Conceal Those Flaws-Some Tips on Technique During Chemotherapy

+ Pamela Friedman

Everyone has facial flaws they want to hide-even models and celebrities. Is it any wonder concealer is one of the most popular makeup products?

If you’re going through cancer treatment, you may have a few more flaws you didn’t have before, like acne, dry flakes, or scars. Here are a few tips for how best to use concealer to smooth out your skin’s appearance.

1. Before or after foundation? This depends on what you’re going for. If your face is in basically good condition and you need to hide only under-eye circles and a few age spots, you’re probably best using foundation first, then concealing the flaws. If you have more wide-spread dark areas you want to cover, it may be best to use the concealer first, just be careful not to wipe it away when you apply the foundation. Some say that when you apply foundation first, you automatically use less concealer. (Note: always moisturize your skin before applying any makeup, especially if you’re going through cancer treatment.)

2. Conceal undereye circles. The skin under the eyes is particularly thin, so tiny blood vessels can show through, giving a darker look. It doesn’t help if you’re tired, feeling sick, or have puffy eyes from medications! To conceal these dark areas and brighten your eyes, use a concealer with a warm (pink) undertone to counteract the blueness of the dark circles. Pat some moisturizing eye cream under the eyes first, then apply concealer. Many use their ring fingers for application, but if you’re going through cancer treatment, you’re at a higher risk for infection, so be sure to wash well, or even better, choose a soft, flat concealer brush. Brushes also give you more control over application. Little Miss Makeup suggests a slightly pointed brush with firm but flexible bristles. (A lip brush will do in a pinch.) For larger areas, go for a firm, flat, dense-bristled brush with a rounded edge.

Dab concealer on the inner corner of the eye (always dab, never rub or streak) and along underneath the lashes to the outer corner. Expert tip from apply about an inch below the eye, rather than right on the dark area. The lower lid is absorbent, and the cream will “travel up” where it’s needed. If you put it right on the lower lid, you may create puffiness. Keep dabbing until blended. If concealer dries too quickly, add a bit more moisturizer.

3. Conceal corners of the nose. Dab a little in the inner corners of the nose to create a more flawless look. Blend with the edge of a dry wedge. Some makeup artists suggest a bit of concealer on the bridge of the nose to bring light to the face. You decide.

4. Conceal acne. A yellow-based concealer in a color close to your foundation is best to hide break-outs. Apply sparingly, work from the center out, and blend well at the edges with a makeup wedge. For a more natural look (and to reduce your risk of wiping off the concealer), apply concealer after foundation when covering pimples. Use a dab of powder to set, but not too much or you’ll have a white spot.

5. Other areas. A tip-to find other areas on your face that may appear too dark, tilt your head downward and look into the mirror. The shadows will show up. Dab concealer and blend them away. One other area to check-the fine lines bending down toward your lips. A little concealer may help hide your age.

Have any tips for applying concealer? Please share with us.

Photo courtesy of Beaute Mineral via

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