How to apply concealer: Ultimate Guide

As a self-proclaimed makeup enthusiast, I can assure you there is no right way to apply any form of makeup. So long as you remember you are a goddess and you are beautiful with or without makeup.

That said, there are a few rules you should know before starting your makeup journey. You should know what product should be applied before and after, what equipment blends makeup well, and how to take good care of yourself while still wearing makeup. 

In this article, we will concentrate on concealer application. Concealer is one makeup product that you should always incorporate into your makeup if you want to have a flawless makeup look. Keep reading to find out all the dos and don’ts of applying concealer. 

Table of Contents

How to choose a best concealer?

If you are in the market shopping for a concealer, the best way to best concealer for you is learning your skin first. 

Consult with a dermatologist to find which chemical is present in the makeup product you are allergic to. When shopping for concealers, check if the chemical you are allergic to is present.

Another thing to check is a color correlation. Buy concealers that compliment your skin tone. If you can’t find a concealer in your color, you can buy a concealer one shade lighter and one shade darker and mix them when applying. 

The last thing to check is the quality. In most cases, expensive concealers are of high quality. You can check the most renowned makeup lines to find quality concealer. 

Choosing a perfect concealer is not easy. But we have a ‘Full Guide for How To Choose A Concealer‘.

What is the best way to apply concealer?

As said before, there is no right way to apply concealer. You will find people who apply concealer using beauty blenders, others airbrush their concealer, and others apply the concealer using their hands. 

We will find some of the most common ways of applying concealer and the pros and cons of each method. 

Airbrushing your concealer

You cannot apply any concealer using the airbrush method. There are specific airbrush concealers available in the market. 

If you know about applying airbrush makeup, you can complete the process in five minutes. You can also watch a few YouTube videos to learn how to apply airbrush concealer.

Step 1: Choose the best airbrush concealer

In the airbrush makeup world, you need to know a few things. 

  • You cannot use water-based concealer if you are using silicone-based primer. Water and silicone do not mix. This ends up creating harsh makeup lines. 
  • A little makeup goes a little further. Since a concealer’s main aim is to hide the dark spots that remain after applying foundation, use a small amount of concealer. 
  • Choose the right color of concealer. To ensure you don’t look artificial, pick a concealer that matches your skin color. If you cannot find a concealer that matches your skin, pick a shade darker and a shade lighter and blend well. 
  • Check the ingredient list. Most makeup ingredients changes with time. Before buying a concealer, check if there is any ingredient that reacts with your skin. 

Step 2: Prep your face for makeup application

The most common face prepping involves; cleansing, moisturizing, and toning.

After face prepping, use a primer that matches the concealer and foundation you are using. If you are using a water-based foundation and concealer, use a water-based primer. Avoid using silicone-based foundation as it contains alcohol component that can dry up your skin. 

Step 3: Apply airbrush foundation

You can then follow this step-by-step process to apply the airbrush foundation.

Step 4: Apply airbrush concealer

Put some airbrush concealer on any spots that remain visible after applying the airbrush foundation. Apply a layer of concealer under your eyes. Remember to apply a small amount in a circular motion. This helps create a smooth flowing layer.

Use a beauty blender to fix spots that are still visible. You can then apply setting powder after the concealer.

Pros of airbrush concealer

  • Since you are not touching the makeup products there is less contamination, therefore a lower risk of skin infections. 
  • Most airbrush concealers are dermatologist tested. 
  • Airbrush concealers produced a smooth and natural look. It is hard for the airbrush to miss a spot. 

Cons of airbrush concealer application

  • Airbrush concealers are quite expensive
  • Applying airbrush makeup requires a lot of expertise.

Using beauty blenders and brushes

Makeup tools including a beauty blender and brushers
Makeup tools including a beauty blender and brushers

If you cannot airbrush your concealer, you can apply using beauty blenders and brushes. Most concealers in the market come with their applicator. 

  • Use the applicator to apply concealer under the eyes and on dark spots left after applying foundation. 
  • You can then use a beauty blender to blend the concealer well and remove excess products. Alternatively, you can use a brush designed for concealers. 

Pros of using brushes and beauty blenders

  • A beauty blender will ensure all the concealer is perfectly blender. It also picks excess products to prevent cakey makeup.
  • Brushes and beauty blenders are quite affordable compared to an airbrush

Cons of using beauty blenders and brushes to apply concealer

  • There is a high risk of infection when you use dirty brushes and beauty blenders 
  • This method can create harsh lines. 

If you don’t have either the airbrush, beauty blenders, or brushes, you can blend your hands to blend your concealer. This method however is very risky.

