7 Concealer Mistakes You Might Be Making

Concealer is a tricky thing. Dab some on under-eye bags and they practically disappear. (Hooray!) Slap too much on a zit, however, and you end up with an even more obvious mound. (Ack.) Here, seven mistakes to avoid so you don’t actually look like you’re trying to hide something.

The Best Concealer to Use for Under-Eye Circles

woman looking at compact

Looking At Yourself Straight On When Applying

This is fine when you're trying to hide zits, but not so when you're tackling those dark circles. Instead grab a mirror and tilt your head down to get a better idea of where your under-eye shadows actually fall.

woman using liquid concealer
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Using Too Much Of It

It just makes whatever you're trying to cover more pronounced. Instead start with a conservative amount (a few dabs at most) and focus on blending the color past the areas you're trying to conceal so there are no obvious edges. If you still need more coverage, go back and add a little more, building thin layers.

woman applying foundation
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Applying It Before Your Foundation

A thin layer of foundation will take care of any blotchiness and cover up most spots on its own. By doing this step first, you'll be able to cut down on the amount of concealer you need...which helps with the above point of not using too much in the first place.

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Using The Wrong Formula

As tempting as it is to swipe the same concealer all over your face, it’s actually best to choose one especially for eyes and one just for blemishes. The rule of thumb: Liquid concealer is best to use on under-eye areas as cream tends to cake and settle into fine lines, while creams are better for blemishes as they’re less likely to wear off.

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Using The Wrong Shade

Since you’re snagging two different formulas, you might as well choose the right hues, too. So which is best for each? You’ll want one shade lighter for under-eye circles and an exact match for covering blemishes. (We still love you, Cookie.)

woman primer eye lids
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Not Using It To Prime Your Eyelids (or Lips)

While almost everyone uses concealer under their eyes, most people don't apply it on top of their lids—which not only helps with any discoloration there (they are called dark circles after all) but also gives your eye shadow something to adhere to so it's less likely to smudge. When applied on bare lips, it neutralizes any pink or red tones so that your lipstick is more true to hue.

Or Not Using It To Correct Mistakes

Like smudged eyeliner or feathered lipstick. Resist your first instinct—which is to grab the remover—and reach for your concealer instead. Using a pointy Q-tip or brush, simply go over the area to clean up the edges without having to start from scratch.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023
Jenny Jin

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...
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