Should I Apply Concealer or Foundation First?

Concealer or Foundation, which comes first? This is one of the most common beauty inquiries. To answer this age old question, there are a few things that you have to consider such as foundation and concealer type and application technique.

Rachel Short, licensed esthetician and head of education for Dermablend Professional, takes us though some tips and tricks to demystify your concealer and foundation application.

Do I apply concealer before or after foundation?

Always apply your foundation first, unless you are using a powder foundation. Applying foundation first creates an even base to reduce overall redness, discoloration and minor blemishes. If you apply your concealer first, you may end up wiping some off when you apply foundation or using a lot more product than necessary, which can create a heavy, cakey look.

To start, once you have primed your skin, apply a sheer layer of foundation all over the face, including around the eye area. This will allow you to use less concealer later on. After your foundation has had time to settle, you can cover additional areas (i.e. acne marks, hyperpigmentation, and under eye areas) with concealer. Follow with a setting powder to lock in your complexion makeup.

If you’re using a powder foundation, such as Dermablend’s intense powder camo, you will want to apply concealer directly to areas that need more coverage first and then buff on your powder foundation second. This will allow you to build your powder foundation coverage as much as you desire without looking cakey.

Choosing the right type of foundation

With all of the foundations on the market, it is important to understand the differences and which formula is best for you.

  • Liquid Foundation: This is the most common type of foundation and it comes in a variety of formulas and consistencies. If you have dry or dehydrated skin, you should opt for a moisturizing foundation such as Dermablend’s smooth liquid camo foundation which is an excellent liquid foundation that provides up to 24 hour hydration and broad spectrum spf 25. If you have normal or oily skin we recommend an oil-free foundation such as Dermablend’s flawless creator™ liquid foundation drops.This particular foundation is ideal for all skin types as it is oil-free and water-free which allows for a weightless feel and blendable full coverage. Allure magazine also selected Flawless CreatorTM liquid foundation drops as a 2018 Best of Beauty Award winner.
  • Continuous Correction CC Cream: For uneven skin tone, Dermablend’s Continuous Correction CC Cream provides skin tone coverage, correction, and SPF 50+ protection. This formula is packed with antixoidants such as niacinamide and vitamin E and helps visibly reduce the look of redness, discoloration, hyperpigmentation, dark spots and age spots, leaving your skin looking even, radiant, healthy and youthful. Continuous Correction™ CC Cream SPF 50+ is a full coverage foundation for all skin types, including oily, dry, acne-prone, and aging skin.
  • Cream Foundation: Cream foundations are great for comfortable, smooth wear. For the holy-grail-cover-all-needs foundation, choose Dermablend’s cover creme, the #1 cream foundation in the US*. Cover creme can be worn as both a concealer and foundation. The texture is a solid cream, so you’ll want to make sure that you warm it up with your fingers prior to applying it onto your face. Cover Creme is an ideal option for someone with more high-coverage needs like melasma and vitiligo.

  • Powder Foundation: Powder foundation can be found in a pressed powder or loose powder and are great for absorbing excess oil or setting other foundations or concealers. Try Dermablend’s intense powder camo, for mattifying, buildable coverage from sheer to full.

How to properly apply foundation

First, ensure your skin is clean and hydrated. Then apply a primer, such as Dermablend’s insta-grip™ jelly primer, which will prime, hydrate, and tighten the skin for flawless foundation application. Wait about 30-60 seconds for the primer to dry and absorb, then choose your ideal foundation and applicator. For liquids, brushes and blending sponges work well. For powder foundations, use a kabuki brush for sheer coverage or a sponge applicator to build medium to full coverage. And for cream foundations, fingers work best.

Choosing the right type of concealer

It is important to know that there are various types of concealers, because like you, concealers aren’t a one-size-fits-all. You should choose a concealer based on your skin concern, tone, and type. If you are concealing a blemish or other area, match your concealer to your skin tone or current foundation. Try Dermablend’s high performance quick-fix™ concealer, the #1 clinical stick concealer in the US*. If you are concealing dark purple under eye circles or acne marks, choose a shade that has a warm undertone to naturally color correct.

If you want to use your concealer to subtly highlight areas of your face, select a shade 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation. To target under eye bags, dryness under the eyes, or discoloration, try Dermablend’s Cover Care Concealer which provides 24 hour hydration and water-resistant long-lasting wear. The creamy lightweight under eye concealer effectively covers dark circles, discoloration, acne scars, dark spots and more all while staying soft, supple and breathable on skin.

How to Properly Apply Concealer

When applying concealer, you may choose to use your fingers or an applicator. However, when using your fingers, only use the ring finger as it’s the gentlest option for the delicate eye area. Brushes and tools are ideal for precision application, especially when covering up blemishes and uneven spots. Under your eyes, blend a concealer that’s up to two shades lighter than your foundation into a triangular shape (tip pointing down), to brighten and give your eyes a more “open” look. For pesky blemishes, dab a concealer the same shade as your foundation onto the center of the pimple and blend it out.

Pairing Your foundation and concealer

When it comes to picking the best foundation and concealer pair for you, it is ideal to select the texture you prefer. Typically, matching formats tend to blend well together, however, different formats may also work based on your individual needs.

* based on NPD dollar sales for 2017