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What Comes First Foundation or Concealer?


Hi Melanie,

Whether to put on concealer first or foundation first, is probably one of the trickiest questions on makeup that many women are unsure of. World-renowned makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin recommends foundation first, then concealer. The main reason is that if you apply concealer before foundation, you may rub off the concealer when you put on foundation. I hope this make sense to you.

Also, if you put concealer on after foundation, it helps you to see where you need a little extra coverage to hide small blemishes or unevenness in your skin. When applying concealer, always make sure that the color blends perfectly with your skin tone and blend it in very well. You can apply concealer with a tiny brush or simply with your fingertips.

If you have dark eye circles, pick a slightly creamy concealer that won't cake on dry skin around your eyes. And, if your skin is sensitive, choose a concealer that contains only pure mineral pigment color and has no dyes, oils, talc or starch in the formulation.

After putting on concealer, apply some loose translucent powder to set it. For a flawless look, you want to tap powder puff into your powder, gently blow off excess and  press it softly and firmly on your face. The puff makes the foundation, concealer and powder melt together to create a perfect matte finish rather than a dusty layer. If you want a natural finish, then apply powder loosely with a big fluffy brush.

As you can see, the correct steps are – start off with liquid foundation, then put on cream concealer and finally dust with loose powder.

In case you're wondering if BB cream is a concealer, the answer is no. BB cream (Blemish Balm Cream) is more like a foundation than a concealer although some high end brands of BB cream (such as Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream) provide great coverage which works well for minor skin imperfections. Skin79 has released a BB concealer, a concealer with more coverage than the BB cream. Remember to check it out in the shops next time.

Depending on the formulation (some are quite thick while others are too sheer – almost see through), you can use bb cream as a makeup base, or as a tinted moisturizer. Some girls claim that bb creams can tighten pores and brighten up dull complexion to leave a natural dewy finish.

If you're interested in BB creams, it's better to shop around, compare prices (they are not cheap) and choose one with the right color and coverage to suit your needs. I suggest you get a bb cream that has "all-in-one" functions  – makeup base + sun block + concealer + moisturizer + skin treatment.


Secrets to Applying Makeup Foundation Flawlessly

1. Always clean your face with a milder cleanser, tone and prime your face with a moisturize before applying foundation. You also want to wait for about 5 minutes or so to let your skin absorb the moisturizer.


2.If you're using a liquid foundation, shake the bottle really well to disperse the pigments that have settled at bottom of bottle in order to get an even finish.


3. Some girls use makeup sponge to apply foundation, but I personally prefer to blend using fingers instead. This is because the heat from your fingers helps to melt the foundation into the skin better to give a truly smooth natural look. Cosmetic sponges tend to leave streaks and blotches, and fingers also help to reach areas corners that sponges never can, such as corner of your nose.


4. For perfect application, dab some dots of foundation on your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. Then blend out evenly over your face, starting from your nose and work outwards (hairline and jaw).


5. You can try using two different shades of foundation to help sculpt your face and make your facial features stand out. First, put on the foundation that matches your natural skin tone on your face including your neck. Then apply the slightly darker shade over your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. Finally, blend well to avoid a patchy, unnatural look.


6. The next time you shop for foundation, don't forget to take along a compact mirror to check the color on your skin in natural light (outside). A shade that looks fabulously well on your skin under fluorescent and other artificial lighting in cosmetics hall might look awful in daylight.


7. It's also a great idea to get yourself two different shades of foundation. Your skin color and needs change throughout the year so the foundation you wear in summer isn't going to look right for winter. I suggest you use a bit more than a tinted moisturizer for summer when your skin is darkest, and a paler foundation for winter. For spring and autumn, opt for something in between.


By Tiffany Moore



I'm such a newbie at applying makeup and I've been wondering about "foundation concealer order" for a while. I've read many conflicting opinions that I'm a little confused now. Do you put on concealer then foundation, or foundation then concealer? So, what comes first foundation or concealer? Thanks. – Melanie, Oxford.

apply concealer or foundation first

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