Most of us can’t live without our foundation and concealer, and can you blame us? These essential makeup products help us look fresh-faced each and every morning. When you have dark spots you’d rather not have the entire world see, you have your handy foundation and concealer to thank for hiding them. But applying foundation and concealer for a flawless finish is easier said than done. Here, we’re breaking down some of the most common foundation and concealer mistakes that you may not have even realized you’ve been making. To really get the most out of your makeup, you’ll want to take note of these 12 all-too-common face makeup mistakes. The good news is, they’re all easy to fix! Read on to learn how you can put an end to these foundation and concealer faux-pas.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #1: YOU DON’T KNOW WHETHER TO APPLY CONCEALER OR FOUNDATION FIRST
Wondering whether you should apply concealer or foundation first? This face makeup mistake is probably one of the most common beauty errors. Foundation should be applied first, followed by concealer. Think of it in terms of what the products actually do: Foundation is supposed to give you an even base and to “lay the foundation” for a flawless complexion, so to speak. Concealer is then supposed to cover up any imperfections that are still visible.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #2: YOU DON’T PREP YOUR SKIN
You can’t expect your foundation and concealer to go on perfectly without the proper prep. We’re talking about your skin care routine—while it's technically not a concealer or foundation mistake, taking care of your skin can go a long way in making your face makeup look better and last longer. In addition to your regular twice-daily cleansing (morning and night), never forget to apply facial moisturizer onto clean, damp skin right afterward. Also, don’t forget to exfoliate with a face scrub once or twice a week to slough away dull, dead skin cells that may have built up on your skin’s surface. Clean, moisturized skin is healthy skin, and your foundation and concealer will wear better when your skin is healthy.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #3: YOU DON’T PRIME YOUR SKIN
Priming is different than prepping, people! After you’ve moisturized, you’d be wise to also apply a makeup primer before putting on your foundation. If you’ve ever noticed that your foundation looks cakey, it could be because you’re not priming your skin. Primer can help to create an even, smooth canvas for the rest of your makeup. You can also choose a makeup primer that will help your individual skin concerns. If your skin tends to look dull or dry, use a glow-boosting primer, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Lock Makeup Primer. Does your skin get really oily as the day goes on? Use a mattifying makeup primer, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Lock Makeup Primer. Trust us, you will notice a difference in the ease of your makeup application and the lasting power of your makeup looks.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #4: YOU DON’T COLOR CORRECT
Not using color corrector is one of the most common under eye concealer mistakes out there. Wake up to dark circles under your eyes? Before you reach for your concealer, use a peach color-corrector underneath your eyes. We love the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Color Correcting Kit, which, in addition to peach for under-eye bags, also includes three other color correctors: yellow to help combat discolorations, green to neutralize redness, and purple to brighten any dull areas.
Editor’s tip: For more color correction pointers, here’s Your Guide to Color Correcting.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #5: YOU DON’T USE THE RIGHT FORMULA FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE
If you have oily hair, you wouldn’t use a shampoo formulated for dry hair now, would you? Nope! The same thought should apply when it comes to deciding on the type of foundation you’re going to use. Have dry skin? Then pick up a liquid foundation with a radiant finish, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation. On the other hand, if you have oily skin, look for a matte-finish liquid foundation, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation. Apply the same advice when picking out a concealer, too.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #6: YOU TEST YOUR MAKEUP IN THE WRONG LIGHTING
Your foundation and concealer may look amazing under the bright lighting in your bathroom or your dressing table mirror, but do they look just as great in natural light? After you’re done applying your foundation and concealer, take a second to step outside to see if they pass the test.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #7: YOU BLEND INCORRECTLY
Nobody wants a line of foundation across their face—and it’s even worse when you don’t realize it’s there until it’s too late to fix. Oops! Streaks defeat the whole purpose of applying foundation, so use a makeup blender, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender, to buff out your makeup for a smoother finish.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #8: YOU CHOOSE A CONCEALER SHADE THAT IS WAY TOO LIGHT
When choosing a concealer, you may think that you’re supposed to reach for a color a few shades lighter than your skin tone, but that’s not really the case. If you pick a color that’s too light, instead of covering blemishes and skin redness, you’ll be highlighting them. Who wants that?! Stick with concealer in a shade that matches your skin tone, and you’ll be safe.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #9: YOU’RE NOT USING WATERPROOF FORMULAS
That’s right: Just like mascara or eyeliner, concealer and foundation can be waterproof too—and if you’re planning on your makeup look lasting for longer than just a few hours, it’s what you should be using. For long days or a night out, reach for a concealer that will actually last, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, Full Coverage. Similarly, you don’t want your foundation to melt off as the day wears on! The L'Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight is super lightweight and also water-, sweat-, and oil-resistant, so you won’t need to stop, drop, and reapply at all.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #10: YOU LAY YOUR CONCEALER ON TOO THICK
Another common misconception is that concealer should be applied thickly in order for it to truly cover your skin properly. In reality, you want to use as little product as possible for a more natural look. Start with just a tiny bit of concealer, blend, then add more if necessary. This can help give you the proper coverage while also giving you a more seamless finish.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #11: YOU LACK PRECISION
This rule is especially important when you’re covering small imperfections like blemishes. Instead of dabbing your concealer all over the place, use a small, pointed brush to apply the concealer directly onto said spot, then finish up with a makeup blender to smooth everything over.
FACE MAKEUP MISTAKE #12: YOU DON’T SET YOUR MAKEUP
Once you’re finished applying foundation and concealer, your job isn’t finished. If you want your makeup to last—and of course you do—it’s a good idea to help lock everything in place. The easiest way to do this is with a light dusting of face powder. If you have dry skin, try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Powder. Oily skin types can opt for the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Powder. When you have your face powder pick in hand, dip a fluffy makeup brush into it and swirl the powder over your skin to set your face makeup. But wait! If you want your look to really last, you’re still not done: Finish everything up with a few spritzes of setting spray, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray. It’s a lightweight mist that will lock everything into place so you won’t have any fading or melting to deal with later on. To use, shake well and hold the bottle eight to ten inches away from your face. Then spray four to six times in ‘X’ and ‘T’ motions, taking caution to avoid your eye area. That’s it, now you’re all set—literally!