The Best Concealers for Problem Areas

Concealers have taken a quantum leap, with a slew of new textures, colors, and application options. Here, which products to put where.

By Lois Joy Johnson

Concealers for Undereye CirclesSkip the half-moon crescents that fool no one. The idea is to minimize circles and blend the edges into your own skin tone, not white them out completely. Apply eye cream first. Let it sink in, so concealer goes on smoother and blends more easily.Choose the right shade. Warm, golden nudes, pale yellows, even corals counteract gray circles. Use a detail brush all the way up to the lashline. Use more concealer than you think you need, then blend well; lock in with pale powder. We LikeEstee Lauder Prime FX Proconcealment Kit ($25) A yellow brightener, coral neutralizer, silicone primer for glide-on ease, and a setting powder. Great for dark lids and deep circles. Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer To Go ($15) The pinker shade brings dark color up to skin tone; the yellowy shade adds warmth; and pressed powder keeps all in place. Paula Dorf Special Camouflage ($22) A rich coral cream primer that corrects extreme, nearly violet circles. Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder ($22) This sheer, undetectable powder with light reflectors sets concealer and eye makeup. Concealers for Tired-Looking Eyes Water retention, allergies, hormonal changes (again!) and gravity can contribute to red, puffy, droopy lids. As fat pads diminish, hollows form. How to cope: Let there be light! A sheer, light-reflecting tinted concealer brushed over the entire eye orbit, especially in hollows at inner and outer corners, gives tired eyes a fresher look. Go for the gold. Luminous beiges work for most women, but pale pink can counteract the effects of dim or fluorescent lighting. We LikeGuerlain Issima Precious Light Smoothing Illuminator ($42) In pearly pink, pale shimmery beige, and natural golden beige; great for blurring lines. Concealers for Breakouts Although most women find that slowed oil production and estrogen loss have a drying effect on skin, some continue to be plagued with occasional breakouts. The newest treatment concealers are cosmetically elegant for adult use. Use a green cream under foundation or concealer to reduce the inflammation of glaring breakouts. Use a fine-tipped detail brush on stand-alone blemishes. Paint the top and sides of each blemish with a thin coat of concealer; then re-dip the brush in powder to set. Don’t aim for perfection; just minimize. We LikeSonia Kashuk for Target Hidden Agenda Concealer Kit ($10) A foursome of beiges and khaki — the ultimate solution for mature skin that starts behaving like a teenager’s. Concealers for Red SplotchesIf you flush easily, have redness around the base of the nose, suffer from rosacea , or have postinflammatory pigmentation following a peel or laser treatment, a thick, semi-matte cream cover gives you the extra security you’d expect from foundation and powder, but without the heaviness.Be stingy. These pasty creams need to be used sparingly, and are best applied with fingers. Massage a dab between pads of fingers to liquefy slightly before tap-blending on with quick patting movements. Don’t use self-tanner for camouflage. It will clash with the redness, not hide it. We LikeBenefit Galactic Shield! ($18) This automatic pencil treats breakouts with 2 percent salicylic acid. Clinique Airbrush Concealer ($19) Moisturizing cover that’s perfect for hard-to-reach base of nose and nostril creases. Trish McEvoy’s Even Skin Concealer ($32) Long-lasting and waterproof; sets in five minutes without a powder topcoat. Concealers for Brown SpotsIf large brown freckles or patches are reminders of suntans past, birth-control pills, or pregnancies, you have two options: Use a cream compact or stick foundation for broad areas (like cheeks) where you need a lot of coverage. Look for ones that are creamy and set to a satin, not matte, finish. They give you a natural look fast. Use foundation and matching concealer when you have multiple issues, like brown spots and red areas and broken capillaries. It gives you a more finished look, and lets you build coverage throughout the day. We LikeBecca Stick Foundation ($38) Velvety texture and a wow! choice of 35 shades.

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