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When You Should Apply Your Oil-Free Concealer (and How to Flawlessly Hide Anything)

Figuring out the steps for applying weightless makeup can be confusing—should you apply your eyeshadow before your foundation, highlighter over blush, and concealer under or over foundation? For a truly natural-looking complexion, the question isn’t, “should I apply my concealer first,” but more about figuring out what exactly you want to cover, and then going from there. Below, we’ve asked Sébastien Tardif, an internationally-acclaimed makeup artist and founder of Veil Cosmetics, to give us the rundown on how and when to apply your oil-free concealer for a healthy-looking complexion. 

weightless makeup

The order in which you apply your concealer really depends on what you want to cover up. First off, let’s talk about our best-selling concealer, the Complexion Fix Concealer. Tardif considers this concealer his “magic wand” when working with clients, as it creates the perfect illusion of a pure glow. A desert island must-have, the Complexion Fix Concealer quickly erases redness, blemishes, eye fatigue, and dark spots instantly, achieving that lightly-veiled look while leaving good skin untouched. 

The Complexion Fix Concealer can work in multiple ways, but the key to covering up each issue lies in the order you apply the formula. When covering up dark circles under the eyes, Tardif suggests applying the concealer before your foundation. “That way, I always find that I require a lot less foundation since the eyes are basically lifting the entire face,” explains Tardif. 

For covering up any hyperpigmentation, age spots, discoloration, or blemishes, Tardif advises applying your concealer after your foundation. “Applying foundation over concealer will just remove whatever you’ve applied underneath, so you’re basically wasting your time,” he says. “Once the foundation has been applied, you can get additional coverage from spot concealing as it can be a bit more targeted. That way, you don't apply full coverage all over the face—it's a lot cleaner, and it feels a lot lighter.” This will create a more natural-looking complexion and airy finish.  

To achieve a healthy complexion that looks completely untouched, preparation is truly key. “I always spend a lot of time prepping the skin with skincare prior to applying any concealer,” explains Tardif. “For instance, when I spot dry patches of skin or an old blemish that is drying out, I get a cotton bud and dip it into a balm and or oil and let it bake on the dry area. I return to it a few minutes later with a clean cotton bud and try to exfoliate that area to a completely smooth surface.” 

Any dry skin sitting on the surface of the face will get your concealer (or foundation) to flake off after some wear, and no one loves a crusty complexion. “I sponge off the excess moisture or cream and proceed to apply my primer serum,” explains Tardif. The Veil Cosmetics Sunset Light Primer Serum is the perfect base for any foundation or concealer you’re applying. Thanks to the water-based formula using serum-strength actives, this primer perfectly sets the foundation (and concealer) for any makeup applied afterward—it primes, hydrates, brightens, soothes, and most importantly, it blurs pores and fine lines for a seamless application. This product can be applied directly onto the skin, or you can mix it in with any liquid or stick foundation to help lighten up the coverage and instantly infuse them with a weightless finish. 

Once Tardif has let the primer set and smooth out the skin, he then goes in on applying the concealer with a very targeted brush, like the Dual-Ended Concealer and Foundation Brush. “It’s nice and fluffy so that it just layers in a very natural finish, never cakey,” he explains. “The trick is to let each layer dry off between applications so that you're able to build the coverage.”

The Dual-Ended Concealer and Foundation Brush is a useful tool in helping to cover up any imperfections alongside the Complexion Fix Concealer. The brush is specifically designed to provide an airbrushed finish after having brushed on and tapped your Complexion Fix Concealer, resulting in a skin-like dry down. Additionally, the fluffy, rounded foundation tip can be brushed on or tapped onto skin to evenly disperse pigment without leaving any traces or streaks, enhancing the look of real skin. The rounded tip also avoids pigment congestion in pores and textured skin, which is a common issue encountered by foundation wearers.

“If a corrector is needed before the foundation to really counteract a darker spot on the face, or a blemish that's very aggravated and that requires more coverage, then I’ll let that corrector set for 30-40 seconds,” explains Tardif. “Then, I apply a sheer layer of the Sunset Skin Liquid Foundation on top by stippling it or patting it on to not disturb the corrector or spot concealer— you want to make it blend seamlessly with the rest of the face. It's all about getting this skin tone to appear seamless with the rest of the face—not darker nor paler, just seamless as your foundation should be matching your skin tone.”

Figuring out the order of makeup products can be a bit tricky, but just remember this: when dealing with undereye circles, apply your concealer before your foundation, but after your primer. When spot concealing, make sure you apply primer first, then foundation, then concealer. Finally, if you’re trying to cover up a sleepless night or an angry pimple, consider adding that extra color corrector to help you nail the natural-looking complexion every time.

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