2 Concealer vs Primer Crucial Differences

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Struggling to choose between a concealer or a primer for your makeup routine? You’re not alone – it’s a common conundrum in the beauty world. This blog post will demystify these two essential cosmetics, helping you understand their purpose and how to use them effectively.

Dive in, and discover everything you need to know about “Concealer vs Primer”!

  • Primers create a smooth base for makeup, minimize the appearance of pores, and enhance foundation longevity.
  • Concealers provide medium to full coverage and are used to hide imperfections like blemishes, dark circles, and redness.
  • Different types of primers exist such as silicone-based, mattifying, color-correcting, illuminating, and hydrating primers.
  • There are various types of concealers available including stick, liquid, cream, color-correcting, and under-eye concealers.

What is Primer?

A primer is a type of makeup base that is applied before foundation to enhance the complexion, create a smooth surface, and increase the longevity of your makeup.

Purpose of a primer

Primers work to create an ideal canvas for your makeup. They act as a bridge between your skin and the makeup, helping in smoothing out pores and fine lines. Not only do they enhance the longevity of foundation, but primers also control oiliness and give the skin a matte finish.

Some varieties even offer color-correcting properties, neutralizing issues like redness or dullness on your face. Thus, applying primer before foundation becomes indispensable for achieving that flawless look.

Types of primers

Primer is an essential step in your makeup routine to create a smooth base for your foundation and enhance the overall appearance of your complexion. Here are some types of primers you can choose from:

Silicone-based primers: These primers have a smooth, gel-like texture that fills in fine lines and blurs the appearance of pores for a flawless finish.

Mattifying primers: If you have oily skin or want to control shine throughout the day, opt for a mattifying primer that helps to absorb excess oil and keeps your makeup in place.

Color-correcting primers: These primers come in different shades to address specific skin concerns. For instance, green color correctors neutralize redness, while lavender correctors brighten dull skin.

Illuminating primers: To achieve a radiant, dewy glow, try using an illuminating primer that adds a subtle shimmer or luminosity to your skin.

Hydrating primers: If you have dry or mature skin, hydrating primers can provide an extra boost of moisture and help improve the overall texture of your complexion.

What is Concealer?

Concealer is a type of cosmetic product that helps to hide imperfections on the skin, such as blemishes, dark circles, and discoloration.

Purpose of a concealer

Concealer is a makeup product that serves the purpose of hiding imperfections and creating a flawless complexion. It is specifically designed to cover blemishes, dark spots, acne, redness, or under-eye circles.

With its thicker and more opaque formula, concealer provides medium to full coverage for targeted areas of concern on the face. It helps to even out skin tone and camouflage any unwanted marks or discoloration.

Whether you want to hide a pesky pimple or brighten up tired eyes, concealer is an essential tool in your beauty arsenal for achieving a smooth and flawless finish.

Types of concealers

Concealers come in various types, each designed to target specific skin concerns:

Stick Concealer: This type of concealer comes in a solid form and is easy to apply directly onto the skin. It provides medium to full coverage and is great for covering blemishes or spots.

Liquid Concealer: Liquid concealers have a lightweight formula that blends seamlessly into the skin. They offer buildable coverage and are ideal for hiding dark circles or discoloration.

Cream Concealer: Cream concealers have a thicker consistency, making them perfect for covering more stubborn imperfections like scars or redness. They offer excellent coverage and can be easily blended into the skin.

Color-Correcting Concealer: These concealers come in different shades that help neutralize specific undertones on the skin. For example, green concealers can counteract redness, while peach or orange ones can brighten dark circles.

Under-Eye Concealer: Specifically formulated for the delicate under-eye area, these concealers provide hydration while minimizing the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

The Difference Between Primer and Concealer

Primer is used to create a smooth base for your makeup and fills in pores and fine lines, while concealer is used for coverage of blemishes, dark circles, and other imperfections on the skin.

