion.

What to conceal:
Redness around your nose area, pigmentation or dark spots, dark circles under your eyes, scars, pimples and breakouts.

Different types of concealers and how to apply them:
Concealers are available in three forms: solid, liquid and powder.

Powder concealer offers the least amount of coverage, and can be used for dark under-eye circles and light blemishes. It is best applied with a brush in gently, circular movements. Though it is effective on light imperfections, it is probably the least common of the three types.

Liquid concealer offers more coverage than powder and blends easily with a thin concealer brush or with your fingers. It can be used on acne, but is best suited to dark under-eye circles. It’s best to select a liquid concealer one or two shades lighter than your complexion, and to apply it around the area with a brush. Gently bled it into the skin with your finger, but be careful not to rub or tug at the skin.

Solid concealers offer the most coverage, but cannot be blended into the skin. They normally come in a lipstick-like or pencil-like form. They are most suitable for covering pimples and scars and should not be used as an under-eye concealer (the rubbing of the pencil can damage the delicate area around the eyes).

If you’re looking to highlight and ligten an area on your skin and don’t need the full coverage of a foundation, opt for a highlighting pen instead. These usually give the skin a luminous glow and don’t offer much coverage.


Written by

Anien studied English and journalism before heading off into the world of beauty. An undercover "tree hugger" and fashion lover, she's usually found with her nose in a magazine. She has far too many bottles of nail polish and is completely lost without her lip balm. Anien on Google+

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  1. Cookie Nandlall

    I generally do not use a concealer but do use foundation. Amazed on the tips, benefits of a Concealer that can add to your makeup. Definitely will invest in one to give my skin a photo shop look.

    8 months ago •

  1. Erin Pieters

    I’ve got the Catrice Liquid Camouflage concealer and the Essence Cover Stick – must say, I prefer the liquid concealer as it provides better coverage and tends to be less tacky than the cover stick – but I suppose my frame of reference is quite limited.

    9 months ago •

  1. Jeanine

    I have recently discovered NYX and I am so so excited to try their Photogenic Concealer for my dark circles and blemishes.

    3 years ago •

  1. Lolita Naicker

    I have dark cicles under my eye. I must try a concealer. The Essence Coverstick is the cheapest…wil get one this weekend.

    4 years ago •

  1. Lex Gold

    I’ve been looking for a concealer so this was really helpful, as its always good to know about a product before you buy it!

    4 years ago •

  1. Heidi G

    A good concealer is a must to hide dark circles and imperfections, a product I cannot live without!

    4 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I really want to try to Touche Eclat from YSL but that price tag just gets to me. I’ve been using Bobbi Brown’s cream concealer for about 3 years and I think it’s absolutely amazing. It doesn’t dry out the skin, looks ever so slightly dewy on it’s own without a powder to lock it in, and it sits so well.

    4 years ago •

  1. Miss Kay

    I bought the Essence concealer on a weekend trip when I forgot my Revlon Colorstay concealer at home, and I have to say, it works really well. Good coverage, my spots look almost invisible, and it blends into my skin nicely.

    4 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    I just bought the Stila brighten and correct concealer!

    4 years ago •

  1. lollyrae

    Something I definitely need to invest in!

    4 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    I love my Essence one. So cheep and does the trick perfectly well

    4 years ago •

  1. Pluke

    I personally feel liquid type concealer would be best for me. Just like my liquid foundation, I love blending it with my foundation brush. I believe good coverage and that flawless finish can be achieved by selecting the best products suited to your skin type, a rounded tip foundation brush and steady blending.

    4 years ago •

  1. Lah

    I use the Yardley Oatmeal Coverstick and it is AMAZING!!!

    4 years ago •

  1. Moodley

    I have never used any foundation but I woudl love to cover up some of the scars my acne has left behind. Is it possible to use the concealer without foundation?

    4 years ago •

  1. Adele

    I love concealer. These are great prices.

    4 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    So interesting! I don’t use concealer, but I may have to for dark circles.

    4 years ago •

  1. Nat

    I see that the Stila range is going big everywhere. I want to try this brand out.

    4 years ago •

  1. Khalisi

    I’ve never known how or where to use concealer or that there’s different types of concealers. I thought it only came in a stick! Thanks for enlightening us.

    4 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    Sigh. YSL’s Touche Eclat, I need to try this for myself and see if the hype around it is worth the big spend. I haven’t come across someone that hasn’t fallen in love with it, but the price tag is just unreasonable in my books.

    4 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    I would love to use the Touche Eclat, but for now (budget, budget) I’ll stick to my cheap Essence Coverstick which works well.

    4 years ago •

  1. BeautySouthAfrica

    Hi Mpoyif. It is best to apply your concealer after you have applied your foundation. When applying foundation you are already providing coverage to dark spots and imperfections, so you will use less concealer if you apply it after your foundation.

    4 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    I didn’t know there was a powder concealer. I’ve always used the liquid and I haven’t tried the stick.

    4 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    I’ve always used concealer under my foundation but read somewhere that it should be applied after your foundation. Which is the best way?

    4 years ago •

  1. me

    A must have, especially for those dark circles under the eyes.

    4 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Great advice, I’m currenty using MAC from time to time. I would also try these.

    4 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    I have an Avon stick concealer and I’m not a fan. Like the article says, it is not easily blended into the skin and while it covers pimples and blemishes on the cheek area pretty well, it is too hard for the under-eye area. I have the Essence version of the pen concealer and it works wonders for the under-eye area and around the nose and mouth. The price is steep but one day, I would like to try the YSL Touche Eclat and see what the hype is.

    4 years ago •

  1. RoseAngel

    I love the black up 4 shade concealer. It has 4 different shades in on compact so you can use different shades on different imperfections – an absolute must have!

    4 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    I have never tried a stick concealer, but I would like to. The Revlon looks amazing.

    4 years ago •

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