How to use concealer in your makeup routine

how to use concealer

Concealer is a highly pigmented product designed to camouflage skin imperfections. It has a dense level of mineral content to provide heavy colour coverage. The most common reason to conceal is to even out skin tone and eliminate any flaws. Concealers do wonders for unsightly blemishes, darkness under the eyes, redness, pigmentation, scars and even tattoos.

Once you know how and where to apply your concealer you’ll wonder how you did without it! For a little time spent in front of the mirror and having a good eye for colour, you can make your skin woes disappear, literally!


Concealers can be liquid, cream or compact in form and they can be skin toned or coloured (peach, pink, yellow & green).

Why are there different coloured concealers?

When choosing a skin-toned concealer you want to go for a colour that will lightly brighten your skin to eliminate shadow and drawing attention to the area. The colour needs to blend in with your natural skin tone as best as possible. It is good to go for one shade lighter than your foundation for your eye area and around the base of your nose, and a colour that matches your skin perfectly for cheeks and other areas. Don’t go too light, otherwise it will be completely noticeable. You can clearly see what I mean by going to light in the image below. Eva gets it right in the left-hand image, and clearly wrong in the right-hand image.

Eva Longoria ConcealerDo you need to bother with peach, pink, green and yellow? And, how do they work?

It is a matter of personal preference if you want to go for skin-toned or these camouflaging colours. If you enjoy applying make up, you will be impressed with the results you achieve from using the coloured concealers; the result can be amazing.


Peach, pink, green and yellow are great if you have a particularly noticeable problem that you want to hide:

Peach: purple and blue under eye dark circles or imperfections.

Green: redness anywhere on the skin, including blemishes.

Yellow: purple or violet under eye dark circles or imperfections.

Pink: green undertones in the skin, sometimes visible in under eye circles.


Should you choose liquid, cream or compact?

concealerThis is also a matter of preference, however there are a few things to keep in mind….

  1. Liquid will provide a light veil. So if you only want a light natural finish this is a good option. They are particularly good if you don’t have anything too harsh to hide, or if you have oily skin but don’t want to cover a blemish completely, that is, if you just want to eliminate its redness.
  2. Creams are a bit more moisturising than liquid or compact concealers, so if you have dry skin it will give plenty of coverage without looking dry or creping.
  3. Compacts are great for oily skin types as they are the driest form of concealer and because of their density, will give plenty of coverage without too much movement as the skin produces oil through-out the day. They tend to have a matt finish, which is also preferred by oily skin types.

When in your routine should you apply concealer?

Well, there are contradictory ideas when it comes to this. Some women believe it should be applied before foundation, others believe after. Truth is there is no hard and fast rule, it is about what works for you and what helps you achieve the best result. Different formulas will work better for different scenarios, for example it makes sense that:

  1. Applying a compact formula of concealer followed with foundation would work, as the compact formula is dense and more unlikely to move than a liquid. This would be good for stubborn imperfections such as pigmentation.
  2. Applying your concealer after your foundation means you can use less product on your skin as you only need to concentrate on the areas not covered by your foundation so you can be out the door quicker!

Both of these options are true and work in practice, it really is determined by your skin type and what you are covering. I believe less is more and like the following options:

  1. Applying moisturiser then concealing only where you need it.
  2. Applying concealer after foundation to ensure you don’t have to reapply it if the product moves.

Trial, error and success is the key! Experiment with the products you like to use and you will find the right order and the best result for you.

If you need a quick makeover concealer is a great option to look flawless in 5 to 10 minutes. You can use it on top of your general daily moisturiser if you are not keen on all-over foundation, allowing your natural skin to be seen, or you can use it to touch up before heading out to dinner or drinks after work.

So, where on your face should you put concealer?

Well, we have talked about hiding those things you don’t like, but there is something that all of us can do with concealer in general to make our skin appear more even in tone. Apply your skin-toned concealer to the following areas to eliminate darkness/shadow:

  1. Around the base and sides of your nose.
  2. Under your eyes.
  3. On the eyelid.
  4. Top inside corner of the eye socket.
  5. Redness on cheeks or chin.

How do you apply it?

eye concealerI find using a specially designed concealer brush is the best option. They are about half the size of a foundation brush. Your application is well controlled using a brush – there is no pulling on the skin as there would be with a sponge, you can lightly layer the product on until you reach your required coverage, and there won’t be any unsightly fingerprints in your make up! This way your application is hygienic, which is important if you are covering a blemish or open skin.

You should always feel comfortable with the make up you wear, and it may take a bit of time to gain confidence in what you are doing. But relax…you must be on the right track if you are reading this! So next time you are applying make up, try concealing rather than just slathering on a foundation – the results are so effective and you won’t feel like you’re wearing pancake make up!

 If in doubt, you can always call us at Lily Jackson Hair & Makeup on 02 9360 8708 and book a hands-on makeup lesson that will have you doing your makeup like a pro.

2 replies
  1. Gillian Deaquino
    Gillian Deaquino says:

    Great tips! I’m going to buy the concealer palette like the one you show and start testing my skills with peach, yellow & green!

  2. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    I have oily skin, medium to large pores and hate the feel of heavy products on my skin but do want to cover the odd pimple and redness, what concealer should I go for?

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