Girl Talk: The Case Against Concealer

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 • Permalink • 

Recently, while reading a magazine article on the proper way to apply the three different types of concealer "every woman needs," I had a thought. The PG version was something along the lines of: "Are you joking? There has got to be an easier way to do this!" Seriously, in the real world, do women really use three different concealers every day?!? I had to get to the bottom of this issue. I called in the Stiletto Jungle Girl Talk Panel to spill about how they really deal with facial imperfections. These real-world cuties gave me hope-- looking hot does not require the entire cosmetics counter!


Lancome Dual Finish Powder
icon
Lancome Dual Finish Powder
icon$34.50
Available at: Macys.com


"I definitely don't use a concealer," offers Pearl in a rather point-blank manner. "I think after all these years of exfoliating, going to the dermatologist, and taking pills or doing voodoo treatments, I am finally seeing my skin clear up a little. Thus, I want to enjoy it and not go out with a face all schlacked up with make up."

Sounds like you're pretty determined to stay concealer-free, Pearl. So, how do you get your skin to look so flawless?

"I actually just use a moisturizer, and then a super high SPF lotion-- Solar Protection Formula SPF 65, and then my Lancome Dual Finish powder (right). If you really want to get rid of those spots, it's all about the sunblock," says 28-year-old Pearl. "Don't be afraid of the over-50 SPF; prevention is the best concealer."

I totally agree with you on the prevention aspect, Pearl. My 29-year-old face doesn't see the light of day without a hefty slathering of Clinique Super Defense SPF25. I really have seen a huge difference in my skin's appearance since I started using it a couple of years ago.

Urban Decay Surreal Skin Mineral Makeup
Urban Decay Surreal Skin
$28.00
Available at: Amazon.com


Kim, the 23-year-old "baby" of the Girl Talk Panel, also relies on sunblock as an important part of her concealer-free routine. "The reason I don't use concealer is because it is too much work and, unless you are captured in a picture, it can look too extreme..." and "by 'too extreme' I mean fake looking," says Kim.

Hmm, seems like concealer hate is running rampant in the Girl Talk panel. So, Kim, what do you do use to get your look just right? "I tend to go for a great oil free [tinted] moisturizer, such as Lorac ProtecTint with SPF 30, underneath my MAC Studio Fix [powder] foundation. This Lorac product helps spread the foundation evenly and protects your skin from getting too dry."

Po, a 28-year-old attorney, also shuns concealer in favor of a powder foundation product. "I do not use a concealer but I do use Urban Decay Surreal Skin Mineral Makeup (left). That stuff is just amazing! It's a mineral powder foundation that feels incredibly sheer and does a fantastic job of covering up those imperfections I prefer not to put out in writing," offers Po. "It pretty much lasts all day and, combined with Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil... gives great coverage while still feeling light and fresh on your skin."

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
$40.00
Available at: Amazon.com


Ok, Po, I've tried a couple of those so-called miracle mineral foundations and they look horrible on my skin. All cakey and thick. Do you have any tips on applying mineral makeup in a way that looks natural?

"I do not use the weird buffer/powder thing that comes attached to the Urban Decay make-up. I use a separate bronzer brush (Sephora brand), which does a great, clean job of evening out the make-up on your skin," explains Po. "Don't use any cheap brush because you will be compromising the value of the make-up! You just use a brush to put it on, and then use another brush to put on the Mineral Veil. All done in less than one minute, and with no mess on your hands!"

For Michelle, a 40-year-old SoCal nurse, tinted moisturizer is the basis of her anti-concealer routine. "I don't use concealers," says Michelle. "Not because I have nothing to hide, I just can't seem to use them right. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (right) hides all the redness and blemishes great. If I use concealer first, it just makes my face look cakey."


Clinique Quick Corrector
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Clinique Quick Corrector
icon$13.50
Available at: Macys.com


"Random Chick," a 29-year-old executive assistant and freelance writer, is our lone Girl Talk concealer hold-out. "I do use a concealer-- Clinique Quick Corrector which I love," she offers. "I generally only use it under my eyes, although I sometimes also apply it in the lip area if my esthetician is booked when I need her."

Just under the eyes, "Random Chick?" What about other facial imperfections?

"I'm not admitting that I have blemishes/scars/discolorations... but if I did, I would not use concealer on them per the advice of Ms. Bobbi Brown. Concealers are usually a tad lighter than your skin tone, so using it brightens areas you apply it to, which effectively highlights the area. Not really our goal with blemishes," "Random Chick" lightheartedly lectures. "For those [blemishes] I would use foundation, which should match your skin tone as closely as possible. Sort of brings into question the term 'concealer,' I guess, but it makes sense if you consider you're trying to make them look as much like the rest of your normal skin as possible."

So what of the advice from that article I was reading? "Random Chick" has some thoughts: "The caveat to this is, of course, if you don't use foundation. In that case you can use concealer on blemishes, but it should then match your skin tone and not be used in the eye area at all. You'll notice this means you will be using a minimum of 3 base products-- including the powder which should be used to make sure the others blend with your skin-- in your routine. Clever, clever make-up industry peeps... but in this case I find the advice to be pretty solid and so follow it pretty regularly."

I guess that answers my question.

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