Tip: Create a flawless makeup base with Concealer not thick foundation

by Paris B on · 49 comments

in Concealer,Makeup,Tips

concealer Tip: Create a flawless makeup base with Concealer not thick foundation

Few of us have perfectly smooth skin with no blemishes to cover. Don’t we wish we did though? Thank goodness for makeup! icon wink Tip: Create a flawless makeup base with Concealer not thick foundation

But how many of us attempt to cover our blemishes or marks with a high coverage foundation or thicker foundation? I must confess I did. I had the impression that the job of the foundation was to mask all imperfections on my skin so the higher the coverage, the better. That was also why I didn’t like liquid foundation. I was going for all the thick ones and my skin hated them. When I tried tinted moisturizers, I didn’t like them either because nothing was covered.

And then I discovered concealer. Its been a bit of a learning curve, but I’ll tell you now that if you have imperfections on your skin, you do not need a thick or high coverage foundation. What you may need is a good concealer instead icon smile Tip: Create a flawless makeup base with Concealer not thick foundation

Over the years of experimentation, I’ve figured out that I can tolerate liquid foundation, provided that the texture is light and the coverage sheer to medium. I use foundation purely to even out skin tone. So if you have uneven skin tone (many of us do to varying degrees) then the foundation or tinted moisturizer will give you a more even tone without looking thick or masky. Just apply a thin layer – its enough even if you see flaws.

Then, what I do is use concealer where I need it, blending it in to cover up the imperfections like redness around the nose that isn’t covered by foundation, pigmentation spots or freckles, pimple marks etc. What this does is only spot cover the areas that need concealing and you end up with a more natural looking visage, not a thick mask of foundation.

If you then apply a light blush, touch up your mascara and brows and apply some tinted lip balm or gloss, you get away with a very natural “no-makeup” look that is perfect for weekends icon smile Tip: Create a flawless makeup base with Concealer not thick foundation

I actually picked up this tip relatively recently from talking to a few makeup artists. They use a surprisingly little amount of foundation all over the skin in a very thin layer, but they then follow up with concealer on spots that need it. Or sometimes, they don’t and just use more foundation as concealer only where needed.

Then dust a light dusting of loose powder over the face to set (or in my case, dust some magical Meteorites powder) and you look impressively flawless. Don’t believe me? Try it and see icon wink Tip: Create a flawless makeup base with Concealer not thick foundation

If you prefer using powder foundation, the steps are reversed – conceal first, then apply powder foundation thinly all over your face. The effect is the same. A flawless looking complexion icon smile Tip: Create a flawless makeup base with Concealer not thick foundation

Do you use this tip when doing your base makeup? Do you have a favourite concealer? After I picked this up, my liquid foundation collection has multiplied many times over icon razz Tip: Create a flawless makeup base with Concealer not thick foundation But I am also very picky about the concealers I use. For now, its just Make Up For Ever Full Cover and Shu Uemura Point Cealer that stand up to scrutiny. Few others do for me.

Paris B

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[ 49 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

LeGeeque December 6, 2011 at 8:45 am

I can’t even be stuffed to conceal most of the time, preferring to let a little flaws and imperfections show to look less “fake” or airbrushed. It’s really impossible to attain that smooth skin we see on models – they’re heavily airbrushed so to have someone have THAT smooth skin – a little fake lah. (cynic speaking and opening herself up to be bashed by someone with perfect skin.)

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I will agree with you that few if anyone has that air brushed skin effect but I hand on heart have met a few so far and its amazing. They have no pores! And I know its not all makeup. Connie (SkinDeco) has such skin too and yes, I’m very jealous :P But yeah. I’m not terribly fussed if I can’t conceal everything but I do at least conceal 60% at least because I do also think that impressions count ;)

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Aimee December 6, 2011 at 8:48 am

