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The Ultimate NYX Professional Makeup Guide To Choosing Concealer

02 Sep 2022

If you ask us, concealer is one of the most important products to keep in your makeup toolkit. In addition to helping hide imperfections—arguably its most common use—the right concealer can help brighten up your complexion and help give your makeup a smooth, even finish. Some concealer makeup can even be used in place of contour and highlight. The key, as it usually is with makeup, is to figure out how to choose a concealer shade (and formula) that suits your individual needs.

Whether you prefer cream concealer or liquid concealer, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when searching for your match. Here, we’ll give you the rundown on different types of concealer and their uses, then teach you how to find your concealer shade online or IRL. Plus, you’ll learn some of our favorite concealer application tips and tricks for a gorgeously-filtered finish. Read on for everything you need to know before buying face concealer.

How Many Types of Concealers Are There?

There are a few different types of concealer you can choose from, but the most common formulas tend to be liquids and creams. Both have benefits; determining which is best for you boils down to how you plan to use it. Ahead, learn about different concealer formulas and their uses.

Liquid Concealer

When you picture concealer in your mind, you likely picture liquid concealer (you know, in a tube, with an attached applicator wand). Generally speaking, liquid concealers are easy to apply and blend well, which makes them a favorite amongst makeup artists and beauty newbies alike. They can come in matte, natural, or dewy finishes and provide medium, full, or buildable coverage—it depends on the specific formula you choose and how you apply it.

At NYX Professional Makeup, we have a few different liquid concealers to choose from, such as our classic Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Contour Concealer. Available in 24 diverse shades for a range of skin tones (and undertones!), this highly-pigmented liquid concealer provides full coverage with a matte finish that lasts up to 24 hours. Plus, the concealer shades coordinate with our Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Full-Coverage Foundation, which makes perfecting your base a breeze.

Another liquid concealer we love is the emollient-rich HD Photogenic Concealer Wand. The formula goes on like a dream with a natural finish that doesn’t look cakey or obvious. It’s available in 20 true-to-skin shades as well as three color-correcting options for brightening dark circles, canceling out visible redness, and seamlessly camouflaging dark spots.

Serum Concealer

While serum concealers are a type of liquid concealer, they have a few facets that distinguish them from other concealers. First and foremost, serum concealers typically offer skincare benefits, like hydration. They also aren’t quite the same texture-wise—they’re more fluid and, well, serum-like than typical concealers. Other than that, their benefits are the same: Serum concealers can be used to cover blemishes, brighten the under-eye area, and conceal imperfections that your foundation didn’t completely cover.

If that sounds like something you’d like, check out Bare With Me Concealer Serum. The hydrating concealer with tremella mushroom, cica (also known as centella asiatica) extract, and green tea comes in 13 shades to complement a range of skin tones. It applies and blends easily, providing medium coverage with a natural-looking finish. Plus, the unique formula is suitable for all skin types, including dry skin and sensitive skin.

Cream Concealer

Cream concealers are thicker (and, well, creamier) than liquid concealers. These concealers often come in a palette, small jar, or compact and tend to provide a more full-coverage finish than thinner liquid formulas. For those that prefer cream makeup, we have our Color Correcting Palette. The six-pan palette contains six color-correcting concealers to help address visible skin discolorations like redness, yellowness, and dark circles. You can mix and match the shades to customize a color that addresses your skin’s needs, or apply your concealer directly from the pan and blend for an even-looking base.

How To Choose Your Concealer Shade

Choosing your ideal concealer shade depends on what you’re using your concealer for. If your main goal is to cover minor imperfections, seek out a shade that matches your foundation (and if you need help with that, learn how to pick your perfect foundation here). If you’re shopping online, you can use our virtual try-on tool to get an idea of which NYX Professional Makeup concealer shade flatters your skin best. Or, use our “Click & Consult” feature for a live 1-on-1 beauty consultation with an expert (available 9AM to 6PM PST from Monday to Friday). To test out concealers in real life, it’s a matter of trial and error: Apply a few different options (in natural lighting) and choose whichever one matches your skin best.

There are, however, cases where your concealer shouldn’t match your skin exactly. To highlight or contour with concealer, you’ll need one shade lighter than your skin tone and another that’s darker. Generally, for contour, you’ll want to reach for a concealer two or three shades deeper than your natural skin tone; for highlight, two to three shades lighter. Again, you can use our virtual try-on tool or test-drive the concealers IRL to see which shade (or shades) suit your needs.

How To Find a Concealer For Dark Circles

Minor dark circles, like those that crop up after a late night out, can often be camouflaged with concealer alone—choose a concealer shade that closely matches your foundation for a seamless finish. But if you have extremely pigmented dark circles, or they’re super noticeable, you may want to consider pairing your concealer with a color corrector. Yellow-toned color correctors can help cancel out blueish dark circles, while peachy shades are useful for addressing purple dark circles. You’ll want to apply your color corrector first and let it set before layering on your skin-toned concealer for a natural-looking finish.

How To Find a Concealer For Blemishes

Color correctors can also be used for hiding stubborn blemishes—seek out a green color corrector to neutralize visible redness, then layer a skin-toned concealer on top of it (after it sets) to make your skin tone appear even and uniform. (Bonus: Green color correctors can also help balance out redness due to irritation and broken capillaries.)

How To Apply Concealer

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There are a bunch of different factors to consider when applying concealer, including what formula you’re using, the tools you have on hand, and what you’re concealing (for example, dark circles vs. blemishes). Check out our article How To Apply Concealer Correctly to learn how to apply under eye concealer, camouflage blemishes, and more, or see our quick rundown on the essential steps to follow when applying concealer, below.

Step 1. Start With a Fresh, Clean Face

You want to start with clean skin before applying any makeup, otherwise, it may not apply as smoothly as it should. We also recommend moisturizing to help prevent your foundation and concealer from clinging to any dry patches.

Step 2. Smooth On Face Primer

Makeup primer helps extend makeup wear and some formulas can also help with skin texture concerns like fine lines and visible pores. Apply a primer that addresses your skin’s needs, whatever they may be, before reaching for your base makeup.

Step 3. Apply Your Foundation

Next up is foundation. You can apply your foundation with a sponge or a foundation brush. Start at the center of your face and buff outward toward the edges for a seamless, blended finish.

Step 4. Brighten Your Under-Eye Area

Once your foundation is in place, use a sponge or small concealer brush to apply concealer (and, if needed, color-corrector) to your under-eye area.

Step 5. Cover Blemishes and Imperfections

Dark spots, blemishes, and redness should likewise be covered with a concealer that matches your skin tone. If you’re color-correcting, remember to do so before applying your flesh-toned concealer.

Step 6. Set It All In Place

Once you’ve perfected your base, set it with powder before continuing on with the rest of your look. At the end of your routine, give your skin a good spritz with setting spray to lock your makeup in place.

Next: Prime Time: How To Choose The Right Makeup Primer

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