Can I Use Foundation as Concealer? 5 Steps To Follow

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Are you wondering if your foundation can double as a concealer? The world of makeup can be confusing, with a plethora of products and numerous ways to use them. This article offers you an in-depth look at whether or not this popular hack works, and how best to apply it if you choose to do so.

Let’s discover the versatility of your favorite makeup essentials!

  • Foundation and concealer have different purposes, formulations, and coverage levels.
  • Using foundation as concealer can provide extra coverage for small areas like dark circles or spots.
  • However, foundation may not offer the same level of precision, pigmentation, or staying power as a dedicated concealer.
  • It’s important to choose the right shade of foundation that matches your skin tone for natural-looking results.

Foundation vs. Concealer: Key Differences

Before we jump into using foundation as a concealer, it’s crucial to understand the key differences between these two makeup staples. Below is a comparison table explaining their varying purposes, formulations, and coverage.

PurposeFoundation is used to even out the overall skin toneConcealer is designed to cover up specific areas such as dark circles, blemishes, and pigmentation
Formulation and ConsistencyFoundation is generally lightweight, providing sheer to medium coverageConcealer is thicker and more pigmented, offering intense coverage for targeted areas
ApplicationLiquid foundation can be applied all over the face and built up in areas that need more coverageApplying concealer to specific areas before foundation can help maintain its coverage
Preference and CoverageThe choice to use foundation depends on personal preference and the desired level of coverageChoosing concealer depends on personal preference, the desired level of coverage, and the specific concerns that need to be addressed

Remember, foundation and concealer play different roles in your makeup routine, so understanding these differences can help you decide when to use one, the other, or both for the best results.

Using Foundation as Concealer: Pros and Cons

Using foundation as concealer has its benefits, such as providing extra coverage for redness, blemishes, and pigmentation while still maintaining a natural look. However, there are limitations and drawbacks to consider when using foundation in place of a dedicated concealer.

Benefits of using foundation as concealer

Using foundation as concealer can offer several benefits. First, it provides extra coverage for areas with redness, blemishes, or pigmentation. By using foundation in these spots, you can achieve a more even skin tone and a natural look.

Additionally, if you only need to cover small areas like dark circles or spots, using foundation as concealer is a convenient option. It saves time and money since you don’t have to purchase a separate product.

Just make sure to choose the right shade of foundation that matches your skin tone for the best results.

Limitations and drawbacks

Using foundation as a concealer does have some limitations and drawbacks to consider. One limitation is that foundation may not provide the same level of coverage or precision as a dedicated concealer.

Because concealer formulas are often thicker and more pigmented, they are better suited for addressing specific areas of concern like dark circles or blemishes. Foundation, on the other hand, is designed to provide a lighter, sheer to medium coverage for overall skin tone correction.

Another drawback is that using foundation as a substitute for concealer may not offer long-lasting results. Concealers are formulated to stay in place and withstand sweat and oil throughout the day, while foundation may not have the same staying power when used in small targeted areas.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that using foundation as a concealer can be challenging if you have specific color correction needs. Some concealers come in shades specifically created to counteract redness or discoloration on the skin, whereas foundations typically focus on matching your natural skin tone.

How to Use Foundation as Concealer

To use foundation as concealer, start by choosing the right shade that matches your skin tone. Then, apply a small amount onto the areas you want to conceal and blend it in using a makeup brush or sponge.

Choosing the right foundation shade

To achieve a natural look and seamless finish, it’s crucial to choose the right foundation shade. The goal is to match your foundation to your skin tone as closely as possible. Take note of your undertones – whether they are warm, cool, or neutral – and select a foundation shade that complements them.

Test the foundation on your jawline or wrist to ensure it blends well with both your face and neck. Remember that different brands may have slight variations in shades, so take the time to experiment and find the perfect match for you.

Application techniques

Applying foundation as concealer requires specific techniques to achieve a natural look and seamless coverage. Here are some tips to help you effectively use foundation as concealer:

Choose the right shade: Select a foundation shade that matches your skin tone or is one shade lighter for under-eye circles. Avoid shades that are too dark, as they can make blemishes more noticeable.

Prep your skin: Cleanse and moisturize your face before applying foundation. This helps create a smooth base for better application.

Apply with a brush or sponge: Use a small brush or damp makeup sponge to apply the foundation to the areas you want to conceal. Gently dab or stipple the product onto blemishes, redness, or dark circles.

Blend well: Blend the foundation into the surrounding skin using light tapping motions or circular movements. Be sure to blend any visible edges for a seamless finish.

Build up layers if needed: If you require additional coverage, apply thin layers of foundation and build it up gradually rather than applying too much at once. This technique allows for more control and helps prevent caking or creasing.

Set with powder: To enhance longevity and prevent smudging, set the applied foundation with a light dusting of translucent powder using a fluffy brush.

When to Use Foundation as Concealer

Use foundation as concealer when you need extra coverage for small areas like dark circles, spots, or pigmentation.

Suitable situations for using foundation as concealer

Foundation can be used as a concealer in certain situations to provide additional coverage for small areas such as dark circles or spots. If you have minimal imperfections that need correction and prefer a more natural look, using foundation as a substitute for concealer can be an option.

Additionally, when you’re short on time or don’t have access to concealer, applying foundation to targeted areas can help cover up redness, blemishes, and pigmentation. Just remember to choose the right shade of foundation that matches your skin tone and apply it with precision for best results.

When it may not be the best option

Using foundation as concealer may not be the best option if you have severe blemishes, dark circles, or pigmentation issues that require intense coverage. While foundation can provide some coverage, it may not have the same level of precision and pigmentation as a dedicated concealer.

Additionally, if you prefer a more natural look with minimal makeup, using only concealer instead of foundation might be a better choice. Ultimately, it depends on your personal preference and the specific concerns you want to address.


Using foundation as concealer can be a convenient option in certain situations, providing extra coverage for small areas like dark circles or spots. However, it’s important to keep in mind that foundation and concealer have different formulations and consistencies, so the level of coverage may not be as precise.

Ultimately, the choice between using foundation or concealer depends on personal preference and the specific concerns you want to address.


1. Can I use foundation as concealer?

Yes, you can use foundation as a concealer in a pinch and there are tips for using it effectively.

2. How do I choose the right shade of foundation to double as concealer?

Choosing the right shade of foundation to double as a concealer requires understanding the difference between the two, your skin type, and concerns.

3. What are some common mistakes when using foundation as concealer?

Some common mistakes include choosing a too heavy liquid foundation or not properly color correcting before applying.

4. Are there alternatives to using Foundation as Concealer?

Indeed! Experts suggest different concealers suitable for various skin types if you prefer not to wear your foundation like this.

5. How do I layer Foundation and Concealer for flawless coverage?

Best makeup techniques involve applying first light layers of both products carefully while blending each layer well for achieving flawless coverage.

Can I Use Foundation as Concealer? 5 Steps To Follow
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Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila M. I share my 44 year-experience as a Cosmetologist & Beauty Professional in this blog. This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your trusted Beauty Professional for your personal beauty needs.

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