Do You Put Concealer on Before or After Foundation?

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In the intricate world of makeup, the order of application can be as crucial as the products themselves. A frequently asked question among beauty enthusiasts is whether to apply concealer before or after foundation. This article delves into this topic, providing insight and guidance to help you achieve that flawless makeup look.

Do You Put Concealer on Before or After Foundation?

The Role of Concealer and Foundation

Concealers are designed to cover imperfections like dark circles, blemishes, and discoloration. Foundations, on the other hand, provide a base to even out your overall skin tone. Understanding the primary purpose of each product is key to determining their application order.

The Traditional Approach

Traditionally, makeup artists suggest applying foundation first. This approach allows the foundation to create an even base, reducing the amount of concealer needed. Applying concealer after foundation helps to precisely target areas that need extra coverage. This method ensures that the concealer doesn’t get wiped away or overly blended when applying foundation.

Situational Considerations

  1. Coverage Needs: If you have significant blemishes or discoloration, you might prefer to apply concealer first to ensure these areas are adequately covered.
  2. Concealer and Foundation Formulas: The compatibility of your concealer and foundation formulas can influence the order. For instance, using a liquid foundation with a cream concealer can necessitate a different approach than pairing a powder foundation with a liquid concealer.

The Application Process

  1. After Foundation: Apply concealer on areas that need extra coverage, blending it seamlessly with the foundation.
  2. Before Foundation: If applying concealer first, focus on problem areas and gently blend, ensuring not to wipe it away when applying foundation over it.

Pro Tips for Perfect Application

  • Use the Right Tools: Whether applying concealer or foundation first, using the right tools like brushes or sponges is crucial for a smooth finish. Brushes like the ones highlighted in Unveiling the Best Makeup Brushes can make a significant difference.
  • Consider Your Skin Type: For dry skin, hydrate well before makeup application. Concealer choices like the best under-eye concealer should be hydrating to prevent caking.
  • Blend Well: Regardless of the order, blending is key to a natural look. Overlapping layers should be blended to avoid demarcation lines.

Comparative Overview

Makeup Step
Foundation First
Creates an even base; Reduces concealer usage
Might require touch-ups with concealer
Concealer First
Targets specific problem areas effectively
Can be wiped away when applying foundation over it


  1. Do I put concealer or foundation on first for dark circles?
    • Concealer is generally applied after foundation to specifically target and cover dark circles effectively.
  2. Can I use concealer as a foundation?
    • Concealers can be used for spot coverage but might be too heavy for full-face application compared to foundations.
  3. What type of concealer works best with liquid foundation?
    • A creamy or liquid concealer typically pairs well with liquid foundations.
  4. How do I choose the right concealer shade?
    • Choose a shade slightly lighter than your foundation for under-eyes and an exact match for blemishes and spots.
  5. Is it necessary to set concealer with powder?
    • Setting concealer with powder can help prolong its wear, especially for oily skin types or in warm climates.
  6. Can I mix concealer with foundation?
    • Mixing concealer with foundation can adjust coverage and shade but might alter the formula’s intended finish and longevity.
  7. What’s the best way to apply concealer for a natural look?
    • Apply in thin layers and blend well using a damp beauty sponge for a natural finish.
  8. Should I apply concealer on eyelids as an eyeshadow base?
  9. How can I prevent concealer from creasing under my eyes?
    • Use a hydrating eye cream first, apply concealer in minimal amounts, and set with a fine powder.
  10. Can concealer be used to contour and highlight?
  • Yes, using shades lighter or darker than your skin tone can help highlight and contour.


Both methods – applying concealer before or after foundation – have their merits and can be chosen based on your specific needs and makeup style. Remember, the right tools, techniques, and understanding of your skin type are essential for achieving a seamless and radiant finish

Detailed Questions and Answers

1. How does applying concealer before foundation differ from applying it after?

Applying concealer before foundation allows for targeted coverage of specific problem areas like severe blemishes or pronounced under-eye circles. This method can provide more precise control over the amount of coverage. However, applying concealer after foundation often requires less product, as the foundation already evens out most of the skin tone. It also helps in achieving a more natural and blended look, ensuring that the concealer doesn’t get wiped away or overly blended during the foundation application.

2. What are the best techniques for applying concealer to achieve a flawless finish?

For a flawless finish, start by choosing the right shade of concealer. For under-eye circles, a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone is ideal, while for blemishes, an exact match is preferable. Apply the concealer in a patting motion using a brush or a damp beauty sponge, and blend it seamlessly into the skin or foundation. Setting the concealer with a light dusting of translucent powder can help prevent creasing and ensure longer wear.

3. How should concealer and foundation be applied for mature skin?

For mature skin, the key is to use hydrating products and apply them in minimal amounts to prevent caking and settling into fine lines. After applying a hydrating primer, use a lightweight foundation for overall coverage. Apply a creamy concealer to areas with discoloration or dark circles, blending it gently with a soft brush or sponge. Avoid heavy powders, and instead, opt for a light setting powder or setting spray to keep the makeup in place.

4. Can the same concealer be used for under-eye circles and blemishes?

While it’s possible to use the same concealer for both purposes, it may not always be ideal. Under-eye circles typically benefit from a lighter, more hydrating concealer that can brighten the area. In contrast, blemishes often need a thicker, more pigmented formula to provide adequate coverage. Using two different types of concealers may yield better results for each concern.

5. What are the common mistakes to avoid when applying concealer?

Common mistakes include using the wrong shade (too light or too dark), applying too much product, and not blending adequately. Another mistake is not setting the concealer, leading to creasing and reduced wear time. For under-eye concealer, applying it too close to the lower lash line can accentuate fine lines. It’s also important to use the right tools; a brush or sponge appropriate for the concealer’s texture can make a significant difference in the application.

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