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Expert Tips for Choosing the Right Concealer and Using it Like a Pro

choosing the right concealer

Choosing the right concealer and getting the results you want can be tricky. When it comes to concealing a spot on your skin, the most important point is to accurately determine what color the spot is.

The trick to using concealer like a pro isn't just making the overlying makeup color match your skin; it's blocking the unwanted spot's color wavelengths of light!

Human eyes perceive color by the wavelengths of light that bounce off something (in this case the spot) and into the retina of the eye. Unwanted spots on the skin are usually either:

  • red or purple (or a combination)
  • or too brown or too white

A red spot will have wavelengths of light bouncing off it that the human eye perceives as red.

A purple spot has wavelengths that the eye perceives as purple.

By applying the concealer color from the opposite side of the color wheel, you block those wavelengths because their wavelengths cancel out what the retina sees. These are called complementary colors.

What is your color? Using Concealer Like a Pro

Pro technique to cover skin problems of different colors

Using complementary colors from the color wheel, you can see that:

  • To cover red, use green concealer.
  • To cover purple, use yellow concealer. 
  • To cover a spot with a combination of red and purple, you may need both green and yellow concealers.

        Shadows also create skin imperfections.

        Spot color is not the only consideration when using concealer. The skin problem to be covered-up may also simply be an indentation imparting a shadow that looks darker than surrounding skin.

        Expert tips to choose the right color concealer to cover skin discolorations

        Use the following application technique to cover your spot like a pro.

        1. If your color problem is red or purple, apply your complementary concealer color by patting the color on the spot until you can tell that it has “neutralized” the unwanted color. Don’t apply it thickly; just pat. And, don’t put so much on that you create a green or yellow spot.
        2. To bring brown or white spots into your predominant skin tone, use lighter or darker makeup to adjust down or up to your skin’s tan/brown/peachy tone.
        3. To lessen the shadow in an indentation, apply a lighter color makeup than your general skin tone in the bottom of the indentation to help “soften” the darkness of the shadow.
        4. choosing the right concealer best sunscreen for under makeupIf you're applying sunscreen first for day wear, consider trying a tinted product.  Neutralize the color of your unwanted spots after applying your tinted sunscreen. I recommend Sheer Strength Pure Physical Matte Tinted SPF 50+ Sunscreen because the matte base is the ideal base for makeup. This is more than a UV blocking sunscreen; the tinting technology comes from iron oxide which blocks visible light rays that contribute to skin pigment problems such as melasma. This is the sunscreen I wear every day to protect my own skin. 
        5. best mineral makeup for concealer
          After you have your spot neutralized, apply really good mineral makeup with a brush or soft sponge. Use one that is gossamer fine and looks natural. I, my patients and my customers love my mineral makeup for exactly that reason. It is created from pure minerals without artificial ingredients, dyes, fillers or fragrance - just beautiful minerals from the earth.  Click here to see my really lovely mineral makeup.

        Using concealer like a pro photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Laura Doss/Corbis