Concealer Question: Do You Use the Same Shade to Cover Dark Circles and Blemishes?

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

concealer makeup tips

I’m all for streamlining my makeup bag and only carrying the products I know I’ll need (although I do like to have options when it comes to things like lipgloss), and I’ll never turn my back on a great multitasking product, like MAC Bare Study Paint Pot, which can work as a base or a standalone shadow, but when it comes to concealers? — I generally like to keep my bag stocked with two different shades, one a few shades lighter than my natural skin tone for concealing dark circles and for brightening my under-eye area, and a second shade that more closely matches my skin tone for covering up blemishes, small scars and discolorations on my face.


A lesson learned the hard way…

Back when I first started wearing concealer, I was all about keeping a streamlined makeup bag, so whenever I left the house, I’d bring just a single light concealer shade, which I used under my eyes, and wherever else I felt I needed to on my face.

Little did I know at the time, but the light shade I was using, which was a little lighter than parts of my cheeks, chin and forehead, was actually drawing more attention to my trouble spots, like a makeup spotlight.

Oh, noes!

A few department store concealers to try

Nowadays, I usually bring 2-3 concealer shades with me (usually two, but sometimes three). For my under-eye area, I’m back to using an old love of mine, MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer ($18).

That area up there under my eyes gets really dry, but Moisturecover couldn’t care less. It handles my dry under-eye area better than anything else. The medium-coverage formula also looks natural and doesn’t settle into my fine lines (yea!). The only downside, and it’s not a deal-breaker for me, is that I do have to reapply it after about eight hours of wear.

concealer makeup tips

Most of the time I wear it in shade NW25, even though I’m color matched to NC42, because I think the peachy tones better counteract the purple tones under my eyes (especially when I’m dog tired, like today).

Ladies and gents with hyperactive sebaceous glands (read: oily skin) might want to try MAC Select Cover-Up ($18), MAC’s version for oily skin, or MAC Pro Longwear Concealer ($18).

Speaking of Pro Longwear Concealer, I think it’s really great for my face in general. Being super concentrated, a little goes a long way, and it’s awfully stubborn, in a good way. In other words, it doesn’t budge. πŸ™‚

It can, however, oxidize and darken over time, especially when applied to super oily skin, so when I’m having one of those bouts, I usually wear it in NC42 mixed with a slightly lighter shade.

A few more concealers to try…

Still looking for a great drugstore option…

I wish I could offer a great drugstore combination under-eye/face concealer to try, but I’m still looking for one that offers good coverage and comes in a wide range of colors. If you have any recommendations, please share! Let me know in the comments.

Lunch 2.0 Deluxe Professional Balsamic Tomato Edition!

tomato egg sandwich

Ok, so my lunch today? I think I may have mentioned this already, but I’ve been pretty jazzed about the kitchen lately, thanks to all of the cooking shows I’ve been watching at night, and I’ve been trying a few different things.

I’m not the most creative person when it comes to food (so often I eat just to get it out of the way), but in an effort to be kinder to my tum, I made this fried egg sandwich today with tomatoes, chives, mayo and salt and pepper on whole wheat toast, with a side of sliced black figs sprinkled with Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze.

figs with balsamic glaze

That glaze?? I’m talkin’ BOMB. DOT. COM.

It’s a concentrated balsamic sauce you can sprinkle on just about anything — meats, fish, veggies, cheese, fruit (!) — whatever tickles your fancy.

It’s almost always sold out at my local TJ’s, but I grabbed two bottles when I spotted it the last time I went shopping (SCORE!).

trader joes balsamic glaze

The other day, I sliced up some fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes and basil and sprinkled some of the glaze on top…

So good! πŸ™‚


And even though it probably sounds kind of gross in theory, I tried it on sliced strawberries yesterday and almost passed out. A really delicious contrast of sweet and tangy.

Look for it next time you head to Trader Joe’s. They keep it next to the olive oil and spices at my local store.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Hope you’re having a good day so far.


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  1. cj says:

    I’ve recently been using the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer for undereye circles and I was surprised (pleasantly!) by the coverage, feel, and overall look of the product. Since I’m knocking on 40, some of products on the market actually make it look like I have more fine lines than I do – umm, not cool. This concealer doesn’t do that, yaay!

