Here's How to Choose the Right Concealer for Dark Circles and Blemishes
According to professional makeup artists.
Another day in the beauty world often means another concealer launch is under way. And with so many brands and formula options to choose from — ranging from liquid to cream, and stick — finding your holy grail can leave you feeling defeated and depleted. Thankfully, we’re here to break it all down for you and give you the necessary tools and knowledge to figure out not just what makes a concealer so great, but what makes it great for you.
To make matters easier, we picked the brains of two pros in the field: Annie Tevelin, makeup artist and founder of SkinOwl, offers her expertise on how to choose the best concealer for your skin type and Christina Flach, celebrity makeup artist and CEO of Pretty Girl Makeup, gives us the scoop on best application tips. Read on to get one step closer to finding the right concealer for you.
Choosing the Right Formula for Your Skin Type
Knowing which formula to shop for will help you narrow down your plethora of options to just one type. The most common concealer formulas to be familiar with are liquid and cream. “A liquid concealer is often in a tube and is great for all skin types, but it’s especially good for dry or mature skin,” says Tevelin. At the other end of the spectrum, cream concealers exist. Tevelin notes that “a cream concealer is often in the form of a pot or stick, and is great for oilier skin types.” Because of a cream’s thicker consistency, you should avoid applying it underneath the eyes to reduce the risk of creasing. Instead, keep it handy for pesky breakouts.
So, how should you, as a beauty-obsessed consumer, differentiate between the different formulas while scouring the shelves of beauty stores? Tevelin recommends keeping a watchful eye for words like “creamy,” “hydrating,” or “radiance-boosting” if your under eyes are prone to dehydration. She also says that ingredients like “hyaluronic acid, pure plant oils or cocoa butters and other moisturizing agents can help alleviate dry under eyes.” And for those who suffer from dark circles, she recommends to “look for a thinner, more gel like consistency that has ingredients like vitamin C and antioxidants.”
Ideal for those in need of the ultimate coverage, this glide-on stick concealer is small enough to be purse-friendly but powerful enough to camouflage blemishes, fine lines and dark spots.
Picking the Best Shade for You Based on Your Skin Concerns
In the world of concealers, rarely will a one-size-fits-all mantra apply — the concealer you use to cover up a blemish will not (and should not) be the same one you use to hide dark circles. If you’re aiming to mask that all-nighter you pulled last night, Flach says that the “concealer should be one to two shades lighter than your skin tone.” Using a concealer the same hue as the rest of your face on top of dark circles could give off a grey cast. Instead, opt for a concealer with color-correcting benefits: a peach undertone will work for light skin while those with darker skin will benefit from an orange undertone.
With its rich peach shade, this brightening under eye corrector neutralizes dark circles by canceling out blueish-purple shadows.
On the other hand, if you’re turning to concealer to cover up unwelcome visitors on your skin (hormonal breakouts, anyone?), you have the green light to use something less bright. “You’ll definitely want to have an exact shade match to the rest of your face for blemishes,” advises Flach. And if you’re looking for long-lasting coverage, a green color corrector will cancel out any and all signs of redness to ensure nothing peeks through should your concealer fade throughout the day.
This ultra-creamy green corrector provides long-lasting coverage and is formulated with salicylic acid to prevent future breakouts.
Applying Concealer with the Right Techniques and Tools
When it comes to application, both Tevelin and Flach agree that skin prep is key. Ensuring your skin is properly hydrated before makeup application will offer the best results. “I always use an eye cream before I apply concealer on my clients,” she says. “This combats dryness and the end result is always a flawless look.”
Caffeine helps reduce under eye swelling while hyaluronic acid firms and hydrates in this paraben-free eye cream.
In terms of tools, we’re big fans of beauty sponges for the airbrushed finish they give to the under eyes. Brushes are an option for more targeted application, like for blemishes and spots.
The cult-favorite original beautyblender is made of a unique material that soaks up any excess product that would otherwise make your skin look heavy and creased.
A mini version of the brand’s bestseller, this concealer brush features dense, round bristles for even, long-lasting coverage.
- Teresa Lam