Ask any make-up plebe on the function of a concealer, and they’d probably hazard a correct guess. After all, it’s in the name. Concealers work to conceal, belying and blurring skin imperfections for a polished-looking base. A few swift swipes and some careful blending is all it takes to finesse unwanted hyperpigmentation, dark circles, and acne marks. However, few would know that there are several types of concealers, particularly in the vein of textures, finishes, and uses.
For instance, folks with dry skin shouldn’t be reaching for mattifying, liquid concealers, while oily skin types should steer clear of thick, cream and stick formulas. And while your make-up may have seemed ‘beat by the gods’ in the morning, cakey and streaky concealers can easily shatter your slay by afternoon.
As a certain icy princess once belted, “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know”—an anthem for mastering the art of concealer. Below, find a comprehensive list detailing the different types of concealers and their recommended uses.
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1. Liquid concealer
Liquid concealers are perhaps the most well-known of the gang—and for good reason too. This popular texture typically comes in either dewy, matte, or satin finishes, and won’t leave the skin looking cakey and clogged. Its buildable coverage and hydrating formula deftly brightens under-eyes and masks blemishes without feeling overly drying. If you’ve got sensitive or acne-prone skin, this ones definitely for you.
Pro tip: When choosing a liquid concealer, consider the shape of the applicator wand that comes with it. Look out for precise petal-shaped tips or thicker doe-foot wands based on your specific needs.
2. Cream concealer
Cream concealers, a “thicker” cousin to the liquid formulas, are typically stored in small pots or palettes. Their denser, opaque salve provides a fuller coverage, perfect for addressing more prominent imperfections, such as hyperpigmentation, inflamed pimples, and raccoon circles. For more precise coverage, choose a concealer brush to target specific spots, but for a more natural and diffused effect, using your fingertips to blend should suffice. This pigmented balm is best suited for those with dry to normal skin, as they might feel too occlusive for those with larger pores. Since creams have a tendency to crease over time, be sure to thoroughly bake the concealer with a trusty loose powder before heading out.
3. Stick concealer
Now, imagine the cream concealer in a stick form. Think a skin-toned lipstick that can mitigate small imperfections on-the-go. With its roll-up stick design, the semi-solid product shines as an innovative and quick-fix solution to skin woes. Coverage typically ranges from medium to full, and is best dusted off with some setting powder to prevent it from pilling. Word to the wise—watch out for overly waxy formulas that could potentially be comedogenic.
4. Cream-to-powder concealer
As the name implies, cream-to-powder concealers combine the blendability of cream with the silky, matte finish of powder. When applied and blended into the skin with a sponge or foundation brush, its creamy consistency changes into an airbrushed texture. These concealers offer light to medium coverage, making them ideal for levelling out skin tones and concealing blemishes, particularly on combination to oily skin.