Is Concealer Supposed To Be Lighter Or Darker?


Concealer is a must-have makeup product for millions, and there’s a good reason. The perfect shade can easily hide blemishes and imperfections to help you achieve a flawless look. However, getting the wrong shade can quickly take your look from beautiful to bad, and not in a good way. That’s why understanding basic concealer rules, like is concealer supposed to be lighter or darker, before shopping for concealer.

Is concealer supposed to be lighter or darker? Standard under-eye concealer should be 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation. If you’re using an all-over concealer, it should be the same shade as your foundation. To cover pimples and other dark spots, consider using a product that is 1-2 shades darker than the foundation. 

I participate in affiliate programs, including Amazon Affiliates, and may earn a small commission if products are purchased through links on the site.

Why You Shouldn’t Go Lighter Than 1-2 Shades

If you pick an under-eye concealer significantly lighter than your foundation, it creates an ominous glow wherever it is applied. While this might sound great, it’s too much of a glow. Instead, when applying your concealer, you want the glow to be soft and help brighten your eyes

All Over Concealer

An all-over concealer should always match your foundation. A slight shade difference is noticeable, even with blending. This works out well for critical areas, such as under the eyes. However, applying concealer all over your face doesn’t look as good. Consider strobe cream instead if you’re going for an ominous glow on your face

Is Concealer Supposed To Be Lighter Or Darker To Cover Pimples?

Covering pimples and dark spots might require a different approach. You need something darker if your age spots show through your makeup. 

When using concealer for pimples, this is especially important. In the makeup world, darker colors give the illusion of pushing something back. Lighter colors give the illusion of bringing something forward. Our eyes tend to be drawn to the spots on the face with lighter hues. This is why you should never use a lighter concealer to cover a pimple. Instead, help make your face more even by using a concealer two shades darker than your foundation. If this is too dark, opt for a one-shade darker product. 

What If You Buy The Wrong Shade?

Shopping online definitely has its perks but also has a few downsides. For one, matching your concealer with your skin tone and foundation shade can be more challenging when shopping online. It can easily lead to you winding up with a concealer or two in the wrong shade. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with wasting money, though. 

First, see if you can exchange it. Most websites have a friendly return policy for anyone who buys the wrong shade. They also have shade match technology to help you ensure you get a more accurate shade the next time. 

If you don’t have time to return the product or don’t want to pay the shipping and handling to send it back, you can still use your concealer, even if it’s in the wrong shade. 

Concealers that are too light can be used as an eyeshadow primer. Apply it as you would any other eye primer, and give it time to dry. These can also be used as a highlighter or for the lighter shade you need to contour. 

Concealers that are a few shades too dark can also come in handy. These might work as an eye primer, depending on your skin tone. Using them for a one-color eyeshadow is another great idea! Dark shades are great for concealing bumps you don’t want to be seen, such as pimples. Last, you can use them as the darker shade you need for contouring. 

Our Favorite Concealing Products

Concealing products aren’t always concealers. For example, a good CC cream can work wonders and double as a concealer. If you’re searching for the perfect product to cover imperfections, these are some of the best!

E.l.f. 16-Hour Camo Concealer

elf concealer, is concealer supposed to be lighter or darker

This 16-hour concealer offers extended wear and comes in over 20 shades. The virtual try-on feature and shade match technology help you find the perfect shade for your skin tone and undertones. Other reasons everyone loves this viral concealer include: 

  • Full coverage
  • Matte finish
  • Doesn’t crease
  • Won’t settle into fine lines
  • Specially formulated to control excess sebum production
  • Moisturizing ingredients keep the skin hydrated

Check it out here!

IT Cosmetics CC Cream With SPF 50 Travel Size

IT Cosmetics CC cream

It Cosmetics CC Cream isn’t a concealer, but you can use it as one! IT truly outshines other products when hiding the bags under your eyes. There’s nothing wrong with using a light layer on your face to correct and conceal imperfections while protecting your skin from harsh UV rays. Other reasons you’ll love it include: 

  • Anti-aging formula
  • Moisturizing properties
  • Available in various shades for every skin tone
  • Designed to be used as an all-in-one foundation
  • Visibly brightens the skin

Check it this Allure Beauty Award winner here!

Maybelline Instant Age-Rewind Multi-Use Concealer

Maybelline Concealer

When it comes to whether concealer needs to be lighter or darker, Maybelline has you covered with 18 shades to make sure that you can find the perfect one to meet your needs. This concealer is packed with anti-aging ingredients to help prevent premature aging. It works as a concealer, foundation, and contour stick. Other things you’ll love include: 

  • It’s comparable to other high-end brands
  • Affordable price
  • The plush pillow applicator feels excellent on the skin
  • Covers dark circles
  • Decreases redness
  • Doesn’t settle into fine lines

Check out this multi-use concealer here!

Final Thoughts

Matching concealer can be tricky. Consider looking at your foundation if you’re still wondering whether concealer should be lighter or darker. To learn more about face makeup, check out this article! 

Related Articles

Concealer 101: A Complete Concealer Guide For Beginners

Tarte Creaseless Concealer Review

Using Concealer As Foundation

Benefits Of Makeup

Leave a Reply

The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message and will not be held responsible for the content of any message. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice. Information on this blog is for informational/entertainment use only. Please be advised that I do participate in affiliate programs, and may earn a commission if you purchase products by clicking on links on this website.