Concealer: Surprise! You’re Doing It Wrong

How many times have you lamented that your concealer wasn’t doing its job? If you’re anything like me, I’d venture to say more times than you can count. But maybe you’re being too hard on your concealer. Are you expecting it to do the job of several products by expecting it to be blemish concealer, under-eye brightener, and darkness corrector all in one? Depending on what you are attempting to conceal, that may be a tall order. However, application technique could also be partly to blame.

Before you apply concealer, you should neutralize any redness or blemishes with a green-toned concealer before you can cover with a skin-tone concealer. For blemish concealing, I like to eradicate redness with Smashbox’s Get Less Red pencil, then a dot of thicker concealer should do the job. Something like Kevyn Aucoin’s Etherealist Super Natural Concealer is a thick enough formula that won’t budge when set, yet not so thick it will crease. When covering blemishes, it is best to press concealer into the blemish and blend the excess outward, away from the blemish. Foundation should then be applied over the concealer with a Beauty Blender. This will ensure that the concealer product is not removed by the application of your foundation.

For under-eye darkness, you must neutralize the blue, gray, and brown tones in the under-eye circles first. Begin by applying a primer with an apricot or peach color for fair to medium skin tones, or orangey-red for deeper-toned skin before covering them up.  Try Stila’s Color Correcting Palette. The important thing is to disguise the darkness, not cover it with a lighter shade that end up looking like raccoon circles. Under-eye concealer should be applied after your foundation.

It is also important to create a triangle with the concealer from the inner corner of the eye down to the cheek bone and back to the outer edge of the eye. Again, we are trying to avoid the raccoon look. Follow with a swiping very light transparent powder over the concealer. This will hold the concealer in place and keep it from creasing. It will also remove the oil that grabs at your mascara and ends up under your eyes.

Photo Kathleen Kamphausen


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I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.

1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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