Makeup 101 – Foundation, Concealer, Color Neutralizer and Camouflage

03 /22/ 2010 by under: ,

I get emails all the time asking me questions like, “what’s the difference between foundation and concealer?” Or, “I’m confused, should I be using a neutralizer; I don’t know what to do about my dark under eye circles.” I do my best to answer your emails personally, but I thought now might be the perfect time to share some basic definitions with you.

Foundation is the most basic makeup and is generally lighter in consistency and coverage than dedicated concealers. Foundation is available in liquid form or in jars, tubes and compacts. A basic lightweight true skin-matched foundation may be all you need to even out your skin tone, conceal very minor discolorations or to cover up a simple flaw or blemish. Choose a foundation formulated for your skin type; if your skin is dry, use a moisturizing formula and use a non-oily formula if your skin is not dry.

Concealer makeup is a little thicker in consistency and more opaque than simple foundation. It comes in a wide range of skin shades and forms. For best results, a concealer should smooth on easily, not be too thick, dry, cakey or goopy.

Color Neutralizer, also called a corrector, is a pale color tint – like peach, rose, green, yellow and sometimes orange – not a natural skin shade. It’s meant to be used under and mixed with foundation or concealer for skin discoloration problems. Neutralizers act as an “insurance policy” to block out unwanted skin discoloration that might show through other kinds of makeup during the day. A neutralizer is an excellent base for covering extremely dark circles or bruising, or for blocking redness around the eye area.

True Camouflage Makeup is different. It’s more opaque and much thicker in consistency than a foundation or concealer. It also comes in a range of skin-tone shades. Because of its thicker consistency, camouflage makeup is not normally suitable for the eye area. One needs to know the subtle ways to use camouflage makeup so it does its magic without looking cakey or mask-like. Use camouflage makeup only if and where you really need it. It’s serious coverage.

Makeup Primer is a liquid or lotion formula designed to prepare the skin surface before makeup application. Primers most often contain waxes, polymers or silicone all of which smooth fine lines helping the surface of the skin appear temporarily even. Foundation applied over primer goes on more smoothly, as do blush, eye shadow, and many other cosmetic products.

I hope this helps to clear up any confusion. If you have any questions, feel free to email me, [email protected]. I’ll do my best help. In the meantime, keep reading August Notes for application tips and more…



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