Are you among those people for whom choosing the right product is an overwhelming task? Especially if they have to choose over makeup products with similar uses. Let’s face it: there are many types of face coverage makeup products with similar benefits, so it can be easy to confuse them. One of the biggest confusion is learning the differences between a concealer and foundation – the two essentials.

Although both products belong in the same category, there are distinct differences between them and aren’t interchangeable with each other. Moreover, there’s a specific order you should follow when applying them.

I hope this guide answers your most confusing question ‘Is concealer and foundation the same thing?’

The Difference Between Concealer and Foundation – Their Purposes, Usage, Types, and Application

Let’s dive into the details!

What is Foundation?

Foundation is a form of full-face coverage makeup that’s supposed to apply after a primer. The primary function of a foundation is to help you create a smooth canvas to get a flawless makeup application as admired.

For textured or wrinkled skin, the application of foundation is a must-have to achieve a uniform appearance.

Key here; the shade of foundation must match your natural skin tone; otherwise, you’ll mess up in your makeup game.

How to Choose Foundation?

When choosing your foundation type, consider the tone that’s close to your natural skin tone. If you select a light shade foundation, you’ll end up looking grey; however, you can mix light and dark color shades to create the one close to your skin tone.

Choosing the foundation according to your skin color

What Type of Foundation Is Best?

Foundation can come in cream, liquid, or powder – to cater to specific skin types.

Liquid foundations

If you have mature or dry skin, use a liquid foundation because it will give your skin a boost of hydration and a dewy fresh finish.

Powder foundations

If you have oily skin, powder foundations are the perfect choice for you as it comes with a matte finish, suitable for oily skin.

How to Use Foundation?

You can apply and blend foundation with a finger, sponge, or brush – it’s your choice – depending on the coverage you desire for.

If you want a light to medium coverage, it is best to use your fingers. Pour a pee-size amount of liquid foundation onto your palm and evenly apply it all over your face.

The best technique to apply a foundation is a pat and roll motion, using fingers, so the product doesn’t just sit on top.

If you want medium to full coverage, it is best to use the beauty blender, especially if you have breakouts or acne-scarring. However, it would be best first to use your fingers to dot foundation all over your face. Once done, use the sponge to blend out the dots for even coverage.

Applying foundation with damp beauty blender

Key here; dampen the bender and squeeze out excess water before use.

Furthermore, you can use a brush for a smooth application of foundation.

A flat brush works best when applying foundation on dry skin. In contrast, kabuki is ideal for normal to oily skin types.

Key here; use downward strokes to get the flawless application.

What Is Concealer And Where To Apply It?

Concealer, as the name suggests, ‘conceal’ is like a magic eraser. It can hide your blemishes, dark under-eye circles, and other imperfections to help you give a fresh-faced look.

Applying concealer

How to Choose Concealer?

Unlike foundation, you’ll usually want to choose a concealer that’s one tone lighter than your natural skin to brighten up dark areas effectively.

You can also select colored concealer (like yellow, pink, green, or purple) to color correct your skin.

Types of Color Correcting Concealer

  • Green Concealer – perfect for hiding redness on your face. For pimples, acne, and rosacea
  • Pink Concealer – best for hiding dark under-eye circles. For lighter skin tones
  • Orange Concealer – help conceal your uneven undertones. For people with darker skin tones
  • Yellow Concealer – cover up a blemish. For dark purple veins, under-eye circles, and bruises

Different types of concealer What Type of Concealer Is Best?

Finding the right type of concealer according to the skin type, though, can be overwhelming.

Liquid Concealer

This type of coverage has a hydrating formula, ideal for covering your dark under-eye circles and adding brightness to other dark areas. Liquid concealers provide a radiant, fresh finish – a popular choice for all skin types, including dry/dehydrated.

Balm Concealer

Balm concealers are thicker. The heavier texture layers your skin well— it even works on oily skin types. If you’re breakout-prone, the balm is ideal for layering. Just spackle the concealer after foundation to entirely conceal imperfections.

Cream Concealer

The cream concealer has a thicker texture, perfect for covering your dark circles, acne breakouts, and hyperpigmentation.

The concealer-foundation hybrid can be applied all over the face for a brighter complexion. If you have breakout-acne-prone or super sensitive skin, invest in a cream concealer – it must be non-comedogenic, alcohol-free, and oil-free.

How to Use Concealer?

Always apply your concealer in a patting motion (make sure you take less amount).

Then press it in with a sponge or concealer brush. Do not smear or drag it; otherwise, it’ll crease up.

The Chief Difference between Concealer and Foundation

To sum up, the purpose of a foundation is to even out your complexion – applied all over the face. Whereas, the purpose of a concealer is to conceal your dark spots, also known as ‘spot treatment.’ That’s why it is advisable to apply foundation first, then cover up areas (that needs more coverage) with a concealer. However, for color-correcting, you should apply color corrector concealer first.

Related Questions & Answers

Which Product Is Better, A Concealer Or A Foundation?

As said above, both products serve different purposes, and one is not ‘better’ than the other, so there’s no comparison.

A concealer is usually used to ‘conceal’ a problem area of skin e.g., dark spots on your face. Whereas a foundation is the base of your makeup usually applied before concealer.

We would say both are essential makeup products.

Can You Wear Just Concealer?

Concealers aren’t meant to be worn solo because of their thick consistency, and if you wear without applying foundation first, you will end up messing up your face – they crease a lot and can’t be set without the addition of setting powder. Foundation balances it out – doesn’t give a heavy, cakey look.

Last Words

In this guide, we have given you a detailed overview of the difference between concealer and foundation and their best uses.

Finally, with a vast array of cosmetic products available in the market, and irrespective of makeup tutorials you see on Youtube, it isn’t easy to pinpoint which shade of foundation and concealer are the right ones for you. And you’ll need to patch test before purchasing one.



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