I conceal with the Make Up For Ever waterproof one and mix it with a little of my foundation to cover the areas where I have the heaviest acne scarring… I have such large areas of scarring if I went and did them one by one with just concealer it’d take forever. And then I do another super light layer of foundation all over and spot conceal the parts I see imperfections still with just concealer. I find this technique means I end up using concealer only where I need it and the tiniest bit of foundation all over but still covers most of my flaws. As someone speaking with lots of scarring and spider veins in my skin… I can safely say your advice about using concealer more than foundation is very on point. ;)

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm

That’s a great tip Aimee! :) Thanks so much for sharing. I have acne scarring too but I don’t quite conceal that… for some reason :P I only focus on pigmentation and pimple spots :)

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ksuan87 December 6, 2011 at 8:51 am

Great post, Paris! I discovered this technique a while ago too, and it works wonders indeed. Aside from loose powder to set, I normally touch up with a compact over the course of the day as my skin tends to get oilier faster without liquid foundation as a buffer, but I don’t mind that much :)

My current concealer of choice is a little tube of goodness that I picked up at an all-organic store in London called Whole Foods – it’s Organic Young No Gunk Natural Cover&Clear Spot It! with green tea, pineapple and tea tree extracts :)

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Glad you agree Ksuan! :D The concealer you use sounds pretty amazing! Glad you got one that works :D

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Lily December 6, 2011 at 9:15 am

Hey, we share the same technique! I have freckles and some discolouration from acne marks. I only cover the acne marks and let the freckles show. Laura Mercier’s secret camouflage works well on my face. When I’m in a hurry, I always skip concealers though. it’s easier to cover redness and darker marks but it is difficult to have a smooth skin effect if there are severe scarring that makes skin look bumpy. I wonder what will work for those types of skin…

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Oh snap! ;) I haven’t tried the Laura Mercier one, but thus far, I’m sticking very true to the MUFE Full Cover :D To a large degree I think marks are easily concealed but pitted scars are much harder. Perhaps primers help with that, to act as a filler before the foundation? I’m not too sure. I have some pitted scars too but its not dramatic hence I don’t usually bother to hide them, but I can imagine that if a person’s skin is rough and bumpy, it would be much harder to achieve a smooth visage

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xin December 6, 2011 at 9:18 am

great tip! although i dont use concealer on a regular basis but i do conceal once in a while when i need to ;) I only have one concealer, which is from Bobbi Brown, and it lasts forever. I probably should chuck it out already although it still has like 40%

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm

You don’t have much if anything to conceal you young thing :P I never tried the Bobbi Brown one – too yellow for me :P

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Beverly December 6, 2011 at 9:21 am

Wow… Ok, need to find where I threw that concealer to check it out.

Was never any good at using them, sadly. =(

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm

LOL concealers can be your best friend Beverly :D A good way to start would be by not dabbing the concealer straight on your face as it can sometimes be hard to blend. So warm it up first like here. This will make it lighter and apply smoother and thinner. Then use your fingers to dab it just where you need it and blend away the edges. Set with some powder and you’re good to go ;)

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Beverly December 7, 2011 at 7:37 am

Thanks for the tip Paris.

Will give it a try and update you on it. =)

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Ling December 6, 2011 at 9:24 am

Yay, I’m doing something right :D

As for concealers, my favourite is still Shu Uemura Mark Cealer…but that’s discontinued…will check out a newbie when in Hong Kong…have I mentioned I’m going to HK?? :P

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Ah its just a tip Ling, nothing right or wrong in makeup ;) I haven’t tried that Shu Uemura concealer you mentioned but do try to get hold of the new Point Cealer I showed here. I’ll review it soon but if I don’t make it before you go to Hong Kong, do check it out. I think it very good :)

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Lisa December 6, 2011 at 9:30 am

I only use light coverage foundation to even skintone and set with loose powder. I have two concealers on hand. One is the cdp stick concealer which in my opinion gives me the best coverage and easiest to work with. Another is the Nudymore five color concealer palatte. Loving it too. I totally agree less is more with foundation.

