How to Choose (and Use) the Right Concealer for You

beauty

Concealer is one of those things that seems to make it into even the most low-maintenance of beauty routines. But once you start looking around, there are so many different formulas and colour options to choose from that it can quickly start to feel more high-maintenance than you originally thought! To get the scoop on colours for under-eye circles vs colours for hiding blemishes, stick vs cream formulas, and brush vs finger application, we asked our friend Geoff, a 3rd key makeup artist at MAC St. Vital Centre, to help us decipher concealers.

Choosing a Formula
Deciding on the type of concealer you want in your beauty bag really comes down to coverage, and your skin type. If you’re looking for some basic sheer coverage, your choice is going to be very different than if you’re looking to cover up a tattoo (and there’s obviously a range of coverage between those extremes). If your skin is on the oiler side, you probably want to opt for something with a matte finish vs a dewy finish, keeping in mind that of course, there’s also just personal preference on the type of look you prefer. The best thing to do is to consider those factors ahead of time – skin type, coverage, personal preference – then browse the shelves with your checklist in mind.

Choosing a Shade – or Shades
Geoff cleared up the reasons for having multiple shades of concealer on hand for us by clarifying that if you’re looking to conceal a dark under-eye area, you’ll want to opt for a shade lighter than your skin tone, while if you’re pulling out your concealer in order to cover a blemish, you’ll want to reach for something that matches your skin tone more closely. When it comes to under-eye circles, a yellowish undertone will help to brighten the area, while a pinkish or orangish undertone will help to colour correct.

If you’re using concealer to highlight, you will want at least one shade lighter than your skin tone – how much lighter is going to be up to your personal preference and the level of highlight you’re going for. 

Concealer Brush vs Beauty Blender vs Your Fingers
One of the things we’ve wondered most about are the differences in application tools. Geoff broke it down like this:

  • A concealer brush will help the product to blend easily, and stay put. It’s also a great option to invest in, as it will last long-term vs needing to be replaced in a few months. Check out this post to learn how to clean your makeup brushes!
  • A beauty blender will also (obviously) blend your concealer, and creates a pretty airbrushed effect. Don’t forget to replace these every three months.
  • Your fingers are a valid option and will do the trick, but it will take a little more time and effort to blend the product.

The tools you use always come down to personal preference, so it might be worth trying out the options to see what you like best!

Final tips
Don’t forget that your concealer can do more! Geoff recommends using it for highlighting and contour, as a base for eyeshadow, or as your cut crease eyeshadow. Depending on your formula, it can even pull double-duty as a foundation. As always, makeup is about playing, experimenting, having fun, and finding out what you like best. Stop by the MAC Cosmetics store in St. Vital Centre and talk to their amazing team to get more tips and and advice.

While you’re digger a little deeper on beauty products – have you tried shampoo bars?! We tested them out… here’s what we found!

Photos from MACcosmetics.com. All products available at MAC Cosmetics in St. Vital Centre.

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