The crazy thing about concealers is, if used incorrectly, they end up doing the exact opposite of what they're supposed to. Instead of camouflaging flaws, badly applied concealer accentuates them. So while slapping it on isn't rocket science, a few tips will make it a help not a hindrance.
First up, concealer must match skin tone: Colour-matching it is just as important as colour-matching foundation.
Any makeup pro will also tell you there's no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to choosing the perfect concealer. It really depends on what you want it to do for you. To hide under-eye bags you'll need a good liquid concealer, light enough to counteract the bluish hues under your eyes but not too heavy to settle in the fine lines.
For the under-eye area you'll also need to opt for a peach-based concealer. (Many concealers have a yellow base, which makes the under-eye area look dull and sallow.) My favourite is Revlon's ColorStay Blemish Concealer, $28.50. I also love Elizabeth Arden's Ceramide Lift and Firm Concealer, $55, because it contains the ceramide plumping technology that helps to brighten, firm and lift while concealing.
To conceal scars and dark pigmentation you're best to choose a cream concealer and a makeup sponge or brush, like Shiseido's Concealer Brush, $35, to apply it. Cream concealers provide heavy-duty coverage and because most contain less oil than a liquid they last longer. To conceal a zit, start by applying a green concealer (they do exist) teamed with a concealer pencil. The green concealer takes away the redness and the pencil's pointy shape allows it to be dabbed directly onto the zit without wiping away the green concealer underneath.
Dr Hauschka's Pure Care Cover Stick, $39, is a great choice for concealing breakouts as it also contains a combination of tea tree and manuka essential oils to treat the blemish while covering it. It's always a good idea to apply a translucent powder over the top of a concealer to set your handiwork. Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer Kit, $70, is great because it not only includes two creamy concealer shades but also a sheer-finish loose powder in the same compact.
- Sunday Magazine