What Should You Apply First, Concealer Or Foundation?

What Should You Apply First, Concealer Or Foundation?

You’ve just purchased a new foundation but you’re not sure if you should use it before or after your concealer for the best effect.

You might not even be sure if you need to use a concealer.  

What are the benefits of concealer?

Concealer has many benefits to your skin. It mainly provides you with much more coverage, so it can tackle issues like discoloration, pimples, and those dreaded under-eye circles. 

If you’ve got foundation and concealer for your skin, here’s our guide on how to apply them and which one should be applied to clean skin first. 

What Is Foundation?

What Is Foundation?

Foundation can be described as your makeup base. It comes in a variety of colors to match your skin color and you apply it all over your face.

You can find foundation with high levels of pigment which provides fuller coverage, while those with low levels of pigment will offer a bit less. You might find that if you don’t have skin imperfections you want to hide or you don’t want a dramatic look, you can get away with minimal foundation

There are different foundation formulas: stick, cream, liquid, and powder. You can also find foundations that have light-reflecting qualities to give you a more radiant, glowing complexion, so they’re perfect for you if you have dull skin.

What Is Concealer?

What Is Concealer?

Concealer is actually quite similar to foundation because you use it to create smoother skin, but it’s a lot thicker than foundation. This is because you use it to mask various blemishes and imperfections on the skin that can strike from time to time.

You can also use concealer to hide those under-eye marks. Less is more when it comes to concealer, though, and it’s meant to go on your skin after you’ve applied foundation so it can smooth over anything your foundation missed.

The truth is that foundation on its own isn’t strong enough to hide skin issues from view, which is why you need concealer. 

How To Choose The Best Foundation

With so many options at your disposal, it’s not always easy to know what type of foundation you should use. The easiest way to find the right foundation is to choose one according to your skin type. 

  • For dry skin: you should choose a foundation that will give you more hydration. It should have a liquid or stick consistency, as both will offer your skin moisturizing benefits.
  • For oily skin: you should opt for powder foundation or oil-free liquid. These will absorb your skin’s natural oils so that you can achieve a matte and smooth finish. Other good choices are mineral foundation, which also absorbs moisture, and foundation that contains salicylic acid, as this dries up oil-producing glands that can lead to breakouts.
  • For combination skin: you should use powder foundation and concentrate on applying it to areas of your face where you tend to get oily, such as the forehead and chin. Apply less where you don’t need it.

How To Apply Foundation 

When applying foundation, you should add some foundation to the palm of your hand and dab the foundation onto your face with a foundation brush. Start in the middle of your face and blend it outwards.

Then, use a damp makeup sponge or beauty blender and dab the side of the sponge over your face. This helps to spread and blend the foundation into your skin. You can use the pointy part of the sponge to blend foundation around the eyes and nose for a smoother finish.  

How To Choose The Right Concealer

Using concealer can be tricky. Since it’s thicker than foundation, you might find you end up with too much on your skin, which makes your makeup look a bit heavy.

It’s also important to get the concealer shade right, otherwise it will be visible on your foundation – that’s a big no-no!

When it comes to under-eye concealer, it’s never a good idea to choose concealer in a shade that matches your skin. It should be two shades lighter. To be 100-percent sure that it’s right for you, test it out on the inside of your wrist. If it covers the veins there, it’s a good match for your skin.

When it comes to concealer you want to use all over your face, such as on areas that need coverage, you need to choose a concealer that’s the same shade as your foundation – make sure you match it perfectly!

Should you choose a liquid, cream, or stick concealer? 

  • Liquid concealer is best for normal, oily, or combination skin. It can be layered well while also coming in a variety of finishes, such as dewy and satin. It’s the least likely concealer to clog your pores, so it’s a must if you’re prone to breakouts. 
  • Cream concealer is suitable for dry or combination skin. It comes in creamy or satin finishes, and both work well to hide discolored skin. However, cream concealers can crease so you will have to ensure you apply pressed powder to them.  
  • Stick concealer comes in a stick, like a lipstick tube, and it’s great for dry, normal, or sensitive skin. This type of concealer is quite thick so it offers great coverage, especially when you want to cover up blemishes or discoloration. 

How To Apply Concealer 

Some people prefer to apply concealer after foundation, whereas others like to use it first.

You can choose either way, unless you use powder foundation. If that’s the case, you need to apply concealer first and then apply your foundation, otherwise you could end up with a clumpy mess. 

Whenever you apply concealer, make sure that you dab the concealer onto areas of your skin that require coverage, such as dark under-eye circles or discoloration.

You can use a brush or sponge, or even your finger. You should blend the concealer until you can’t see any lines between the concealer and foundation. 

If you’re applying concealer to the under-eye area, you’d do best to choose one with a radiant finish so that it will reflect the light and make dark circles even more invisible. 

Related Questions

Do you need to apply primer before foundation? 

You should always use primer before foundation. It helps to create a smoother canvas on which the foundation can go.

It also fills in any lines on your face for a more polished appearance. 

Can you apply foundation with your fingers? 

This is a good tip because it allows for a natural finish due to how you have to massage the liquid into your pores.

The warmth produced by your fingers helps to blend the product. Just make sure you avoid using your fingers to apply powder foundation as it won’t go on smoothly. 


Both foundation and concealer can do wonders for your skin, making it brighter, smoother, and more even. But should you apply concealer or foundation first?

After reading this article, you now know, plus which products to choose so you can reveal your best complexion.  

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