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm

*swoon* I hear the CdP concealer is the bees knees! I must go check it out because everyone I know who has tried it has nothing but raves for it :D Glad to know we’re doing the same thing ;)

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peach_ December 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

Great tip! Your complexion always looks so nice. I gauge how much I use based on a “rule” I read in a Japanese magazine to aim to use no more than a 7mm diameter dollop of liquid foundation, no matter the coverage, to avoid looking caky. I still generally like medium coverage foundations that spread easily so I can get the most mileage out of that tiny amount. I’ve been using MAC Studio Finish Concealer forever since I can actually find a color match and a little goes a long way!

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Oh my! That is such a clever “rule” that you just have to share it with the world! I love it because I’ve seen so many people walking around with foundation too thick for them, and I know they’re trying to compensate for blemishes but I can’t very well go up to a stranger and tell them so :P I haven’t used the MAC concealer but I have read raves for it :D

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Isabellmiao December 6, 2011 at 9:45 am

haha! i use this trick when i’m too lazy to apply my bbcream. i’ll mix a little concealer with a little moisturiser then apply it like usual and top it with concealer where i need it more. and i thought i’m being crazy. LOL

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm

That’s clever – you’re just making your own version of foundation or tinted moisturiser :D

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Hanny Daforcena December 6, 2011 at 11:09 am

I use mid-coverage foundations because my pores hardly work with primers (although they do control the oilies) and concealers can’t conceal them alone.

I alternate between Mac’s Studio Finish and Stage’s liquid-y one. ^.^

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I guess skin with large pores can be a challenge although sometimes I’ve had heavier foundations accentuate my pores more. Can’t say its doing the same for you because I’m sure you’ve tried it enough :) I think I have a tube of that Stage concealer somewhere… if I can just find it :P

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juan December 6, 2011 at 11:22 am

hey this is a wonderful tip! thank you for sharing… today i shall look for a concealer for my birthday date with hubby tomorrow ;)

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Ooh a date! ;) You have good skin already lah…. ;)

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Wynnce December 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Will only have this ‘no make-up make up’ with my Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer. It is more opaque compare to my MUFE Lift Concealer, Lancome Effacernes, Chanel Correcteur Perfection Long Lasting Concealer, Shiseido Maquillage Concealer Stick, and Garnier BB Eye Roll-On.

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I don’t have many good things to say about MUFE Lift Concealer actually. Doesn’t do anything for me – even an illuminator like Dior Skinflash works better than Lift for me :P I haven’t tried the rest but I’m going to give the Garnier one a go for the fun of it :D

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Wynnce December 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Hahahaha! Agree to some extent. And I mix it with the color corrector from coastal scents to make it more match to my fair skin (it looks better thou). I would said Garnier have more coverage than it, however it turns dull throughout the day. I still have a lot of brands to try out too, i.e. eve pearl salmon concealer, dior skin perfecting hydrating concealer, clinique airbrush concealer, etc. Any of them u’ve reviewed before?

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Paris B December 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Know what? I haven’t tried a single item of that you have named :P Well, except for the Garnier BB Eye roll on that I’m testing out now :D I have been thinking of getting the Dior concealer actually. I just never quite got round to it :P

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Rin December 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I have pink acne scars on my cheeks especially due to my acne prob back in my younger days. Still do have a few pimples during PMS/stress/reaction to products. Usually use BB cream or liquid foundation (only own one at the moment-Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation) to even out my skin tone. I use eye brightener for my under eyes (no eye bags just dark circles) & concealer for acne scars/pimples. Confession: I can’t live without concealer :) because of my acne scars :p Thanks for your tips! I’m learning more now.

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Glad it helps you :D I can’t live without my concealers either :P I use a different concealer for blemishes and for the under eye. For the latter I prefer illuminators because they brighten the eye area and just makes me look alive in an instant. Sadly, appearances do matter eh? :P

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Rin December 7, 2011 at 1:02 am

True indeed. Appearances do matter :) That’s why we ladies try so hard to get the ‘perfect’ look :)

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trah December 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

yay, i’m doing something right~ although i do not know that for liquid foundation, the concealer is applied after. i prefer to use foundation as concealer as it’s rather fool proof. i don’t need a flaw-free face coz i would feel like a walking mannequin.

i’m wondering if there’s any significant difference if you use fingers or a sponge to apply liquid foundation. i have not tried to use the sponge as i’m not quite sure if i can blend it properly on my face with the tool (make-up newbie here).