    • Angel says:

      I just got this in the CEW beauty box. I kind of like it! I’m still playing around with it, trying it on its own and underneath other concealers as I have the neutralizing one. The color comes out a bit too yellow on its own, but it wears really well and I haven’t experienced any creasing which is major for me.

  2. Nina says:

    Hey hey that Balsamic Glaze looks nommy! Another TJ find to look forward too.

    I generally use a concealer thats one shade lighter than my skintone, in the opposite of the warmth spectrum. Does that make sense?

    Im NC35 for most of the year (although when my fave MAC Artist saw me over the weekend she said im looking more like an NC30) … and my Pro Longwear Concealer is NW25. When I buy other brands I generally go for something in the “light medium” range. Apparenlty the coolness in an NW product counteracts dark circles and discolorations in an NC person. Or something like that – it was much too complicated LOL!

  3. Liz says:

    Luckily, I’ve never needed concealer to cover any blemishes. I have pretty good skin, so foundation is enough. For under my eyes, I’ve used both Sephora brand concealer and L’oreal True Match. I actually really like the true match concealer. I use true match medium/deep warm.

  4. Anna says:

    I need to pick myself up some of that glaze! I adore caprese salad especially in the summer

    • Karen says:

      It’s so good. I bet it would be yummy in a caprese sandwich with really good bread, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and maybe even a little pesto. NOM!

  5. Chelsea says:

    I’ve been using a Coastal Scents Camo Quad (in light) because the peach shade in there is perfect for undereye circles. Since my undereye corrector is very peachy, I definitely don’t use it for redness or blemishes! I end up mixing two of the other shades in the camo quad for that. The formula’s pretty good, though the packaging is terrible.

  6. gigi says:

    my favorite is the mac studio sculpt concealer and I find that it works well not only under my eyes but everywhere- blemishes, redness you name it. I use the shade nw25. gigi. food and beauty blogger @

  7. Arianne says:

    I’m loyal to Pro Longwear Concealer, with Prep+Prime Highlighter in Bright Forecast on top. So awesome.

    I’m tempted to buy a YSL Touche Eclat when my Prep+Prime runs out, but the price tag is steep. The kitteh needs to eat.
    Arianne recently posted … Lipstick Bandits: Sheer for Summer with L’Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Lipcolour

  8. I’m envious that you can use Moisturecover for your undereye circles, Karen! With my pale skin and (at times) dark, dark circles, it’s never covered enough for me — which sucks, because my skin can get pretty dry in the winter.

    I’ve never been a huge supporter of the whole one-concealer deal, so it’s great to see another blogger with a variety of shades! πŸ˜‰
    Rae // theNotice recently posted … Steals & Deals | 20% off at Inglot USA 10/08 to 20/08

  9. musical says:

    I am not much of a concealer user :(. Most likely it’s my laziness speaking! But i do have Bobbi’s concealer (pen) and one corrector thingy. It works, but i always feel concealer takes something away from my face (does that make sense)…

    That sandwich looks so yummy! I had the most delicious meow-worthy figs last week. Got ’em from the local farmers market and i just went meow mrrow :). That glaze is a keeper!

  10. Larissa says:

    That Balsamic glaze looks so yummy! I just started wearing concealer and I’m searching for the right one because I tried one from Clinique that helps with blemishes, but I didn’t liked it so I’m still looking for other ones. I just started researching the Boi-ing concealer and I might try it…

  11. Michelle says:

    I use one concealer for everything because mine is rather pigmented and my dark circles aren’t very dark! Besides blemishes, my skin-tone is relatively uniform now (earlier this year and last year, it wasn’t), so I currently use one shade for my face and neck. I like Bobbi Brown’s face touch up stick in Sand!

    P.S. I’m hungry!

  12. Katie says:

    I’ve always followed the two-shades rule, too. I like under-eye concealers one shade lighter than my skin tone and with a thinner consistency – not necessarily thin, but just not so thick that it won’t cake. A good drugstore option is the Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller.

    I don’t use “concealers” for blemishes because I believe that’s what foundation should be for, but if I do, I really love the texture and shades of Make Up For Ever’s Full Cover Concealer. Yeah, it’s pricey, but a little goes a looong way.

