Although we’d love to wake up flawless every morning and be out of the house with just a slick of mascara and lipstick, the reality is that most women are wedded to their concealers — and with good reason. Backstage at the fashion weeks, prepping A-listers for the red carpet and working on glossy magazine shoots, the top makeup artists are never without a healthy selection of concealers in their makeup arsenal, including different colors and textures for different areas of the face. “Concealer is one product that I can’t imagine not having in my makeup kit,” reveals Thalia Phamova, SHISEIDO UK National Makeup Artist. “Personally, it saves me from looking tired and covers any imperfections,” she explains. “Plus clients are always keen to learn which concealers work best for their skin tone and texture.”
With the right concealer, your complexion looks healthy and natural. You’ll also need less foundation or tinted moisturizer, as your skin will appear fresher. Win-win right? Here’s our expert guide to choosing the right concealer for your skin concerns. Get set to achieve your #SkinGoals with minimum effort.
What is concealer?
“With a cream-like, textured formula, concealer is there to conceal any skin imperfections, from dark circles under the eyes to unwanted pimples or pigmentation patches,” explains Phamova. “The texture of concealer can vary from liquid to cream to paste-like. It all depends on which area of the face you need it for,” she says.
What’s the best texture to choose for an under-eye concealer?
“My tip is to always use lighter-weight concealers for the delicate under-eye area, and heavier ones, such as a cream stick or paste, for other areas with imperfections,” suggests Phamova. Try SHISEIDO Sheer Eye Zone Corrector, which neutralizes dark circles and discoloration around the eyes. It’s ultra-thin so you don’t need to worry about visible layers or caking. Take a tip from the makeup artists and choose a shade that’s slightly lighter than your natural skin tone. This adds extra radiance to counteract the dullness that often comes with dark circles.
How about for concealing blemishes?
Choose a creamy stick concealer such as SHISEIDO Stick Foundation (Control Color), which is thick enough to cover major blemishes, while being easy to blend for a flawless, color-camouflage effect. Containing an advanced moisturizer, this expert stick concealer also counterbalances redness and adds brightness to the skin.
“When using a stick concealer, remember to blend very, very well,” advises Phamova. “You want to conceal the area, not draw attention to it. Work with the texture of the product to allow it to blend into your skin.” Phamova recommends using the fingertips to tap the product in gently, rather than dragging it.
What’s the difference between a concealer and a corrector?
This is something many of us mix up. “Concealers are for hiding dark circles under the eyes and for blemishes,” explains Phamova. “Correctors are for color correcting and are applied before foundation to balance your skin tone.”
Try using a green corrector for redness on the cheeks and nose area (before applying your foundation). If your under-eye circles are bluish in hue, then use an orange corrector. If they’re more purple-ish, or you have purple in your skin tone that you’d like to hide, use a yellow-based corrector.
What if I want to disguise dark spots from pigmentation or age spots on my face?
An all-over, brightening corrector will help to even out your skin tone, increase luminosity and disguise any dark spots. Try SHISEIDO White Lucent Brightening Spot-Control Base UV. This high-performing protector base boosts moisture and includes a powerful active whitening and brightening ingredient, m-Tranexamic Acid, which helps prevent and diminish dark spots. Leaving your skin looking radiant, it’s best applied before foundation or tinted moisturizer. The Vitamin C complex also means it works as an antioxidant to protect against external skin aggressors, such as pollution and UV rays.
When should I apply concealer or corrector?
A corrector, such as a color corrector or brightening/whitening product, should be applied before your base, according to Phamova. “Concealers, on the other hand, are for after foundation, to finish and touch up your base, and ensure you’re looking flawless and beautiful,” she explains. The golden rule is to use as little product as possible, and slowly build it up, whether concealer, corrector or foundation.
“You probably need less product than you think,” says Phamova. “I always recommend starting with just a small amount of everything, layer up and then check. If you need more coverage, you can apply more thin layers until you learn what your perfect amount is. This is much better than a thick, cakey makeup base that looks like a mask, and is exactly what you’re trying to avoid.”
So don’t forget — a thin layer of corrector first, then smooth on your foundation, and then apply your concealers, lightly patting in using fingertips. #SkinGoals achieved!