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How to Wear Concealer Without Foundation

Because it’s always sexier when you can see a little more skin—even when it comes to your makeup.
How to Wear Concealer Without Foundation
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Because it’s always sexier when you can see a little more skin—even when it comes to your makeup.

Ahh, concealer. Depending on the way you apply it, this little product can either cover all your skinsecurities or highlight everything that you were trying to hide in the first place. For starters, brush up on your concealer know-how and reeducate yourself with the different formulations, uses, and how to properly apply it. To avoid any makeup mishaps in this department and score perfect-looking skin sans foundation, follow this step-by-step guide to make sure that you can cover up any blemishes and uneveness like a pro

Step 1: Choose the right formula.

In order to do this correctly, you need to choose one based on your skin type and the coverage you are looking for. Once that's done, you can utilize your concealer to the fullest potential.  

The Concealer Type: Liquid

Usually in a tube or bottle, this type of concealer is the most versatile and suitable for most skin types. When it comes to finishes, it usually has a wide selection. It’s really up to you to choose which you prefer, but here are our recos: satin (best for those with aging or acne-prone skin), matte (best for those with oily skin), or dewy (best for those with dry skin).

Coverage is usually buildable from light to full. All you have to do is apply a few more layers if you want need to hide a few more skin sins.

Because of their formulation, liquid concealers are also less likely to cake or settle into lines. If you want something that lasts longer, opt for a matte finish.

PHOTO BY Sephora

FENTY BEAUTY Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Concealer, P1650,

The Concealer Type: Cream

It’s another medium to full coverage concealer, but this time, it’s a lot more creamier than the stick type. It’s usually packaged in a pot or palette. It’s also a lot easier to blend when you use your fingers or a brush, since it won’t dry out as quickly as liquid concealers.

If you have oily skin, this may not be best for you since it has a tendency to move around and settle into creases. It’s best to set this type of concealer with translucent powder post-application.

PHOTO BY Benefit
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BENEFIT Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer, P1460, Greenbelt 5

The Concealer Type: Stick

This type of cover up has a more solid texture and provides more coverage (medium to full) since it usually has more pigment.The texture is thick and creamy. It’s best to warm it up with your fingertips or scrape a bit off and working it with a brush for easier application. If you have acne-prone or sensitive skin, you might want to avoid this formula since it’s heavier and may clog pores easily.

PHOTO BY Rustans

NARS Stick Concealer, P1550, Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Step 2: Check if you need to color correct.

If you have extremely dark circles or dark spots that you’re trying to hide, a normal concealer shade won’t be enough. You need to look for a color corrector to help you achieve a more flawless finish. How do you use one exactly? Simply apply a thin layer over the problem spot before you pat your concealer over it.

For dark circles and pigmentation: Use a peach or orangey-pink shade to help neutralize blue or purple shadows and dark spots

For redness: Use a green shade to hide any skin irritations or acne

For sallow skin: Apply lavender areas to help cancel out yellow tones

PHOTO BY Rustans

STILA One Step Correct, P1950, Rustan’s The Beauty Source

This base is a primer, color corrector, brightener, and anti-aging serum all in one. So if you don’t want to go through the trouble of color correcting, just apply it all over your face to color correct and you won’t have to figure out which shade goes where—so easy!

Step 3: Choose the right shade.

Before you choose your shade, you should first consider what you’re trying to cover up first. If it’s dark circles, then you’ll want to go one or two shades lighter than your skin tone. If you’re trying to hide dark spots or pimples, then you should definitely go for a concealer that matches your skin tone perfectly (Tip: go for this shade if you want your cover-up double as foundation, too!)

Step 4: Spot-apply for minimal coverage.

After applying your skincare, and if needed, your color corrective base, you can finally start covering up your dark circles and blemishes. Celebrity makeup artist Pat McGrath told Savoir Flair that she actually prefers using her fingers when it comes to applying makeup. “This warms the product perfectly for application and never looks heavy," she shared. To do, just apply a tiny drop on your ring finger (it has the lightest touch) and gently pat the product into your skin until it disappears. Repeat the process until your spots or dark circles disappear and you get the coverage you want. And remember, since you also want to showcase your natural skin and allow it to shine through, only apply concealer over your problem areas.


Step 5: But if you want full coverage, then try this…

If you want to use your concealer as foundation for a completely flawless finish, lessen the intensity and thickness of you concealer by mixing it with a tiny dollop of moisturizer. After that, use a damp sponge and lightly tap it into your skin. This way, you’ll still score an even and almost second-skin finish without it looking to cakey or heavy.

PHOTO BY Rustans

CLINIQUE Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer, price upon request, Rustan’s The Beauty Source

Step 6: Remember to lock it in.

Concealer can slip off or settle into cracks, so make sure you set it before you head out the door. If you want to maintain a dewy finish, just take a fan brush and dip it into loose, translucent powder, tap off the excess, and sweep it over your entire face. Want something a little more matte? Then use a powder puff or sponge and press and roll it into your skin for a shine-free (and budge-proof) finish.

For more beauty tips, visit Nicole's blog and follow her on Instagram.

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