Concealer is one of those beauty items that women either love or hate to use. This affinity or disgruntled attitude toward the product is usually determined by whether or not it’s being used properly.

Concealer is usually used around the eyes, lips and to cover blemishes and it comes in liquid and cream form. Whether you’re using it to hide a blemish, scar or to add definition to your look, concealer can be your new best friend. Don’t deprive yourself of this beauty lifesaver. We’ve got you covered (literally!) with these tips to help you find the right shade and use it the right way.

1. Choosing The Right Shade

For women of color, selecting a concealer shade is almost just as difficult as finding foundation. The market still doesn’t cater heavily to our makeup needs despite us being their leading consumers. However, here are some tips that will make it easier to choose the right concealer:

-Orange-based tones are ideal for dark skin.
-Go one shade lighter than your natural complexion.
-A good way to test whether or not a shade works for you is by dabbing it on the blue veins on your wrist or on your neck below the ear.

2. Start With a Clean, Moisturized Face

The first step to using concealer is making sure that you start with a clean, moisturized face. Moisturizer plumps skin and gives it a smooth foundation which makes for easier for the product to blend.

3. Apply Properly

You can use a brush or gently pat concealer on using your ring finger. It’s best to pat concealer on instead of rubbing it in for optimal coverage and blending.

4. Blend correctly

Make sure to blend the edges of the concealed area with the surrounding skin by patting on the product in a circular motion to avoid harsh lines in the finished look, and set it with a loose powder before applying foundation.

5. Be Careful When Using Under Eyes

When covering dark circles under the eyes use a cream concealer since this is a sensitive area of the face. Also be cautious of using a shade that’s too light because it can cause a light-colored raccoon effect.

6. Blend When Highlighting Your Brow Line

If you want to highlight your brow line, you can apply a thin line of concealer right along your upper and lower brow lines. Be sure to blend it.

7. Use it as a Lipstick Primer

Concealer can also be used as a lipstick primer. Just dab it on before applying the color. It can also help keep a bright shade from excessive smudging, if you line the area around the very edge of your lips with it.

How do you use concealer? What brands of concealers do you love?

-Margaret Francois

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