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Haha no right or wrong when it comes to makeup Trah but am happy to know I’m not alone in doing this :D Usually concealer is applied after liquid foundation because liquid foundation already gives you coverage and then you can just touch up the areas you need. I shared some thoughts about it here. It also helps you cut your makeup time ;)

As for using a sponge or fingers for liquid foundation, I prefer using fingers mostly because I don’t waste foundation (sponge soaks up a lot of liquid unless dampened first) and because I feel that the heat from the skin helps blend better. I sometimes still use this tip for applying foundation. Its quick and easy but like everything else, its a lot to do with personal preference :)

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gio December 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I started doing this too and it works so well! It makes skin look nice and natural. I’m using a Bobbi Brown concealer atm. :)

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Paris B December 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Yay Gio! Its something I never quite thought about but it just works so well doesn’t it? :D I don’t use the Bobbi Brown concealer (too yellow) but I know a lot of people like it :)

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lyn December 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Will have to try this tip tomorrow when I go back to work. My nose has been stuffed up and the surrounding skin is erm,… crusty (ah, joys of having a fever and cold). I look and feel really awful so I hope the concealer will help.

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Paris B December 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Oh dear I hope you’re feeling better! Colds are nasty and I’d actually recommend lots of moisturizer where its erm… crusty :P

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Monstro December 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Nice tips, I try to do this too. But when in a hurry I only just use concealer and powder. Lazy!

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Paris B December 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Not lazy, just practical! :D If a concealer does the job, why fiddle with foundation! ;)

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Jyoan December 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I was wondering if you have tried the Dior Capture Totale Foundation… … It is said to be pretty light-medium, a little really goes a long, long way.

I don’t use concealer other than for really red breakout. Normally, just go with the Tinted Sunscreen/BB Cream, and loose powder. But I like the tips posted, and even back read on the RMK one, that’s great!

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Paris B December 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I haven’t tried the Dior Capture Totale Foundation Jyoan :) Actually I never thought to try it, thinking that its meant for older skins. I tend to forget that perhaps I fit that category LOL! ;) Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll give it a try some day. Glad you enjoyed the tips :)

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Jyoan December 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm

haha, I thought so too until I saw it being used on a twenty-odd celebrity on Nu Ren Wo Zui Da show by Taiwanese makeup artist. So I guess, it really doesn’t matters. =D The trick, he says, is to use a green bean size, and tap on areas where you don’t put concealer. Quite interesting, because if you put concealer for eyes, and chin for example, it basically means you only need to put foundation elsewhere, and blend it with concealer, otherwise it will be too thick.

Looking at the mini bottle of foundation, I think it would be heartache to press pea size anyway! So was really glad the makeup artist says bean size will do.

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Paris B December 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm

It sounds amazing actually Jyoan. I’m going to have to take a look – thanks for the rec! :D

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Jamilla December 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I actually go the opposite way – I just use another layer of foundation when I need extra coverage!

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Paris B December 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Ah but that’s one way of faking a concealer too! :D So long as it doesn’t look too thick or cakey I guess anything goes.

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Bun Bun Makeup Tips December 7, 2011 at 11:35 am

Yeah yeah, never over-compensate with concealer! I don’t even do much concealing these days even though my face is patterned with pimples, scars, like super huge ones even. I just let it all hang loose. I have seen ladies with mask-like faces slapped on with layers and layers and layers of foundation. I can imagine the skin underneath screaming ‘LET ME BREATHE!!!’.

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Paris B December 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Did you mean foundation Bun Bun? I was a little confused at the beginning :D I don’t conceal very much either – I’m fine if its not a 100% air brushed canvas but some days when I know I’m facing certain people, I try for that just because in some circles, it matters ;) I see ladies with foundation masks on too! It looks like they just woke up and selected a mask to put on don’t they? LOL! :D

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Bun Bun Makeup Tips December 8, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Oh! Ya ya! Hahahaha, mistake!

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