When it comes to disguising the not-so-pretty realities of life (like zits, red spots and sun spots), concealer is our BFF. While its erasure trick is impressive in and of itself (thus earning a permanent spot in our makeup bags), most of us only scratch the surface when it comes to unlocking its magic.
To unlock the hidden talents of this makeup basic, we talked to E! Style Collective member and celebrity makeup artist, Tina Turnbow (who works with Taylor Schilling and Mary-Louise Parker) for tips on how take concealer beyond cover up.
Lighten up lip color: Lip shades can look very different on the lip than in the tube. If a swipe of color creates clown face or a look too dark for daytime, dab a speck of liquid concealer with hydrating power (like the vitamin E-infused Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer for Under Eye) on top of lip color to fade the pigment. Be careful not to apply too much—the tiniest bit of concealer will go a long way.
Soften eyeliner's edge: To take down the hard edge of a cat eye, Turnbow layers a bit of concealer on top of the liner, continuing along the length of the lash line. Tapping a buildable concealer with sheer-to-full coverage, like Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Concealer, will soften the look without requiring a do-over.
Create a makeshift primer: If eyeshadow primer doesn't make the cut in your tiny-sized, on-the-go makeup bag, employ a concealer to extend the wear of eyeshadow by applying it to lids before liner and shadow.
Perfect your pout: By putting a touch of concealer on the center of the bottom lip only, Turnbow creates a pouty effect for lips akin to Angelina Jolie's. Using a concealer that includes nourishing ingredients, such as the vitamin C, maracuja and vitamin E found in Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, can help keep the formula from settling into (and enunciating) fine lines.
Use it as a highlighter: To make eyes look wider, Turnbow uses a light-refracting concealer like La Prairie Light Fantastic Brightening Eye Treatment to highlight the brow bone directly beneath the brow.
Give your blush glow: To make a cream blush exude that famous Jennifer Lopez glow, Turnbow blends a touch of light-refracting concealer into a cream blush, then applies the mixture to cheekbones for added luminosity.
Exagerate bone structure: Channel dramatic cheekbones likeOlivia Wilde by applying a touch of concealer to the skin above the bone. "This not only adds dimension, makes bone structure pop," Turnbow said. For this look try YSL Beauty Touche Éclat's easy-to-blend formula, which offers lighter coverage for a subtle finish.
Build stronger brows: Brow powder used to darken eyebrows doesn't always apply evenly. To ensure a seamless application, give the powder something to adhere to by swiping on a thin line of concealer along the length of the brow. The oblong sponge applicator on Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer provides control when drawing a clean line.
Final pro tip? When trying any of these tips, the key is to use a light hand. Go forth, apply softly and carry a versatile concealer stick.