The 3 Concealers That Give Me Seemingly Flawless Skin (And How I Use Them)

Concealer is an essential item in my beauty regime, and these are the products that I can’t live without.
Publish date:
March 24, 2014
mac, How-To, favorites, Make Up For Ever, concealers, bruises, blemishes

Last week, I showed you the best ways to conceal dark under-eye circles, and I mentioned a few products that I like for that purpose--especially YSL Touche Eclat. But there are three other concealers I always have with me to create the illusion of perfect skin--to cover up my terrifying crimes and experiments... I mean, blemishes. These are the concealers that I use regularly, love and refuse to be without.

I’m also going to share with you guys my best trick for covering up bigger problems: cystic acne, scars and bruises from being accidentally head-butted in the face by your dog. (Every dog owner reading this is nodding right now. You know it happens.)

MAC Studio Finish Concealer (Shade: NC15)

This stuff is hardcore--used only for the most serious zits. I used to use this product daily when I was sick and my skin was really bad, but since my cystic acne situation has calmed down, I don’t use it as often. I really only bust it out to conceal zits in the last, scabby stages of healing and the occasional dog-head-butt bruise.

A little bit of this goes a long way, because it is super-full-coverage. It has a slightly greasy texture, which makes it super easy to blend, and it stays where you put it rather than melting off your face.

I use a concealer brush to apply this. Taking a small amount on the brush, I dab it on the blemish, blending it out slightly with the firm bristles. Then I finish by gently tapping it with my finger, setting it with powder.

If you use too much powder, though, this concealer can look cakey. Nobody is about that life, so be sure you don’t glob it on top.

Make Up For Ever Waterproof Concealer (Shade: 3)

I only tried this stuff for the first time about three weeks ago, and immediately, my eyes became larger and the light that it shines could be seen.

Yep, that was some "Kiss From a Rose" realness. That’s how you know I am serious about this being amazing.

This may be a Holy Grail product for me. It has full coverage but doesn’t look cakey. It blends like a dream, but sets and lasts all day. It moves with my skin without settling into every line and pore. It works on any rogue zits, red patches and under-eye circles equally well. If you are looking for the One Concealer To Rule Them All, this is probably it.

Man, I love this stuff. At first, I was applying it with a little brush, but I skip that now. I squeeze out a teeny amount--the tube has a little nozzle, so this is easy--onto my finger, then gently tap it onto whatever needs concealing. Watch in amazement as it fades away.

The only downside here is that once this sets, it’s really set. So if you forget to blend while you return a sexy text, you’ll probably have to take the whole thing off and start over. Don’t sexy text and apply makeup! It isn’t worth it!

MAC Mineralize Concealer (Shades: NC15 and NC25)

These are really solid all-round concealers: lightweight with great blendability, but slightly thicker and more dense than the classic MAC formula.

I usually use this on those days when I can’t be bothered with even BB cream, but I still want to look nice: I dot a bit on my cheeks, nose and chin, blend well, and run out the door. It’s also quality on pimples, especially the ones that get really red.

These dudes have a small brush applicator, which at first I didn’t think I’d like but now I love way more than a doe-foot applicator. It allows me to get a little bit of product on each spot, which I then tap to blend with my finger. If I’m applying it to a larger area, I usually draw a little squiggle, then blend outward with my finger in little wispy strokes.

The issue I have with this concealer is that in hot weather, it tends to melt a little. It’s nothing that a touch-up can’t fix, but best be prepared.

You may notice that all of these products are on the pricier side. I use plenty of cheaper products in other categories, but when it comes to the things that I use every day directly on my skin, I am willing to drop some dollars to get the stuff that really works. There’s no point in spending $5 on something OK when $30 will get me something AMAZING. Plus, I find that higher-end concealers generally offer superior coverage and come in a wider range of colours. My skin tone is tricky to match, and “close enough” will not do!

So, these days, I mostly need concealer to hide my under-eye circles, hormonal pimples, and marks from hyperpigmentation. But occasionally, I need concealer to hide something more dramatic. Purely hypothetically: let’s say your dog head-butts you in the face and gives you a bruise two hours before you are supposed to film a video for your job.

You guys said you had no idea that I even had a bruise, so strong was my concealer game, and you asked how I layered my concealers, foundations and powders so that nobody could see so much of a trace of my bruise, so I'm going to show you.

This method also works to cover up particularly bad zits, by the way, which is because I invented it when I was sick and had terrible skin.

First, take MAC Studio Finish Concealer and apply it directly over the bruise or blemish on clean skin. Blend roughly--it doesn’t have to be perfect, just worry about making the discolouration look lighter.

Next, apply your foundation like you normally would. The thick concealer will now be UNDER the foundation, making it look more natural AND better blended.

Next, apply MAC Mineralize Concealer overtop in the shade that matches your skin. Blend well.

Now--FOR BRUISES ONLY--layer a concealer that is slightly darker and more orange-tinted than you would usually wear. For me, that is MAC Mineralize in NC25, but whatever works for your skin tone. This cancels out the bluish-purple tones in the bruise. (Again, if you are covering up zits or scars or healing cuts, do not do this. Seriously.)

Once you have blended that, finish up with an application of powder in a colour that matches your skin. Your dog bruise should be totally hidden!

Now you can apply any blushes, bronzers or shimmer powders that you like overtop. A little shine and colour always helps diffuse light and blend everything together.

By now, of course, my bruise is gone for real, but this is how I concealed it the other week when it was fresh. We don’t retouch our photos on xoVain, and this picture was taken, like, two hours after it happened. You cannot see the bruise AT ALL.

The system works!

What are your favourite concealers? Do you have any awesome application tricks? Who else is getting dog-related face injuries lately?