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Concealer is my 'desert island' cosmetic - I wouldn't dream of living without it. More than lipstick or mascara, concealer is the one product that I feel most dramatically improves the way you look. When applied correctly, it instantly makes you appear awake and refreshed, no matter what's going on in the outside world.

Covering Up Dark Circles

What You'll Need:

To conceal dark circles, you'll need a yellow-based creamy concealer, in one shade lighter than your natural skin tone. This color masks the blue discoloration and brightens the skin. If you're extremely fair, a porcelain-toned concealer will work.

If you're lucky and you need very little coverage, a stick foundation one to two shades lighter than the rest of your face can double as your concealer.

If you have extreme darkness, use a corrector. Peach or pink in color, a corrector counteracts the purple or green tones underneath the eyes that a concealer can't cover on its own. If your skin is pale, choose the lightest colors, starting with bisque or light pink. For deeper skin tones, choose a medium or dark peach.

How To Do It:

  • Apply a light eye cream underneath the eye area. It should absorb quickly and leave your skin feeling smooth. 
  • If you're using a corrector, use a concealer brush or your fingertip to apply it at the inner corner of the eye. Continue placing the corrector underneath the eye, staying close to the lashes and patting the corrector wherever your see darkness. Gently blend the corrector by pressing it with your fingers. You're now ready to apply your concealer.
  • Use a concealer brush or your index finger to apply the concealer in thin layers. Be sure to blend well.
  • Apply the concealer all the way up to your lash line and - this part is critical - onto the dark areas by the inner corners of your eyes.
  • Use more concealer than you think you need, and blend it into the skin, using your fingers in a soft, patting motion.
  • If you still see dark circles, go ahead and apply a second layer of concealer.
  • To the lock the concealer into place, apply pale yellow powder over the concealer and on the eyelids with a powder puff.

Concealing a Blemish

How to do it:

  • Apply a lightweight moisturizer to smooth your skin and prime it for perfect makeup application.
  • Using a concealer brush, apply a stick foundation or cover-up stick onto the blemish, making sure that the shade matches your skin exactly. Don't use your under eye concealer on a blemish. Because concealer is designed to be one shade lighter than the skin on the rest of your face, a bright, light spot of concealer on a blemish will look awkward and out of place against your complexion.
  • Finish by using a powder puff to apply a small amount of face powder onto the blemish. This locks your cover-up in place.

Concealing a Scar

How to do it:

First, you have to understand that it may not be entirely possible to cover up the scar 100%.  But, you can make it less noticeable with makeup.  

  • Apply a lightweight moisturizer to smooth your skin and prime it for perfect makeup application.
  • Next, apply concealer or a creamy foundation directly onto the scar using a concealer brush or your fingers, and set with your skin-tone correct foundation.
  • Finish by using a powder puff to apply powder, locking the foundation in place.  

Diffusing Wrinkles

How to do it:

Ultra-rich moisturizers and creamy makeup formulas are the key to getting smooth-looking skin.

  • Be sure to exfoliate on a regular basis with a gentle scrub or an AHA cream. This helps stimulate cell turnover and sloughs off dead skin cells, which can make skin look dull and prevent your foundation from going on smoothly.
  • Make sure your skin is well hydrated. A great moisturizer literally plumps up your skin. 
  • Stick to creamy formulas of concealer, foundations and blush. Powder can settle into wrinkles, making them more visible.
  • No one has wrinkles on their cheeks, so play them up with a little extra blush.
  • If you have lines around your lips, keep the area moist.  Try using a lip balm on and around the lip area and don't try to conceal the wrinkles with foundation.  Instead, pick a creamy lipstick and matching lip pencil to prevent feathering.

TROUBLESHOOTING: Corrector or Concealer

Your concealer and corrector should be undetectable. If they aren't, you'll have to tweak your application method. Here are some common concealer and corrector problems and my time-tested solutions for solving them.

If it looks crepey
The thin skin underneath your eyes needs to be hydrated, since makeup settles into those tiny dryness lines. Remember to apply eye cream every night and every morning before your makeup application.

If it slips off
You've likely applied too much moisturizer beforehand. Keep your concealer and corrector on for longer by using less than a pea-sized amount of moisturizer, and then waiting until it fully absorbs before applying your makeup.

If it creases
It needed to be set with enough powder. After applying your concealer, sweep sheer loose powder over the under eye area to lock your makeup into place.

If it's cakey or streaky
Your ratio of eye cream to concealer is off. If your concealer looks thick and muddy, you'll need to apply more eye cream. If your concealer looks greasy and separated, you've applied too much eye cream. Add or remove product as necessary. (You may have to start from scratch.)

If it's too light
Very carefully, use the lightest dusting of light bronzing powder to warm up the area.

If it's not bright enough or if it's too dark
Add a tiny dab of fast-absorbing eye cream, and then re-apply your corrector and concealer.

If your eye makeup falls onto your concealer
You'll have to start over. Use eye makeup remover, a cotton swab, or a makeup sponge to carefully remove all under-eye product. Then pat on your eye cream, let it absorb, and re-apply your corrector and concealer.