Changing your makeup based on the seasons is a great habit to get in to, as it allows your skin to look more natural based on the climate. Now that summer is over, I can see the effect the sun has had on my skin and what I need to adjust in my daily makeup routine to cover more effectively. No matter how much sunscreen I use, there always seems to be a bit of discoloration on my skin after the sailing season is over. There’s a ton of emphasis from the beauty world put on foundation, and selecting the right one for your skin type and desired finish. This is for good reason; foundation creates your base canvas for any look. But what about the beauty concerns that foundation cannot correct on it’s own? Dark circles or spots. Acne scars or breakouts. Red patches or blotchiness? Well, meet your new best friend to pinpoint and attack these challenges – the concealer. Using the right formulas, and the right color combinations, can be game-changing even for your everyday looks. However, concealer is often an overlooked and misunderstood product – many people are confused on how to incorporate concealer into their daily routine (does it go on top of, or underneath, my foundation?) and why not all concealers are created equal (wand, pot, tubes, etc). Like red lipstick or black liquid eyeliner, the words “full-coverage” can strike fear into those trying to select a concealer. They fear that it will look cakey, or be difficult to blend in. But in these modern times of beauty innovation, there’s a great selection to choose from. Let’s chat about 2 concealers that are full coverage, and that I’ve been using daily for the past couple of months to achieve the look I want.
Let’s start with LORAC’s POREfection Concealer – I’m shade PC1 (pictured above). This concealer is oil-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free, so it’s virtually perfect for any hyper-reactive sensitive skin. Being oil-free, this is incredibly long-lasting and helps to create a soft satin finish on the skin all day. It also contains a blend of antioxidants to help brighten and care for skin, yet works to fully cover uneven tone, dark circles and spots. I use this within my cheek area, as I have uneven skin tone and dark spots, and it completely covers them. Caution: you only need a teeny bit to cover your concerns – I start with a small dot on the back of my hand, and apply with my fingers. This helps spread the formula, as I’ll then blend in with foundation brush. But we’ll talk about application tips in a minute. I really like the tube packaging, as you can control the amount of concealer being dispensed, and it keeps the rest of the product hygienic.
My next choice is NYX’s Full Coverage concealer in yellow (pictured below). What?? Yellow? Yes. As a person who suffers from red spots almost everyday, yellow concealer is a MUST in my makeup bag. Yellow counteracts redness, and also doubles as a brightening effect – I use this for any red spots and blemishes, as well as my eyelids and under-eye area to highlight and brighten up skin tone. The jar packaging is great, as you can pick up just the amount of product you want on a concealer brush. I clean my brushes everyday, so this keeps the product free from bacteria. This formula is creamy, but does contain microcrystalline wax and paraffin to give it more of a paste consistency. The yellow shade is meant for spot-application, so the paste consistency helps for staying power and building coverage as you want. There are fantastic You-Tube videos out there about color correction, which dive much deeper into that topic and all of the related shades (such as green, lavender and orange). For now, I’ll just focus on yellow concealer and why I love using it in my normal routine.
Now that you know what I use, let’s talk about why I use them based on my needs. When starting out with my makeup for the day, here’s my routine:
- Apply liquid foundation first with my foundation brush, and focus just on the larger areas of my face: forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. I blend down into the neckline, and apply just enough to even my skin tone out. Note – I can still see areas needing some correction at this initial stage.
- Using a flat concealer brush, I’ll pick up a bit of NYX’s yellow concealer from the jar and dot under my eyes, over my eyelids, and around the edges of my nose. I’ll blend in with the concealer brush and use my skin’s warmth to spread evenly. This instantly brightens dark areas, conceals any redness, and highlights while blending into the edges of my foundation. I also use a bit under the arch in my brow bone to give the illusion of height and create definition. This is also a very concentrated formula, so a little bit goes a long way.
- Next, I’ll squeeze a small dot of my LORAC POREfection concealer on the back of my left hand, and use my right-hand ring finger to gently apply dots of this concealer to wider areas of concern (like my cheeks) that have uneven skin tone. I’ll blend this in with my foundation brush.
- Lastly, I’ll use my concealer brush to tackle any remaining red spots with a bit of the NYX yellow concealer, blending in with the foundation underneath.
Even though this sounds like a lot of work, it takes me only a few minutes to complete. I do recommend practicing to get a method of blending and combination of formulas that works best for you. A full-coverage foundation does its job in evening out the skin tone, but it’s really the task of good concealers to camouflage any imperfections. Yellow can seem intimidating, but I think you’ll be surprised how easy it is to work into your routine once you get the hang of it – it brightens skin immediately, and highlights without adding shimmer. The eye area can especially benefit from the brightening effect of a yellow concealer, as it counteracts dark circles and calms down any redness on eyelids. You can also blend concealers to get just the right shade you are looking for – I’ve known of plenty of makeup artists that have several concealer shades, and use the back of their hand as a blending tray – this uses the warmth of the skin to mix different formulas easily. They can then use the concealer shades to contour, highlight or sculpt the face as they want. Wand concealers can be tricky to use, as I find that it’s harder to control the amount they dispense. By putting a used wand back into the product it can breed bacteria, which may also cause breakouts.
In my years of talking about beauty, there is one concern that lighter-skinned or redheaded people are often frustrated with: freckles. And especially how full-coverage foundations and concealers may look a bit “fake” when trying to cover up a full-face of them. If you want your freckles to still show, I recommend using tinted moisturizers instead of foundation, as full-coverage formulas can be very noticeable in trying to “hide” freckles if not applied correctly. I do still recommend using a full-coverage concealer for targeted areas after a tinted moisturizer – you can control opacity and coverage with adding a bit of moisturizer as needed to your concealer, and then blending just the imperfections away properly so that they do not interfere with freckles. A dusting of powder is a great way to set a tinted moisturizer and also give a softening effect for the overall finish. The biggest technique for people with freckles is to master is blending down the neck, as it looks more natural overall with application. If you are trying to combat freckles or uneven skin tone overall, then I do suggest looking at skincare products like First Aid Beauty’s Facial Radiance Pads or similar glycolic / AHA serums that helps to fade discoloration over time.
A final benefit of these full-coverage formulas is that these are long-lasting formulas, and you get your money’s worth. And they are easy additions that you can experiment with – sometimes it’s the little changes that you make that have a big impact on results.
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