By Sheila Arkee
Let’s get down to business: concealer. What is it exactly, and why is it a must have in your cosmetics kit?
Concealer is a highly pigmented liquid or cream that corrects flaws in the skin, hiding features you’d rather keep muted. In my case, I’d rather keep the exact purplish tone of my under eye circles to myself, thank you very much!
Concealers generally do not contain water, and therefore are a lot more pigmented than foundation, which is used to even out overall skin tones.
The type of concealer you choose - be it a liquid, cream, or gel product – is more personal preference than anything. Liquid types, like the MAC Select Sheer Cover I’m using in this breakdown, tend to be a bit more emollient and nice for drier skins. Creams, like concealer sticks, are great for normal to oily skin types.
Here comes the tricky part- successful concealer application is not necessarily about the type of product, but rather the colors you choose for specific areas of your face.
The concealer shade you use on blemishes is not going to be the same concealer you will use on under eye circles. When it comes down to choosing the correct color, here’s what you need to remember:
- Choose concealer colors that are one shade lighter than your foundation color.
- Use a pink-toned concealer on blue/purple under eye circles.
- Use a yellow-toned concealer on red/brown blemishes.
It all goes back to color theory – use a color that opposes your base color to cancel it out, which is something I covered more thoroughly in a Breaking Down Beauty about covering blemishes.
Here’s a more direct comparison of yellow and pink-toned concealers.
In terms of MAC’s foundation/concealer shades, I wear NC40 (yellow-toned) as my foundation color, NC35 as my facial concealer, and NW25 as my under eye concealer.
On the left side of the photo, I’ve used a yellow-toned concealer under the eye. On the right side of the photo, I’ve used a pink-toned concealer under the eyes. You can see that the pink-toned concealer blends in a lot better!
Want to get more use out of your concealer?
- Blend in some moisturizer with the concealer you use for your face and make a foundation.
- You can also apply foundation under your browbone to hide those pesky little brow hairs.
- Concealer is fantastic for creating the illusion of fuller lips, as demonstrated by Jeanne Ciasullo in this awesome tutorial.
Next time on Breaking Down Beauty, an expose on foundation – how do you choose the best type for your skin? Stay tuned!