What Is A Concealer?

Concealer is a makeup essential for anyone, whether you’re just starting or have been wearing makeup for years.

It’s a great way to cover up skin imperfections and help your overall makeup look more polished.

But what is concealer, and how do you choose the right one for you? Keep reading to know more.

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

What Is Concealer?

what is concealer

Concealer is a makeup product that hides various skin imperfections, including dark circles under the eyes, age spots, acne, discoloration, and scars.

A good example is the Maybelline New York Fit Me Concealer. It has a liquid formula and comes in a tube with a doe-foot applicator.

It’s thicker and more pigmented than a regular foundation, and it comes in various formulas, including liquids, creams, powders, and sticks.

You can apply it with a brush, sponge, or fingers, and it is available in various colors to match different skin tones. When used correctly, concealer can give the skin a more even appearance and make your overall makeup look more flawless.

What Are the Types of Concealers?

Liquid Concealers

dermablend liquid concealer

Liquid Concealers such as this lightweight concealer are the most popular type as they’re easy to apply and can work for all skin types.

They’re also the most versatile, as you can use them for hiding dark circles, concealing blemishes, highlighting and contouring, and defining the eyebrows.

These concealers are also buildable so that you can apply a small amount for light coverage or a more significant coverage.

They come in a tube with a doe-foot applicator; you can blend them with your fingers, a brush, or a beauty sponge.

Cream Concealers

the Balm Anne T. Dotes TimeBalm Concealer

Cream Concealers are an excellent choice for hiding blemishes as they’re usually very pigmented. You can also use them for the under-eye area, but they tend to be a bit drying.

They come in a small pot; you can apply them with your fingers or a brush.

The difference between cream and liquid concealers is that cream concealers are usually thicker and more pigmented.

This oil-free cream concealer is a good example. It provides excellent coverage for blemishes or pigmentation and does a good job of covering redness.

Pencil Concealers

pencil concealer

Pencil concealers have a precise and controlled application thanks to their sleek crayon shape.

They have a creamy or waxy formula that provides a natural matte finish, and they work best for covering small blemishes and dark spots.

You can also use them to highlight the inner corner of the eyes or to define the eyebrows. To do so, draw a thin line under your eyebrows and blend it with your fingers or a brush.

Some come with a built-in sharpener which makes them great for travel.

Stick Concealers

covergirl stick concealer

Stick Concealers are similar to cream concealers as they’re very pigmented and suitable for hiding blemishes.

However, they tend to be drying, so I wouldn’t recommend them for the under-eye area.

They come in a small stick; you can apply them directly to the skin or with a brush.

This concealer stick is a good option for dry skin as it has a creamy formula that’s easy to blend.

Powder Concealers

bare minerals powder concealer

Powder Concealers are not as popular as the other types, but they’re a good choice for people with oily skin.

They come in a compact, and you can apply them with a brush.

They provide light to medium coverage and can also be used to set liquid or cream concealers.

This loose powder concealer is a good option as it has a finely milled formula that provides light to medium coverage.

What Is Concealer Used For?

You can use concealers for a variety of purposes, including:

Hiding Dark Circles Under The Eyes

hide dark circles

One of the most common uses for concealer is hiding dark circles under the eyes. With the right one, achieving a bright, awake look is easy. The key is to choose the right color, apply a small amount, and blend it well.

If you have dark circles that are blue or purple, you’ll want to use a concealer that has a peach undertone.

Liquid concealers like this lightweight concealer work best for the under eyes, as they’re easy to blend.

Another type of concealer called Color Corrector is specifically used to neutralize extremely dark under-eye circles. It comes in various colors, including green, pink, and orange.

People who struggle with extremely dark circles may require a color corrector followed by a concealer to eliminate the darkness and brighten the area.

Hide Blemishes And Imperfections

hide blemishes

Concealer is also great for hiding blemishes, such as acne, scars, and age spots. The key is to choose one that matches your skin tone and blend it well so it looks natural.

