Last week, I shared a beauty tip with you regarding the application of concealer and how it can help your cushion foundation actually look and last better. If you missed it, here it is with all the step-by-step pictures to guide you along.
But then, I got some questions about how we should really be applying concealer. Should you apply concealer before foundation or after foundation? I did after all share another tip a few years ago telling you to apply concealer AFTER foundation.
I don’t blame anyone for the confusion. I was too initially, until I realised that hey, it’s just makeup! Besides, rules are meant to be broken 😀 So, here are my suggestions on the manner and sequence which you can apply your concealer and foundation, for best results, based on my experience 🙂 You can then tell me if you do it BEFORE or AFTER foundation 😉
The real guideline on whether you should apply concealer before foundation or after foundation, lies with the type of foundation/base you are using. As you can tell, there’s no simple this or that answer 😛
Apply concealer before foundation if it’s a sheer foundation or if you pat on foundation
I shared the tip with you, using cushion foundation as my basis, because cushion foundation is, for the most part, sheer. The trick, when you apply your concealer first, before your foundation, is to ensure that you don’t “swipe” on your foundation. So, only apply concealer before foundation, if it’s a foundation that you will dab or pat on.
I have been using the same method to apply my foundation for years, ever since I learned the trick, because it works so well for me. I don’t use sponges (beautyblender type sponges included, because I’m a lazy bugger who can’t bear the thought of taking more time than necessary to put on my makeup, no matter how much better it may help my foundation look) and only use flat top foundation brushes like the one from Shiseido, Dior or Wayne Goss or Hakuhodo. With brushes like these, you tend to dab to blend, instead of swiping them on your face. If you use a traditional paddle shaped foundation brush… ditch it! They are the reason I refused to use a brush before LOL! 😛 Let me tell you about it another day.
So, the trick to using concealer BEFORE your sheer foundation, is to build a base upon which to build the sheer foundation. Parts that don’t need as much coverage will only have a light layer of foundation/BB cream/Cushion foundation, and parts that need more coverage, will have a thicker coverage, thanks to the concealer base. For some reason, I also find that this way, it looks more natural than when you apply it the other way around. For me, at least.
Apply concealer after foundation if it’s a medium to high coverage foundation
However, if your foundation has medium to high coverage, then you might want to lay off the concealer until after your first layer of base goes on. The reason for this is simple. If it’s a medium to high coverage foundation, it should, for the most part, cover your bases, as it were and give you a good enough finish without too much additional help. A good one will.
So, you will only need to apply concealer on the areas that you feel need to look a little more flawless e.g. blemishes, under-eye area etc. A good medium to high coverage foundation will even out your skin tone and cover most of the redness or sallowness in your skin and give you a much more even skintone. The concealer is just the icing on the cake, to make you look just that bit better.
So, if you are wondering if you should apply concealer before your foundation or after your foundation, I hope this simple guideline helps you. Just look at your foundation and then work from there. If in doubt, I prefer to apply concealer AFTER doing my foundation, especially if it’s a new foundation I’m not familiar with. I like to have my foundations do all the work, and only use concealer where I really need it. That said, I rarely look perfectly flawless, as anyone who has seen me in person will testify – I have blemishes and skin pigmentation and acne scars, and they often peek through my base. I’m fine with it, as I’ve never held myself out as a makeup artist nor expert, but I know not everyone is comfortable with looking less than perfect.
If in doubt, put on your base first, and then work from there. But if you’re using a cushion foundation, apply concealer first. It just looks so much better that way.
Your turn – do you apply concealer before foundation or after foundation? Do you use a guideline or just wing it?
I started out applying concealer before foundation many years ago. Then, I learned to only conceal where you need to, and I switched to only applying concealer after foundation. Now, years later, I do both based on my guidelines here. For some reason, I think it looks much better if I just tweak it ever so slightly! 😀 You? Before or after?