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Hair & Makeup

How to use concealer like a makeup artist

Good concealer is in the choosing more than the applying, says Thandie Newton’s go-to makeup artist, KAY MONTANO


Don’t make this mistake

“People think concealer is concealer, but there’s a big difference between the concealer I’d use under the eyes and the rest of the face,” says London-based makeup artist Kay Montano. “The under-eye area is thin and dry with fewer pores, so the skin here needs a hydrating, creamy concealer that won’t look cakey. The T-zone is oilier and thicker in texture so you need a more powdery formula that stays put.”

Shop different shades

“For under eyes, you want a tone that will neutralize the blue or gray shades that can appear. For Caucasian skin, that means a concealer that is peachier than your natural complexion; for black skin, a concealer with terracotta undertones will help to neutralize the gray that can appear under eyes,” says Montano. For the rest of the face, choose a concealer in a neutral shade that matches your skin tone as closely as possible. Don’t just try concealer on the back of your hand, either, because the skin there is completely different to the tones of your face.

The easy expert technique

For blemishes, Montano uses her fingers to apply concealer only where needed. “The more layers, the more it’s likely to slip,” she warns. For under eyes it’s about a light, targeted approach. “Apply concealer in a crescent underneath the eyes (in the depth of the shadows) avoiding placing concealer too close to the lashes, which can make eyes appear puffy,” she advises. “Then apply a small crescent shape inside the inner corners of the eyes – people often miss this area, which can look very blue and dark – and a larger crescent shape at the outer corners.”


  • Hourglass
    Veil Retouching Fluid - Sand
  • Edward Bess
    Total Correction Under Eye Perfection - Light
  • Rituel de Fille
    The Ethereal Veil Conceal and Cover - Arche
  • NARS
    Radiant Creamy Concealer - Ginger, 6ml

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