How To Find Your Concealer Shade In 5 Easy Steps

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Waking up to a breakout can automatically ruin anyone’s day.

But this happens to the best of us. And when it does, we usually turn to our beauty arsenal for a quick fix and reliable coverup.

From hiding pimples, brightening dark circles, and blurring signs of aging, concealer is the best go-to makeup tool for masking skin issues.

A woman is applying makeup in front of a mirror.

However, since you are covering up your blemish with makeup, finding high-quality products in shades that blend seamlessly into your skin is especially important.

The wrong concealer shade won’t work and will look terrible on the skin. 

Because of this, brands have started becoming more inclusive and releasing a more comprehensive range of concealer shades to suit diverse skin hues.

If you don’t know how to find your concealer shade, read on to learn helpful tips for buying the perfect color for you!

What Is Concealer?

Concealer is not an alternative to and not a replacement for foundation. Both are different products with different uses.

A concealer is a versatile beauty staple used to mask skin blemishes such as acne, dark eyebags, discoloration, fine lines, sun spots, and scars. 

Applying concealer after your foundation or base is recommended to achieve an even complexion and flawless finish. If you do it before the foundation, you’ll end up wiping away most of the product when blending.

Plus, applying your foundation first can start to minimize imperfections and blend skin tone, making you need less concealer for a more natural finish.

The only time you should apply concealer before your foundation is if you have several blemishes and scars to cover up and need to use a lot of product.

Concealers come in different formulations, such as liquids, sticks, creams, and powder. They also come in various shades to match various skin tones.

Depending on your preference, the product may be applied sparingly using a brush, sponge, or clean fingers.

Types of Concealers

Make sure to consider your skin’s needs and your makeup goals when determining how to find concealer shades for your skin tone and selecting your preferred concealer type.

Here are the different types of concealer formulations you can choose from:


Liquid concealer is available in both matte or dewy, radiant shimmer finish.

Dewy liquid concealers tend to look more natural, especially on drier areas of the skin. 

Liquid is also the best formulation for targeting areas such as dark circles because it can provide an excellent light-reflecting highlight.

However, the matte finish concealer tends to cover more and last longer.

Why use liquid concealer:

  • Does not cake
  • Great at masking pimples
  • Minimal risk of aggravating pimples
  • Versatile because you can layer and decide how much coverage you need
  • Ideal for normal, combination, oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin type.
Four bottles of concealer on a beige background.


If you’re aiming for heavier coverage, use a cream concealer.

Cream concealer has a thicker texture and uses intense pigments to mask skin blemishes. 

This concealer is available in a cream or satin finish and is contained in a tube or small palette.

Why use cream concealer:

  • Gives medium to full coverage
  • Great alternative for concealing birthmarks or discolorations like melasma
  • Excellent for dark under eyes
  • Suitable for normal to dry, sensitive skin types


This type of concealer is also known as a “spot” concealer because it’s created specifically to treat and mask blemishes. When applied, it creates a full-coverage look.

It’s often packaged in twist-up containers making it easy to target individual pimple marks and other skin concerns.

This formulation has a semi-solid, waxy texture, and is very pigmented. It’s available in a matte or satin finish. 

However, if you choose a satin spot concealer, you may need to apply a thin layer of setting powder to help it last longer. 

Why use spot concealer:

  • Ideal for normal to dry, sensitive skin
  • Hydrating for dry skin types
  • Buildable product (medium to full coverage)
  • Often contain oil, so it is easy to spread and blendable

Cream to Powder

This type offers the heaviest coverage with a lightweight texture and often has a powdery, matte finish.

It is usually labeled as powder concealer and applied with a sponge or concealer brush.

Why use powder concealer:

  • Recommended for normal to combination, or sensitive skin
  • Buildable coverage from light to medium
  • Easy to apply because of its creamy texture
Swatches of concealer on a woman's arm.

How To Find the Right Concealer Shade

Choosing the correct shade of concealer requires some research. Intuition alone won’t cut it. 

With so many shades of concealers available in the market, it’s understandable that you may have a hard time choosing.

Here’s a simple 5-step guide on how to find the right concealer shade for you:

1. Determine the Areas You Want to Conceal

Finding the right concealer shade starts with identifying which areas of your face you want to conceal or neutralize.

If you have more than one type of skin concern, it’s best to have different concealer shades that work best for various problems like redness, dark circles, and pimple marks.

2. Find Your Skin Tone and Undertone

Knowing your skin tone and undertone is key to finding what shade of concealer to use.

What is My Skin Tone?

The color of your skin’s surface is called “skin tone.” Our melanin determines this skin color.

Skin tone can be categorized as any of the following:

  • Fair – The lightest shade or range of skin tones. People with fair skin tone are likely to get sunburn easily.
  • Light: This shade of skin color has warmer undertones than those with fair skin. People who have light skin can usually enjoy a good tan with the proper SPF tanning lotion.
  • Medium: This skin tone is also referred to as “tan.”. Medium skin tones have warm golden or olive undertones.
  • Dark: The darkest shade or range of skin tones.

