This season, concealer stepped up as the power player in makeup artists’ bags. Backstage at Giambattista Valli and YSL, makeup artists created minimalist, androgynous looks and the right concealer helped them put the finishing touches on the perfect canvas. And there’s no way you can have a flawless finish without
touching up with a bit of concealer. We asked Lucky Bromhead, Makeup Artist at MTV for her beauty tips on how to get concealer right.
“In my experience, you need to have two concealer shades at your disposal,” says Bromhead. “Concealer often needs to tackle a few different problem areas including dark (purple-toned) circles under the eyes and other imperfections like blemishes — and it’s rare that the same colour will work in both places.”
The best way to get a good colour match for
under-eye concealer is to choose one with a peachy undertone (no matter how light or dark your skin is).
“A peach undertone will help brighten and wake up the eye area,” says Bromhead. “Stay away from yellow or olive tones (even if you have olive skin) under the eyes as they tend to make the skin look dull.” Bromhead also advises using an under-eye concealer that is only slightly lighter than your overall colouring. “You don’t want a white raccoon-like mask around your eyes.”
For the face
Bromhead’s advice is to test colours along the jaw line: “To choose a concealer to cover blemishes or other imperfections on the rest of the face, swatch tones along the jaw and look carefully, preferably in natural daylight, for a perfect match. You know you have the right shade if it disappears completely when you blend it.” When in doubt, ask an expert at the department store for help. “The concealer should not be darker, lighter, look ashy or too pink — it should blend seamlessly into the skin,” Bromhead says.
Get Bromhead’s best concealer picks on the next page …
“There are so many fantastic concealer options out there. Textures vary from opaque to sheer, so choose according to how much coverage you think you will need,” Bromhead says. Here are her top four concealer picks:
Her staple: “I love MAC ProLongwear Concealer as it has a skin-like texture and stays put for hours and hours.”
Two colours in one: As she mentions above, most people need more than one shade. For one product that offers two colours, Bromhead suggests Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage. “It comes in a compact with two shades that blend easily and it has a lovely, velvet-like texture.”
Opaque: For more heavy duty coverage, Bromhead recommends CoverFx: “Cover FX’s The Big Cover Up is a versatile set that tackles most problems.”
Sheer: “I’m a big fan of Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat for under the eyes. It can be used alone or in combination with a more opaque concealer for more coverage as it’s quite sheer.”
Tips for application
“My rule is that if you choose to wear foundation or tinted moisturizer, the concealer should be applied after the foundation,” says Bromhead. “Often the foundation will cover more than you expected.” When you’re finished with your first step towards flawless skin, add concealer afterwards to those particular places that need a little more help such as under the eyes, around the nostrils and on any breakouts that might have popped up.
“Tools are also an important part of applying concealer,” says Bromhead. “Concealer was designed to adhere to skin, so using your fingertips will often result in having more concealer stick to your finger than to your face.” Bromhead’s go-to tool of choice is a small concealer brush: “You can’t beat the precision that a good brush will give you.” With the concealer on the brush, avoid brush strokes and opt for a “stippling” motion by lightly pressing the product onto the skin to give you the most natural coverage.
If you’re looking for an even complexion but need a little help, make sure to do some research and find a great concealer that suits your needs. If you don’t have a concealer brush in your kit, definitely pick one up to ensure that your base has the most natural looking finish possible. Remember to apply concealer after your tinted moisturizer or foundation and if you’re looking for long-wearing makeup, finish with a light dusting of pressed or loose power after you’ve applied blush to the apples of your cheeks.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.