There are many, many different types of concealers. I’ve tried most of them, from the highest (almost highest) end $70 worth to the basic everyday type. They come all types of thickness, tubes, bottles, compacts. Liquid to solid and everything in between. I’ve tried them. Here is what I’ve learned.
For reference, my skin color runs between MAC NW20-25, Bobbi Brown Sand-Warm Beige, Chanel Beige. Basically light-medium, depending on the season.
If you have dark blue/green areas under your eyes or if you have dark spots (hyper-pigmentation) then you need to use a corrector first. This will help to even out the extreme differences between your natural skin tone and the areas you want to conceal. A corrector does what the label says – it corrects. The shades are usually more yellow or peach to counteract the purple, red or green that you’re correcting. My favorite corrector is made by Bobbi Brown. I use the Light-Peach shade. It has a nice creamy texture and blends well into my skin.
IT Cosmetics also makes a correcting cream, one that is more specific to redness. I have not personally tried this product, I do not have the problem of redness, my problems are dark circles and hyper-pigmentation (too much California sunshine without proper sunscreen in my younger years.
When choosing a corrector, be sure you get one that is one or two shades lighter than your skin color and leans towards yellow to correct redness (rosacea) or peach to correct the blue/green patches under the eyes. I apply the corrector after my primer, before the foundation.
After applying my foundation, I scrutinize any areas that need a bit more help with coverage and then reach for the concealer. If you apply after the foundation, you will find you use less product.
Concealers come in all sorts of forms and densities. Your skin type and the amount of concealing will decide what type of concealer you need. If your skin is dry, I recommend a more liquid or soft cream type of concealer. My favorite liquid concealers are: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, (Vanilla for me) Chanel Correcteur Perfection (#31 for me) and Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer. I use the Beige color in the Bobbi Brown Concealer. The Bobbi Brown gives the most coverage but the NARS and Chanel are better for under the eyes, less caking and settling into fine lines. Same as with the corrector, pick a shade one or two lighter than you foundation.
If you have oily or combination skin, then reach for a stick or cream concealer. MAC makes a corrector/concealer palette which works with all types of skin but seems to be better if your skin leans towards combo or oily. This palette comes in light, medium or dark. If your skin tone works with the colors in one of these palettes, this would be a one-stop shopping solution for you. MAC Corrector/Concealer
MAC also makes a cream concealer called Studio Finish Concealer. It seems to me that MAC has more options for the darker skin tones in this concealer. I understand it is more difficult to find a good match for a darker skin tone, one that does not create an ashy look, so this may work for you. This is a full coverage concealer with the added benefit of SPF 35. This is a highly pigmented product and a little goes a long way.
Application with any of these correctors and/or concealers should be with a mini beauty blender or a brush. I like the Sephora Collection Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush #57 for applying any type of corrector or concealer, liquid, stick or cream. If you’re using a stick, use the brush across the stick first. If you already have a dense eye shadow brush, that will work too. MAC 217 would work or any type of brush that has dense bristles without being over large will work for applying the corrector and/or concealer. I find this type of brush works better than a brush more typically suited for liquids because it blends the product into the skin better. Save your synthetic flat brushes for applying primer (the large brushes) or creme eye shadow (the small brushes).
What are your favorite correctors and concealers?