Last night I got a little blemish. So annoying. And today I had to cover it which made me think I should do a tutorial on covering spots, marks, pimples, under eyes, etc. because it's really all about the tools and products to effectively conceal those imperfections.
Let's start with brushes. I cannot emphasize enough how important the right brushes are. Trying to cover a blemish with your finger instead of a brush is like putting on lipstick with a house painting brush. Good brushes can be pricey, but they really are worth the investment, and if you take care of them properly, you'll have them for years. I like very flat concealer brushes, like the Shu Uemura brush below (on the far right) for under the eyes and for covering larger areas or marks. For smaller spots and marks, a more precise brush will get the job done. Synthetic or natural hair, I love both, but I tend to reach for the synthetic ones when I want to cover a spot as it holds and applies the product differently. When I was first assisting, the woman I was working gave me the best advice for covering a blemish: cover it well and then feather out the product....feathering out the product helps it blend into the surrounding area but keeps the main area covered. In some extreme situations you might have to "bounce" the brush and concealer onto the blemish so that you aren't wiping away the product while you're trying to cover something. But this is mostly when you have a large area of raised pimples with dark scar areas and/or very red, angry looking areas. The flat brush is best for this kind of covering.
If you have a doozy of a pimple, especially one that's raised, the best thing to cover it with is an opaque liquid concealer; it's thicker and has less oil in it than a stick or pot concealer. And if something is raised on your face, you want to make sure it's going to stick and not slide off. I love the liquid concealers from MAC and Makeup Forever, they have great colors, are opaque without being chalky, and they stay put. Apply sparingly with a brush, and then set with powder and that pimple will be covered all day.
For under eyes I prefer a concealer that is warm and often peachy, and almost always with a bit of luminosity to it. Bobbi Brown, YSL, and Clarins all make concealer pens with great formulas, just find the color that suits your skin tone best and you can't go wrong. Even with these pens, I still use a brush to blend the product. I just have more control that way and get better results. But you can apply the product with the pens' brush, just make sure you feather it out with a nice flat concealer brush so that it blends evenly.
For covering dark areas, scars, and general unevenness, I love a creamy stick concealer....It blends seamlessly with your foundation, which is the goal. Cle de Peau makes an excellent stick concealer, but so does Bobbi Brown and many other companies do as well, just find the formula and color that works best for you.
Well, I hope this has been helpful. I think having a number of different concealers, and foundations for that matter (you're a different color in the winter than you are in the summer) is hugely important for achieving the most beautiful, flawless face possible. The rest is icing on the cake.