Concealer is considered by many makeup artists to be the one beauty product that no woman should do without. Makeup guru Bobbi Brown calls concealer, “The secret of the beauty universe.” (Bobbi Brown, Beauty Evolution; 2002.) Used correctly, it can negate the need for foundation and give you a finished day look in seconds. Learn what kinds of concealer are available and how to use them.

Choose Your Weapon

Concealer comes in several different forms–liquid, cream, stick and powder. Liquid, cream and stick products can be applied with fingertips or a small concealer brush. Powder must be applied with a brush. For staying power, cream or liquid concealer can be followed by a light dusting of powder or powder concealer.

Find the Right Color

Most basic concealers come in three shades–fair/light, medium or dark. Products range from drugstore brands to very high end. There are also a wide range of color corrector concealers available in green, pink, yellow and lavender. Green corrects red undertones, pink corrects yellow or sallow undertones, yellow is used for covering red blemishes and lavender is used as a brightener. If you are a woman of color, there are several makeup lines (Iman, Afterglow and Black Opal) made just for you with a range of darker shades.

Special Coverage Needs

Basic concealer will cover most areas of uneven skin tone or redness under the eye (dark circles) around the nose and chin and small blemishes. However, if you have issues, such as rosacea, cystic acne, birthmarks or tattoos, that need covering, you will need a very opaque waterproof product. Covermark is the leading manufacturer of these kind of products and offers a huge range of shade choices.

Start Lightly, End Flawless

The key to great concealer coverage is to start with a tiny amount, blend well and then add more if needed. Play with different shades to find the best one for your skin tone. Done well, you should see only even perfect skin, not light patches of concealer. If you can see the concealer, the shade is too light, go one shade deeper or find a line with more shade choices.