Should Concealer Be Lighter Than Foundation?

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Smooth and blemish-free complexion. That’s what we’re all after. However, if you don’t naturally have that complexion, makeup can get you there. 

Concealer is a powerful and underrated makeup product that can help hide all sorts of blemishes and dark spots. When selecting a concealer it is important to find the right shade for it to be effective. 

Many wonder: should concealer be lighter than foundation? The answer is: not necessarily.

Most recommend a concealer with a lighter shade than your foundation for a brightening effect. This is useful for the under-eye area, but necessarily all over your face.

The truth is, you might need not just a single concealer but multiple concealers depending on what you are trying to cover. 

The goal in using concealers is to mask any discoloration so you can achieve an even skin tone. You may use concealers that are in a similar shade as your foundation or a darker shade, depending on use.

We’ll break it all down below.


Should Concealer Be Lighter Than Foundation?

Concealer Palette

Ask around about what the perfect shade of concealer should be and you’d mostly get an answer saying it should be lighter than your foundation. 

How much lighter should concealer be?

Whether it is a shade or two lighter, most people will agree that concealers should be lighter than your foundation.

The reason for that is that most people buy concealers to use under the eyes. 

Concealers are popular for hiding those dark undereye circles.

Although you want to hide that dark area, you could go a step further by brightening the area with a concealer that’s a shade or two lighter than your foundation. 

However, concealers aren’t limited to the under-eye area only. They could be used in other areas for other reasons.

For that, you might want a different shade of concealer.

Uses Of Concealer

NYX Concealer

Aside from hiding the dark under eyes, there are other uses of concealers as well. We told you it’s an underrated product because people mostly think it is just used under the eyes!

Here’s a list of what you can do with your concealer:

Say Goodbye To Dark Circles

Let’s start with the most common use of concealer and that is to hide the dark circles under the eyes.

Concealers don’t just hide this, they can be used to brighten the area as well. 

Brightening the area under the eyes gives an illusion of radiance. You appear to be more awake and radiant.

Level up that radiance by adding a shimmery eye shadow in the inner corner of the eyes to make it look more awake.

See also: Eye Primer Before Or After Concealer?

Hide Blemishes

Although you’ve treated your active acne, it could still leave marks around your face. Usually, they could be darker than your natural skin tone due to the presence of higher melanin on the acne scars.

Sometimes, there could be dark spots and generally uneven skin tone. The dark spots and acne can be hidden with the use of a concealer.

Typically you would use the concealer after your foundation, but it depends on the types of materials you’re using.

Eyeshadow Base

Although concealers are different from eyeshadow primers, some people use them as an eyeshadow base. It can work if your eyelid is darker and you just want to even out the color. 

By making the eyelids brighter, it could better show the eyeshadow color. Some also say that it helps keep the eyeshadows for longer.

Eyeshadow primers could be better at that because they are specifically designed for it.

However, concealers will do if you don’t have eyeshadow primer on hand.

Contour Cream Or Highlight

Concealers can help contour the face. When you want to add depth or shadow over the area to make it appear smaller, you should use a darker concealer than your foundation. 

Those can help you achieve a chiseled cheekbone appearance. It can be used to contour around the nose too. The jawline can also be made more prominent with a concealer used as a contour.

Similarly, it can be used as a highlighter. Give more emphasis on the tops of your cheekbones or the peak of your nose by adding a lighter shade of concealer in them.

Eyebrow Definer

If you haven’t plucked your eyebrows, you can make them look more defined by using a concealer.

Add this to get that clean and sharp curve shape that you are aiming for. 

When applying the concealer here, you blend downwards so that the concealer isn’t too obvious but gives a defined eyebrow. 

Choosing The Right Concealer

Color Correcting Concealer

Concealers can be used in a variety of ways. There are many different types and shades available in the market. So how do you select the best one to use?

Goal: Brighten Under Eyes

First, you have to define the purpose of your concealer. If your goal is to brighten the dark under eyes, then get the ones that are a shade or two lighter than your skin tone. 

A lighter concealer will work well with defining the eyebrows too. The lighter shade gives that contrast that defines the eyebrows. 

Goal: Highlighter

As a highlighter, you’d be using a lighter shade of concealer as compared to your foundation too.

Goal: Contour

If you are going to use it to contour the face, then the darker ones should be selected. This gives an illusion of a shadow to shape the face and give depth to it. 

Apart from the shade of the concealer, the undertone is also important to note. The undertones will help cancel out the color of the blemishes you are trying to hide. 

Goal: Color Correction

Have you ever seen green, blue, or purple concealers? Such concealers exist. They may look weird but there is a reason for them. 

Those concealers are called color correcting concealers . To use them, you have to take a look at the blemish you are trying to cover.

Does the skin or the blemish look red like those of rosacea or acne? A green concealer is useful for that. 

Orange concealers work great for darker areas like the under eyes as it cancels the bluish darkness it has. Those with fairer skin may do better with pink concealers under the eyes. 

Yellow concealer can be used for blemishes that look like bruises or those with a purple tone. The purple concealer on the other hand can correct dull or yellowish complexion. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).