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Are you using the right concealer? Here’s how to pick the perfect one for your skin type

Which three make-up items would you pick if you were stranded on a desert island? For me, it would be tinted lip balm, eyebrow pencil, and the ever-indispensable concealer. After all, you want to look on point for when rescue arrives. The next question, of course, would be what type of concealer would be best?

A liquid concealer for overall coverage and masking skin imperfections, or a stick concealer for quick fixes? Should it be in a matte formula for blotting out oily miens, or a hydrating formula for combating dry and sun-aged skin?

Suffice it to say, there are choices, choices, choices when it comes to concealers, and choosing the right shade for your skin as well as the right type for your purpose is important.THE RIGHT TEXTURE AND FORMULA FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE

Should you be picking a concealer that exactly matches your skin tone, or something a tad lighter? It all depends on what you’re concealing.

One of the most common purposes of concealer is to cover up darker areas, such as undereye circles or blemishes. As such, your concealer should be one or two shades lighter than your base colour, in order to brighten and colour-correct. Your base colour can be your natural skin tone, if you’re applying concealer onto skin with minimal or no make-up, or the colour of your foundation, if you’re using concealer on top of make-up.

I actually have different shades of concealer for ‘bare skin’ days and full make-up days.

For counteracting uneven skin tone, pick a shade that melds with your skin tone or is just a tad lighter, and blend, blend, blend.

Another thing to be aware of is oxidation in concealers, which is when a product darkens or changes colour after being applied, due to pigments reacting with the air and oil on your skin. Testing a concealer to ensure it doesn’t oxidise, using a make-up primer and choosing shades that are a bit lighter than your skin tone are all ways to counteract this. Finishing off with a setting powder also helps to extend the staying power of any make-up.


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What was your concealer made for? While some are overall heroes that can tackle all kinds of cover-up jobs, from concealing dark eye circles to birthmarks and from hyperpigmentation to spots, some are made specifically for one purpose.

Those with more serious dark circles under the eyes can invest in a concealer made to brighten and hydrate the undereye area, to create the illusion of more radiant and awake-looking peepers, usually in a shade one to two shades lighter than your base colour. These also tend to come in a thinner formula that’s easy to blend and won’t settle into fine lines. 

To neutralise redness in skin, try a green-based colour correction concealer to give the appearance of a more even skin tone. For bluish or purplish areas of the skin, such as those under the eyes, concealers with peach or orange tones can help balance things out. For sallow and yellow-looking skin, combat with a blue- or purple-based colour correcting concealer.

Liquid concealers tend to be great multi-taskers that can effectively cover spots and acne scars, undereye circles and skin discolourations. A tip is to dab on a tiny bit, leave to set, then apply another layer if needed. Building the coverage in layers is better than over-applying concealer, whose consistency tends to be thicker than foundation. Overly thick application can lead to an unnatural-looking spot over the area you wish to keep hidden.

Cream concealers are another option with great buildability – blend in layers to cover up discolourations such as birthmarks or melasma, and dab onto dark eye circles or spots. 

For a great quick fix, reach for stick concealers, which have a semi-solid and creamy texture. These tend to blend well and usually pack great coverage power and are excellent for on-the-go conceal jobs. If the make-up under your eyes or nose has slipped off in the humidity, stick concealers are your go-to for toilet touch-ups. Pick one with a thin stick applicator for precise spot and blemish cover-ups.


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Now that you’ve picked the perfect concealer for your needs, the only thing left is to know how to expertly apply it. The pro way is to use a concealer brush, which is specifically made and angled for concealer blending. After you dab on your concealer, smooth it on with a concealer brush, and blend into a thin layer. If needed, blend on another layer.

For zits and acne, dab concealer on the spot, as well as around it, then dab with a brush to blend the whole area. Set with a powder to make sure it really disappears. Using your fingers to blend in concealer works in a pinch as well, and can create a natural-looking finish. Remember to finish off with a loose powder or setting powder to prevent creasing and make sure your concealer and make-up lasts all day.


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Five concealers to try for make-up perfection 

1. Chanel Correcteur Perfection Longwear Concealer, S$60

Boasts a lightweight and breathable texture with skin-loving ingredients and is great for targeted use as well as all-over cover-ups.

Available at Gucci Beauty boutiques and counters.

3. Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer, S$115

An undereye concealer that serves up highly pigmented and long-lasting coverage sans creasing. Contains hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to improve the appearance of wrinkles while concealing imperfections. 

Available at

5. Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer, S$47

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