If there’s one product we genuinely could not live without; it’s concealer. It does it all, constantly working overtime to help us look more awake, snatched, and sculpted. Even on those no-makeup makeup days, we use it to conceal the odd pimple or undereye bag #sorrynotsorry. To help you make the most of your concealer, we carefully curated a list of hacks that will take your concealer game to the next level. You can thank us later…
Concealer tip #1: Find the right shade
Should you go one shade lighter, the same, in the middle? The list of questions about concealer shades goes on and on, but leave it to the pros to help you find your perfect fit. “If you want your concealer to blend in with your foundation for a natural look, I recommend matching the concealer with your foundation,” says glam master to stars Shay Mitchell and Khloe Kardashian, Ash K Holm. “And if you want to use your concealer to highlight, I like to go one to two shades lighter than your foundation shade – highlighting will lift the face and reflect light,” she adds.
We always opt for a lighter shade for under eyes, but for concealing pimples, a match for your foundation is ideal.
Concealer tip #2: Find the right coverage for you
Coverage is another factor you need to get right. If you’ve ever been confused about the coverage you want or need, don’t worry, as celeb makeup artist Kira Nasrat clarified the difference for us. “Creamy concealers are going to give you a bit more coverage while liquid can give you lighter coverage,” she explains. “I tend to use the liquid formula to even out a tone or slightly conceal and I like creams for more heavy-duty concealing.”
For pimples and dark circles we always opt for full coverage, but if you just want to brighten or even out skin tone slightly, a lighter coverage concealer will do.
Concealer tip #3: Know what order to apply concealer
Applying your makeup in the right order will majorly influence the final look. Begin by prepping your skin with a primer to create a clean base, then if you use a color corrector now is the time! Follow a color corrector with your foundation, then your concealer, and finally finish with powder. If you apply your concealer before your foundation, all of that brightening and sculpting will be worked over. It’s also important to always apply powders after liquid products, as this will help them set and stay in place, preventing your foundation from moving or going patchy throughout the day.
Concealer tip #4: Conceal your under eyes
You’ll probably have seen concealer being applied in a triangle shape under the eyes all over Instagram, which is correct, but we like to add our own Huda Beauty twist. Instead of just applying under the eye, drag your concealer up towards the tail end of the brow, which will lift and sculpt your eyes. Don’t forget to blend, blend, blend, so it melts into your foundation. Our weapon of choice is always a damp makeup sponge.
Concealer tip #5: Use concealer to fake a fuller pout
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Contouring your lips is the easiest way to fake a fuller pout and it all starts with a full coverage concealer. Begin by applying your concealer all over your lips, covering the lip line. This will help create a blank canvas for you to play with so that you can easily determine where your new lip line will be.
Concealer tip #6: Use concealer to cover pimples
This is probably the most common use of concealer but as always, we like to take it one (or two) steps further. Apply a green color corrector to cancel out any redness, then follow with foundation. Next, apply a full coverage concealer and lightly blend it out with a dry beauty blender. If it’s still red, apply a thick layer of powder and let this sit for one to two minutes, then dust off. This will help it to set in place all day so the concealer won’t budge, while also brightening the area.
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Concealer tip #7: Neaten up your eyeshadow
Don’t limit your concealer to your complexion as it can bring your eyeshadow game to the next level:
Prime: You can use concealer like a primer to create a clean base for eyeshadow application and to cancel out any darkness. Just use a makeup sponge to blend a little concealer across your lid, then set with a light dusting of powder to stop it settling in your crease.
Cut a crease: Use concealer to create a killer cut crease. Once you’ve worked an eyeshadow into your crease, take a small flat angled brush, then using your concealer, outline the shape of your lid et voila! A killer cut crease.
Snatch your shadow: You can also use concealer at the end of your makeup to neaten any eyeshadow edges. Start by applying concealer underneath your eyes, then extend it by drawing from the outer corner of your eye (up at an angle) toward the tail end of your brow as we outlined in hack #4. This will neaten up the edges and lift the eye. You can also apply the concealer from the inner corner of your eye up towards the start of your brow to help brighten and enlarge the eye area.
The lesson here… never underestimate your concealer.
Concealer tip #8: Use concealer to contour your nose
If you want to make your nose look slimmer, you can apply a concealer that’s roughly two shades lighter than your natural skin tone on either side of your nose. By highlighting this area, it’ll make your nose look more slender. To heighten this contrast, set it with a bright setting powder.
Concealer tip #9: Use the right tools
Finding the right tool to apply your concealer depends on what level of coverage you’re looking for. If you’re looking for light coverage, apply it the skin and blend it out with a damp beauty blender using a light tapping motion. For a little more coverage, use a concealer brush and a stippling motion (where you gently press the product into the skin), then use a dry beauty blender to lightly buff out the corners.
Concealer tip #10: Highlight strategically to sculpt
Contour is nothing without it’s highlighting sister. It’s like the yin and yang of makeup. The key areas where you should highlight are the under-eye, the center of your forehead, along the bridge of your nose, and underneath your cheekbones. This will help you manipulate the shadow of your contour so that you face looks sculpted and snatched AF. Although, as with all things makeup related, you need to tweak and tailor your contour according to your face shape, so check out our ultimate contouring guide to find out how.
Concealer tip #11: Fix cakey makeup
If you were a little too heavy-handed in your application, don’t freak and wash your face, simply use Urban Decay global makeup artist Steve Kassajikian’s trick to correct it. “I spray Urban Decay Quick Fix Hydra-Charged Complexion Prep Spray, $32, onto my brush or beauty sponge and blend or press the concealer to add hydration and smooth it out,” he says. Not only will this save you time starting from scratch, but this primer helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and replaces lost moisture. Double bonus.
Concealer tip #12: Use concealer instead of foundation
If you’re running low on foundation or are looking for a full-coverage finish, mix a little foundation with concealer for a full coverage finish. For a lighter finish, mix your concealer with a drop of moisturizer, or for a glowy finish, a drop of glow enhancing cream, like the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, $37.
Check out our 9 fave concealers for every budget and beauty issue, here.