  • There is a high possibility of skin infections.
  • Hands will definitely create harsh lines if force is used. 

Whichever method you choose to apply concealer, ensure you are doing it correctly. 

Real Techniques Makeup Brush Set

  • Four brushes do it all: blush, bronzer, highlighter, concealer and shadows
  • Set Includes: (1) RT 400 brush, (1) RT Miracle Complexion Sponge, (1) RT 300 brush, (1) RT 402 brush, and (1) RT 200 brush

How to apply cream concealer?

Warm your hands and the cream

To ensure the concealer blends in well with your skin you can rub your hands together to create some heat. Heat the cream by swirling it over the pan.

Use your hands to apply

Applying cream concealer with your fingers helps you limit the amount you are using. This is the best method compared to using brushes. 

Apply tiny amount of concealer

Over using the products makes you look artificial.

How to apply concealer and foundation?

When applying foundation and concealer, you can either start with a concealer and then finish up with the foundation. You can also start with a foundation and finish up with a concealer.

However, the most common way of application is starting with the foundation. The process depends on whether you are airbrushing or using the traditional method of application. We will however concentrate on the traditional method. 

Step 1: Prep your face

Ensure you prep your face by first cleaning it with warm water. You can then use a gentle cleanser or an exfoliator. Moisturize the face, and then use a primer. 

Ensure you use a water-based primer to prevent your skin from being damaged. 

Step 2: Apply small amount of foundation

Most people make a huge mistake of applying a lot of foundation at once. This creates a cakey look with the foundation not blending well. 

If you want to achieve the famous no-makeup makeup Instagram look, apply 

a small amount of foundation in layers. Apply the first layer and ensure it is well blended. Add more layers of a small amount of foundation until you achieve a flawless look. 

Step 3: Apply concealer

In most cases, after applying foundation, you will still notice some patches of black spots. This is evident mostly under the eyes. 

If your concealer has an applicator, use it to put concealer in ideal places. 

Dip the beauty blender in water and then use it to blend the concealer perfectly. Do not rub the concealer, rather tap it gently until it is well blended. 

Step 4: Set your face using a setting powder and a setting spray

e.l.f., Halo Glow Setting Powder

  • Smooths, Soft, Smooth
  • Cruelty-free
  • vegan and 100% free from Phthalates, Parabens

If the makeup is not airbrushed, it can come out easily. To ensure the makeup stays flawless for long use a loose setting powder. Blend the powder using a brush and then use a setting spray for finishing. 

You can stay with your makeup for more than 10 hours without coming off. 

Do you apply concealer before or after foundation?

You can apply concealer either before or after the foundation. However, each method of application has different results. 

How to apply concealer before foundation?

We will jump the whole process of prepping your face, and applying a primer direct to the concealer part. 

If you have been applying makeup, you know the places in your face where the dark spots are visible. Use an applicator to apply a small amount of concealer. Take a beauty blender and blend the concealer until you can’t find any more spots. 

You can then go ahead and apply your foundation as usual. 

Applying a concealer before foundation helps minimize the amount of foundation you use. Unfortunately, you cannot use a concealer only. You must finish up with a foundation. 

Applying foundation before concealer

I don’t know if it’s everyone, but this is my favorite method of makeup application. This is because my foundation offers full coverage. I end up using a concealer only under the eyes. 

The method of application does not differ from the one above. However, you will only apply concealer where the foundation does not offer full coverage. 

Which is the best method of application?

I will always choose to apply foundation before concealer. This is because my foundations offer enough coverage even without a concealer. I end up feeling light compared to when I use both foundation and concealer. 

Most of the time concealer is way thicker and sticky than foundation. If you apply concealer before a foundation, you might feel uncomfortable. Therefore, using a foundation before a concealer outweighs the latter. 

How to apply concealer under eyes?

If you want to have a clean smooth makeup look, then it is better if you bought a concealer specifically made for under the eyes. The concealer which is also known as the color corrector ensures you don’t have a cakey look. 

The under-the-eye concealer does not offer full coverage, rather it strives to hide discoloration, wrinkles, and harsh lines under the eyes. 

There are a few tips you can follow when applying this type of concealer. 

Step 1: Get the right color of concealer

 Since most of the under-eyes patches are dark and purplish, you should get a concealer one shade lighter than your skin tone or your foundation. The most effective color is pink or yellowish concealer no matter what color your skin is.

Step 2: Prep your face for application

 To ensure uniformity and to protect your skin against any chemicals in the concealer, moisturize and use a primer before applying your under-eye concealer. 

