One of the first concealers I’d ever used was Benefit Boi-ing, after I was gifted with a sample. Before that, I’d never used one. But it was also when I was only wearing powder, blush and a lipstick. Concealers were beyond me. Not being savvy enough, and unsure if I’d bother with more makeup malarkey (Oh look how far I’ve come! LOL!) I eschewed the use of a brush. Fingers, I read, were good enough.
My experience with concealers and my fascination with them, for transforming me from tired, dull-eyed dullard, to fresh, perky almost-human, has never waned since. But one thing never changed.
In all the many years, and after trying countless numbers of concealers in the market, I never stopped using my fingers to blend my concealer. Why use anything else? I figured, when I had these God-given tools at the end of my arms.
I spoke to a few makeup artists, and I noticed they too used their fingers a lot when doing makeup. The warmth of your fingers does help cream products meld and blend better with your skin. I spent years using my hands and fingers to apply foundation, before graduating to using brushes. But with concealer, I’ve spent my whole makeup life, until now, using my fingers to blend.
Often, I’d dot concealer where I need it, then use my fingers to spread it out and blend and pat it into place. For the most part, it’s worked well for me. But recently, I saw a brush being used, and that piqued my interest. So I gave it a shot. OMG! What a life-changing moment! 😀
Now, let me preface by saying that I am not unaware of the existence of concealer brushes. In fact, I talked about using them once right here on this blog, but I never stuck to them for one reason. For the most part, they are flat paddle brushes, like the traditional foundation brushes. I owned one from Shu Uemura many years ago, the #10 synthetic brush, and I never liked it. Like flat paddle-shaped foundation brushes, concealer brushes of the same shape did not blend product well, and was streaky, or applied product too heavily. I mentioned that in my earlier post, and I’d actually still use my finger to blend it out. This time, I use a brush to BLEND MY CONCEALER, not just apply it.
I take no credit for this makeup tip. I was watching fellow long-time blogger Sophia (@makeup_bloggette on Instagram) do her makeup on Instagram a few months back, when I noticed she would use a brush to blend her concealer, instead of using her fingers. That wasn’t the interesting bit. What was interesting to me, was the brush she used.
She used a round, fluffy brush to blend concealer, instead of the regular flat, paddle brush. A light-bulb went off in my head, and I immediately put it to the test. Yes, it was life-changing! Well, an improvement on makeup application anyway. Life-changing is overly dramatic LOL! 😀
These are an example of brushes you can use, which I use. If they look familiar, yes they are. They are the usual fluffy eye makeup brushes that are recommended for blending eyeshadow, or for applying highlight colours for your eyes. Brushes like these are for the most part, round (or almost round), with long bristles, in a slightly loose configuration, so they are fluffy. Fluffy brushes diffuse colour and product better. You can check out this post on the best brushes to use for concealer for more options.
You can see some other examples of brushes like these in my post on eye makeup brushes under “Blending”. Like how you’d use a round, loose, fluffy brush like this to diffuse and blend your eye makeup, the same concept applies to concealer.
How to use a brush to blend concealer seamlessly
Here’s how I use a brush to blend my concealer:-
- I dot my concealer where I need it – usually on my under-eye area and any blemishes
- I then use a round, fluffy eye brush, and gently blend the concealer, in a circular motion
- If the concealer comes in a pot, I dip the tip of the brush into the pot to pick up product, and then blend into my skin in small circles
- Don’t press down, use a light hand, and let the tips of the brush do the work
What I found is that it was not only quicker, I noticed a more seamless, more flawless finish. The brush seems to give it an almost diffused appearance, so it does not even look like you have concealer on, yet blemishes, redness and dark circles are magically covered. I thought that by using my fingers to pat and blend, I was already using a light hand. I was wrong. A brush gave me that lightness of effect, and diffusion of product, that seemed to improve on the coverage of every concealer I used, and made my makeup look even better and more natural.
I found I could use less product, especially because if you need a bit of touch-up after laying down the rest of your colour, you can just pick up your brush, and use the residue to touch-up the areas that need it. As I have learnt over the years, less is always more. Use thin layers and build it up for coverage, and you will achieve a more natural, glowing look, than piling on your makeup and caking it on, like so many people teach you to these days.
Do you use a brush to blend out your concealer? Have you tried this trick?
So this is my little makeup revelation that I just felt I had to share with you 🙂 You can absolutely teach an old dog new tricks! 😀 I love this tip, and I love the effect it gives. Do try it, and share with me if you like it too! 🙂
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I actually dampen my flat concealer brush with any mist I have on hand before I use it, cause I read it helps somewhat with wastage and so far I haven’t had problems blending that way.
Gonna give this tip a shot though. Thanks Paris!
