- Celebrity makeup artist Melissa Murdick has worked with Selena Gomez, Rosalía, and Kim Petras.
- Insider recently spoke with her about concealer, and the mistakes people make when applying it.
- Murdick says people often use too much concealer and apply it with the wrong techniques.
If you follow the latest makeup trends — including the countless beauty products and hacks that are constantly going viral on TikTok — there’s a chance that you might be applying concealer wrong.
Insider recently spoke with Melissa Murdick, a celebrity makeup artist who’s worked with Selena Gomez, Rosalía, Kim Petras, and others.
She shared her top tips for applying the beloved beauty product, and also explained where people commonly go wrong.
Concealer can be used in different ways, so you’ll need to determine how you want it to work for you
“Whereas foundation goes all over the skin to even it out and make it look healthy, concealer is for targeted imperfections,” Murdick told Insider.
So if you want to conceal acne, you might apply the makeup directly onto blemishes. Or if you want to brighten dark circles, you’d tap concealer underneath your eyes.
But, according to Murdick, people tend to mess up by using a shade that’s too light to accomplish both results.
“Some people can use a slightly lighter concealer under the eyes to brighten,” she said. “And when I say slightly, I mean like a shade down or so — you don’t want your concealer to be white.”
But if you’re using that same, light concealer across your face, you’ll likely end up highlighting blemishes instead of concealing them, Murdick said.
“It makes blemishes more noticeable, and creates a whole host of problems,” she told Insider. “So I recommend that most people buy a concealer that matches their skin tone.”
Make sure to apply concealer at the right point in your makeup routine, and with the right technique
It’s become popular for people to apply concealer before foundation or any other makeup. But Murdick says that’s a mistake.
“I am somebody who does foundation first, because I want to see what foundation will cover on its own,” she said. “I also don’t want the foundation to move the concealer around.”
But even more important, she says, is how you blend the concealer into your skin and what tools you use.
“Fingers and sponges are too large,” she said. “And sponges will remove some of the product as you’re applying it.”
Instead, she recommends using a brush that matches the size of your blemishes or discoloration and patting the makeup onto the skin. Then, she says, you can use a slightly larger blending brush to smooth a touch more product over top.
Don’t use too much concealer — a little goes a long way
Once you have a concealer shade that works for you and you’ve determined when and how to apply it, there’s one more mistake you’ll want to avoid: using too much product.
According to Murdick, she commonly sees people “using too much in areas where they don’t need it.”
Take under-eye concealer, for example. Murdick noted that most people have dark circles “right at the hollow,” or the area towards the inner half of the eye — so that’s where they should apply concealer. But she said people often ignore that area and apply it outwards.
Though concealer around the outer eye might look OK at first, it usually creases due to movement and fine lines. It also leaves the darker area of your eye without any coverage.
So as Murdick said, it’s important to make this small tweak to see the best results from your concealer.
“Being in control of the amount of concealer you’re using, in my opinion, is paramount,” she said. “That to me will fix the biggest mistakes.”