Cream concealers work well for hiding blemishes, providing medium to full coverage, and can be blended easily.

Brightening & Highlighting

highlight the face

To highlight, you can choose a concealer that is one to two shades lighter than your skin tone and apply it to the areas you want to highlight, such as the tops of your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose.

Then, blend it out well, so there are no harsh lines.

Concealer is not a highlighter as highlighters have shimmer in them and can’t be applied to the under-eye area.


contour the face

You can also use concealers for contouring, a technique used to enhance certain facial features.

To contour, you’ll need to choose a shade one to two shades darker than your skin tone.

Then, apply the concealer to the areas you want to contour, such as under your cheekbones, along your hairline, and down the sides of your nose.

Use a soft brush and blend the product out so there are no harsh lines.

Defining The Eyebrows

defined eyebrows

You can also use concealers to define the eyebrows. Use a liner brush and apply concealer under the eyebrows to create a sharp, defined look.

Finally, blend seamlessly for a natural look.

Defining The Contour Of The Lips

define the lips

Applying concealer around the lips can help create a defined look. First, use a lip liner to outline your lips, and then fill in your lips with a lip color.

Finally, use a small precise brush to apply concealer along the contour of your lips, which helps create a sharp, defined look.

Preparing The Eyelids For Eye Shadow

eyelid base for eyeshadow

If you want your eye shadow to look its best, it’s essential to prep your eyelids first. One way to even out the color of your eyelids is to apply concealer, which will help create a smooth canvas for your eye shadow and make the colors pop.

The concealer will not act as a primer but as a base for the eye shadow.

Best Concealers

To get more specific, here are some of the best concealers I tried and loved (and some I didn’t like so much):

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer

This is my all-time favorite one. It’s lightweight, creamy, and provides medium coverage. It also has a built-in applicator, which makes it quick and easy to use on the go.

It’s very pigmented, so the key is to use a small amount and blend it well. If you have oily skin, set this concealer with a loose powder to get the best results.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

nars radiant creamy concealer

This is another excellent concealer for light to medium coverage. However, it is not the best choice for people with dry under eyes, as it can cling to dry patches.

If you have dry skin, I recommend moisturizing your under eyes first with a lightweight eye cream. Wait a few minutes for the eye cream to absorb, then apply the concealer.

Revlon Photoready Candid Concealer

revlon candid concealer

This is another excellent option for those looking for a lightweight, creamy concealer. It provides buildable coverage and has a natural finish.

It’s also very affordable, which is always a bonus.

I like the formula of this concealer as it’s very easy to blend. It even feels like a high-end one, despite the drugstore price tag.

Revlon discontinued some shades, which is disappointing as this concealer is an excellent option for all skin types.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

tarte shape tape concealer

This is an excellent choice for people looking for full coverage as it has a thick, creamy consistency.

It’s also a bit drying, so I recommend using it after moisturizing the under eyes and applying a small amount to prevent the concealer from looking cakey.

I also like to set this concealer with a loose powder to help it last all day.

Some concealers that didn’t work well for me are the Covergirl Trublend UndercoVer Concealer and the Nyx Born To Glow Concealer, which looked cakey under my eyes and didn’t last long.

Concealer Vs. Foundation: What’s The Difference?

laura geller foundation

Now that we’ve gone over the different types of concealers, you might be wondering what the difference is between a concealer and a foundation.

The main difference is that concealers target specific areas, whereas foundations are applied all over the face.

They are usually more pigmented than foundations and have a thicker formula. They are mainly used to cover blemishes, acne, pigmentation, and dark circles.

Using a concealer as foundation all over the face is not recommended as it will result in a cakey, heavy look.

TIP: You can mix your foundation with a small amount of concealer to get better coverage.

Is Concealer Necessary?

it cosmetics concealer

Concealer is not necessary for everyone, but it can help achieve a flawless makeup look.

Whether you need it depends on your skin condition and the coverage you’re looking for.

