Deciding When to Apply Concealer: Before or After Foundation - Klever Korner

Deciding When to Apply Concealer: Before or After Foundation

Foundation vs. concealer—which comes first? Uncover the best order for a flawless complexion.

a woman sitting at a table with a bunch of makeup brushes
By Sue Biller
Caitlin Snethlage
Edited by Caitlin Snethlage

Updated February 13, 2024.

A woman holding a concealer to apply to her face.

With 109.7 million women projected to use concealer and foundation in 2024, it's evident that these products are staples in women's makeup routines worldwide. Understanding when to use them in yours is essential for achieving your desired look.

Let's delve into the benefits of both, offering insights to help you make informed decisions about your application process.

What Is a Concealer?

A concealer's primary role is to cover specific imperfections. Its creamy texture hides blemishes, dark circles, or hyperpigmentation, blending into your skin for a unified appearance.

Keep these tips in mind when choosing the right one for your needs:

  • Light to medium coverage: Opt for a creamy formula that blends effortlessly if you need a subtle concealing.
  • Heavier coverage: Thicker, high-coverage formulas offer maximum power.
  • Exact shade match: Choose a shade close to your skin tone or lighter to ensure a more natural makeup look.

» Discover what makeup brush you should use for concealer

What Is a Foundation?

A solid foundation minimizes redness, freckles, and minor imperfections, creating a smooth canvas for the rest of your makeup. Depending on your desired look, you can achieve a seamless finish and create the illusion of an even skin tone.

Finding the ideal foundation involves understanding your skin type:

  • Oily skin: Choose oil-free formulas.
  • Dry skin: Hydrating formulas are your best friends.
  • Combination skin: Try matte formulas for controlling shine in the T-zone without drying out the rest of the face or dewy ones for a luminous glow.
  • Sensitive skin: Opt for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic products to minimize irritation and breakouts.

Did you know?

Beyond coverage—Foundations also offer protection against environmental aggressors such as pollution, UV rays, and free radicals.

This is achieved by including ingredients like antioxidants, SPF, and barrier-boosting components that create a shield against harmful external factors.

A woman is smiling while holding a pink concealer sponge.

» Check out the best ways to apply and blend foundation

The Order of Application: Your Strategy

Applying Concealer First

For stubborn concerns like hyperpigmentation or acne, target specific areas with concealer before evening out the rest with your foundation. This method can cause the foundation to slide around, so apply it carefully. Using too much product to "lock it in" can result in a cakey appearance.

Tip: Warm up the product using your fingers for smooth blending on bare skin.

Applying Foundation First

Applying foundation first helps create an even base and reveals areas needing extra attention. Putting concealer on afterward ensures a more natural look, mainly when covering under-eye circles or occasional blemishes that don't require significant corrections.

Tip: A gentle tap with a dry or damp sponge blends foundation and concealer flawlessly, evens stubborn acne marks, and gives you the perfect finish.

» Before applying any makeup, learn how to prep your skin with primer

Avoiding Common Concerns

  • Don't overdo it: Start with a light application and build coverage gradually.
  • Creasing: Concealer can settle into fine lines and creases throughout the day, creating an aged appearance, so consider using a setting spray to keep it in place.
  • Neglecting under-eyes: Use a lighter, luminous concealer to brighten the area and avoid a patchy makeup look.

Beauty in Your Hands

Ultimately, deciding whether to apply concealer or foundation first depends on individual preferences or desired results. Using high-quality, matching products and following a hydrating skincare routine will help ensure a flawless, natural application.

Now that you have a perfect canvas, transform it into a masterpiece with the curated selection from Klever Beauty Box. Elevate your makeup monthly with eight full-sized cruelty-free products delivered straight to your door—from brushes to blushes.