Concealer First or Foundation: What's the Right Order – Kaja Beauty

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Do You Put On Concealer First or Foundation?

Do You Put On Concealer First or Foundation?

There’s a question that’s been haunting researchers for centuries. OK, maybe not centuries but it is a popular debate amongst makeup artists. Do you apply concealer or foundation first?

Different professionals have different opinions, but the overwhelming consensus might surprise you. Makeup artists believe that foundation should be applied before concealer. Read on to find out more about these makeup products as well as why foundation comes first. 

What Is Foundation?

Before we can determine which product comes first, we have to know a little about each product. Foundation is a form of makeup meant to cover your entire face and form a base for other makeup. 

Foundation can come in a liquid, cream, or powder form and the one you choose depends on your skin tone. Powder foundations are best for oily skin, cream foundation works well for dry skin, and liquid foundation can be used by anyone! 

Whatever formula you choose, make sure you pick a color that matches your skin tone. Picking a color too dark or too light will create an abnormal tan or make you look like a ghost! 


The number one benefit to wearing foundation is to have an even skin tone. An even skin tone will make all other makeup look better and will make your makeup look professional. If you don’t even out your skin tone, attention can be drawn to any blemishes you might have which would defeat the purpose of your makeup!

Its most important purpose is creating a base on your skin, but foundation helps in a lot of other ways too. 

  • Foundation can help reduce the appearance of blemishes in addition to concealer. 
  • If your skin has dark spots or sun damage, the foundation can help make your skin tone appear more even.
  • Any irregularities in your skin can be made less noticeable by the foundation. 
  • Some foundations can provide SPF to help protect you from the sun, which is always a plus!

How Is It Applied?

Luckily for all of us, foundation is very easy to apply. You already know to wash your face and moisturize, but let this be a reminder to prep your face, girl! 

Start with a makeup primer. This will ensure smooth application and will help your foundation stay on all day. 

To apply foundation, use a brush to put a few dabs on your face, starting at the center of your face and working outwards. The center of your face tends to have more redness around your nose, so make sure that’s evened out before moving on. 

Next, grab a damp makeup sponge and dab the foundation over your face to blend it in. Be careful to dab without smearing or smudging! You’ll also want to ensure the line between your face and neck is smoothed. A harsh makeup line is not a cute look!

Once you finish applying the foundation, you can add another layer of moisturizer if you have dry skin. This will help the rest of your makeup go on smoothly and prevent your foundation from looking caked on. You can also apply setting spray to help keep that foundation in place all day.

What Is Concealer?

We’ve learned a little about foundation, so now let’s learn about its counterpart. Concealer is one of the most important products a woman can have in her makeup bag and can be worn every day. 

Concealer is a skin-toned liquid meant to cover up any imperfections on your face. This magic product reduces the appearance of any pimples or blemishes, helps to cover the appearance of dark circles under your eyes, and may help make your skin’s tone appear more even. As much time as you spend on your skincare routine, and as many products as you use, blemishes still happen and concealer is an absolute must-have for those moments. 


Don’t overlook some of the lesser benefits of concealer! Some of these include:

  • Reducing the appearance of puffy eyes after too much crying. 
  • Making any dark spots on your skin, such as sunspots, less noticeable. 
  • A lip liner to help prevent lipstick from bleeding off of the lips.
  • Help hide your tattoo during family pictures to not upset your mom! 

How Is It Applied?

We are all on the concealer train now! Is there anything it can’t do? We do need to make sure we’re applying our concealer correctly to make sure we reap all the benefits. There are a few different techniques for applying concealer, depending on what you are trying to cover up.

To cover dark circles or bags under your eyes, use a peach-toned concealer to neutralize the dark spots. Create a small triangle under your eyes and pat or press the concealer into your skin. Try not to smear the concealer as that could result in cracks or wrinkles, which are not cute!

If you’re covering a pimple, make sure to sanitize and clean the blemish first. Then gently dab a green concealer over the zit. We know green concealer sounds crazy, but this color may cover redness from your skin which will help conceal the zit.

You can also apply a setting powder over the concealer to make sure your blemishes stay covered all day. This powder will help set your makeup and lock it into place. Kaja Beauty’s Joystick is a great product to set your makeup while also adding brightness to your dark undereye circles.  

Does Concealer or Foundation Come First?

Now that we know a little about concealer and foundation and how they’re applied, it’s time to figure out what order we apply them in. The answer might surprise you, but most makeup artists believe that foundation should be applied before concealer


This might be shocking information to you, but the reasons for applying foundation first make a lot of sense. First of all, we need to remember the purpose of foundation. 

One of the major purposes of foundation is to help cover up redness, blemishes, and to even out the appearance of your skin tone. Concealer can be used for added coverage, but until you’ve evened out your skin tone, how will you know how much concealer to use? 

You don’t want to apply too much concealer and have patches of skin that are too light, so apply your foundation first to prevent that. 

Another important reason to apply foundation first is to make sure your concealer stays in place. The damp sponge you use to gently dab your foundation could cause your concealer to get wet and slide across your face. Now instead of covering that blemish, it’s out in full force!

Just as the foundation of a house sits at the bottom of the structure, foundation makeup is meant to be the base of everything else. In order to let your other makeup products do their job effectively, you need to give them a strong base. Applying foundation before concealer, or any other products, allows the rest of your makeup to shine.

An Exception To the Rule

Makeup artists do point out that there is one exception to the rule. If you have very dark circles under your eyes that need to be color-corrected, it’s recommended to apply concealer first. 

After that, you can apply foundation, and you might need another layer of concealer if the dark circles are extra prominent. Other than that, make sure to save the concealer for later!

Concealer and Foundation Tips and Tricks

Foundation and concealer are the key products to making your skin look smooth and even, so it’s very important to make sure we master their application. Now that we know the right order to apply them, let’s make sure we know all the tips and tricks for foundation and concealer success. 

Don’t forget a makeup primer! This product will make sure your products stay in place all day. There’s nothing worse than smudged concealer or a pimple that’s fought its way through the foundation!

Make sure you don’t cake on either of these products. Less is more and you can always add extra products if necessary. Start small and blend, blend, blend for even coverage. 

Pick the right color. No one wants bright white raccoon eyes because they picked a concealer shade too light. Use your jawline to color match and pick a concealer one shade lighter than your normal skin and a foundation that matches exactly. 

If you tend to get tan at certain times of the year, consider buying a second set of products in a darker color for those times. You also might need to change products seasonally as your skin changes. If your skin dries out in the winter months, try switching to a powder foundation so it goes on smoother. 

Foundation First

Foundation and concealer are two incredibly important products when it comes to fixing skin imperfections. Foundation should be applied first to even out your skin tone, and concealer can be applied after to cover up any blemishes or discolorations that might remain. 

Does anyone feel like a professional makeup artist yet? With these tips, you’re basically an expert!



Should You Apply Concealer Or Foundation First? | Allure

How To Apply Concealer Correctly | Glamour

How To Apply Foundation | Marie Claire

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