When it comes to applying your makeup, what comes first, concealer or foundation? This never-ending beauty conundrum always reminds us of the “chicken and the egg” riddle. While scientists have supposedly cracked the chicken and the egg riddle, the order in which concealer and foundation should be applied still remains debatable because it depends on so many factors. How you perfect your complexion ultimately comes down to personal preference, product formulas and how accurately your foundation and concealer shades match.
PRODUCTS THAT SUIT YOU
The best way to find out what suits you is to first explore what the industry has available in terms of formulas that suit your skin type ie oily skin. This is key because no amount of makeup skill will fix a product that is not right for your skin. Next, choose a concealer shade that matches your foundation (if worn without foundation match it to your skin tone). This is extremely important because an incorrectly matched concealer shade introduces a whole a lot of new issues that you really want to avoid.
Did you know that makeup becomes more transparent through the camera lens or in strong lighting, bringing into focus any strong colors that stand out from your natural skin color? This is why it's strongly recommended to avoid color correctors. Despite what the forums and magazines tell you -- green, orange or blue correctors will always be detected underneath all the layering and blending. We have to remember that correctors were introduced at a time when technology was limited and getting your hands on a customized concealer shade was not an option.
With bespoke concealers now being part of the newest generation of personalized beauty products, there’s no reason why you cannot get your exact shade formulated based on your skin tone. Download our personalized color specialist app MY SKIN TONE MATRIX which allows you to purchase “made to order” products on your smartphone without leaving home.
FOUNDATION THEN CONCEALER
While you should always go with what works for you, we prefer to think of foundation as the bigger picture and concealer as the finishing touch. Foundation will help to even out skin tone and cover enlarged pores, whereas concealer is for targeted areas that need that little extra coverage like under eye circles and blemishes. When you apply foundation first, it covers up a lot of imperfections on its own, cutting down the amount of areas you need to go back and conceal.
Step 1: Apply a small amount of primer to provide an even surface for you to work with. Allow to completely dry. Click on PRIMERS to find a formula that suits your skin.
Step 2: Start with a thin veil of foundation, blend product evenly across face or just on areas that need coverage. Allow to completely set before checking to see what the foundation has corrected on its own. Sometimes stepping back from the mirror and checking your foundation in natural lighting helps to see what others may see when looking at you.
Step 3: Add concealer sparingly to areas that need extra camouflage. Dot concealer on areas with a clean brush, then press and meld product into skin with your fingers. The heat from your fingers will warm up the concealer so it’s easier to work with.
When applying concealer post-foundation, there are a couple things to think about.
1. If you still see blemishes coming through, it means you don’t have the right concealer shade or formula. This leads to over blending and caking especially when too many layers are applied. When you apply a highly pigmented concealer in the right shade less product is required and the more undetectable the finish is.
To help wear the right shade, check out our lightweight, highly pigmented MATRIX CONCEALERS that are made to order based on your foundation or skin tone.
2. Are you using powder or cream formulas? If your concealer is a cream formula and you have applied powdered foundation, concealing can be harder to apply because concealers need to adhere to a reliable surface. Powders tend to cake or move too much. So a different technique may be required.
This method is best suited for those using powder foundations. It’s also ideal for those who don’t really wear a full face of foundation or have very few blemishes. Sometimes applying a dab of perfectly matched concealer on blemishes may be all the coverage you need. If you do follow up with liquid or cream foundation, apply it only where necessary. (You might find that you hardly need any foundation at all)
Step 1: Apply primer to hydrate skin and target enlarged pores. Allow to completely dry.
Step 2: Pick up a small amount of concealer on a concealer brush.
Step 3: Dot concealer on blemishes or under eyes, then press and meld product into skin with your ring finger in light patting motions. Don’t rub concealer into skin.
Step 4: Make sure your concealer is dry before applying foundation over the top. Lightly dust powder foundation over concealer in swirling motions.
Step 5: For liquid or cream formulas, do not apply foundation in strokes. Apply in a stippling (patting) motion over areas where you applied concealer. Stippling avoids moving or wiping away concealer.
Is there a downfall to applying concealer before foundation? Yes, concealer that's applied first runs the risk of makeup being over applied. Concealer has the tendency to shift around even when the stippling technique is used and needs regular touch-ups as oil builds up on your face. This ultimately builds up product and eventually leaves a heavy cakey finish.