Covert Ops

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In the world of makeup, concealer is truly the unsung hero. It’s not as sexy as lipgloss, it’s not as user friendly as mascara, and it doesn’t have the allure of lipstick. What it does have, however, is the ability to take you from blah to babe, and from tired to fresh. Concealer is truly a workhorse, and it covers all the imperfections and flaws we would rather keep to ourselves. When it comes to application there are two important things to bear in mind:

  1. Foundation is applied first, then concealer. If you apply concealer first and then foundation you are just rubbing off your concealer, undoing your efforts and wasting your product. Sometimes you can get away with just wearing foundation and not going in with concealer, so this can also save you a step.
  2. Not all concealers are created equal. You won’t have one concealer for all your camouflaging purposes, you will have two. One for the eye area and one for any blemishes or areas of redness.

{Image from Allure}

When concealing dark circles you want to use a warm shade of concealer, in a hydrating liquid formula. Note that I wrote warm shade, not a lighter shade. I know a big makeup misconception out there is to use a shade of concealer a shade or two lighter than your natural shade to brighten dark circles. Wrong. This only makes them look grey and ashy, and draws even more attention to the area you were trying to conceal. Plus, it makes you look like this. My favorite concealer for the eye area is M.A.C. Select Moisturecover in a NW shade. NW means neutral warm and this helps warm up the eye area and counteract any grey or purple shadows or discoloration. For a more comprehensive guide on concealing dark under eye circles refer to my  Q & A with BB: The Great Cover Up.

{Image from Allure}

When concealing blemishes or areas of redness you want to use a yellow based concealer in a cream formula. The yellow will counteract the red and leave you looking even and uniform in color and the cream texture will properly adhere and last all day. My favorite concealer for blemishes and redness is M.A.C. Studio Finish Concealer SPF 35 in a NC shade. NC means neutral cool and its yellow based, exactly what you want for any red spots. The texture is thick and opaque, it even covers tattoos! In short, it’s a must have staple in my kit.

Whether you are using concealer on a blemish or your eye area be sure to set it completely with powder. When my clients complain of their makeup disappearing I ask them two things: are you using a primer and do you set your makeup with powder? Powder is imperative in making your concealer last all day without traveling or disappearing altogether. I also highly recommend investing in a high quality concealer brush like this one from NARS or this one from M.A.C. You can this brush for all your concealing needs. Brushes allow you to use less product which saves you money and allows for the most natural looking, blended effect. Brushes are also great at getting into hard to reach areas like right under the lower lashes and just on top of a pimple. I like to apply concealer with a synthetic bristle concealer brush and then use my clean finger to tap the concealer gently, pressing it into the skin. If concealer has always been tricky for you, a high quality brush can make all the difference.

So there you have it: how to use concealer on dark circles under your eyes and how to conceal blemishes and redness. Hope these tips help!

What are your favorite concealers? Do you have one for the eye area and one for blemishes?

Have a fabulous weekend!

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6 Responses to Covert Ops

  1. What a useful post! I think I use concealer almost everyday, not that I have super big under circles but I just love how it freshens up your face instantly! What it’s also true is that I always had my doubts avout applying concealer. I normally use Pure Cover Mineral from maybelline, I like the texture and love that your eyeliner doesn’t run through it ( I tried Benefit’s Erase Paste ans it was soo greasy, definitely not a helper..). What is true though is that I might have start using a warmer shade and maybe try this MAC’s concealers so I don’t have my concealer accentuating my under eye’s fine lines at the end of the day ;)

    Loved loved that post… Have a lovely weekend Bre!

  2. Teri Roughen says:

    Bre!! Yes, that helps and clears up a lot. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You explain and break it down so it’s so informative. Thanks! Teri

  3. Breanna says:

    @Teri I hope I addressed all your questions and concerns! If you ever have a question please shoot me a comment or email!

  4. Breanna says:

    @Marta Concealer definitely freshens up your appearance, I completely agree! A warmer, pinker shade is really worth trying for the eye area-it makes a world of difference! M.A.C. NW is foolproof!

  5. Stacey Bonderer says:

    Love this post! I am getting married in Costa Rica in Feb 2012. I am an esthetician and also love makeup and products!! I’m always searching for an under eye concealer that won’t cake and seep into my fine lines. What is your favorite concealer (that will also not sweat off and looks great in pictures? 2nd- what is your favorite primer? I have large pores and sweat alot!! Anything you suggest for this? 3rd- what is your favorite mascara? For lengthening?

    I want my hair to look like beachy waves.. My hair is naturally wavy. I’ve tried alot of products that claim to give beach waves but all make me look like I have an old perm! Yuck!! Anything you suggest trying? Any tips on how to get the look?

    Would be so helpful if you had tutorials on your page!! Do you ever show tutorials? Do you have a favorites product list?

    Thank you so much!!

    I have your webpage saved on the home screen of my phone and always search through it when I am at any beauty store!! Love your page!! Would

  6. Ambreen says:

    hi bre i sm so glad i found ur website.. i have uneven skin tone and really dark under eyes.. im asian btw.. i was recently matched to nw30 and am confused as to which concealer will cover my horrible eye circles..thx in adv

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