Step 3: Use the right tools for application

For you to blend the concealer perfectly and the concealer to get to every part of your under eyes, use brushes and blenders specifically made for under the eyes. Some concealers come with their applicators. Therefore, you won’t have a hard time reaching every part of your eyes.

Step 4: Apply concealer on the corner of the eyes

Most people forget to app concealer at the corners of the eyes. Applying the concealer here gives you a wide range of spreading directions. You can spread the concealer down or sideways ensuring it gets to every part. 

Step 5: Don’t forget to set the concealer

After you are satisfied with how your makeup looks, you should always use a setting powder to finish up. 

One thing to remember is always to check the ingredient list. Some concealers may have chemical components you are allergic to.

How to apply concealer under eyes without foundation?

If you decide to apply concealer without foundation, you will still need to prep your face, and use a primer. Since we recommend using a concealer lighter than your skin tone, you might end up looking artificial. To avoid this follow the steps below.

  • Prep your face
  • Apply concealer only on places with dark spots 
  • Use a tiny amount of concealer
  • Blend using a wet beauty blender
  • To ensure you don’t get patches without make-up, touch all parts of your face with the beauty blender
  • Use a setting powder same color as your skin tone 

After using a setting powder the same color as your skin tone, you will have a perfect makeup look. 

How do you use concealer for dark circles?

When it comes to hiding dark circles, concealer is the real deal breaker. If you look at most red carpet events, you would think all the celebrity faces are purchased at a premium price. But the truth of the matter is that makeup artists have learned the game of using concealers. 

I will also give you these tricks from one of the celebrity makeup artists. 

Step 1: Choose your colors well

Using concealers that don’t matter your face makes you look too ashy or too exaggerated. For you to look outstanding use warm colors that reflect your glow under the eye. For the rest of your face, make sure your concealer matches your skin tone. 

Step 2: Moisturize your face

No matter what type of concealer you are using, moisturizing your face is a must.

Step 3: Start from the inner corners and spread the concealer outwards

This ensures the makeup is perfectly applied and there are no harsh lines.

Step 4: Use tiny amount of concealer

Using too much product does not conceal the dark spots, you will be exposing them too much. A tiny amount of product goes too far.

Step 5: Use a setting powder

Setting powder ensures that the concealer sits on your face for too long. Therefore you don’t have to worry about your concealer 

Makeup artists advise people with these dark circles to use a creamy concealer. This is because you can create several well-blended layers till you conceal the dark circles

How to apply concealer with a brush?

The most common method of concealer application is using brushes. There are specific brushes that can blend the concealer to give you the no-make makeup effect. Some of these brushes include;

These are just some of the best brushes on the market. You can find other concealer brushes in your local beauty store or online. 

Although using brushes to apply is the most common method, it is associated with some negatives and positives. 


  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
  • Saves you a lot of time
  • Concealer brushes are readily available


  • High risk of infection
  • Can apply too much product
  • Blending with brushes creates harsh lines

Remember you cannot use any brush for concealer.

How apply concealer with fingers?

There are times you will find all your makeup brushes are dirty. This does not mean you go on that dinner date with dark circles showing. You can improvise and use your hands as a blender. I know that’s right! Fingers can be used to conceal the dark circles under your eyes or the dark patches on your cheeks. 

We have spoken about prepping your face enough in this guide. Even when you are using your fingers to apply concealer, you don’t skip any process. There are however some things you should do to ensure you get your makeup look right. 

  • Clean your hands with soap and warm water: Our hands are the dirtiest part of our body. You get to touch anything even unawares. Cleaning ensures you don’t infect your face with those germs. 
  • Apply the concealer gently: Most people make mistakes of applying too much concealer and then trying to spread it throughout the body roughly. A small amount goes too far. And using too much force will create harsh lines which are not very cute. 

Pat your face gently until all the product is blended. You can use a paper towel to get rid of excess product. 

How to apply concealer for beginners?

If you have read this guide up to here, am sure you have picked a lot about concealer application. However, I will still give you the top tips for applying concealer as a beginner. 

Tip 1: Always prep your face

Do I have to talk about this? If you don’t scrub, moisturize or tone your face, then you have been doing your skin dirty. Remember also to use a water-based primer before starting your makeup. 

Tip 2: Use a setting powder before starting your makeup

If you want to achieve a no-makeup makeup look, then a setting powder is one of the most underrated makeup powders. 

A setting powder will conceal most dark spots and ensure your makeup does not melt away. 

