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Should You Apply Concealer or Foundation First?

Face Makeup

Should You Apply Concealer or Foundation First? Should You Apply Concealer or Foundation First? Should You Apply Concealer or Foundation First?

Have you been asking yourself if you should apply concealer or foundation first? You’re not alone. These face makeup products are often used in alternating orders and depending on who you ask, you may find different answers to the foundation vs. concealer debate. But, there is, in fact, a correct way to apply foundation and concealer, and doing so in the incorrect order is a common mistake that can actually take a toll on your overall beauty look. If you want to learn what goes first: concealer or foundation, so you can nail the proper makeup routine order for your face makeup, keep reading.

CONCEALER VS. FOUNDATION: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Before we get into your face makeup application order, let’s talk a bit about the difference between concealer and foundation. Foundation is meant to do just what its name suggests—create an even foundation for the rest of your makeup. By this, we mean an even skin tone and all-over coverage. On the other hand, the use of concealer can also be found in its name—it’s a product intended to conceal. Concealer can be used to hide blemishes and dark spots and provide targeted coverage to areas that may need a little more attention than the rest of your face.

SHOULD YOU APPLY CONCEALER OR FOUNDATION FIRST?

So, do you use concealer before or after foundation? The proper way to apply the two products is to first smooth on a foundation and then apply concealer. Foundation will create that even canvas we talked about earlier, and then concealer can be used to spot correct any outstanding areas that need extra coverage. Not to mention, you can also use concealer to help disguise under-eye bags by applying a lighter shade in upside-down triangles under your eyes—after foundation, of course.

There is one exception to the foundations and concealer rule: color-correcting concealer. This type of concealer should be applied prior to both face makeup products—but after primer—to help neutralize any areas of discoloration.

The reason you apply foundation and concealer in this order is that it allows you to use less product. When you’ve applied foundation first, you only need small dabs of concealer on the spots that require more coverage. Following this order can also be helpful as if you were to apply concealer first, blending your foundation on top may wipe the concealer away. 

YOUR STEP-BY-STEP CONCEALER AND FOUNDATION TUTORIAL

Now that you know whether concealer or foundation goes first, put your knowledge to use with this step-by-step tutorial.

STEP #1. PRIME YOUR FACE

Before reaching for your concealer and foundation, first, turn to a makeup primer. This will create an even canvas for your face makeup and help increase its lifespan. Smooth the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Lock Makeup Primer over your face.

STEP #2. COLOR-CORRECT

Next, reach for a color-correcting concealer, like the L’Oréal Paris True Match Color Correcting Crayon, and apply accordingly. Use the peach, bisque, or orange to disguise dark circles, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation, based on your skin tone. Apply the green shade to neutralize redness caused by blemishes and blotchiness. Use the yellow to hide blue and purple areas like broken capillaries and age spots.

STEP #3. PERFECT YOUR COMPLEXION

Bring out the foundation! Using a makeup sponge, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender, buff and blend your foundation of choice over your skin to perfect your complexion. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight since it has a buildable, lightweight formula that can let you choose between medium and full coverage, depending on the occasion.

Working with a lightweight formula will also help prevent your makeup from looking cakey.

STEP #4. CONCEAL AS NEEDED

Last but not least, grab a concealer in a shade that closely matches your foundation. Remember: The goal of this is to conceal any outstanding imperfections.

Dot the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, Full Coverage where needed. To brighten your under-eye area, use a color that’s one to two shades lighter than your skin tone and apply it in upside-down triangle shapes under your eyes. Blend the concealer out with your makeup sponge for a seamless complexion.

Next up: Concealer can do more than cover blemishes and brighten your eyes! Check out our article, Try this Easy Contour Tutorial with Concealer, for a new way to put your concealer to use.