Expert Tips for Using Concealer like a Pro

Cynthia Bailey, MD|January 2, 2015

Choosing the Right ConcealerWhen it comes to concealing a spot on your skin, the most important point is to accurately determine what color the spot is. The trick to using concealer like a pro isn't just making the overlying makeup color match your skin; it's blocking the unwanted spot's color wavelengths. Human eyes perceive color by the wavelengths of light that bounce off something (in this case the spot) and into the retina of the eye. Unwanted spots on the skin are usually either:

  • red or purple (or a combination)
  • or too brown or too white

The spot may also simply be an indentation imparting a shadow that looks darker than surrounding skin. A red spot will have wavelengths of light bouncing off it that the human eye perceives as red. A purple spot has wavelengths that the eye perceives as purple. By applying the concealer color from the opposite side of the color wheel, you block those wavelengths because their wavelengths cancel out what the retina sees. These are called complementary colors. Therefore:What is your color? Using Concealer Like a Pro

  • To cover red, use green concealer.
  • To cover purple, use yellow concealer. 
  • To cover a spot with a combination of red and purple, you may need both green and yellow concealers.

  Use the following application technique to cover your spot like a pro. Apply your complementary concealer color by patting the color on the spot until you can tell that it has “neutralized” the unwanted color. Don’t apply it thickly; just pat. And, don’t put so much on that you create a green or yellow spot. Once the color is neutralized, then put your skin-tone makeup on top. To bring brown or white spots into your predominant skin tone, use lighter or darker makeup to adjust down or up to your skin’s tan/brown/peachy tone. To lessen the shadow in an indentation, apply a lighter color makeup than your general skin tone in the bottom of the indentation to help “soften” the darkness of the shadow. If you're applying sunscreen first for day wear, consider trying a tinted product.  Neutralize the color of your unwanted spots after applying your tinted sunscreen. My two favorite tinted sunscreen products are: best natural sunscreen best sunscreen for oily skinSuntegrity 5 in 1 BB Cream:  This elegant product doubles as a skin moisturizer and is ideal for drier complexions. . Sheer Strength Pure Physical Sunscreen: In my opinion this is, bar none, the best tinted sunscreen for oily complexions.    

  "Every time I wear this, I get compliments on my skin ... and I’m a guy!" My favorite product that Dr. Bailey recommends is the Suntegrity 5 in 1 BB Cream/Sunscreen. I love that when I use this I’m getting great sun protection that doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. I also love that it's tinted so it gives me some healthy color and is loaded with good for your skin ingredients. Tom C. 6/14/14 

After you have your spot neutralized, apply really good mineral makeup with a brush or soft sponge. Use one that is gossamer fine and looks natural. Our patients and customers love my mineral makeup for exactly that reason. best mineral makeup     Click here to see my really lovely mineral makeup.           Using concealer like a pro photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Laura Doss/Corbis

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