HOW TO: CONCEALER

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Now this little gem may be an obvious choice but it is an effective multi-purpose product for those on a budget. The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is just £4.19 and definitely worth a try.

WHAT IS CONCEALER?

The dictionary definition (read: Google) of concealer is a flesh-toned cosmetic stick used to cover facial blemishes and dark under-eye circles.

WORK OUT THE RIGHT SHADE FOR YOU

First and foremost, it should match your skin tone, if not a slightly lighter shade. Any darker or much lighter and it will draw attention to those areas you're trying to disguise!

WHERE CAN I USE IT?

Anywhere you like, really. It can cover birth marks, spots/blemishes and under eye circles. That said, it can also be used to highlight certain areas of the faces, when used more heavily.

UNDER EYE CIRCLES

· Put three to four small dots of concealer under the eye 'on top' of the dark skin using the applicator. If using another concealer, you could apply using your middle/ring finger. If it doesn't seem like you've applied much, remember you can apply more (it's easier to add but a pain to remove!).

· Start to blend using your middle/ring finger from the tear duct outwards. Be careful not to drag or pull at the skin.

· If necessary, apply some more using the same method.

BLEMISHES

· I tend to use any stiff, short bristled brush (like this) that I can wash after use to apply concealer to blemishes. You could also use a cotton bud, although this could rub off the concealer as you reapply. I find it a little more hygienic than using fingers as it can unintentionally spread any bacteria.

· On the same note, it's a good idea to put a little amount of concealer on the back of your hand first to dab the brush in to. By avoiding putting the (let's face it, dirty) brush back in to the pot/tube, you avoid putting bacteria in to the product - a breeding ground for it, causing more blemishes.

· Dab a little concealer directly on to the area if it's a scar, almost healed blemish or on the skin's surface.

· If the blemish is broken skin or a healing spot, it may be best to dab concealer around the area rather than directly on to the blemish as it could infect it and prolong the time it takes to disappear.

WHAT ABOUT COLOURED CONCEALERS?

Yellow toned concealers, like the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer are good at covering dark circles and puffiness and can be used alone. Whereas other colours can be used under a yellow toned concealer, to give more coverage. Green toned concealers are good at counteracting the redness in spots and pink toned concealers cancel out blue so, veins and scars.

I have only ever tried a green toned cream stick concealer before and didn't find it worked too well. However I think this could be more to do with the formula than the colour.

OTHER CONCEALERS

A cream stick formula on a budget: Rimmel Hide The Blemish Concealer, £3.99

Great for highlighting and lifting under eye circles: L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer, £8.49

A higher-end concealer and corrector: Benefit Erase Paste, £19.50

For when nothing else will cover: Vichy Dermablend Ultra Corrective Cream Stick, £19.00

What's your favourite concealer?