Concealer 101
Photo: Getty

Concealers are staples in makeup pouches because they are the superheroes you need to do the heavy lifting when it comes to covering up occasional flaws such as pimple scars and dark circles. Some people swear by them, even forgoing foundation to get that no-makeup makeup look. Some people just hastily dab it on and have trouble blending them out, and end up looking like they have a weird patch on their skin.

Here are the most basic things you need to know about using concealers:

One concealer is all you need
The primary purpose of concealers is to conceal skin flaws such as dark circles, blemishes in the form of acne and freckles, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from recovering pimples. IT Cosmetics’ vice-president for global education, Shannon Pirie, says that you should be able to use your concealer everywhere, on your face or body, and it should have high-enough coverage so you don’t need to layer it on. “Make sure it’s hydrating because if you’re using it on the under-eye area where the skin is more delicate, a hydrating concealer will help keep fine lines at bay,” she adds.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer, $42, in 24 shades, from Sephora

Using less product is key to applying concealer properly
It could be the concealer’s formula, but you might be using too much product if you find that your concealer’s settling into your fine lines by mid-day.

Shannon’s tip is to apply the concealer further away from the lower lashline and blend it upwards with a makeup brush so you can better control the amount of concealer you are getting on your undereye.

One other tip we’ve gleaned from watching Korean celebrity makeup artist Jung Saem Mool’s makeup demonstration at the launch of her brand in Singapore recently is to pick up the concealer using a concealer brush, then gently dab it on the spot that you want to conceal. But doing so, you won’t run the risk of overdosing on concealer and looking patchy.

If you have other concerns such as puffy eyes or breakouts, Shannon recommends that it’s best to use a different targeted skincare product such as an eye cream to reduce puffiness, or a spot treatment to soothe and heal pimples.

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer
Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer, $42, in 28 shades, from Sephora

Should you apply concealer before or after foundation?
This is the million-dollar question that even makeup artists cannot agree on. There seems to be a general consensus that concealers go on after foundation, so the concealer doesn’t “shift” but Shannon says that there is no “right” way of doing it, because makeup should be fun.

“I prefer to use concealer over the foundation because I like to look at it as a ‘magic eraser’ to take away any flaws that can still be seen after I use the IT Cosmetics CC cream.”

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Light Capturing Self-Setting Concealer
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Light Capturing Self-Setting Concealer, $50, in 20 shades, from Sephora

Get your shade right
“If you don’t get your shade right, everything’s just going to look wrong,” says Shannon. Her personal preference is to get a concealer that’s one shade brighter so it brightens up the overall under-eye area. And it’s the “rule” that many Youtubers keep to, using a concealer to double as a highlighter.

But if you’re using the concealer on other parts of your face too, this might not work, so it’s always best to get a professional opinion by approaching the sales staff to get your shade matched.

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