If you have clear skin, you might not need to use a concealer.

If you have minor blemishes or dark circles, then a light coverage concealer might be all you need.

A full-coverage concealer will be necessary if you have dark pigmentation or very dark circles.

How To Choose The Right Concealer?

When choosing a concealer formula, it’s essential to consider your skin type and the coverage you’re looking for.

For example, if you have dry skin, you’ll want to avoid thick formulas and choose a hydrating formula like this lightweight concealer.

You can also choose a concealer with hyaluronic acid to help hydrate the skin.

You’ll want to avoid creamy formulas if you have oily skin. These concealers tend to separate on your face, so choose a matte formula like this lightweight concealer or a powder concealer like this multi-tasking concealer.

Choosing the correct concealer shade depends on which area you’re trying to cover.

For example, if you’re trying to cover dark circles, you’ll want to choose a peach-toned shade one or two shades lighter than your skin tone.

You can use a shade that matches your skin tone, but a lighter shade can help brighten the under-eye area.

Avoid using a very light shade, as it might cause concealer eyes to look ashy.

For blemishes, you’ll want to choose one that matches your skin tone or is a little bit darker.

Be careful not to choose a dark shade, as it might cause your concealer to look orange.

How To Apply Concealer For Beginners

how to apply concealer

If you’re new to using concealer, start with a small amount and build up the coverage as needed.

  • Start by dotting the concealer on the areas you want to cover. Apply one or two dots for the under-eye area as too much can look cakey and heavy.

Many beauty gurus like to follow the triangle method when applying concealer to the under-eye area. While this method works great for special occasions, I find that it can look a bit too heavy for everyday wear.

Instead, I like to apply one dot to the under-eye area and focus on the dark circles.

Avoid applying the concealer too close to the lash line, as it will make your eyes look smaller.

Then use your finger, a brush, or a beauty sponge to blend the concealer into the skin. Start from the inner corner of the eye and blend outwards by patting the product into the skin.

To cover blemishes, apply a small amount of concealer on top using a small precise concealer brush.

Pat the product gently into the skin with your fingers until it’s well blended.

Can I Mix Moisturizer With Concealer?

embryolisse moisturizer

Yes, you can mix your concealer with a moisturizer to create a custom formula. This trick works great for dry skin as it will add hydration to the concealer.

It can also help lighten the shade of a dark concealer or reduce the coverage if it’s too heavy.

To mix your concealer with a moisturizer, add a small amount of each product to the back of your hand or a mixing palette.

Then use your fingers or a spatula to blend the two products until they’re well combined.

Adjust the ratio of each product to get the desired consistency and coverage.

For example, if you want sheer coverage, use more moisturizer and less concealer.

If you want full coverage, then use more concealer and less moisturizer.

Related: Concealer Vs. BB Cream

Can You Just Wear Concealer?

L'Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Full Wear Waterproof Matte Concealer

Yes, you can wear concealer without foundation, but you must choose the right formula and shade.

The key is to apply the concealer where you need it and not all over the face.

For example, if you have an even skin tone but need to hide dark circles, apply a small amount of concealer to the under-eye area.

If you have blemishes, apply a small amount of concealer to cover them up and blend the product seamlessly.

Regardless of your method, always start with a small amount of product and build up as needed.


Concealer is a great makeup product in your makeup bag as it can help cover up imperfections and even out your skin tone.

Many different types of concealers are available, so choosing the right one for your skin type is essential.

Liquid concealers are the most popular as they’re easy to use and offer great coverage.

Cream concealers are another great option; they work well to hide blemishes and acne.

No matter what type you choose, always start with a small amount and build up the coverage as needed.

Applying too much can make your makeup look cakey and heavy.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them down below.

Related Articles

What Is Concealer Used For?

Claire is a beauty enthusiast and lover of all things makeup. Her blog is a resource for makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and beauty tutorials.

Leave a Comment

Skip to content