20+ Differences Between Foundation And Concealer (Explained)

Every makeup routine has two essential products- foundation and concealer. While both of them are equally important, the question arises of when you should use them.

No matter how popular foundation and concealer are, very few know the difference between them. To fall under those few people, read below to read everything you must know about both products. 


Key differences of Foundation:

  • Creates even base
  • Comes with SPF
  • Natural coverage
  • Lasts for 5 hours 
  • Matte finish 
  • Should be used before concealer 
  • Comes in 5 types 

Key differences between Concealer:

  • Hides unwanted spots on the face 
  • Conceals blur lines 
  • Full coverage 
  • Lasts for 12 hours 
  • Shimmer or satin finish 
  • Should be used after the foundation 
  • Comes in 5 types 

Comparison Between Foundation And Concealer

Parameters Foundation Concealer 
Aim To get an even base before wearing any makeup.To hide or conceal the indifference of your skin texture. 
Duration 5 hours maximum 12 hours maximum 
Advantage To get protection from UV rays, Provides natural coverage, Enhances the radiance of your skin. Hides blur lines, Can work as a contour. You can replace the highlighter with your concealer. 
Result Provides matte finish Provides matte, radiant shimmer, or satin finish
CoverageEasily provides sheer, medium, and full coverage Provides full coverage 
When to apply Before concealer After foundation. You can skip using concealer if you want 
Types Liquid foundation for dry and oily skin, powder foundation for oily skin, Cream foundation for dry skin, Mousse foundation for every skin, Serum foundation for oily skinLiquid concealer for every skin type, Cream concealer for any skin type, Stick concealer for every skin type, Balm concealer for extreme skin, Cream to powder concealer for every skin type

Major Difference Between Foundation And Concealer

What Is a Foundation?

A foundation serves the same purpose as its name depicts- to form an even base. While a foundation serves multiple purposes, it’s not necessary that every foundation is actually the same.

Some foundations may give you a sheer base, or some may give you full coverage. Their SPF protection and other nourishing ingredients also vary from product to product.

Foundations come in various ranges- powder-based, cream-based, liquid-based, etc. The correct result of your foundation can be seen only when you use a foundation similar to your skin tone. 

What Is A Concealer?

The major difference between a concealer and a foundation is that the concealer feels thick on the skin and effectively hides every blemish and dark spot. The concealer, too, can be found in the form of powder, liquid, and cream. 

Along with ‘concealing’ the dark spots, concealer also helps lighten the skin. Most of the concealer offers a matte finish and suits every skin type. Be it oily or dry skin; concealer will work on your face easily. 


Where to apply foundation:

  • Begin with the center of your face
  • You can blend it outwards from the middle of your forehead
  • Apply some on the bridge of your nose
  • Apply it to both of your cheeks
  • Remember to blend the foundation outwards on your cheeks
  • Drop a few drops on your chin as well 
  • Blend it outwards to spread evenly 

Where to apply concealer:

  • Start with the center of your forehead
  • Apply some below and above your eyebrows 
  • You can blend some on the inner corner of your eyes
  • The areas under your eyes
  • The outer edges of your lips 
  • The center of your chin 

The Contrast Between Foundation And Concealer 


Foundation – A foundation is referred to as the main component of any beauty routine. It enhances your appearance by making an even base. The right shade of foundation will give you a natural look. 

Concealer – Concealer is used to hide or ‘conceal’ the incorrectness of the skin. It can be used to cover up your blemishes, scars, acne marks, and even pimples. It can be effective in covering up your eye bags as well. 


Foundation- There are five types of foundation, which are given as follows;

  • Liquid foundation is effective on dry and oily skin. It gives a matte or dewy finish. 
  • Powder foundation is effective on oily skin. It gives a matte or luminescent finish. 
  • Cream foundation is useful for dry-skinned people. This gives a matte finish.
  • Mousse foundation will easily work on every skin type. It gives a matte finish.
  • Serum foundation is useful for oily skin. It gives a semi-matte finish. 

Concealer- There are basically the following types of concealers;

  • Liquid concealer- It can easily work on every skin type. Along with giving full coverage, a liquid concealer provides three finishes, which are radiant shimmer, matte, and satin. 
  • Cream concealer- It is advised to conduct a patch test before using this concealer. It offers medium to full coverage with a thick texture. 
  • Stick concealer- For a quick touch-up, you can use this rolling stick. It offers sheer to medium coverage. 
  • Balm concealer- Whether your skin is too oily or too dry, balm concealer will stay put in place. 
  • Cream to powder concealer- If you need a matte finish look, you can use cream to powder concealer. It is easy to apply, and you can use a sponge to even it out. 


Best products for foundation:

  • Maybelline Fit Me Liquid Foundation 
  • Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation 
  •  Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation
  • RMS Beauty Un-Coverup Cream Foundation
  • ILIA True Skin Serum 
  • Kosas Tinted face oil 
  • Dior Backstage Body and Face Foundation 

 Best products for concealer:

  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
  • NYX Professional Makeup HD Photogenic Concealer Wand
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Concealer 
  • Tarte Shape Tape Concealer 
  • Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer 
  • Glossier Stretch Concealer 
  • Catrice Cosmetics True Skin High Cover Concealer 


Foundation- Few advantages of a foundation are as follows;

  • A good foundation includes sun protectants. It can also protect your skin from UV rays. 
  • It will help you in getting natural coverage. It enhances your underlying skin tone, which, in return, will increase the radiance of the skin. 
  • It protects your soft skin from pollutants and pathogens. These act as anti-aging agents. 
  • Besides giving a radiant glow, it works as a great makeup routine. 

