Should You Put Concealer Before or After Foundation?

Should you put concealer before or after foundation?

First foundation then concealer because if you usually use foundation or BB-cream, apply it before applying concealer. If you do it in reverse order, your foundation or BB cream will just smear the concealer.

As most people know, the market is absolutely packed with various products for the skin. Bronzer, powder, primer, BB-cream, and CC-cream are some of these products.

These are often mixed with both foundation and concealer, but are not the same thing.

Although they are used to tone and even out the skin, they fulfill various functions. The more control you can have over this, the better the result will be on your final makeup.

Different products have different purposes for the skin in that some have to even out, others cover or hide. You use a foundation as a base on the face and the purpose is to even out the skin and hide irregularities.

Concealer has partly the same function, but is also used to hide dark circles under the eyes, pimples, and skin redness. A concealer is not used all over the face but only at the points where it is needed.

You also need to be very careful about what shade you have on your concealer and foundation.

A foundation should have your skin tone to look natural and smoothing, then you can play with color shades and get, for example, a sun-kissed skin with bronzers and blush.

A concealer in the yellow direction covers purple areas such as dark circles under the eyes. A more pink concealer is good to use on redder skin changes such as pimples.

There are also concealers that go in a green tone that is extra good at hiding really red areas in the skin such as redness and superficial blood vessels.

Use the products in the correct order

If you use both foundation and concealer in your daily makeup, apply foundation first and then concealer. If you need to fix dark circles under the eyes, apply your concealer as a triangle directly under the eye and then dab the concealer so that it blends with your foundation and your skin tone.

Sometimes you may not even need to use a concealer but can have your everyday makeup ready by using only a foundation and a powder or a bronzer on it. Sometimes a foundation is enough and absolutely nothing else.

If you have oily skin that easily becomes shiny during the day and you think it loses its effect quickly, you can use a primer. In that case, it is the only product you should have under your foundation.

Two in one products

Some brands also have so-called two-in-one products. It is used just like a foundation, but also has the function of being more opaque and is therefore better at hiding dark circles and pimples than a regular foundation does.

Concealer and foundation in solid or liquid form

Both products can be found as creams. A trick that some people use to get a cream of concealer or foundation in powder form is to mix the powder into a face cream.

You then get a lighter foundation or concealer that blends into the skin and works extra well as day makeup or when you want to give an unmade-up impression.

Foundations are also available on cake as a regular powder and also as a mousse.

Concealer can also be found in pin form. If you use concealer in liquid form, it usually belongs to a small brush that you can apply to the concealer with.

A foundation is usually applied with a make-up brush or with a beauty blender if you prefer.

Choosing their foundation

When choosing a tone for your foundation, start with your own skin tone and choose one that is as close to your own skin tone as possible. A foundation should therefore absolutely not make the skin darker. It should blend in perfectly with your own skin tone.

Sometimes it takes a while before you find your own tone. In order for you to be able to buy foundation online today, some cosmetic brands have small sample jars that you can buy at home cheaply to try out what shade you should have.

But in the summer you may be more tanned and then it is good to keep in mind that you also need a slightly darker foundation then. You should also give some thought to thinking about what kind of foundation you want.

There are many different varieties and not least those that cover extremely much and those that give a more natural skin tone that first and foremost evens out.

There are foundations that are completely matte or have a slight luster. It is good to read a little about what foundations your favorite brands have so that you know in advance what you are looking for.

Foundations in mineral form

Mineral makeup is perfect to have as a foundation as the minerals have caring properties and balance your skin. If it is the right type of minerals that are high quality, that is.

Here, too, there is a lot to read online and there are a plethora of good guides on the web about mineral makeup. A mineral foundation is also especially good if you have sensitive skin.

As I said, you have to start from what skin type you have when you choose foundation. If you have dry skin, there are plenty of brands that have moisturizing foundations.

If you have oily skin, you should not have an oil-based foundation.

To apply foundation

Before applying your foundation, you should have cleaned and moisturized your face as it gives a better result.

If you need a primer for the result to last longer, apply it first. Then put foundation in the middle of the face and work your way out to the sides.

You can apply foundation over parts of the face or just where needed. Use a good brush or a beauty blender and if you need a larger amount of foundation, apply in layers to get a nicer and more professional result without streaks and transitions.

Finish by gently pressing a piece of soft paper against your face to remove excess. Then it’s time to apply on concealer, blush, and bronzer if you need it. Finally, you can finish with a powder or a setting spray.

Choosing the right concealer

If you have dry skin, it may be a good idea to choose a liquid concealer, but for oily skin, a firmer version is better.

Otherwise, the same applies as when choosing foundation; to choose a skin tone that is as close to your own as possible.

If you have more challenging areas such as visible blood vessels and redness, choose a concealer in the green direction. This also works very well if you have dark circles under the eyes.

To apply concealer

As with concealer, the skin should be cleansed before applying the product. Apply layer upon layer to make the product blend in as well as possible and to make it look as natural as possible.

Remember to use a beauty blender or dab with your finger. Never smear the product with your fingertip as it gives an uneven result and if you apply it on pimples, you can push an unnecessary amount of bacteria into the skin.

Products reminiscent of foundation and concealer

On the market today, there are different types of products that give similar results and work in a similar way. Note, however, that each product has its own area of ​​use and some of them work to give the skin a matte finish while others work to make the skin sun-kissed or give a glow.

Bronzer and blush can act as a product to enhance facial features. Powder, for example, should not be mixed with foundation because it is a product that does not cover, but which makes other makeup hold better and sit in place.

If you want to run a completely natural look, but just get rid of a little shine on the face, a light application of powder can be really excellent. If you have dry skin, however, powder is usually not preferable because powder is often dehydrating for the skin.

Today, something has come out on the market called BB-cream and it stands for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm. You could say that it is a kind of day cream with a hue in it. It thus has more moisturizing and caring properties than a regular foundation has.

If you already have a favorite foundation in powder form, including a day cream, you can easily fix BB-cream yourself by mixing a little powder foundation in your face cream and then apply on the face.

Concealer and foundation – obvious products in the basic equipment!

Now you know the exact difference between concealer and foundation and what to think about to get your makeup as complete and good as possible.

What you are looking for depends on what your needs are, but you can be sure that you will find a foundation that suits you and the same applies to a concealer.

A good start to start from is your favorite brand of skin care products when you start looking for a good foundation and concealer. Often, these brands that you already like can give you good products of this kind as well.

If these brands do not cover your needs, just roll up your sleeves and start reading reviews and reviews online.


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K Brinegar. (2014). The correlation between makeup usage and self-esteem

N Bhatia. (2020). A split-face, controlled study to assess the compatibility of tretinoin 0.05% acne lotion with facial foundation makeup

L Caisey. (2006). Skin color and makeup strategies of women from different ethnic groups

D Mee. (2012). Medical makeup for concealing facial scars

M Kajita. (2021). Basic Research on How to Apply Foundation Makeup Evenly on Your Own Face


This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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