A question I hear often when it comes to concealer is does it go on before or after foundation? Just like with so many other things…it depends. In this case, it not only depends on your personal preference, it also depends on how you are using the product.
If you are applying to the under eye area, you want to conceal before applying your foundation. Because you are using concealer a shade lighter than your foundation in this area in order to brighten the eyes and highlight them, it can be a little too obvious and too bright if applied over the foundation. For this area, we are going to use a concealer brush, an almost mini version of the synthetic foundation brush with slightly stiffer bristles. With quick, short strokes, begin in the corner of your eye and work your way out and down. Moving the product with your brush in this manner will prevent it from looking too heavy, because it forces you to blend as you move down. Tip: for concealer, you need two tools – your brush and your finger. As you are brushing, push the product into the skin with your fingertip because doing so will heat the product and blend it nicely onto the skin. So brush, brush, brush, then tap, tap, tap. Blend to about the top of the cheekbone, because you want to give yourself some room to blend the edges of your concealer with your foundation, giving us that seamless look we are after. And when we’re applying foundation over the concealer slightly, we don’t want to brush it on, but rather tap it with our brush in order to not smear the smooth concealer.
For other areas on the face that need concealing (around the nose, and of course blemishes come to mind), we want to stick with our trusty concealer brush and conceal these areas after applying foundation using a concealer that matches our foundation color (if we use the same color as we do on the under eye area, the concealer will be visible and therefore pretty atrocious). If we were to conceal before foundation, we would be spending time getting everything perfectly smooth and when we brush over our work with the foundation brush, it will just be time wasted because the concealer will get smeared. *If you cannot live without concealer under your foundation, conceal then go over it with your foundation brush by tapping on the concealed areas to avoid doing so.*
Remember, always start with a thin layer and build coverage as it is needed. It’s always easier to add than it is to remove!