Concealer Before or After Foundation

Hey there, beauty lover! I want to let you in on a little secret that can totally transform your makeup game. It’s the age-old question: should you apply concealer before or after foundation? The answer might surprise you!

As someone who’s spent way too much time in front of the mirror trying to achieve that perfect, flawless complexion, I’ve learned a thing or two about the best order to apply these makeup staples. And trust me, it can make all the difference.

So, whether you’re a makeup newbie or a seasoned pro, get ready to have your mind blown. We’re about to dive into the nitty-gritty of concealer and foundation application, so you can achieve that coveted, seamless look every single time. Let’s do this!

Table Of Contents:

Applying Concealer Before or After Foundation

If you’ve ever felt stumped on whether to apply concealer or foundation first, rest assured that you’re not alone. These face makeup products are often used in alternating orders, which has sparked some debate over the best way to apply them. Let’s cut to the chase: There is a standard way to apply foundation and concealer, but there are also instances when the order can be flip-flopped. Knowing what you want from your makeup look is the key to determining which application technique is best for you. Keep reading to learn more about concealer vs. foundation and discover the answer to the million-dollar question: Does concealer go on before foundation?

Factors to Consider

When deciding whether to apply concealer before or after foundation, there are several factors to consider such as your skin type, the coverage level you desire, and the formulas of the concealer and foundation you are using. Those with dry skin may prefer applying concealer first to provide a smoother base, while those with oily skin may find applying foundation first helps the concealer adhere better.

Benefits of Applying Concealer First

Applying concealer before foundation can help create a more even base by targeting problem areas first. This allows you to use less foundation overall for a more natural look. Concealing dark circles, blemishes and redness prior to foundation can result in a smoother, more flawless finish.

As Huda Beauty points out in this tweet, applying concealer first can be a great makeup hack, especially if you want to use less foundation for a natural look while still getting great coverage on problem areas. It’s a technique favored by many beauty influencers and makeup artists.

Benefits of Applying Foundation First

When foundation is applied before concealer, it can act as a primer, evening out the skin tone and prepping the skin for the concealer. This can help the concealer blend more seamlessly and prevent it from looking cakey or obvious on the skin. Applying foundation first is often preferred for achieving a full coverage, long-lasting makeup look.

How to Apply Concealer Before Foundation

If applying concealer first, start with a thin layer and build coverage as needed on problem areas like dark circles, blemishes, and redness. Use a small brush or your fingertips to pat and blend the concealer. Allow it to set for a minute before applying your foundation. Use a damp beauty sponge to blend the foundation over top, being careful not to disturb the concealer underneath.

How to Apply Foundation Before Concealer

When applying foundation first, begin with a thin, even layer all over the face using a brush, sponge, or your fingers. Allow this to set for a minute, then apply concealer only where needed for extra coverage, such as under the eyes, on blemishes, or around the nose. Pat and blend the concealer with a small brush or your fingertips, making sure to blend the edges well so it seamlessly meshes with the foundation.

Choosing the Right Concealer and Foundation for Your Skin Type

Knowing your skin type is key to selecting the best concealer and foundation. If your skin tends to get shiny and oily, you likely have oily skin. If it feels tight and looks flaky, you probably have dry skin. Combination skin is oily in some areas (usually the T-zone) and dry in others. Normal skin is balanced – not too oily or dry. Sensitive skin may sting or burn after product use.

Determining Your Skin Type

To determine your skin type, wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry. After 30 minutes, observe your skin:

  • Oily skin will look shiny all over
  • Dry skin will feel tight and may show flakes
  • Combination skin will be shiny in the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) but dry elsewhere
  • Normal skin will have no shine, flakes, or tightness
  • Sensitive skin may sting, burn, or itch after product use

Selecting the Best Concealer Formula

Liquid concealers work well for most skin types, but especially for dry or normal skin. Cream concealers provide fuller coverage and work best for normal, combination or oily skin. Stick concealers are convenient and portable, ideal for touch-ups. For the undereye area, look for a lightweight, hydrating formula to prevent caking and creasing.