    And dang it, Karen, those pictures are making me hungry!! Don’t you just love good ole’ TJ’s?

  13. Rose says:

    Balsamic on strawberries (and a teeny dash if salt) is one of my faves! Kinda want to wander downstairs and fix up a bowl now.

  14. Lulle says:

    I do use different concealer shade for under eye area and the rest of my face. For my dark circles, I use theBalm Time Balm concealer in a lighter shade, and for my face, a stick concealer by Kiko which matches my skin
    Lulle recently posted … Skincare shopping: hydrating in the heat

  15. I LOVE balmsamic glaze–but I am always too busy to make some so I just settle for balsamic vinegar instead. Coincidentally, I’m stopping by Trader Joes for some snacks tomorrow so I will definitely look for this glaze! Thanks Karen! πŸ˜€

  16. Angel says:

    Karen, have you tried the Tarte Maracuja concealer for your eyes? This has been my favorite for the past year or so. It truly doesn’t crease on me and it lasts all day. It’s very moisturizing but has great staying power. And a little goes a long way. I’ve had the same tube for over a year!

  17. I usually use a concealer palette with four different shades of beige, so I can pick out the shade I need or even mix colors if needed.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Delushiously brilliant: Lush Emotional Brilliance

  18. Chris25 says:

    I must try the Moisturecover Concealer. My usual shade is NW35 for under eyes, Like you said, the orange tones are great for counteracting the bluish/purplish dark circles.

    Eve Pearl concealer is also great, and Bobbi Brown corrector is pretty great too.

    Have you tried German formula Nivea Creme for the undereye area? I love it, and it’s really inexpensive! πŸ™‚

  19. Kim says:

    I’m always envious of Californians for your excellent, fresh figs. We just cannot get them out here in the sticks. πŸ™

    Balsamic is also good on watermelon, if you haven’t tried that yet. It’s similar to the strawberries but I think an even better mix because the watermelon is so sweet (and I find that strawberries have a bit more tartness). Aren’t cooking shows addictive? I rarely cooked anything until I was on bed rest for 6 months, pregnant with the boys. I learned a lot from Food Network while I was stuck on that couch! πŸ™‚

  20. Katherine G says:

    I don’t use undereye concealer. I was just reading in a new book (by Glamour beauty editor Andrea Pomerantz Lustig), that it actually works better to use a highlighting type concealer for under the eyes, because it brightens without calling a lot of attention to the dark circles (Andrea also mentioned you can simply use a highlighter or luminizer without the concealer part and it works just as well – I like L’Oreal’s Magic Lumi primer because it functions very well in this respect and is a good drugstore option).

    For blemishes I like Neutrogena’s brand with MicroClear acne formula in it. It covers well, lasts most if not all of the day, and won’t clog my pores. I used to use a Smashbox formula that came in stick form – it worked pretty well for covering zits and I’d use it again.

    By the way, I love Balsamic Glaze – it works on so many things! Your dish looks quite mouthwatering.

  21. Ishita says:

    Love prolongwear concealer,really longlasting!

  22. Melissa says:

    I’m lucky and hardly ever have circles under my eyes, but I do get blemishes on a regular basis. I may try the Mac Pro Longwear that you mentioned, go back for the Nars one that I was matched with, or buy one by Neutrogena. I guess what I buy depends on how much I have to spend.

  23. Amy says:

    I have been using Mac’s select moisture cover in NW20 for a few months now. I always have dark circles, no matter what and when I had my makeup done for my wedding in October, that’s what the MAC makeup artist used. It’s definitely not light than the shade of my face, as I’m naturally pretty pale. I thought it was too dar, but if I pair it with MAC studio fic foundation in NC30, it seems to look fine. The MAC girl recommended I use that particular concealer because it’s moisturizing, and I have a lot of fine little lines under my eyes, which she said means the area is dry. I have noticed that this concealer settles into the fine lines, a lot. I was hoping you could recommend a concealer that is maybe a little thicker, but also moisturizing? And, do you think I should go lighter? It’s definitely a shade or two darker than my face before I apply foundation. But, when I have all my makeup on, it doesn’t make my face look darker than my body, so maybe I should stay with that shade?

  24. Amy says:

    sorry for the typos!

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