Should Your Concealer Be the Same Shade as Your Foundation?

Here's how to pick the right concealer shade.

smeared foundation on pink background

The order you apply your products isn't the only confusing part of wearing makeup. In the case of foundation and concealer, the shades you pick are more important than the sequence you're using them in.

Since foundation and concealer go hand-in-hand, wearing the same shade in both products seems like pretty sound logic (and it is!), but there's also a tiny bit of a catch.

According to Emily Cheng, a celebrity makeup artist who works with Yara Shahidi, your concealer should be pretty similar to your foundation shade but with a slightly different undertone, depending on whether you're covering up dark circles, redness, or blemishes.

So how do you know what undertone you need? Cheng says to keep the color wheel in mind when selecting your concealer shade. "I will usually use something warmer to balance out the blue-ish undertones of a dark circle. The same goes for sunspots and scars," she explains.

When debating shade options, Cheng recommends trying each of them on the spot you want to conceal, instead of relying on swatching them on your arm or hand. "Do this by a window in natural light. You'll know when you have the right shade when it takes only just a small amount of product to conceal," she notes.

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The exception to this guide is if you're using a concealer to contour your features.

"I would go a few shades darker, but not pick anything too warm [when picking a contour shade]," says Cheng. "Keep in mind when contouring you are trying to create "shadow," so a few shades darker on the cooler/taupe side."

Now, if only smoky eyes were less of an enigma.

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