Monday, August 15, 2011

How to Conceal: Product and Tools Overview

Skin Food Salmon Darkcircle Concealer
Since there were some questions recently regarding concealing products and tips, I decided to do a 3-part general guide to Concealing for common problems like spots. uneven tones, and dark circles. 

Part 1: Overview
Part 2: Undereye Concealing
Part 3: Spot Concealing

PART 1: Concealer Overview
General Rule-of-Thumb: Concealer should itself be concealed. 

If I had to walk into an important interview wearing only one thing on my face, Concealer would be it. While I'm addicted to color makeup like eye- and lip-products, concealer is the #1 confidence booster. 

Unless you are one of those who have permanently spot-free skin, no uneven tones, and no darkness around the eyes, you will likely need some, if not all, of the products listed below. Please reference this as an overview of the TYPES of products that will help to fix specific issues, rather than a definitive listing of must-have products. 

1. Skin-toned Concealer 
  • This should be TRUE to your real skin color or just slightly yellower. If you use powder, you can get one just slightly lighter than your skin tone. If you don't, get your exact shade.
  • Used for: Spots, fresh acne-scars, slightly-dark or red areas of your skin
  • Recommended coverage: High
  • Good Texture: Waxy, thick, dry until warmed up
  • Suggested Products: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF35, most concealers in a stick form
  • NOT GOOD FOR: Trying to cover dark circles completely

2. Salmon-toned Concealer 
  • A product that is pinker than your actual skin color, but not lighter as there needs to be enough peach pigments to counteract dark pigmentation. 
  • Used for: Under-eyes, veins, bruises, dark purplish/plum spots
  • Recommended coverage: Moderately-high (go for the very thick textures only if you need to cover tattoos)
  • Good Texture: Semi-creamy, not hard to spread and blend
  • Suggested Products: NYX Concealer in a Jar (there's an orange shade), Amazing Concealer, Bobbi Brown Corrector, Skin Food Salmon Concealer (pictured at top)
  • NOT GOOD FOR: Covering redness and acne

3. Setting Powder
It can be:
  • slightly more yellow-toned (not TOO yellow) than your skin, 
  • slightly luminous rather than flat matte, and 
  • a shade or so lighter than your natural skin color, if not translucent. 
Concealer, especially opaque ones applied thickly over blemishes, will grab powder and result in a dark, cake-y patch, so setting it ahead of time with a lighter shade locks in the concealer and allows you to apply the rest of your makeup easier.
  • Used for: Setting concealer and providing extra correction
  • Recommended coverage: Sheer
  • Good texture: Fine-grained, dry and light
  • Suggested Products: Powder in Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer Kit, Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, MAC MSF Natural, Everyday Minerals Kaolin Powder Sunlight (for setting spots), Everyday Minerals Luminizing Sunlight (for setting eyes)

4. Good Tools

  1. Tiny eye liner or lip brush for applying concealer precisely under and around spots

  1. Very loose, fluffy, tapered eyeshadow blending brush (left) for gently stippling setting powder over concealer in small areas
  2. Spatula (or any other plastic/metal tool) for scooping/scraping concealer out of its container
For under eye areas, I recommend just using your finger, as this is where you need smoother, thinner coverage, and your ring finger is better for warming and sheering out concealer.

  1. If you are keen to avoid acne, you want your concealer to stay as pristine as possible, which means no "double-dipping" with brushes and fingers straight from the jar. Get a disposable plastic spoon or spatula to scrape a bit of product from the container, and take the product from there. Then clean it with soap or rubbing alcohol after every use.
  2. Clean all brushes used for cream/liquid products AFTER EACH USE. Concealer left on a brush for a day or more will have accumulated bacteria, dirt, and dead cells from your skin. Why would you ever want to reapply that back onto your face??!
  3. If you are having an active breakout, clean all tools that touch your face after each use. Even the powder brushes. The last thing you need is to perpetrate the "breakout - conceal - breakout - conceal" cycle by reapplying bacteria to clean skin. 

Makeup shown above:
  1. Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation #52
  2. Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer #52
  3. MAC MSF Natural in Medium
  4. Maybelline Eyestudio Brow Pencil in Grey
  5. Sasa Super Dolly Shining Powder in #01 Silver (dabbed onto center of lids) 
  6. No 7 Extreme Length mascara in Black
  7. NYX Lip Pencil in Fuchsia
  8. Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Fuchsia
*No blusher, eye liner or shadow used.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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