Cover Up: The Ultimate Guide to Concealer

Rid your complexion of under-eye circles and unwelcome blemishes

No one is immune to dark circles or the occasional pimple (nope, not even Giselle). But with a smart use of concealer, you can face the day flawlessly.

We've all woken up wondering why we're still getting breakouts at our age or trying to figure out how exactly our under eyes can turn such a brilliant shade of blue. "Nobody is perfect," says celebrity makeup artist Joanna Schlipp. "Whether you have darks circles, a blemish, a scar or an age spot, you're going to want to cover it up." Like a lot of women, you may not have mastered the art of concealer just yet. Worry not: whether you're picking an under eye shade that's too light or piling up too much product on pimples or picking the wrong formulas, we've got the tricks to get you back on track to faking flawless skin.

Dark Circles
Stayed up late catching up on your DVR or had an extra glass of wine at dinner? It's going to show up under your eyes. But, no worries: "Bad discoloration can be helped," says celebrity makeup artist Tina Turnbow. "The shadowy area under the eye needs to be brightened." For this, opt for light-reflecting formulas in a peach-based hue close to, or at most half a shade lighter than your foundation. (Anything lighter will look ashy.) For severe circles, Schlipp recommends choosing a yellow-based hue to combat blue and purple tones. "However, if you have redness, you are going to want to find a green corrective concealer," Schlipp says.

Apply your under-eye concealer after your foundation. Schlipp uses her ring finger to tap in her concealer. "If you have to get into the corner close to the eye you can use a brush, but get one with a really soft point," Schlipp says. "You don't want to poke that area -- the skin is much more delicate there." Some days you'll need to cover larger areas than others. Finish it off with a dusting of translucent powder. Schlipp insists that you use a light hand throughout the process: "Putting on too much product, especially around the eye area will age you."

Still struggling to hide the occasional breakout? To effectively cover blemishes, choose a concealer in the exact same shade as your skin. "Opt for dryer formulas," Turnbow recommends. "They adhere better to the pimple and have more staying power." Unlike your under-eye area, which benefits from light-reflecting pigments, "keep raised areas as matte as possible so they blend in with the skin," Turnbow says. A common mistake women make "is that they over-apply products on the pimple and the skin around it," Schlipp cautions. To avoid this, Schlipp recommends applying a small amount of a green corrector directly on the spot to get rid of the redness first. Then, lightly use your concealer and powder to set it. For added precision, Turnbow likes to use a firm, pointy brush directly on the pimple and then gently pat it in with her fingertip.

If it's an ever-growing pimple and you need to reapply throughout the day, Schlipp suggests gently wiping away the existing concealer and starting from scratch. "Don't keep applying concealer on top," she says. "It will look like a big old mound." Exactly the look you aren't going for.

Need more skincare help? Check out iVillage's Skin Solver to solve some of your dilemmas. Or, for a more comprehensive skin analysis go to

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