Ask most people what their desert island beauty product would be and it's normally a toss up between mascara and concealer. Why? Because one bestows next-level lashes and the other blitzes blemishes, eye bags and redness for an even-looking complexion.
Whether you've been out on the razz the night before and are in need of all the help you can get to nix dark circles or have a bubo of a spot expanding merrily on your chin, concealer is the superman of skin-correcting. And – praise be – the options available, are plentiful.
From illuminating, to colour-correcting, to industrial strength and weightless, there's a solution for all. And, each are ace at covering different skin concerns. For instance, "if you brighten puffiness, it will in fact bring it out and make it appear more puffy, so opt for a concealer that is exactly the same colour as your skin," says Bobbi Brown Senior Pro Artist, Amy Conway. "This will ensure it will look smoother and seamless against the rest of the skin."
For eye bags, the pros recommend applying an upside down triangle underneath eyes to catch any shadows, then bouncing in the concealer with a Beauty Blender.
When it comes to blotchiness, "layering is key," says Bobbi Brown Pro Arist, Zara Findley, "especially in summer when we don't want to look cakey." The key is to start with a lightweight base and only to add extra concealer in the areas that need some extra help. "This will give you the look of all over natural skin, but with the finish of full coverage just where you need it," says Zara. As for blemishes, a matte concealer offers the best camouflage (you don't want to make them look shiny). "Don't sweep over a blemish," says Zara, too much blending defeats the point. "Instead press the concealer in using your fingers, it will mimic the skin and help build coverage vs sweeping it away," says Zara.
Finally, according to Her.ie, makeup artists swear by applying concealer around the nostrils in little parenthesis-like shapes. "Most of us have discolouration around our noses and mouths that can make us look blotchy and tired," they explained. "But you might never even have noticed it. By dabbing concealer in these spots, you’re helping your overall complexion look brighter and more even."
Now you know exactly how to apply it, here's our round-up of the very best concealer options on the market, including a hero buy for £2.99.