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The Secret to Applying Concealer

There’s a bit of debate among makeup gurus about applying concealer. Some say to put it on before foundation, while others advise applying concealer after foundation. But guess what? You can do both.

That’s right. The secret to a healthy, even glow is to applying concealer before and after your foundation. Here’s the step by step.

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How to apply concealer

1. Choose the right concealer

The technique won’t help you if you have the wrong concealer on hand. Choose one that matches the color of the inside of your wrist. This should be slightly lighter than your overall skin color.

Pay attention to the concealer’s undertone, too. For example, a concealer that’s more yellow will do a better job cancelling our redness and dark purple under-eye circles on lighter skin tones. If you have darker skin, you may need a peachier shade.

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For more on this topic, see L’Oreal’s guide to choosing the right concealer for your skin tone.

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2. Wash and moisturize

Start with a clean slate. Wash your face, then apply your serum, followed by moisturizer. Use a moisturizer with SPF 30 broad spectrum protection. This isn’t just a convenience. Moisturizing with an SPF product keeps your skin healthy and shielded from damaging UVA and UVB rays. That minimizes the chances of developing more spots and needing more concealer…

3. Apply concealer in small dots

Woman applying concealer under her eye.

Wash your hands before you get started. Then, using your finger or a Q-tip, apply concealer in tiny dots under your eyes. Then apply your concealer, still dotting, to other problem areas — nose, chin, mouth, pimples, or dark spots.

4. Tap, don’t rub

Now tap your dots gently to blend.

Resist the urge to rub the concealer in. You’re likely to cause streaks that way. Just tap. And keep tapping until the concealer looks more natural.

5. Apply foundation

Next, apply foundation like you normally would. You can tap it on or, very gently, blend it in with a makeup sponge.

6. Apply concealer again, as needed

Now here’s the clincher: Give yourself a once-over. Did you miss any spots? Dark circles still visible? Pimple still showing through?

You don’t need to cake on more foundation. Simply return to your concealer, dot it on gently, and tap it out. Finish with powder and you’re ready for the grams.

Woman applies powder to her face.

This before-and-after method with concealer works every time to deliver beautiful, even skin. If you’re having a tough time getting an even tone, consult with a beauty expert in person — you may need to adjust your concealer and/or foundation shades.

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