foundation or concealer first

Foundation or Concealer First? Let’s Settle the Debate 

foundation or concealer first?

Want to get the flawless skin of your dreams but not sure whether to use foundation or concealer first? It could go both ways, depending on your needs!


What’s the million dollar question robbing the beauty industry of its sleep? Foundation or concealer - which one goes on first?

Everyone has their own take on the matter. Most makeup artists will tell you a light layer of foundation is the first thing that should go on your face. But trending TikTok beauty hacks will tell you otherwise.

In this milieu, it’s hard to find an answer for yourself. In any case, Dermaflage’s Pro Concealer can put your makeup woes to rest. As for the never ending debate, let’s start by knowing what each product is expected to do.

What Does Foundation Really Do?

Foundation or Concealer First? Let’s Settle the Debate

Photo by George Milton

It builds a base for your makeup, much like the name suggests. Think of it this way - you cannot make a skyscraper without laying its foundation stones. Similarly, you cannot get a flawless look without a foundation.

The primary purpose of a foundation is to give you enough coverage and even out your skin tone. Once you apply your eyeshadow, blush, and other products, they have a place to sit comfortably.

Foundations can be full coverage or provide partial coverage. In most cases, they come in one of three different types: Cream, powder, or liquid. As you can very well guess, each gives you a different finish.

But the most defining characteristic of a foundation is that it goes all over your face and neck. It is not meant for spot use.

That’s Where a Concealer Comes in

Foundation or Concealer First? Let’s Settle the Debate

Photo by George Milton

Because it’s meant to conceal imperfections, concealer and spot application go hand in hand. If you need to hide the dark circles you got from binging that new Netflix show, a concealer is your best friend. Dab some on your age spots, pigmentation, and blemishes to cover ‘em up!

Concealers usually have a thicker consistency than foundations. And unlike the latter, you should not slather your entire face with concealer.

So, a foundation and a concealer have different applications in makeup. But they both steer you towards the same goal - flawless skin that looks like a million bucks.

So, Which One Should You Use First?

That depends.

If you’re using a cream or liquid foundation, close your eyes and apply it before your concealer. Make sure your face is clean, moisturized, and primed before your foundation goes on. Blend it in, and wait for it to set before spot-correcting with a concealer.

When you use foundation before concealer, it lets you camouflage your imperfections almost seamlessly. So, if hiding hyperpigmentation, age spots, redness, acne marks, and the likes is your goal - it always has to be foundation before concealer.

Foundation followed by concealer gives you the best possible coverage you can ask for.

Applying concealer before your foundation can end up making your makeup look patchy and uneven. You may also end up removing or dispersing the concealer when you try to blend your foundation at a later stage. And nobody wants a cakey makeup look!

However, if you’re using a powder foundation, dabbing that concealer first is a good idea. That’s because a powder foundation acts more like a setting powder. So covering your problem areas with some concealer and buffing it up with the foundation helps.

Concealer before foundation gets a big nod from professional makeup artists when you’re getting ready for a photoshoot. If you’re an influencer who shoots a lot of videos and photos all day long, put that concealer on before doing your foundation.

When applied improperly, concealers tend to catch lights from the camera flash and make your skin look bumpy. If you’re doing your makeup for a shoot or perhaps a wedding where you will get clicked, concealer followed by a powder foundation can save the day.

But a lot depends on choosing the right shade of foundation and concealer. Otherwise, your makeup may end up looking cakey or ashen your face.

Don’t Forget to Choose the Correct Shade

makeup for scars

To save you the hassle, here’s a brief guide on how to choose the right shade of foundation and concealer for yourself.

The first step is to understand your skin tone and undertone. Wash your face, pat it dry, and check whether it’s deep, medium, or light in natural light. No matter what your skin tone is, do not forget that you’re beautiful just the way you are. So go be a queen and strut your stuff.

Meanwhile, turn your attention to your undertone. You’re either warm or cool and you can easily tell the difference. If your veins are blue and you’ve blue/gray/green eyes, you have got a cool undertone. If you have green veins with raven, hazel, or brown eyes, your undertone is warm.

The foundation that matches your skin tone and blends in with your skin is the shade you should choose.

So, consider the swatches carefully before taking your pick.

While it’s difficult to find the perfect match in one go, try shortlisting shades closest to your skin tone. Keep eliminating the ones that do not blend in well, and repeat the process until you find your shade.

Pro tip: Your neck and jawline both happen to be excellent places to match your foundation to your skin tone.

And that’s how you find yourself a perfect match. Easy peasy!

Now let’s get started on getting you that perfect concealer. There’s a trick to it: Always get two concealers.

  • One that’s a shade darker than your foundation
  • Another that’s one shade lighter than your foundation

While you should always use a concealer that’s lighter than your foundation, here’s something no one tells you. You need a darker shade because your skin pigmentation often changes color. The amount of sun exposure and weather conditions also affect your age spots and any other skin discoloration that you may have. In such cases, having a darker concealer helps effectively cover up your blemishes.

Layer it Up the Right Way

Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s talk about the correct order of using makeup products. That alone could be the difference between a picture-perfect look and a makeup faux pas.

Remember to clean, moisturize, and prime your face before you apply any other makeup product. Now, depending on the occasion, type of product you’re using, and the end look you want to achieve, go for foundation or concealer first.

Once the foundation-concealer combo is done, move on to your eye makeup. You can dust some loose powder on your cheeks to catch any fallouts. Clean it up and do the blush and bronzer/highlighter.

Don’t forget to give your lips some love and color.

Follow everything up with a setting spray and tada! You’re ready to rock the day- or night!

Make Dermaflage a Part of Your Makeup Kit

From long-wear primers to concealers in a variety of shades and foundations, Dermaflage’s range of makeup products is a class apart. Backed by years of research and expertise in the beauty industry, the brand is dedicated to making life easy (and beautiful) for all its clients.

Hop on the Dermaflage bandwagon and discover a new you today!

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