Concealer- The following are the advantages of concealer;

  • Concealers can work well in hiding the blur lines in the most natural way. 
  • You can use a cream-based concealer to act as a contour. For giving a natural appeal, use a shade darker than your natural skin tone. 
  • A layer of brightening concealer will help you to hide your under-eye bags. This will help you to make your eyes appear more awake and radiant. 
  • A concealer can be used in place of a highlighter. You can apply them to your cheekbones and bridge of the nose to enhance your appearance. 
  • You can hide your acne marks and blemishes by using the concealer on the desired spots. 

Steps to Apply

Foundation – The following steps are done to apply a proper foundation;

  • Start with cleaning your skin properly. 
  • Use a regular moisturizer for hydrating your skin. 
  • Now you can begin applying your foundation to the center of your face. Then you can blend it outwards by using a brush. 
  • Blending the foundation is very necessary to get an even base. For that, you can use a damp sponge. 
  • For settling your foundation, use a powder. Instead of powdering the whole face, you can powder the areas which are prone to get oily. 

Concealer – The steps can be followed to get a proper concealing look;

  • For blending the concealer properly, you may use your fingers or a concealer brush. 
  • In the beginning, you can start by applying tiny dots near your eyes and on the corner of the under eyes. 
  • Then you can blend with your fingers or a beauty blender to spread out the concealer evenly on your skin. 
  • For getting an even tone, you can use concealer on the neck, chin, and nose as well. 
  • Using a powder will help you to settle the concealer on your skin. 
  • You can use specific concealers for concealing specific areas. 
  • You can moisturize your face before using concealing so that your face does not look patchy after the makeup. 


  • Foundation – The use of foundation gives a matte finish. 
  • Concealer – The finish provided by concealer can either be matte, radiant shimmer, or satin. It depends on the type of concealer you use. 


  • Foundation – For getting a perfect base, always select a foundation that suits your natural skin tone. A mismatched foundation might make the difference visible between your bare skin and the makeup. Your foundation should effortlessly blend with your skin tone to give your face a naturally enhanced look. 
  • Concealer – The complexity of using concealer demands more than one concealer for your makeup. These different concealers serve different purposes. Simply put, the area under your eyes is of a different shade than the rest of your face.

    Hence, the concealer that conceals your face won’t effectively give the right coverage to your dark circles. 

    So, the concealer used for covering the whole face should match your skin tone, while the concealer used for your under-eyes should be a shade lighter. 


Foundation – The coverage provided by a foundation includes sheer, medium, and full. 

Concealer – A concealer is used to provide full coverage. 


Foundation – The duration of the foundation depends on the form of foundation you are using. However, on average, a typical foundation can stay up to 5 hours maximum. 

Concealer – Concealer can stay on your face for 12 hours if applied correctly. 


Precautions for using a foundation:

  • Don’t forget to use sunscreen
  • Blend your foundation well with a blender
  • Hydrate your skin with moisturizer 
  • Check out your foundation before applying it to the entire face
  • Keep away from using too much foundation 
  • Choose the correct foundation formula according to your skin type
  • Always use concealer after you are done with a foundation. 

Precautions for using a concealer:

  • Don’t choose the concealer that is much lighter than your natural skin tone
  • Avoid using one type of concealer for the whole face
  • Don’t use your concealer to hide the redness caused by rosacea
  • Use powder to set your concealer. ALWAYS. 
  • You can use concealer as an eyeshadow primer as well
  • Always apply moisturizer for hydration purposes
  • When using a foundation, always apply your foundation first to create a base. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. How can I find my undertone?

You can either check your veins. If you have blue-purple veins, you possess cool undertones. If you have green veins, you have a warm undertone.

You have a neutral undertone if your veins are blue or green. You can also check your undertone by jewelry test. If gold jewelry suits you, you have warm undertones.

You have cool undertones if you look good in silver or platinum jewelry. If all these types of jewelry suit you, you have neutral undertones. 

Q2. Is it okay if I apply only concealer?

It’s absolutely fine to wear concealer only. You don’t need a foundation for that.

Concealer basically works as a skin serum to uplift your skin. For simply correcting your skin and hiding the acne marks, you can use concealer. 

Q3. Which one should I apply first- Concealer or the foundation?

The foundation is always applied first. The function of a foundation is to make out an even skin base to apply the makeup. 

Q5. Is it important to use concealer?

No, it totally depends on your needs and skin type. If you have clear skin that does not need any concealing, you can use foundation and simply carry on with your makeup. 

Q6. Is it fine to use concealer every day?

Concealer is one of the essential beauty products. You may need it to hide all your blemishes and dark spots. You can, of course, use it every day, as it does not hamper your natural skin quality. 

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