Complete guide to concealer: Where to apply, how much to use and making it last all day

Rose Gallagher
·3-min read

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Rose Gallagher, 30, is from Birmingham and has been a make-up artist for 10 years. She has more than 41,000 followers on Instagram, where she posts make-up tutorials, tips and tricks.

Scroll down for a full list of the products Rose uses in this tutorial.

One of the things I am most frequently asked about is concealer.

It seems we’re all in the same quandary; we want to use it because it helps to brighten the eye area and cover any dark circles but, when it’s on, we find that it either feels too heavy or sits in fine lines.

With concealer, I think a few mindful steps when applying and setting can make all of the difference.\

Before you add your concealer

If your eyes feel dry, prepping with an eye cream will work wonders. Not only will this help to alleviate any dryness on a surface level, it will also help your concealer to look more fresh.

Use your ring finger to work in your desired product as this uses the least amount of pressure.

Vichy Minéral 89 Eyes Hyaluronic Acid +Caffeine | £20 from look fantastic

Vichy Minéral 89 Eyes Hyaluronic Acid +Caffeine
Vichy Minéral 89 Eyes Hyaluronic Acid +Caffeine

Max Factor Miracle Touch Second Skin Foundation | £12.99 from Selfridges

Max Factor Miracle Touch Second Skin Foundation
Max Factor Miracle Touch Second Skin Foundation

How to apply your concealer

When applying your concealer, you want to use as little as you can get away with without compromising on coverage.

Take a really good look at your eyes rather than applying all over.

Are your eyelids relatively bright? Skip the product in that place.

Tailor your product in the areas that specifically look darker to reduce the amount you’re using.

Pay particular attention to the inner corners of the eyes, as this tends to be an area of darkness for lots of people.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer | £24 from Nars

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

The key to wearing concealer

Now for the crucial part – setting powder.

I personally believe that the key to stopping your concealer from sitting in fine lines is to set it in place almost immediately.

Don’t be afraid of this looking dry or cakey. With a soft, fluffy brush and a tiny dusting of powder, this will set your make-up exactly where you put it and prevent any runaways.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder | £35 from Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

When focusing on the eye area, it’s really key to set in any creams. You don’t want the moisture from any eye products to make anything else run.

If you’re prone to this happening, it’s also worth switching to a tubing mascara.

This mascara is easily removed just with water, and crumbles away rather than smudging away. With this in mind, it’s less likely to leave black smears over your eyes as the day goes on.

Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara | £29 from Space NK

Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara by Hourglass
Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara by Hourglass

How to choose your concealer shade

And finally, a little note on the shade of your concealer.

If you want a very brightening and uplifting effect, you may wish to take a concealer in a shade lighter than your complexion.

If, like me, you like your products to do lots of things, you may wish to get a perfect match and use it elsewhere on the complexion when necessary.

But ultimately, the key is to use as little product as possible for maximum impact.

You can keep up with Rose’s make-up tips on her Instagram account @rosegallagher or listen to her podcast ‘Beauty from the Heart’ on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all your usual podcast platforms.