total-beauty

The ultimate guide to concealer

Nov. 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM ET

ByTotalBeauty.com

We do everything we can to use it to cover our flaws yet all too often, we end up emphasizing them. And that's why, despite the fact that breaking down the details of how to apply concealer correctly sounds like a total snoozefest, it's really is an essential skill to master.

And while applying concealer properly may not be rocket science, it's not necessarily an intuitive process either. Luckily, celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic (Kim Kardashian's go-to guru) knows a thing or two about faking flawless skin and with his tips, your odds of never being that girl with the awkward concealer blob on her face are vastly improved.

How to conceal under-eye bags

You need: liquid concealer with lifting ingredients + latex sponge + loose powder

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How to apply: To cancel out the yellow, bluish hues under the eyes, Dedivanovic says to use a peach-based concealer. Many concealers have a yellow-base, which would only make the area appear more dull and sallow. "The peach brings warmth to the area," he says. And since the eye area is susceptible to wrinkles, br sure the concealer has a lifting ingredient like vitamin A to prevent it from settling into the creases. Dedivanovic loves DiorSkin Sculpt Smoothing Lifting Concealer, $35. Finish by running a sponge under water, squeeze the water out, dip into loose powder, then dab over the area to set the concealer. Dedivanovic recommends the Beauty Blender, $26, which he calls "the greatest thing to happen to makeup in many years."

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How to conceal scars or dark spots

You need: cream pot + lifting concealer + concealer brush + latex sponge+ loose powder

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How to apply: To completely camoflauge the dark pigment, you need the heavy coverage of a cream concealer, says Dedivanovic. "Cream concealers have a thicker texture with less oil than liquid, so they last longer." He recommends applying the concealer with a brush just where the darkness is. (Try Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, $30, and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush, $26.) Then, dab a lifting concealer, which will add a highlight. Finally use a damp sponge and loose powder to blend it all together.

How to conceal puffiness

You need: highlighter + liquid concealer

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How to apply: While you can't hide puffiness, Dedivanovic says there is a trick you can do with concealer to make it less obviously. Mix a liquid concealer with a tiny bit of highlighter, and dab it over the bags. Then blend the highlighter into your crease, which will help reflect light and give the illusion of smooth skin. We recommend < E.L.F. Studio Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter, $3.

How to conceal redness around the nose

You need: cream concealer + latex sponge+ loose powder

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How to apply: Since the area around your nose gets oily fast, Dedivanovic recommends using an oil-free cream concealer, which "will provide heavier coverage. As you perspire during the day, concealer darkens so you want to use a concealer that has a dry consistency," he says. We recommend Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer, $23. Use your ring finger to dab and blend the concealer into the crease around the nose. Then take your damp makeup sponge, dip in loose powder, and lightly layer. Try Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Airbrushing Loose Powder SPF 30, $13.95. Dedivanovic says this is key, because "a lot of times the foundation and concealer are two different products with different finishes, so you have to blend the two together."

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How to conceal a zit

You need: green concealer + concealer pencil + latex sponge + translucent powder

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How to apply: "Since blemish has texture to it, you have to coat it and make sure it doesn't get too oily or irritated," says Dedivanovic. He says pencils are best for blemishes because it's pointy shape "allows you to go on the zit and around it easily." He recommends Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil, $18. Then take a damp sponge and powder over the area. If your pimple is red, try neutralizing the color by using a green concealer first. We like Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette in No. 1, $38.

How to conceal darkness around your lips

You need: white concealer + concealer brush + latex sponge + loose powder

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How to apply: For dark spots around the mouth, you want to apply a light concealer all around the lips with a brush. You can also lightly swipe it over your mouth to create a base for your lip color. Dedivanovic says for darker skin tones, he uses a white-colored concealer on the dark area, then finishes with foundation that matches the skin tone. "It brightens up the whole area," he says. We recommend Maybelline Cover Stick Corrector Concealer in White, $6.29. And don't forget to finish with a damp sponge and loose powder. Try Revlon ColorStay Aqua Mineral Finishing Powder, $13.99.

How to conceal birthmarks or tattoos

You need: body cover cream + concealer brush + latex sponge + loose powder

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How to apply: "Covering birthmarks or tattoos can be tricky and requires several layers of concealer and a lot of patience," says Dedivanovic. You want to use a body cover cream, such as DermaBlend Leg & Body Cover SPF 15, $27, in a tint lighter than your skin directly onto the tattoo/birthmark. "The lighter shade applied first helps to cancel out some of the darkness," he says. Then, use a damp sponge and blend. Repeat this step at least two or three times.

Next use a cover cream that matches your skin tone (preferably of the same brand) and apply onto the tattoo with the sponge. Repeat that step again in layers until you're happy with the effect. To finish, use a generous amount of translucent powder applied with a damp sponge and gently remove the excess using a clean soft brush. "The main trick here is to do little by little in several thin layers," he says.

How to conceal spider veins

You need: pencil concealer + foundation + latex sponge + loose powder

How to apply: "Spider veins can be covered with your regular foundation followed by a pencil concealer dabbed directly onto the broken capillaries and blended with your ring finger," says Dedivanovic. Try Shiseido The Makeup Corrector Pencil, $18. "I like to then go over it again with a light layer of foundation just to really blend the products into the skin and ensure that the skin tone is even," he suggests. Lastly use a damp sponge dipped into loose powder. Try Shiseido The Makeup Translucent Loose Powder, $35.

Now that you've mastered concealer, click here to see our guide to conquering the cat eye.

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