Finding the right shade of concealer—not so light that you look like a reverse raccoon, not too dark that it’s clear you’re trying to hide something—requires going through some trial and error.
You want to choose the right concealer for your skin tone. (A quick test? Swipe the concealer on your hand—if it looks too light on your hand, it will look too light on your face.) If you’re Eastern Indian or African-American you’ll need something with an orange hint to it. If you’re Latino, look for a golden peach tone, or if you’re fair, you need a light peach concealer.
Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette ($36) has five concealer shades that suit all skin types.
The consistency of your concealer can also vary, depending on you’re skin type. If you have oily skin, for example, you don’t want to use a cream cover-up because it will slide right off. Choose a liquid concealer instead, such as MAC Select Cover-Up ($17), which comes in great colors and has more staying powder than cream concealer.
On the flip side, if you have dry under-eye skin, dab on a small amount of moisturizing eye cream with a Q-tip (not too much or else the cover-up won’t stay put) and then apply a cream concealer.
You can also use concealer to combat common eye area complaints. If you’re bothered by dark circles, you want a concealer with peachy undertones to knock out the blue from the veins under the eyes, such as Cle de Peau concealer stick ($70).
For puffy eyes, use a concealer with light reflective qualities. Bobbi Brown, Clarins and YSL (such as YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch concealer pen, $40) all make concealer pens with some luminosity.
If you want to make a blemish disappear, dab on a concealer that’s similar to your skin tone so it blends in perfectly.
How to Apply Concealer
I like putting concealer on after foundation. If you put it on before, you’ll wipe off all of your concealer in the process. Also, this way, you can make sure your foundation and cover-up match.
When applying concealer, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of using the right brush. You’ll get much more even coverage under your eyes with a concealer brush. I like Face Stockholm Camo Oval Tip Brush #15 ($20).
Using a brush, line the concealer from the inner corner of your eye—where it tends to be the darkest—and follow across the under eye area, fanning out and stopping about three-quarters of the way (in other words, stopping before you get to the outer corer of the eye). And voila!