A slightly contradictory title I know, but relevant to the online world and make up alike. I did a little poll on my Instagram recently asking which make up item you couldn’t live without (tongue in cheek obviously!) and concealer came out top by far. This wasn’t that surprising; given that we are surrounded by flawless images and blemish free skin every where we look, we are almost conditioned to want to airbrush out any imperfections, myself included….
Hold on before you roll your eyes though, this isn’t another post about how woman don’t need beauty products and should hold their make-up free face proudly to the world…….I am the biggest advocate of using the tools at our disposal and employing make up and beauty to boost self esteem and confidence. In my opinion there are few situations where a little mascara and concealer can’t fail to give you an added spring in your step! However I do think there is a temptation sometimes to ‘mask’ skin in products when, in reality, enhancing those features you feel proud of will do far more to boost self esteem in the long run. If your area of concern is hormonal spots, then focus on making your eyes pop with a little bit of sparkle and no one will give your jaw-line a second look. Similarly a bright lip will instantly draw any attention away from unwanted visitors that rudely appeared overnight (always the day before a big occasion right?!).
Sometimes however there is no getting away from the need to do a little concealing and for those occasions my staple for the past few years has been Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. Enough coverage to conceal red and angry spots, this bendable and long wearing product is a do-it-all wonder and has earned it’s top spot in the concealor league table. It’s creamy enough to be used under eyes without creasing, and heavy duty enough to spot conceal other areas. Maybelline’s Fit Me concealer is a pretty good budget alternative and apart from the longevity throughout the day (resolved by a little extra powder to set the product) I’d be hard pushed to tell the difference between these two products and always have a back up of the Fit Me in my make up bag. (Nars however will always come out top with their inclusive shade range and you can pick up a mini size to test it out from Space NK.)
Adopting a more natural base, and then concealing specific areas, has become my day to day look that I’ve gravitated to over the past few years. Partly driven by less time in the mornings and children that need coercing to eat their breakfast, I’ve found that a decent tinted moisturiser (I’ve raved about Origins Ginzing previously) and then adding a little concealer to specific areas is sufficient to give that ‘I’m more tired than I look’ filter we all need at times. Another favourite, Bourjois’s Radiance reveal concealer , is perfect for cancelling out any undereye tiredness and pretending that 5am wake up call didn’t really happen for the third day in a row….
If you aren’t quite at the point of ditching the foundation then Clinique have developed a foundation/concealor hybrid, Beyond Perfecting, which performs well as a light base but can also be built up very naturally in areas you need it. The doe foot applicator means you can precisely apply the product where you need it, doing away with the need for a separate concealer, and allows those areas of your skin you feel more confident about shine through.
The online world is very much akin to how we use concealer; people reveal what they want people to see and it’s all too easy sometimes to forget that there are large chunks of ‘reality’ held back not for public consumption. All is not always as it seems. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there are always reasons, unknown to others, for what is chosen to be concealed. Whilst there is a drive currently towards more ‘reality’ within social media I think it’s worth remembering that people share themselves in the light that they want to be perceived and might not quite be ready to display their ‘warts and all’ with the world. On these types of days, where a little ‘fake it till you make it‘ attitude is required, concealer is your friend and we should embrace it!