Tip 3: Apply foundation first

Applying foundation will reduce the work you do and try to conceal dark circles. You will also use fewer products than when you start with a concealer.

Tip 4: Use tiny amount of product.

Overusing a product will only create harsh lines and make you look artificial. 

Tip 5: Use the appropriate brushes

We have discussed some of the best concealer brushes above in section 4. 

Always finish with a setting or a finishing powder. 

Do I need to apply anything before concealer?

Before applying a concealer there are some gospel steps which if you miss them, you will be dealing with a whole set of new problems. They include;


Keeping your face hydrated all the time even when not applying makeup makes your face happier. Before applying concealer you should cleanse your face then apply a gentle concealer. 

Applying concealer without moisturizing your face might cause some breakouts. 


If you want to have a natural glow and look naturally young, then ensure you use a serum with vitamin E. There is no known effect of not using a serum before applying makeup. So you can skip this step.


The type of primer you use is determined by your skin type and the type of makeup you are using. 

  • Avoid silicone-based primers as they contain alcohol which dries up your skin. 
  • Water-based primer is the best for both dry and oily skin. 

A primer acts as a protective layer between your skin and the makeup. Applying concealer without a primer might cause breakouts and possible allergic reactions. 

How do you apply concealer step by step?

We have discussed the process of applying concealer in detail in this guide. Read it through to catch all the important stuff. I will however give you a step-by-step summary of concealer application.

Step 1: Prep your face, use a moisturizer and face creams

Step 2: Apply a suitable primer

Step 3: Apply a setting powder for a flawless makeup look

Step 4: Apply tiny amount of foundation

Step 5: Blend your foundation with a wet beauty blender or foundation brush

Step 6: Use your fingers or a concealer brush to apply concealer.

For under the eyes, use the tiny angled brush. Apply from the inner corners and go outwards. Use a large concealer brush for other parts of the face. 

Step 7: Blend in your concealer using damp beauty blenders or your fingers and finish up with a finishing powder. 

How to blend concealer?

After concealer application, you cannot leave the concealer like that for long. It will dry up and give you some flakes. To prevent that you should start blending your concealer immediately with a ;

  • Beauty blender
  • Concealer brushes or by use of fingers.

In the sections below we will discuss how to blend your concealer using each of the methods listed above. 

How to blend concealer with brush?

In section 4 above, we have listed some of the best concealer brushes in the market. These brushes are angled in a way they do not leave any excess products on your face. Below is a step-by-step summary of how to blend concealer with a brush. 

  • To create a smooth flow of the concealer, rub the brush on the concealer to provide some heat. This depends on the type of concealer you are using. 
  • Start spreading the concealer outwards from the focal point. 
  • Part the concealer gently until all the product is fully blended. 


  • Brushes are affordable and easily accessible
  • There is less chance of infections if you clean your brushes
  • Creates a smooth transition
  • Brushes pick excess products


  • Dirty brushes can cause stubborn breakouts
  • Can cause harsh lines. 

How to blend concealer with a beauty blender?

Beauty Blenders
Beauty Blenders

Beauty blenders are angled in a way you cannot move the products to places you don’t want on your face. 

  • From the tip of the beauty blender, move concealer to the sides. 
  • Dampen the beauty blender and start parting the concealer. 
  • The beauty blender will pick the excess product and blend in the rest of the product perfectly. 


  • Easy to use
  • Can pick excess products
  • Creates a perfectly smooth makeup look.
  • Affordable


  • Dirty beauty blender can cause breakouts

How to blend concealer with fingers?

Using fingers to blend in your concealer is the most traditional way of applying concealer.

  • From the focal point, start spreading the concealer. This ensures excess concealer does not sit on one place of the face
  • Start tapping your face gently until all the concealer is blended.


  • Easy method of blending
  • Very cheap


  • Possible contamination
  • Takes a lot of time to blend.
  • Creates harsh lines if done wrong.

What is the best way to blend concealer?

Among the three methods of concealer blending, my favorite method which I have come to appreciate big time is the use of beauty blenders. 

Beauty blenders are very effective in a way, they pick excess products. Also, the fact that you can dampen them makes it easy to retain your concealer for a long time. 


If you are just joining the makeup world, a concealer is one of the products that can up your game big time. 

A concealer will hide all the dark spots on your face giving you that natural-looking glam. A good thing is that if you do it right, you can use just a tiny amount of product and look snatched all day long. 

To achieve perfection, find good concealer brushes or a beauty blender. These tools ensure you blend your concealer to perfection. However, they both have their negative and positive effects. 

Read the guide above to find very important tips for concealer application. 

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