Acne, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and dark circles are all natural aspects of life and skin, and they're nothing to be embarrassed about. The right concealer, on the other hand, can feel like a magic wand that can cancel out discoloration and glide over uneven texture when you're looking for even-toned, flawless coverage.

Concealer is available in a variety of textures, forms, and finishes, ranging from liquid to cream to stick and beyond. Finding the right formula and tone for whatever issue you're trying to conceal is the key. Here are all the makeup tips and tricks you'll need to look flawless with concealer:

Begin by selecting the appropriate concealer

It's critical to choose the right tone and color for the job at hand. Choose a color that is a shade lighter than your natural skin tone for your under eyes. "This will brighten up the under eye area and hide the dark circles," says Erica Whelan, a makeup artist. "Choose a concealer shade that matches your foundation color" for age spots, scars, and hyperpigmentation, she advises.

Peach shades, according to our experts, cancel out blueish undereye circles and dark spots caused by the sun or ageing. Green tones conceal red blemishes; use a concealer that matches your skin tone exactly for the best results. Concealer in a yellow tone can help to correct uneven skin tone caused by redness or hyperpigmentation.

Choose a luminizing formula that will reflect light and add a glow to the skin for mature skin and undereye puffiness, but avoid shimmery formulas, which will settle into fine lines and end up highlighting what you're trying to hide.

First, apply your skincare and foundation

Before using concealer, apply any moisturizer, primer, or foundation. When you apply your foundation first, it blurs the appearance of flaws, so you won't need as much concealer. If you only use spot concealer and don't use foundation, make sure to hydrate your skin first!

Disguise dark circles and discoloration under the eyes

Whelan recommends using a concealer with a radiant or luminizing formula to brighten dark undereye circles. Because creams and thicker formulas can settle into fine lines and wrinkles, our experts recommend liquid formulas for the thin skin around the eyes.

Instead of sweeping a semi-circle over the discoloration, draw an inverted triangle to highlight the front of your face and give it a lifted appearance. "Dot the concealer under the eye and tap the product into place with your ring finger or a small fluffy eye shadow brush," Whelan recommends for the best results.

Mask puffiness and bags under the eyes

While makeup can't change your appearance, it can create illusions to hide (or accentuate — think contouring) any features you want to hide. According to Joy Fennell, makeup artist and founder of The Joy in Beauty and All Black Everything Summit, liquids are "great to use if you need to brighten an area."

"Add [this] highlighting concealer pen just above and below the area where the under eye is most puffy," Whelan says, using a tone that's 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation. "By bringing light to those areas, it draws attention to them and makes the puffiness less noticeable."

Acne scars and blemishes can be concealed

If you've already addressed acne with your skincare routine but want to cover up any bumps or redness in the meantime, Whelan recommends using a "heavier cream formula like a stick concealer" and applying it with a "fine pointed brush to place the concealer exactly where you want it." Blend the concealer's edges into the skin with a brush, the edge of a sponge, or your finger for a seamless blend.

Dark spots and hyperpigmentation can be camouflaged

"To cover sun/age spots, choose a heavier cream formula," Whelan advises: It should be dense enough to hide the darkness completely. "First apply foundation to even out the skin tone, then concealer to the spot for maximum coverage," Whelan advises. "If you're trying to hide dryness, use a hydrating formula rather than a matte one," Fennell advises.

Scars and pockmarks can be expertly concealed

Fennell recommends a crayon or pencil formula for a small scar; simply trace or fill in the mark with the fine point. "Liquid isn't a good choice for larger scars because it moves around on the face and the formula isn't heavy enough to conceal," she says. Instead, for the best blend, use a brush or your fingers to apply pot or cream concealer.

Cakey concealer must be stopped in its tracks

Blot the excess concealer after application to prevent it from becoming cakey or settling in the creases around your eyes. To remove excess oil or too-thick product, split a tissue into two layers and press one of the sheets against the skin.

Set with a powder for long-lasting results

"If you have oily skin, set [your concealer] with a powder to keep it from moving around," Fennell advises. Whelan recommends "lightly tapping a loose translucent powder over the area." "This makes it easier for the concealer to stay put throughout the day."

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