Read an Excerpt
Concealer is probably the biggest factor in creating perfection (or as I prefer to look at it, the illusion of perfection). Your product formula is critical. This is especially true with concealer because different formulas give you different amounts of coverage and are created for different usages.
Stick concealer is probably the most common and most popular. It gives you great coverage, and the formula is usually moist enough yet dry enough to conceal just about any discoloration.
Tube concealer is usually a more moisturizing formula due to the nature of the form it comes in. Very versatile due to its texture, it can give you a lot of coverage, or you can sheer it out to give a lighter amount of coverage.
Pot concealer really gives you complete coverage. The formula can vary from creamier all the way to drier. So depending on your formula choice, you can find one for anything you might want to cover.
Wand concealer is the sheerest of all formulas. It gives you the least coverage, but blends very easily, so it is a great choice if you are wearing minimal foundation and just want to conceal minor imperfections.
Pencil concealer gives you complete, fast, easy coverage for dots, spots, and veins. Its dry texture helps it stay put all day, and because it’s a pencil, getting it right where you need it is a breeze. I could not live without this.
Highlighting pen is not a concealer in the sense of a cover-up, but I am putting it here because it is part of creating the illusion of perfection. If your skin is rough, uneven, pitted, or wrinkled, a highlighting pen can work wonders when used together with your concealer. That’s because this product contains light-reflecting particles that help bring forward recessed areas of the face. So anywhere you have any type of indention, apply it and it will visually bring forward that recessed area, creating the appearance of smooth skin.
Concealer Color Choices
Depth level and undertone matter. Let’s talk about depth level first. When choosing a concealer, for the most part, you want a shade that is the same shade as your foundation or a shade lighter. That’s the theory, anyway. I will say that I almost always choose a shade lighter because you are lightening something darker than your skin tone. Just keep in mind that the darker the discoloration, the lighter your concealer will need to be, so be open to the idea that you might need one or two shades lighter than your foundation.
Now let’s talk about undertone. Once again, let’s divide all of you into two categories. You can get a lot of mileage out of concealers with yellow undertones. Yellow is the best color choice for severe discoloration on ivory/beige skin because it works to counteract most skin imperfections, including the purple of under-eye circles, the brown of age spots, and any ruddiness or red in the complexion. The more severe the imperfection—such as a port-wine stain or extremely dark circles—the more yellow you will want in your concealer.
On bronze/ebony skin, a golden-orange concealer for lighter to medium skin tones works wonderfully. For really deep tones of ebony, a warm brown concealer usually covers best. The more intense the discoloration of the skin, the more intense the undertone of the concealer should be so that it can correct more.
If you’re using a concealer that matches your foundation exactly, you may apply it either before or after your foundation. But if you’re using one that is lighter than your foundation, it is best to apply it first.