Coverage and texture

Primers and concealers differ in terms of coverage and texture. Primers are designed to create a smooth canvas for your makeup, refining the texture of your skin and minimizing the appearance of pores.

They have a lightweight consistency that helps foundation adhere better and last longer throughout the day. On the other hand, concealers offer more coverage and are thicker in texture, making them perfect for hiding blemishes or dark circles.

They provide medium to full coverage depending on your needs, helping you achieve a flawless complexion.

When it comes to texture, primers usually have a silky or velvety feel when applied to the skin. They can also help control oiliness by mattifying the skin’s surface. Concealers, on the other hand, tend to be creamier in consistency, allowing for easier blending over targeted areas where extra coverage is needed.

Both products play an important role in achieving a flawless makeup look. While primers create a smooth base for your foundation and extend its wear time, concealers specifically target imperfections like acne scars or under-eye circles.

By understanding their differences in coverage and texture, you can choose which product is best suited for your specific beauty needs.

Application process

To apply a primer:

  1. Start with clean, moisturized skin.
  2. Take a small amount of primer on your fingertips or a brush.
  3. Apply the primer to your face using gentle, upward strokes.
  4. Focus on areas with visible pores or fine lines.
  5. Allow the primer to dry for a few minutes before applying foundation.

To apply a concealer:

  1. Choose a shade that matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter for highlighting and contouring.
  2. Dot the concealer onto areas of concern such as blemishes, dark circles, or redness.
  3. Gently blend the concealer into your skin using your fingertips, a brush, or a sponge.
  4. Build up the coverage if needed by layering the product.
  5. Set the concealer in place with a light dusting of translucent powder.

When to Use Primer vs Concealer

Decide which product to use based on your specific needs and desired outcome, whether it’s creating a smooth base for makeup application or targeting blemishes and dark circles.

Choosing the right product for your needs

To choose the right product for your needs, consider your skin type and concerns. If you have oily skin or want to control shine, look for a primer that has mattifying properties. For blemishes or dark circles, opt for a concealer with medium to full coverage.

Consider whether you need color correction as well, as some primers and concealers can help neutralize redness or dullness. Lastly, match the shade of the concealer to your skin tone for seamless blending.

By selecting products that align with your specific needs, you can achieve a flawless complexion and enhance the longevity of your foundation.

Using both for a flawless finish

To achieve a flawless finish, it’s often beneficial to use both primer and concealer in your makeup routine. Primer creates a smooth base for your foundation, helping to refine pores and control oiliness.

It also extends the wear of your foundation, ensuring that it lasts throughout the day. On the other hand, concealer is used to hide imperfections such as blemishes, dark spots, or under-eye circles.

By using both products together, you can enhance the longevity of your foundation while also achieving maximum coverage for specific areas of concern on your face. Just make sure to choose a primer and concealer that are suitable for your skin type and concerns to get the best results possible.


In conclusion, both primer and concealer play important roles in achieving a flawless makeup look. While primer creates a smooth base and extends the wear of foundation, concealer helps to hide blemishes and imperfections.

Choosing the right products for your specific needs will ensure that your complexion looks its best all day long.


1. What’s the difference between concealer and primer?

The key difference lies in their purpose; a concealer like blemish or undereye concealer is a complexion enhancer used to hide skin imperfections, whereas a primer is a skin preparation tool, serving as an eyeshadow base or pore filler that makes your makeup apply smoother.

2. Can I use BB cream instead of a primer?

Yes, you can. BB cream works well as both skincare and makeup base just like primers do, but remember it may not provide the same fine line smoothing effect of specific store-bought primers.

3. How does using an eyeshadow primer benefit me?

Using an eyeshadow primer before applying your main color can enhance its vibrancy, prevent creasing and smudging thus keeping your look intact longer.

4. Should I put on my concealer or my primer first?

In most cases, we recommend to start with the application of the Primer for initial skin preparation before layering up Concealer for specific spot treatments.

2 Concealer vs Primer Crucial Differences
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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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