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Hair & Makeup

The spot-concealing makeup hack you need to know

Makeup artist LISA ELDRIDGE shares her genius pin-point concealer method for expertly disguising imperfections


For many of us, concealer is the one makeup product we couldn’t go without. That said, plenty of us are using it incorrectly or, at least, could be putting it to better use. That’s where Lisa Eldridge’s pin-point concealing technique comes into play. As a world-renowned makeup artist (she’s worked with Kate Winslet, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Keira Knightley), Eldridge knows how to achieve a finish that will withstand the glare of unflattering lighting and HD photography. “Pin-point concealing is the best use of concealer, in my opinion,” she says. “It gives you properly perfected skin without having to wear a full face of heavy foundation.”

Choose what and where

The concealer shade you choose should depend on what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want to disguise something? Perhaps you need to brighten a shadow? “Using a concealer that closely matches your skin tone on dark circles can actually make the area look ashy. Instead, use a product with a hint of peach to counteract the blue tones and brighten the skin,” says Eldridge. This is where a concealer palette can be useful, so you can mix light and dark tones together to create the right shade.

  • Surratt Beauty
    Perfectionniste Concealer Palette - Shade 3
  • NARS
    Radiant Creamy Concealer - Chantilly, 6ml
  • Hourglass
    Veil Retouching Fluid - Honey

Prepare your skin

Appropriate skincare is fundamental to perfectly concealed skin, but less is more. “I don’t think it’s particularly helpful to apply multiple layers of skincare before foundation,” says Eldridge. “I don’t do it on my own skin and I don’t do it on my clients’ skin either, because the more layers you add, the worse your makeup looks. You need to strike a balance between feeling like your skin is hydrated and using something that will help the foundation glide on nicely. A serum and moisturizer are ample.”

  • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
    C + Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum, 30ml
  • One Ocean Beauty
    Replenishing Deep Sea Moisturizer, 50ml
  • La Mer
    The Concentrate, 50ml
  • Sisley - Paris
    Reparatrice Restorative Facial Cream, 50ml

The technique

According to Eldridge, one of the advantages of pin-point concealing is that you don’t need to wear full-coverage foundation. “It allows you to wear a much lighter foundation, and then you just pay attention to any area you really want to conceal.” However, some base is required: “You need a layer of foundation – even just a thin one – underneath your concealer so you have something to blend into. Pin-point concealing on its own is not so effective.”

So, how to do it? “I use a really small brush – a fine eyeliner brush is perfect – and then I stipple an opaque concealer on to and around the blemish. Then I blend. Blending around the blemish, rather than just over it, works really well because it ensures that you can’t see the edges of the concealer. You’re not creating a mask; instead, you are ‘retouching’ and ‘deleting’ blemishes. The same method works for moles, broken capillaries and pigmentation.”

Finishing touches

“Creamy concealers will need a very light dusting of powder over the top to set them in place, while thicker, more opaque concealers will set on their own,” says Eldridge. A final care-taking step is required for perfectly seamless skin: “I always use a clean buffing brush at the end to go over the foundation. It ensures everything is blended, but it also takes off the top layer of product and thins the foundation out. Sweep the brush along your jawline and feather it down on to your neck, then buff it along your hair line, around your ears and the sides of your nose.”

  • Marc Jacobs Beauty
    The Face III - Buffing Foundation Brush
  • La Mer
    The Powder - Translucent
  • Rae Morris
    Jishaku 21 Mineral Buffer Brush
  • Hourglass
    Veil Translucent Setting Powder

The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown.