The Telegraph
Sunday , February 20 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cosmetic cures

I am a 30-year-old woman. I have never used make-up before. However, I think I want to do something about concealing the numerous brown spots that have begun to show on my face lately. What do I use? A concealer? If so, how do I apply it?

Riya, Calcutta

Concealers can be used alone without foundation — sometimes this is all you need — or they can be used together with foundation for a really flawless finish. Well-applied concealers can lighten and brighten a face and hide blemishes completely. It can make you appear well rested even if you’re not. Stick concealers usually have a slightly heavier, waxier consistency than cream concealers. This consistency makes them good for concealing imperfections because they are more likely to stay put and will often give a bit more coverage than a smoother formulation. As with foundations, choose the right shade for your skin tone directly on your face and check this outside in the daylight (with a small mirror) just to be sure.

For precise application, the best brush to use is a flat concealer brush or your middle/index finger. Once applied on the problem areas, it needs to be blended so that it looks natural. Use a dabbing or patting motion as opposed to a rubbing or wiping motion. Imagine that you are gently trying to press the concealer into the skin. Rubbing or wiping just removes most of it and then you want to apply more and more because it’s not concealing properly, and you can just end up with a big mess. Once you have got the right blend and coverage the next step is to set the whole face with a dusting of translucent powder.

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