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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

How to Hide It: Guide to Concealer

A few people have asked me lately for my recommendations on concealers so I thought I would put together all my knowledge about concealing and my favourite products into one post. What I have found is that its unlikely one concealer is going to fulfil all your needs - so I have broken down this guide into 3 different problem areas - Blemishes or pimples, under eye circles and redness/. For reference, I have an oily skin type - therefore I am susceptible to frequent breakouts and suffer from redness.

1// Blemishes

Unless you are very blessed with blemish free skin, you'll most likely want a concealer to cover breakouts or subsequent scarring. My main tips are:

  • Use a concealer with a waxy or cream consistency - I often have trouble with liquid concealers 'sliding' off my blemishes. 
  • Create a concealer 'sandwich' - start first by dabbing powder on your blemish, then concealer, then powder again. This really helps concealer to last all day. Make sure you are using very thin layers of product so that it doesn't become cakey.
  • Choose a concealer colour that is as close as you can find to the colour of your foundation - to hide a blemish you'll want it to blend in.
  • I like to use a small concealer brush and apply product by 'dabbing'
  • If you are applying product on active acne - for example a pimple where the skin has broken - use a brush that you can wash straight away or a cotton bud. You really don't want bacteria from active acne staying on your brushes or even into your product that will just transfer onto your skin again.
Currently I am using Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer. This product is oil free and is two toned so I can perfectly match the colour to my different foundations. The recommended retail price is AUD$49.00 so fairly pricey, but it is a product that will last a long time.

My drugstore recommendations are: Bourjois Happy Light Concealer AUD$19.00 or Essence Match2Cover! Cream Concealer $4.25 - the only issue with these concealers is that they have very limited shades, this is particularly a problem for those with darker skin tones.

2// Under Eye Circles

As a uni student, I often hang around a lot of people who haven't had enough sleep and under eye circles are the biggest giveaway. Fortunately for me (and the fact I am such a grannie and go to bed super early) I rarely get discolouration under my eyes. However, I still like to use a concealer under my eyes to highlight.
  • The main cause of under eye discolouration is a lack of moisture - fix the problem from the source by focusing your face moisturiser in the under eye area or even use an eye cream.
  • Because of the dryness in the under eye area, thick, waxy concealers are going to be too heavy and crease like crazy. Use a liquid or moisturising cream concealer.
  • Apply in an upside down triangle shape and blend
  • Sometimes the best way to blend in the concealer underneath the eyes is just with your fingers - super easy! I also like to use a small domed brush like the Real Techniques duo-fibre eye brush.
My favourite high-end under eye concealer is Benefit Fakeup Concealer AUD$35.00 and for my drugstore pick I like Maybelline Fit Me Concealer AUD$14.95. I am currently using both these products and definitely recommend! Benefit's Fakeup is super interesting because the concealer is surrounded by a hydrating layer with Vitamin E and appleseed and is really moisturising and doesn't crease at all. For a drugstore product, Maybelline's Fit Me has a decent amount of shades, doesn't crease on my skin and is fantastic for lightening up the under eye area.
3// Redness 

Although I don't technically use concealer to hide the redness on my face, I do use specific foundations to conceal it. I found the best way to hide redness and discolouration is to build up the coverage of your foundations in the areas where you have issues with redness.
  • Using a stippling or dabbing motion to build up coverage works best as it doesn't tend to create cakey-ness.
  • Start in the middle of your face when applying foundation - this is usually where the skin is going to be most red, particularly around the nose and chin - then blend outwards. This makes sure that you have the coverage on the areas you need and you're not putting too much product where you don't need it - saves product and looks natural!
I have been loving the Clinique Redness Solutions foundation AUD$50.00 as it has excellent coverage and definitely colour corrects redness. However, as I mentioned in the tips above, using any foundation and simply by adding more coverage in the areas where there is redness will help conceal those problem areas.

Hope you found this post helpful and have a beautiful day :)
xx Catherine