Paris B says
Thanks for the tip Deborah! I guess it works in a similar fashion to wetting a sponge 🙂
I tried it before, when I saw Lisa Eldridge do it in her videos a while back. I prefer using my fingers though. When I use a brush, I prefer a bigger synthetic brush then patted in again with fingers. I think I’m just used to my own method 🙂
Paris B says
Yep, I say go with whatever works 🙂 I sometimes pat in a little as well, just to have the warmth of the fingers bind everything together, but for the most part, the brush does most of the work, without any heaviness, which I like 🙂
i use the sephora pro #57 concealer brush. it has long synthetic bristles arranged in a round shape so i can easily buff my concealer. love it to bits.
Paris B says
Thanks for sharing Nicole! I’ve found a synthetic brush works better too – easier to clean!
I’ve used eye brushes but was never quite happy with the effect until I changed the technique recently. I guess it also depends on the type of concealer you use. I’m using a wax-based concealer, I dip a tiny bit on the back of my left hand then do my eye make-up whilst the concealer slightly melts due to my body temperature and once I’ve removed all residue from under the eye I conceal with my fingertips. Huge difference – blending is a dream.
Paris B says
That could be true too Kat. The concealers I use tend to be of the liquidy type texture, and the one solid one I have in Nars Soft Matte works for me better with a brush than it ever did. I’m actually enjoying it now better than I did before 🙂 But that’s a good tip too, thanks for sharing.
I only ever use a brush with my concealer, especially liquid types like Nars radiant and also Tarte’s shape tape. So much more convenient! I have 2 of these on rotation from sephora https://www.sephora.com/product/pro-airbrush-concealer-brush-57-P313020 BUT i think i found a new love – tarte. The fluffy bit blends the concealer out like a dream! https://tartecosmetics.com/en_US/makeup/brushes-tools/brushes/the-airbrusher-double-ended-concealer-brush/774.html
Paris B says
Thanks for sharing your favourite concealer blending brushes Ee 🙂 The tarte one does look lovely! I find synthetic hairs somehow blend better (and are easier to clean!)
Hellooo Paris! Just want to drop a thank you comment here on this technique! I tried it immediately after reading it and oh my it really makes a difference! I tried patting with my fingers, damp makeup sponge, foundation brush – all kinds, still couldn’t really get it to be well blended. With age, the under the eyes areas become more tricky to deal with… boohooo!
Now I need to get more fluffy eyeshadow brush for this purpose as I have only 2 in my stash. Haha!
Paris B says
Hello Ting! wah, long time no see hehe… How have you been? I hope you’ve been keeping well. Thanks for still reading my blog! 😀 And I’m so happy that this tip works for you. The brush really does make a difference doesn’t it? It’s a softer look, and doesn’t settle so much into our lines. And what a great excuse to get more brushes! Ahem LOL
Hellooo Paris! I’m well, thanks. And you? 🙂
I’ve been away from your blog but not too far. 😉 When I get some quiet time (from the kids) I like to browse through your blog and one or two other favourite of mine. These days it’s mostly food blogs and learning meal planning. It didn’t go very well (meal planning) though. haha
Paris B says
Am good. Still alive and kicking haha! Heading to your part of the world next month 😀 I’m always reading food blogs too! In fact, I read more food blogs than beauty these days LOL! I tried meal planning but it didn’t work. I’m too spontaneous, and I get cravings, and they are NEVER what I plan to cook! 😛
oh the weather is getting cooler now, especially in the morning and evening. You know how that’s like in Bangkok. Can’t really guarantee nice cool weather all the time. haha Are you here for the Erawan Shrine visit? I can’t guarantee to have time to meet up with you so I won’t make plans… :p The kids are eating up all my time and I sleep off the morning sickness whenever I can. I’m like partial hibernating now. HAHAHA
Hmm yeah me too!! That’s why meal planning fails on me! I have a blackboard in the kitchen where I write down the menu of the week but it’s always cravings / “not in the mood” / too lazy / lack of time that are to blame. :p Now I am craving for claypot chicken rice and hokkien fried noodles. So much. 🙂
Paris B says
Oh wait, morning sickness! Is it a new bub? 😀 Congratulations! And no worries. I’m with family so we’re just there for our annual visit and to chill a little at the year end 😀 I really did try meal planning. I taped up a meal plan on my fridge. It worked. For about a week. Then I got so bored LOL! I think the anticipation of not knowing what to eat is more fun than knowing ahead what’s for dinner.
I need to try this; not sure I have a blending brush though. Time to get one!
I actually just my foundation brush and stipple my concealer. I’ve seen a youtuber @thataylaa use this kind of fluffy brush, but never got around to try it
Paris B says
Try it and see if it works for you! 😀 Just use an eyeshadow brush – the effects are quite different 😉