Friday, 26 April 2013

Concealers- How to avoid creasing, caking or cracking!

Hello Lovelees!

A dear friend requested some tips or review on concealers in particular because she got super frustrated with hers.  Sorry long time coming but I hope this sheds some light! ;)

Just to cover the basics..

Concealer is a very densely pigmented cream or liquid, sometimes even mineral powder (usually from the indie companies), that helps you cover up blemishes or dark spots with just a small amount of product. It allows a more targeted and powerful coverage in a particular area.  You usually add it on top of your base (foundation or BB cream) in areas that you feel additional coverage is required.  Some cases it will give a better blended or smoother result with it under the foundation.  To give the best blended result is to apply concealer with small dots  then blur /blend/ press in the edges gradually to avoid a big slick of it. 

For under the eyes

Choice is to pick a colour that matches rest of your face (recommended if your eyes tend a bit small) or, Pick a shade that is a shade or 2 lighter than the rest of your face so that you can brighten /freshen the look of that area.  This method is also good for highlighting areas that needed extra coverage anyway (for me it's the bulb of my nose).  If you have puffy bags though, don't highlight the puffs with a lighter concealer - use the shade that matches!  Space out the concealer blobs under the eye, but not too close to the bottom lash line. This avoids a whole slab of product under your eye and a lighter/even blend into the rest of the face by fading it towards your lashline and rest of your face.  Preference really is to apply and blend /spread out with clean fingers especially for cream or liquid concealers so that you can use the warmth of your hand to melt and press in the product more seamlessly, brushes would need to be used with the powder concealers of course (otherwise there's more product on your finger than your face...)!  If you feel you need more coverage, especially in that inner triangular corner wedge of your eyebags (where it tends to be darker)- I may again press/blend in another layer.   Don't rub too much, otherwise you only just displace the under layer - just pat it in and make sure no fingerprints are left on your face afterwards haha. 

On blemishes or smaller areas in other places I usually like to dab a dot of concealer a bit larger than the pimple/dark spot you are covering, that larger overlapping zone on healthy skin is your blend zone so that you have full coverage on the actual blemish so that the blend area is on the outside of the blemish perimeter.  The shade selection in this case should match the rest of your face, definitely don't use a lighter one (e.g. the under eye shade) or any that has light reflecting particles in it... because that will simply HIGHLIGHT where the bump of your pimple is! :(

Usual complaints with a concealer is:
-Cakey/ Thick
-Migration into fine lines
-Poor coverage
-Aggravates blemishes
-Poor lasting power

How to extend / "freshen" wear time:

To be perfectly honest despite what others may promise, it is next to impossible to not have your concealer crease or crack around your eyes or other prone areas over time... unless your face is absolutely line-less and does not move dynamically when you smile or talk!  We can concentrate however, on how to extend that time your makeup stays fresh-looking.  This is by how well you prepare your skin, and product selection with good techniques.

Everybody's skin condition is different, hormones can play games, then on top of that seasonal changes also occur (more humid, more dry etc) even when you think you got one routine pat down.

So there are several suggested tips to try.  This following list I believe is quite comprehensive and one of them should work! To put into perspective I only have very mild lines under my eyes and slightly deeper smile lines (or maybe beginning crows feet!??!) at the end of my eyes.

Video Demo here, but I also suggest you do some supplementary reading below :p

1.Set your concealer with a  light dusting of face finishing powder so that it does not slide off elsewhere.  This is the most commonly taught method. Only a light dusting will do, so probably whatever's left on your powder brush after you've done the rest of the face.  Try to apply undereye concealer last so that you get to it with powder promptly before it starts gathering in your lines! I like to set after any powder products with a fine mist spray from eg Eau Thermale Avene, Evian, or Vichy so that it clings tighter to the skin for a more natural finish (this is optional for a more immediate effect, otherwise your natural face oils does a pretty good job after about 45mins :p).  The powder method is good for hot/humid conditions, you can probably skip this if your skin or weather is dry..

2.Use no concealer but gradually build layer by layer with BB cream.  This is my favourite way.  However coverage can be on the lighter side (it will build enough to be pretty good for light/moderate bags!) , but I feel it is the most natural and all-day crease free!  Under my eyes is not particularly oily so I skip powder to avoid extra layers.  Even if you are using a concealer: Layer gradually -slabs of concealer is not flattering and you will definitely be caught if you're outside in the sun.  The less you use, the less that can go wrong/dry/bad over time...