Picking the Ideal Foundation Finish

For oily skin, a matte or powder foundation can help control shine. For dry skin, look for a hydrating, luminous liquid foundation. Normal and combination skin types can wear a variety of finishes, but generally do well with a natural, demi-matte foundation. Consider your desired coverage level as well – sheer, medium, or full.

Matching Your Skin Tone

Finding a concealer and foundation that matches your skin tone is important for a natural, seamless look. Test shades along your jawline in natural light to find the best match. Your concealer can be one to two shades lighter than your foundation for brightening the undereye area, but your foundation should match your skin tone exactly for the most natural finish.

Tips for Achieving a Flawless Finish

No matter your skin type, proper skincare is essential before applying concealer and foundation. Always start with clean skin, then apply moisturizer. For oily skin, use a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. For dry skin, a hydrating cream or facial oil can help create a smooth base. Allow your moisturizer to fully absorb before moving on to makeup.

Prepping Your Skin

After moisturizing, apply a primer suited to your skin type. Primers help create an even canvas, blur imperfections, and help your makeup last longer. Look for mattifying primers for oily skin, hydrating primers for dry skin. Let your primer set for a minute before moving on to concealer and foundation.

Blending Techniques

Proper blending is key to a flawless finish. When applying concealer under the eyes, pat and press the product in rather than rubbing, which can tug at the delicate skin. For blemishes, pat concealer on with your fingertip, then lightly blend the edges. With foundation, use a damp beauty sponge for a seamless blend, pressing the product into the skin.

Setting Your Makeup

To help your concealer and foundation last all day, set your makeup with a translucent powder. Use a fluffy brush to lightly dust powder over the entire face, focusing on areas prone to oiliness or creasing like the T-zone and undereye area. For a dewy finish, only powder the T-zone and leave the rest of the face bare.

Addressing Common Concerns

If your concealer tends to crease under the eyes, try setting it with a light dusting of translucent powder before applying foundation. For very dry skin, mix a drop of facial oil into your foundation for added hydration. If your foundation looks cakey, you may be using too much product – try using a damp sponge for a sheerer application.

Top Concealer and Foundation Recommendations

With so many concealer and foundation options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose. Here are some of my top recommendations, from drugstore to high-end, for various skin types and coverage preferences.

Best Concealers for Different Skin Types

For dry skin, try a hydrating, radiant finish concealer like NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer or Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer. For oily skin, opt for a long-wearing matte formula like Tarte Shape Tape Concealer or L’Oréal Infallible Full Wear Concealer. For mature skin, look for a concealer with anti-aging benefits like IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer.

Top Foundations for Various Coverage Levels

For a natural, light coverage look, try a tinted moisturizer or BB cream like Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer or Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. For medium coverage, opt for a buildable liquid foundation like Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation or L’Oréal True Match Super Blendable Makeup. For full coverage, try Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup or Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation.

Drugstore Favorites

There are plenty of amazing drugstore concealers and foundations that perform just as well as high-end options. Some popular picks include Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, , Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup, and CoverGirl TruBlend Matte Made Liquid Foundation.

High-End Must-Haves

If you’re looking to splurge on a luxury concealer or foundation, there are many cult-favorite options to choose from. Popular high-end concealers include NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer, and Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer. For foundations, try Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation, or Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet Foundation.

Key Takeaway: 

Deciding to apply concealer before or after foundation? It depends on your skin type, desired coverage, and product formulas. Dry skin might prefer concealer first for a smoother base; oily skin may do better with foundation first. Remember, blending is key for that flawless finish.


So, there you have it – the ultimate guide to applying concealer before or after foundation. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather a choice based on your unique skin type, concerns, and desired finish.

Remember, if you’re looking to create a smooth, even base, applying foundation first might be your best bet. But if you’re dealing with pesky dark circles or blemishes, reaching for the concealer first can work wonders.

The key is to experiment, have fun, and find what works best for you. With a little practice and patience, you’ll be rocking a flawless, natural-looking complexion in no time.

Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, go forth and conquer the makeup world! Whether you choose to apply concealer before or after foundation, wear your newfound confidence with pride. You’ve got this!

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