Saturday, April 23, 2016

Let's Talk Concealers

Okay, everyone... Let's have a chat about concealers.

What do concealers do, you ask? Well, conceal, of course! In it's most basic use, concealer allows you to cover up those dark circles, zits, and any other problem that you don't want people to notice. It provides extra coverage in certain areas without looking cake-y.

You can find concealers for all of those needs now more than ever. Best part? They aren't just at Sephora or any of those high-end department stores anymore. You can hit Ulta or any department store or drug store's inexpensive aisles and find a concealer at an affordable price. Best part? Many of those concealers are around the same and sometimes BETTER quality! 

Keep in mind that all concealers are not the same! Some vary in consistency, texture, and contain properties that are conducive to certain skin types. Check out this article from Into The Gloss that talks about the BEST concealers for every skin type and preference.

When I conceal, it's normally because I'm going out on a date, to a club, or somewhere nice. If it's just a normal day, I actually like to keep it somewhat natural and let some of my freckles peek through. I like to use different concealers for specific reasons.

If I'm going out: I want to highlight as much as possible. I'll reach for my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, my MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20, or bareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener in Luminous 2. All three are extremely brightening and blend beautifully on my skin.

On a normal day: I just want to cover up dark circles and other imperfections. I tend to use Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in Neutralizer and L'Oreal's True Match Concealer in Light 1-2-3. When I want just a little bit more coverage, I'll reach for my Younique Touch Mineral Skin Perfecting Concealer in Velour. I also LOVED Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer in Light and Sand for so long, but I eventually decided to branch out and experiment with others.

What shade should you choose? I tend to gravitate towards colors that are one to two shades lighter than I am. Especially if I want highlight. If I am just looking for coverage, I grab a shade that is closest to my foundation shade as possible.

1. Take your foundation to the store and compare bottles if you're unsure what to choose. 
2. Some companies having matching foundations and concealers to help you pair your foundation with a concealer. 
3. Try to match the shade to your neck. You want your face and body to be one color, so your neck/body has to match the foundation. 
4. Since you can't swatch at the drugstore, buy a few bottles you think are within your shade range, test them, and take back what doesn't match to the store. 

With Flash
Top: Younique
Left to Right: MAC, NARS, bareMinerals, L'Oreal, Maybelline

Application: Everyone has their own way of applying concealer. That's the beauty of makeup. You can do whatever you want! I apply concealer in several ways. If I want to "spot conceal", I just place it in spots on my face that I want to coverage. If I want to highlight or cover dark circles, I'll apply the concealer in the areas of my face that I want to highlight as well as cover.

Should I apply concealer before or after foundation? That is totally up to you! Some people apply it before, others apply it after. If you apply concealer before foundation, just blend around or very carefully around the areas that you've applied the concealer to reduce the risk of disrupting your application.

Helloooooooo, freckles...
Don't mind some leftover makeup from the night before lol

The left side is what I suggest when you apply your concealer for highlighted effect: an upside-down triangular shape under the eyes, stopping at the corner of the eye. This not only covers your dark circles, but it also creates the highlighted effect to lift up the eyes and draw in light.

The right is what I suggest when you apply your concealer for coverage: a "U" shape underneath the eyes. This is effective for covering dark circles.

If you don't use concealer enough to gauge how much is too little, too much, or just enough: apply it in small amounts, little by little until you achieve the desired effect.

The areas that I apply my concealer

After you've applied the concealer. There are few ways to blend it out. My favorite way is to use a damp Beauty Blender. Another way I like to blend out my concealer under my eyes is with a duo-fiber brush. I use a MAC 159 Duo Fibre Blush BrushI know it sounds crazy, but just try it! It works WONDERS. When all else fails, my ring finger always does the trick. Just tap, tap, tap until it's all blended out. And voila, no more dark circles. However, the same applies to "spot concealing" too. Normally my Beauty Blender does the trick. If not, my fingers get the job done for me.

Tap/bounce the concealer into the skin with your Beauty Blender or brush. This helps give a more flawless finish.

To set or not to set? If your makeup tends to crease, smudge, or move: Set it with powder and a makeup setting spray. Meaning: apply powder and setting spray on top of the concealer to lock it in or "set" it into place. You can use a translucent powder or a color powder, depending on what kind of look you want to achieve.

1. I use a translucent powder like Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder or any highlight shade from the NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette
2. I like to use an ELF Studio Complexion Brush to apply the powder.
3. Tap the powder on instead of swiping it. You'll achieve a less cake-y look.
4. If it does look a little cake-y, apply some makeup setting spray like MAC Fix Plus.

The best tip that I can give you is this: Practice makes perfect! Find what products, tools, and application techniques work best for you. You may turn into a concealer junkie or end up like me where it's cool every now and again but not really necessary all the time. :)

Which concealers do you love?
What's your best application technique?
Share it in the comments! 

Any ideas for my next post?
Tell me in the comments!

Don't forget to head over to Into the Gloss for the BEST concealers for every skin type and preference!