3.Avoid oil control components in concealers you intend for under your eyes because it will dry out your eye area and cause concealer cracking.

4.On a similar note above, a way of touching up later in the day due to cracking or prepping eye area if you have dryer skin is to lightly press some extra eye cream in that area.  This may sometimes displace some of the concealers to leave fingerprints so you may need to readjust/touchup that area.

5.Gently run your finger in the creasing area to smooth it out (if you were out somewhere with no other option...)

6.Use a makeup setting spray  (I recommend Urban Decay All Nighter) after application with or without powder.  This tip was from :
 He says prep eye with moisturizer, spray onto small brush, dry a little then place it on, then dab concealer on, then spray to soak onto sponge and dab it on, OR powder first and then dab on with damp sponge.   He leaves the choice up to you if you want to set with powder before the last application of spray but I think for me it is unnecessary and again, I don't like adding powder where I can help it in that area...

  I have adapted this  for lazy me where fingers are cheaper/easier to use :p.  So my method is moisturise eye area, spray the settle spray onto your finger (place near nozzle), then apply onto under eye area - let it dry a bit then dab on your cream/liquid concealer as it dries and sets.  You can choose to layer more concealer on and then again spray onto your finger and dab more setting spray on top of the last layer of concealer to finish.  You can repeat the last step as many times as you need to satisfaction.  I think 2 or 3 concealer layers should be enough at most...Just because it is alcohol based and a makeup setting product meant for  its lasting ability- it may cause sensitivity I recommend spot testing elsewhere on your face first!

7.Use a corrector before concealers then foundation. Correctors help to neutralize the undesirable colours on your face in a more powerful way, therefore you use less product/concealer (and caking) to cover your flaw. In most cases a standard concealer will do a good enough job to hide a flaw, but if you want to take it further (this will need practice) try a LITTLE BIT of corrector and mix with your concealer.

Check out the colour wheel, opposite colours neutralise eachother.

Consider an orange coloured corrector or a concealer with a slight orange tinge if your dark circles have a blue undertone. If you have fair skin then correctors should be lighter coloured, if you have darker skin then you need the corrector to also be a darker shade to have enough pigment to blend and match. Consider a yellow tinged corrector/concealer for purply dark circles.   If you have acne, rosacea or conditions that give a red flush, or red puffy eyes, use a green corrector to neutralize.  If it is for a larger area you should consider a tinted primer such as from Smashbox.  If you are after just targeting one pimple for example use sparingly (not as much as if you were using concealer) because it is very pigmented.  Green tends to give a white cast look (therefore unfortunately highlight) if you are not skilful in blending or too heavy handed. You only need a bit to take the edge off the redness.  When adding foundation on top you need to be using a sponge or fingers to press and blot in order to avoid displacing your corrector/concealers.

8.Mix your concealer with some moisturiser to dilute it and decrease caking.

9.To spot treat with mineral makeup : I tried for fun and discovered that it works to lay an olive toned foundation over it then have a slight green tinged finishing powder to complete the concealment of reddish areas (zits)!  In this case I just used the Just Pure Minerals (Etsy) in Olivia Medium and Silk Naturals Equalizer (some setting powder that has some coverage ability over normal foundation) or Unblush (as a lighter setting powder) with my Sigma P82 (I learnt the 'spot treat with Sigma P82' from  If it's not very red I think you can try out using only one product of the above - you don't need a complete arsenal from base to powder if it's only a mild problem.  The foundation should be enough alone, but you can add Equaliser for a heavier coverage finishing powder if you want more, or Unblush for only a LITTLE help.  If you are only trying to cover hyper-pigmentation and not redness just use your shade-matching mineral foundation and sigma P82 brush to spot treat.

I also like using Sigma F82 (bigger version of P82) to press in or blend out more softly.  It's also great for applying any foundation in a larger area by using circular buffing motion so that you fill in your pores from all angles and evenly.

Hope that all helps! Share the link if you learnt something!

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Click here for CONCEALER REVIEW!


  1. Replies
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  2. Thanks Lee for the tips.

    Any tips on how ti thin out thick pot concealers?

  3. Thanks Lee for the tips.

    Any tips on how ti thin out thick pot concealers?

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