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Makeup trends: why I’ve stopped buying concealer

Concealer is considered a makeup essential. It is the cosmetic you are most likely to see being dripped across a content creator’s face at the start of a Get Ready With Me video on both YouTube and TikTok. But, stop! Don’t be influenced. This product is NOT your secret weapon for achieving an even, flawless complexion. 

Apart from often being applied far too early in a makeup routine, concealer should be a redundant part of your makeup collection. That’s right, retired from use. Why? Let me explain…

Woman with concealer with other camouglaging makeup products in the background

Concealer uses, past and present

There was a time when foundation provided poor overall coverage, making targeted application of a camouflaging agent the most effective way to hide glaring imperfections. In recent years, colour correcting and gripping primers, coupled with much, much better foundation formulas, have transformed makeup routines. As well as providing all-day wear, today’s foundations come in choice of coverage levels - from barely there skin tints to full cover miracles.

Imperfections are, generally, less visible, if you choose the correct level of coverage. Because of that, concealer use has diversified. It is now a product of choice for contouring the face - even though there are far better sculpting cosmetics out there. How many times have you seen an influencer dot liquid concealer two shades lighter than their foundation under the eye? Too many to count, I bet. 

This is a product designed to be used OVER foundation to add an additional layer of coverage to targeted areas. What’s my problem with that? For decades, makeup lovers have been matching concealers to the tone of their skin and not their foundation. Nine times out of ten, the concealer is lighter than the foundation - making those problem areas stand out even more. And, if you are applying a concealer under the eye, you are more likely to end up with a caked-on finish; one that highlights, not hides, fine lines and wrinkles. 

With better foundations comes new opportunities. Instead of using concealer to cover up those spots, red patches and signs of ageing, there is a much simpler remedy. 

Foundation being applied to a purple beauty blender

Why concealer is a thing of the past

There has been a significant shift towards base makeup over the past few years. Primers and sunscreen have become must-haves, along with setting products. For contouring, bronzers, blush and highlighters have come on leaps and bounds. So too have finishing powders. Gone are the hard-to-blend products of yesteryear. In their place are very fine, baked cosmetics, along with creams and liquids that can be diffused in seconds. 

The modern way to conceal imperfections? Foundation! You read that right. If you want more coverage on a specific part of the face, simply pat a bit more foundation on. Press gently into the skin and then set. The colour will match the rest of your face - without the need for an additional makeup product. 

Want to lighten the skin under your eyes? Put your concealer away. Before contouring your face and using a setting spray, press a very light dusting of white or light-coloured finishing powder, like the e.l.f. High Definition Powder, into the skin. As well as brightening this delicate part of the face, it will blur fine lines, pores and dark circles. No cakiness, no fuss! 

Woman with makeup application tools

Conclear v finishing products

I remember being practically welded to a concealer stick in my youth. Back then, my problem area was my nose. It was covered in blackheads. Instead of investing my time in a decent skincare routine, I took the lazy path to flawless. Except… My skin didn’t look flawless.

Those concealer sticks were dry. Instead of providing an additional layer of camouflage, they highlighted every flake of loose skin. Even worse, they settled in my pores, making those blackheads look a million times more visible.

Today, good skin prep, an hydrating primer and the right setting products can ensure your foundation delivers perfect coverage exactly where you need it. You can conceal with confidence - without the need for a concealer. 

So, what am I doing with all the concealers I’ve still got hanging around? The better ones have been repurposed. I use them as an every-day eyeshadow base. Of course, for nights out and special occasions, I revert to my trusty Beauty Bay Eye Base. The others are off on a little journey - to the tip!

The next time you find yourself watching a GRWM video, dressed up as a tutorial but likely to be a veiled promo for something you don’t need, remember what I’ve told you. Concealer has had its day. Put your effort into choosing the right foundation for your skin and you will never have to buy a cover-up product again.

Graphic for a review abou Skin Silk Foundation


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