Most of us have something to hide, and a good concealer can do just that. But not all cover-ups are created equal -- where one makes dark spots disappear, another zaps the appearance of acne. Achieve complexion perfection with these concealers designed for your specific concerns.
You may be past the prime age for breakouts, but if you're like most adult women the occasional zit just happens (thanks a lot, hormones!). Luckily, it's nothing a little cover-up can't handle. "Something with a hint of green in it is great if the pimple is bright red," says Los Angeles-based makeup artist Emily Kate Warren. "Avoid shiny highlighting creams because they will make the bump appear larger, and don't forget to dab a little powder over the breakout so that the concealer stays put for most of the day."
One to try: Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette ($38, sephora.com)
Freckles or brown patches from suntans, birth control pills, or pregnancy-induced melasma are easier to cover up than you might think. If the patches spot your cheeks or forehead, use a creamy stick foundation that can cover a broader area. You'll get natural coverage in one quick sweep.
One to try: Mally Beauty 24/7 Instant Erase Concealer Stick ($35, beauty.com)
If you've been skipping concealer altogether because of dry skin, you can stop right now. There's no reason you can't cover up imperfections -- just make sure you're using a creamy concealer that is super moisturizing, won't cake, and won't cling to flakes, Warren says.
One to try: Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer ($24, sephora.com)
The key to covering red splotches brought on by rosacea, colds (hello, red nose!), or post inflammatory pigmentation following a peel or laser treatment is picking a concealer with a thick, semimatte consistency. Even better: A concealer with a green tint can cancel out red tones on skin. Remember, with heavier concealers, a little goes a long way -- warm up a dab between your fingers and tap it over the trouble spot until it's well blended into skin.
One to try: Dermablend Smooth Indulgence Redness Concealer ($20, ulta.com)
Choose a concealer with a malleable (aka workable) consistency like a cream that will fill in the lines but won't crack like a dry powder. "Squish your face so you can see the lines, then tap the concealer into the lines with your fingers," Warren says. "Tap a little extra along the edges of the lines where you'll want to blend out until the lines are completely invisible."
One to try: Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer ($17, sephora.com)
Learn tips and tricks for making the most of your concealer!