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Beauty 101 | How to Apply Concealer Like a Pro

Grace @ No.21 Friday, April 19, 2013

*original source from here

 Picture this: You arrive at a restaurant to meet your best friend for brunch and as you lean in for a hug, you spot a crusted, muddy-looking blotch of concealer on her cheek. As she starts filling you in on her latest news all you're thinking is: Her concealer is doing nothing but making that zit look worse -- how do I tell her?

That's the thing about concealer. We do everything we can to use it to camouflage our flaws yet all too often, we end up accentuating them. And that's why, despite the fact that breaking down the details of how to apply concealer correctly sounds like the most boring makeup topic ever, it’s an important skill to hone.

And while applying concealer properly may not be rocket science, it's not necessarily an intuitive process either. In fact, celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic (the guy responsible for making Kim Kardashian's complexion look flawless, even when it's not), says the most common mistake he sees women make with concealer is the most basic: We don't match it to our skin tone.

"When the concealer is too dark, setting it with powder will only make it darker, which makes the spot you're trying to cover look like a muddy patch of skin," Dedivanovic says.

But he also maintains that's not where the big fail ends. When we set the concealer with powder, we're using the wrong shade of powder. "You have to use a powder that's a shade lighter than your skin tone, because when dry powder touches wet concealer, it'll get darker." Who knew? Another life-changing tip from Dedivanovic: Apply your loose powder with a velour puff brush; using a natural bristle brush can leave streaks on your skin.

How to conceal under-eye bags

You need: liquid concealer with lifting ingredients + latex sponge + loose powder

How to apply: To counteract the yellow, bluish hues under the eyes, Dedivanovic says to use a peach-based concealer. A lot of concealers have a yellow-base, which would only make the area look more dull and sallow. "The peach brings warmth to the area," he says.

And since the eye area is susceptible to fine lines, make sure the concealer has a lifting ingredient like vitamin A to prevent the concealer from settling into the creases. Dedivanovic loves DiorSkin Sculpt Smoothing Lifting Concealer, $35.

Finish by running a sponge under water, squeeze the water out, dip into loose powder, then dab over the area to set the concealer. Dedivanovic recommends the Beauty Blender, $26, which he calls "the greatest thing to happen to makeup in many years." 

How to conceal scars or dark spots

You need: cream pot + lifting concealer + concealer brush + latex sponge+ loose powder

How to apply: To completely erase the dark pigment, you need the heavy coverage of a cream concealer, says Dedivanovic. "Cream concealers have a thicker texture with less oil than liquid, so they last longer." He recommends applying the concealer with a brush just where the darkness is. (Try Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, $30, and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush, $26.) Then, apply a dab of lifting concealer, which will provide a highlight. Finish with a damp sponge and loose powder to blend it all together. 

 How to conceal puffiness

You need: highlighter + liquid concealer

How to apply: While you can't cover up puffiness, Dedivanovic says there is a trick you can do with concealer to make it less noticeable. Mix a liquid concealer with a tiny bit of highlighter, and dab it where you're puffy. Then blend the highlighter into your crease, which will help reflect light and give the effect of smooth skin. We recommend E.L.F. Studio Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter, $3.

How to conceal redness around the nose

You need: cream concealer + latex sponge+ loose powder

How to apply: Since the area around your nose gets oily quickly, Dedivanovic recommends using an oil-free cream concealer, which "will provide heavier coverage. As you get oily during the day, concealer darkens so you want to use a concealer that has a dry consistency," he says. We recommend Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer, $23.

Use your ring finger to pat and blend the concealer into the crease around the nose. Then take your damp makeup sponge, dip in loose powder, and blend. Try Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Airbrushing Loose Powder SPF 30, $13.95 Dedivanovic says this is important, because "a lot of times the foundation and concealer are two different products with different finishes, so you have to blend the two together."


How to conceal a zit

You need: green concealer + concealer pencil + latex sponge + translucent powder

How to apply: "Since blemish has texture to it, you have to coat it and make sure it doesn't get too oily or irritated," says Dedivanovic. He says pencils are best for blemishes because it's pointy shape "allows you to go on the zit and around it easily." He recommends Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil, $18. Then take a damp sponge and powder over the area. If your pimple is red, try neutralizing the color by using a green concealer first. We like Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette in No. 1, $38.


How to conceal darkness around your lips

You need: white concealer + concealer brush + latex sponge + loose powder

How to apply: For darkness around the mouth, you want to apply a light concealer all around the lips with a brush. You can also lightly brush it over your mouth to create a base for your lip color. Dedivanovic says for darker skin tones, he uses a white-colored concealer on the dark area, then finishes with foundation that matches the skin tone. "It brightens up the whole area," he says. We recommend Maybelline Cover Stick Corrector Concealer in White, $6.29. And don't forget to finish with a damp sponge and loose powder. Try Revlon ColorStay Aqua Mineral Finishing Powder, $13.99.


How to conceal birthmarks or tattoos

You need: body cover cream + concealer brush + latex sponge + loose powder

How to apply: "Covering birthmarks or tattoos can be tricky and requires several layers of concealer and a lot of patience," says Dedivanovic. You want to use a body cover cream, like DermaBlend Leg & Body Cover SPF 15, $27, in a shade lighter than your skin directly onto the tattoo/birthmark. "The lighter shade applied first helps to cancel out some of the darkness," he says. Then, blend using a damp sponge and repeat this step at least two or three times.

Next use a cover cream that matches your skin tone (preferably of the same brand) and apply onto the tattoo with the sponge. Repeat that step again in layers until you're happy with the coverage. To finish, use a generous amount of translucent powder applied with a damp sponge and brush away the excess using a clean soft brush. "The main trick here is to do little by little in several thin layers," he says.


How to conceal spider veins

You need: pencil concealer + foundation + latex sponge + loose powder

How to apply: "Spider veins can be covered with your regular foundation followed by a pencil concealer dabbed directly onto the broken capillaries and blended with your ring finger," says Dedivanovic. Try Shiseido The Makeup Corrector Pencil, $18. Then he says, "I like to then go over it again with a light layer of foundation just to really blend the products into the skin and ensure that the skin tone is even." Finish with a damp sponge dipped into loose powder. Try Shiseido The Makeup Translucent Loose Powder, $35.


  1. This is such an informative post Grace! :D
    I honestly love your blog, I look forward to all your new posts <3

    1. Thank you Susie, for your sweet words.xx

  2. Such a great post, loved how you have broken it down into every type of blemish we would want to conceal. I thought I had my concealer routine perfected but this has taught me a lot thank you!



  3. This is a really helpful post with many great tips! I used to conceal under my eyes with yellow, I don't really have any dark circles anyway, but I've found now that lilac is a whole lot more brightening. And I like the idea of using a pencil concealer for pimples. But usually I'm too lazy and just slap it on anyway, haha.xx

    1. haha I'm lazy too, sometimes I just skip concealer part. :x

  4. Excellent tips Grace, very informative and detailed post! Thanks a lot for sharing this sweetie <3 xx

    1. Thank YOU for reading/commented lovely! xx

  5. This is such a helpful post! Thank you so much! Never thought I actually could conceal puffiness.. definitely going to try that!



    1. You're very welcome Marija :-)xx


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