The OHbaby! team takes top-selling concealers for a test run and gets specialist advice on what to use and how to apply.
Pregnancy and early motherhood can give rise to all manner of spots, pigmentation problems, uneven skin tone and, of course, dark circles and other tell-tale signs of sleepless nights. But there’s an art to concealing blemishes and one we can all master with the right tools.
The first rule of thumb is in the application. Rather than smearing the concealer over a spot or under the eye, dab the concealer on with your finger tip and maybe use a sponge or a brush to blend.
If the area is a bit dry, moisturise first and always put on the concealer before you apply foundation.
For minor blemishes and issues, a flesh-toned concealer will do the job nicely.
To add staying power dust your face with powder as a finishing touch.
We asked Elizabeth Arden National Make-up Specialist, Lidean Erasmus for her top tips on hiding blemishes.
She says: “Consumers, and even some industry professionals, have been led to believe that simply using a lighter shade of concealer will eliminate the appearance of discolorations. Sadly, this doesn’t always work and you could end up with a very thick layer of concealer while still seeing the discoloration.
“What to do? You can simply use a two-stage approach by using both a concealer and a colour neutraliser/corrector.”
Colour-correcting make-up has been around for decades and it’s based on the colour wheel. Essentially, you choose the opposite colour of the blemish to hide it.
When applying, definitely keep in mind “less is more” to avoid circus clown make-up. Apply a very small amount at first and gradually build up — it will take lots of practice to get it right. When finished, brush foundation or a netural concealer over the area and then apply the rest of your make-up.
Lidean Erasmus says, “Sometimes a concealer just isn’t enough and, when applied, can make the under-eye area look grey and ashy. Depending on the colouring of the under-eye area that causes the shadow, both a concealer and a colour neutraliser [orange or peach] will work well here.”
Brown spots or dark patches
“Sometimes you can make these areas look even more prominent by trying to cover them up with the wrong products or textures,” says Lidean. “Peach/orange and pink are great to use as skin or make-up colour neutralisers to eliminate and fade away shadows and dark spots.”
“Puffy eyes can occur for many different reasons and can prove really difficult to hide,” says Lidean. “The puffy under-eye area will look substantially worse if you apply a matte texture or a powdery texture over the top. I find reflective and radiant textures of concealer and/or foundation work best to minimise puffy eyes.”
Spots and red patches
Spots and redness, can be difficult to cover with foundation alone, says Lidean Erasmus. “It is best to use a skin or make-up product that contains a green pigment as a colour neutraliser as green will eliminate and camouflage the redness. Apply this first on the areas needed and then follow with your foundation.”
Which concealers work best? OHbaby! staff tried out a handful of the best — some high-end, others more wallet-friendly — and here are the results:
1. Guerlain Precious Light Illuminator, RRP$94
Ruth says,“The Guerlain concealer has a brush that magically fills with concealer when you twist the end. Aside from the nifty application though, there are probably cheaper products out there which are just as good.”
2. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift and Firm Concealer, RRP$55
Hayley says,“The thick, creamy consistency provides fantastic coverage for blemishes and dark circles. It blends in easily providing a lovely finish on my skin.”
3. La Prairie Light Fantastic Cellular Concealing-Brightening Eye Treatment, RRP$118
Ellie says, “It has a hefty price tag but it does feel like a more luxurious product. My eyes did look brighter and the application brush works well.”
4. Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener, RRP$55
Renata says, “This product is nice and light on your skin and is great for a day look. However, I wouldn’t recommend this product for a more dressed-up look because it doesn’t hide all the imperfections as a concealer would.
5. Nude by Nature Liquid Mineral Concealer, RRP$24.95
Shannon says, “This concealer felt fabulous to apply. I liked the coverage on some small blemishes and it wasn’t too heavy and ‘cakey’.”
6. Clinique Even Better Concealer, RRP$43
Ruth says, “This is easy to use and conceals well. Just make sure you moisturise first because it can make any wrinkles around your eyes look more prominent.”
7. Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Maximum Coverage Concealer, RRP$53
Shannon says, “This concealer was lovely to apply, very smooth and had very even coverage. A really nice base under my foundation, that wasn’t too heavy on my eyes.”
8. ArtDeco Anti-aging Concealer with Lifting Effect, RRP$34
Angela says, “This product was everything I’d ever want in a concealer — it covered up my under-eye dark circles and lasted all day!”