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Concealer vs Foundation: What, Why, and When to Use Them

You can apply what you want on your face, but surely, you will always have these two products – concealer and foundation

Surprisingly, some skip one in favor of the other since after all, both concealer and foundation do the same thing: to hide those ugly marks. Apparently, there is a reason why you need both in your makeup kit and not just settle with one.

Getting to Know the Difference Between Foundation and Concealer

Concealer and foundation may belong under the same umbrella, but these two are made for different reasons.

As the name suggests, foundations acts as a base to your makeup. It has thin consistency and often comes in glass bottles or large tubes. By applying foundation before makeup, you will have an even skin tone.

Make sure to choose one that is appropriate for your skin tone. If you don’t know where to start, you can try Covergirl Outlast All-Day Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation, which also offers sun protection.​

Does this mean it can hide blemishes?​

The truth is it depends on the blemishes you want to hide.

For light skin discoloration, foundation can help in hiding them, although this is not the primary role of the foundation.

For deeper scars and blemishes, you will need the help of concealer.​

The job of concealer is more specific: to conceal.

Unlike foundation, concealer is thicker and does a great job in covering blemishes, pimples, dark circles, acne scars, spots, and other imperfections on specific and problematic areas in your skin.

Most of the time, you apply concealer on top of your foundation for a more even look.​

In case you are looking for a concealer for under your eyes, My favorite is Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment from Maybelline.

cosmetics in white

When to Use Concealer and Foundation

Here’s the next question: when is the right time to use a concealer and foundation? Consequently, can you use one instead of both?​

As a general rule, foundation comes first then you apply the concealer. Keep in mind that foundation creates a base for your face while concealer covers up those spots you want to hide.

  • If you apply the concealer first, then all the effort you put in will be put to waste once you apply the foundation.​
  • If you want thicker coverage for your blemishes, some makeup experts advised a concealer-foundation-concealer method of application.

On the other hand, some women don’t want to make their concealers too obvious; hence they apply concealer first then foundation.​

Here’s how to apply foundation and concealer:​

1. Wash your face then apply a moisturizer immediately

2. Apply foundation on your face, starting with your cheeks, forehead, and a small dot on your chin. Consider these areas as your starting spots every time you apply foundation on your face.

3. Blend the foundation in an outward direction. Once you spread the foundation, blend the foundation near your jaw line, hairline, nose, face, lips, and eyelids.

4. For the concealer, use a small makeup brush or sponge to cover specific areas with blemishes.

5. Blend the concealer well on your face and apply foundation if necessary to make your skin tone look even.


At the end of the day, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to cosmetics. Generally, foundation comes first before you apply your concealer and other makeup products. More than that, remember this:

Choose the shade of foundation and concealer that matches your skin tone

Blend and only blend – that is the only way to apply concealer and foundation

Got more questions about concealer and foundation? Leave a comment below.​

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