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, if you get the wrong shade, it can quickly take your look from beautiful to bad, and not in a good way. That’s why understanding basic concealer rules, such as whether should concealer 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.
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Why You Shouldn’t Go Lighter Than 1-2 Shades
If you pick an under-eye concealer that is 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, you want the glow to be soft and help brighten your eyes when applying your concealer.
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 key areas, such as under the eyes. However, applying concealer all over your face doesn’t look as good. If you’re going for an ominous glow on your face, consider strobe cream instead.
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 standard face 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, it can be more challenging to match your concealer with your skin tone and foundation shade 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 that buys the wrong shade. They also have shade match technology to help you make sure that you get a more accurate shade the next time around.
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 make sure you 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 ($7)
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
IT Cosmetics CC Cream With SPF 50 Travel Size ($17)
It Cosmetics CC Cream isn’t a concealer, but you can use it as one! IT truly outshines other products when it comes to 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 ($11)
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!
Matching concealer can be tricky. If you’re still wondering is concealer supposed to be lighter or darker, consider looking at your foundation. To learn more about face makeup, check out this article!
Concealer 101: A Complete Concealer Guide For Beginners
Tarte Creaseless Concealer Review