While there are few hard and fast rules in skin care, it’s pretty well a given that if we wake up with dark under-eye circles and blemishes, we’ll manipulate whatever beauty products we have on hand to cover them back up. The grey area is figuring out how to expertly maneuver brushes and our fingers to conceal these imperfections without leaving a trace of evidence on the skin. So we consulted Jodi Urichuk, a Toronto-based celebrity make-up artist with Plutino Group, to unearth her expert cover up tips and tricks.

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How to apply concealer expert tip #1: Start with a fresh, clean base

Before you paint away skin flaws into oblivion, be sure to start with a clean, blank canvas. “For me having clean, exfoliated and properly hydrated skin is the most important thing for a flawless makeup application,” says Urichuk.

To help, recommends adding the Clarisonic Skin Cleaning Device to your skin care routine before makeup application. “It’s gentle, six times better than using your hands alone, and only takes one minute to remove impurities trapped in your pores.” This allows for better absorption of serums, creams, moisturizers and sunscreens (so key!) into the skin.

How to apply concealer expert tip #2: Moisturize, then moisturize some more

We’re all about
lightening up—especially when it comes to makeup application—for summer. “As far as moisturizers go, light weight is key and I like one that has SPF in it,” says Urichuk. “I always use a vitamin C serum—it’s an anti-oxidant that enhances the skin’s own defense mechanism and promotes smoother, firmer skin.” Or you can double up on your summer skin care routine by using a hybrid moisturizer and beauty product formulated with SPF. Urichuk recommends M.A.C. Mineralize Moisture foundation with SPF 15 for an even-looking skin tone. “For people who want to wear foundation, this is stunning,” she says. “A little goes a long way. I like to put a few drops in the centre of the face and blend with a foundation brush.”

For a matte finish,
we’re all about beauty balm creams for summer makeup application. “Most of the time you don’t need concealer with this amazing invention, so they really make life easy,” Urichuk says.

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For more expert skin care tips on how to apply concealer, read on to the next page…

concealer-canvas.jpgHow to apply concealer expert tip #3: Cover up dark circles

Surprisingly, waking up early with the dark circles that betray late nights calls for less of a beauty cover-up, according to Urichuk. True story: concealer is heavy, says Urichuk, and she prefers to use a light-reflecting product instead. She recommends YSL Touché Eclat, which comes in a pen form and is best applied to the inner corner of the eye and blended with your finger, by pressing (never pulling) it gently into the skin. “It’s great for highlighting the cheekbones and down the bridge of the nose, and can also be used throughout the day to freshen up too without being cakey,” she says.

She also cites Benefit Cosmetics’ Erase Paste for it’s ultra-blurring capabilities against stubborn, hereditary circles. “I apply it before foundation or tinted moisturizers with a small firm-bristled brush to the problem area and use my finger to blend.” She suggests applying eyelid and under-eye primers first to ensure concealer stays put throughout the day.

For coverage that leaves skin like new, follow up with a skin corrector: apply with a firm-bristled brush and blend out using a fluffy concealer brush for a gentle, even finish. Then apply foundation and, if necessary, concealer. “ After all three of these steps, Secret Brightening Powder from Laura Mercier is my trick,” she says. “It is a micro-fine powder that reflects light and doesn’t set into fine lines. It is magic!”


How to apply concealer expert tip #4: Give special treatment to spots and blemishes

We’ve all woken up on the morning of big event or date to that freshly reared and bright red blemish that won’t conceal easily. But there’s hope. “Spot treatments are brilliant,” says Urichuk. Take a small firm-bristled brush and apply the lighter colour directly to the area and follow up with the darker shade to even out the spot. “Don’t do a large area,” she says. “Focus on the problem spot and apply a little translucent powder to set and take down any shine.”

For spot treatments, opt for tools that aren’t your finger. “I like a foundation brush for applying foundation, tinted moisturizer, etcera, because you have more control. And with a sponge, I find that it absorbs most of the product before you get it on the face.” For on-the-spot treatment, Urichuk swears by Guinot Fast Mattifying Concealer. “My facialist used to put it on after my extractions and it takes the red away and starts healing it as well!” Insider tip for reducing redness? Dab a cotton swab with witch hazel and then an anti-redness relief formula (think Visine) afterward. “Always apply foundation or beauty balm cream first,” Urichuk warns. “Otherwise you just end up wiping away all your hard work.” Sigh.

Read more:
Sensitive skin: Summer prep

7 great tinted moisturizers
The best sunscreens under $20

Summer beauty: Lighten your foundation load