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When she's not working with big names like Emily Blunt and Mandy Moore, celebrity makeup artist Jenn Streicher is part of the Laura Mercier Makeup Artist Collective, and she's agreed to share her expertise with us via our new Ask an Artist series. Need help selecting the best foundation for your skin type? Want to master a three-minute eye-makeup look? Come back every month for a unique beauty lesson from a pro.
Makeup is all about choices, and if you're anything like us, sometimes you just don't feel like wearing foundation-and as it turns out, you don't have to. Hear us out: When applied strategically, concealer is more than up to the task, making fine lines, spots, dark circles, and inflamed blemishes practically disappear. That is, when you apply it correctly.
вЂњIf you're skipping foundation, the most important thing is to make sure your skin is thoroughly prepped,вЂќ says celebrity makeup artist Jenn Streicher. Meaning you should cleanse and moisturize (more on that below) before any concealing happens. What else goes into ditching the hero product of your makeup routine? Streicher offers up concealer tips below, from her favorite formula (pssst-it's Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, $35) to the most important areas to focus on.
Shade Matching Is KeyCLIQUE Studios
First things first: The most important step to a concealer-only base is making sure you have an exact shade match. вЂњThat's why I think Secret Camouflage is so great,вЂќ says Streicher. вЂњIt comes with twoВ shades in one palette so you canВ blend the two to get your perfect match.вЂќВ Or, you can use the different hues depending on the season, says Streicher,В using the lighter orВ deeper shadesВ to match your winter or summer complexion.
To createВ your perfect match,В вЂњdip your brush (try the Secret Camouflage Brush, $26) in the lighter color, and mix it with the darker color on the back of your hand until you feel you've color-matched the shade to your skin,вЂќ Streicher shares. Another thing to keep in mind, particularly when using a concealer with a drier, more dense formula like Secret Camouflage, is to make sure your skin is properly prepped. вЂњThat means using a cleanser, moisturizer, eye cream, SPF, and primer,вЂќ explains Streicher. Once that's taken care of, you can move on to application.
How and Where You Apply MattersCLIQUE Studios
To conceal smaller areas, Streicher recommends using a brush, and for larger areas, your fingertips. But first you'll need to prep your product. вЂњDab some concealer onto the back of your handВ to warm it up,вЂќ explains Streicher. This will help thin out the consistency, making it easier to blend.В
Next,В use target the concealer toВ areas with any blemishes, redness, or discoloration. For most people, those areas include the cheeks and around the nose, mouth, and chin. One major callout: If your under-eye area needs coverage, use a more moisture-rich formula likeВ Secret Concealer, $27, becauseВ drierВ formulasВ can settle into fine lines.
Concealing blemishes, however, is a completely different game. If you've ever tried to cover up a blemish, you know how hard it can be to get product to stick to the inflamed area. Streicher's tip? вЂњAs long as the blemish isn't dry and flaky, apply a small amount of setting powder (like Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $38) to it first; then follow up with concealer.вЂќ Using a brush with a pointed tip, work from the outside in, focusing on the redness around the blemish before covering up the bump itself. Once all areas are concealed, lock everything in place with setting powder, using a press-and-roll motion to ensure you're not moving product out of place. (In case you missed it, we did a full story on how to use setting powder.)Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush $26ShopLaura Mercier Secret Camouflage $35Shop
Not sure you're ready to go without foundation? Jenn Streicher shares tips for keeping your makeup freshВ all day.