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6 Concealer Hacks to Hide Any Flaw

No one’s skin is perfect. Everyone has bumps, scrapes, and imperfections that make skin unique—it is our largest organ, after all, and it protects us from all the stuff the world throws at us. But there’s no harm in wanting it to look perfect from head to toe. So we asked Jessica Mae, a makeup artist and creative director of Warpaint International, to give us her best tips and tricks on how to hide any flaw you could think of.

Use a Super-Soft Brush to Cover Up Red Irritations
When it comes to a sunburn, the beet-red skin is almost worse than the pain. While you should always be wearing sunscreen, we understand that accidents—in the form of sunburns—happen. Mae recommends using a moisturizer with an SPF as a base to keep skin moisturized before applying an fragrance-free concealer (since fragrance may further irritate) over the affected areas. “Use a dabbing motion to cover the area, and be very gentle,” says Mae. “You want to avoid using the brush like a paint brush.”

MORE: 7 Places You’re Probably Forgetting to Put Sunscreen

Moisturize Nicks Before Concealing Them
Nicking your leg shaving before a big night out can be frustrating—what are you supposed to do with that brand-new scab on your knee when you’ve been planning on wearing a dress all day? Mae says that cover-up care is easy enough—just be sure your cut has clotted before you apply product, otherwise you’re just putting makeup into an open wound. Just like you would with the sunburn, apply moisturizer to create a barrier so product won’t irritate your cut. Then conceal as normal.

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Conceal Before Foundation
To cover up any facial imperfections like pimples, scabs, redness, or under-eye circles, Mae says to start with concealer. “I like to conceal first because concealer is typically a higher concentrated product having heavier coverage,” she says. Try her favorite concealing brush, MAC 287 Duo Fibre Eye Shadow Brush ($32, maccosmetics.com).

Cover Eyelid Veins and Redness
Having a no-makeup-makeup kind of day? To make eyelids appear naturally flawless, try sweeping on a thin layer of concealer. Mae says this will conceal any redness or imperfections lingering on your natural lid. Don’t use it as a base for shadows, though—Mae says the product isn’t dry enough to hold shadows in place, and the likelihood that they will crease is pretty high.

Use Color Correctors
Unfortunately, sometimes discoloration can shine through a layer of concealer as if you never put anything on in the first place. If the skin underneath the pigment is really red or blue—think big, bad zit or under-eye circles—concealer alone may not be enough. In this case, Mae recommends using color-correcting concealers as a base for your natural shade to offset the discoloration. Green and yellow concealers work for redness, while salmon tones work on dark spots and circles. “Let it set for a second before you go back over with your skin tone shade,” says Mae.

Use a Primer and Setting Spray
This dynamic duo is a key to covering up anything from zits to tattoos, says Mae. Primer ensures that the product goes on smoothly and will last all day, and setting sprays really seal the deal. She recommends Make Up For Ever’s Microperfecting Primer ($34, sephora.com) and Mist & Fix ($29, sephora.com).

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