The first few answers to the question “what is my concealer shade?” can be answered by identifying whether your skin tone is fair, light, medium, or dark. 

One way to effectively identify this is by examining your jawline and determining your skin’s color in the mirror inside a room with natural light.

What are Undertones and How Can I Tell Which One I have?

Now that you know your skin tone, the next thing you need to determine is your undertone. 

Undertone is the subtle color tone underneath the skin’s surface. Getting this right is essential to find a concealer that will provide a seamless blend.

Unlike skin tone, which may change with a tan or skin whitening products, our undertones will always remain the same.

The different skin undertones include:

  • Cool – A bluish, reddish, or pinkish undertone to the skin
  • Warm – A peach or golden-colored undertone
  • Neutral – This undertone is neither cool nor warm. It is a mix of yellow and blue hues. Darker skin tones have olive-tinted undertones.

In order to tell which undertone you have, you may do the following tests.

The results should help you to answer the “how to find the right shade of concealer” question:

Check your veins

You can quickly identify your undertone if your veins are visible.

For example, if your veins look blue or purplish, you likely have cooler undertones. However, if you have greenish-looking veins, then you most likely have warmer or golden undertones.

For people with neutral undertones, veins often appear colorless because they match their skin tone color.

Do the Jewelry Test

Another way to tell the color of your undertone is by identifying whether silver or gold jewelry best complements your skin.

Silver, platinum, and rose gold jewelry tend to flatter cool undertones, while yellow gold jewelry usually better complements warmer undertones.

If you are having difficulty determining your undertone, you can also visit the beauty counter and request a skin tone test before purchasing a concealer.

A woman is applying makeup in front of a mirror.

3. Choose A Concealer Shade

The general rule in choosing a concealer for your face is to pick one with the same or closest shade as your skin tone.

But once you have identified your undertone, you may start narrowing down the list of concealer products available. 

The ultimate goal of a concealer is to even out skin tone by targeting areas of concern. The common mistake people make is using the same shade of concealer on different skin problems. 

You should get a few shades for concealing various areas of your face.

The shade for your under eyes, which is usually 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone, may not be applicable in hiding your active pimple. 

If you still need help choosing, you may inquire from the beauty counter and request your chosen brand’s concealer skin tone chart for easier reference.

4. Swatch the Concealer On Your Skin Under Natural Light

If you find the newly-purchased concealer doesn’t match your skin, don’t fret. Maybe it’s just bad lighting!

Lighting can significantly affect how concealer looks on your face, which is why trial and error sometimes comes into play. Because what looked great under the artificial lights of the store may look completely different in natural light.

We highly recommend that you swatch the concealer along your cheek and jawline to determine if the concealer matches your skin tone. 

If you are uncomfortable doing that inside the beauty shop or drug store, you may apply a small amount of each concealer to the inside of your wrist. 

Massage the product on your skin and wait for it to settle under natural lighting.

Artificial lighting can be notorious for distorting the concealer’s shade and appearance on your skin, so make sure to do this under natural light!

If you have to – step outside the store for a second to look. You’ll be happy you did!

By ensuring you check with the proper natural light, you can pick the right shade of concealer that best matches your natural skin tone.

We swear by this tip because it’ll make the question “how to find the right concealer color” much more effortless.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Concealer for Discoloration?

You will need both a concealer and a color corrector to effectively target discoloration. Your concealer will cover the blemishes, while your color corrector will neutralize them.

Now color correctors come in different shades, including yellow, green, and shades of peach and orange.

Their use is determined by color theory, which states the opposite colors (colors opposite each other on the color wheel) cancel each other out.

An image of a color wheel with different colors.

Take a look at this list to see which color corrector shades are used for different skin issues:

  • Yellow corrector — This neutralizes purple tones in the skin, such as those in undereye bags.
  • Green corrector — This covers pink and red marks on the skin, such as pimples.
  • Peach and orange — These will cover dark tones that are not purple, such as blue tones.

Quick Tip

Perfectly blend your color corrector with a concealer that matches your skin tone, then with foundation. Set with loose powder to cover discolorations while ensuring your color corrector can’t be seen.

How Can You Determine Your Concealer Shade In-Store?

To find your concealer shade at the store, start by familiarizing yourself with the different undertone colors. 

Once you know your undertone, you can narrow your search down to just a few shades. 

To test the shades, apply a small amount of concealer to your jawline and blend it out under natural light. The right shade will disappear into your skin without leaving any lines or streaks. 

If you’re still unsure, ask a sales associate to help find the perfect match. They have a lot of experience and are usually well-versed in matching shades with skin tones.

Should I Use More Than One Concealer Shade?

There is no single answer to the question of whether or not you should use more than one concealer shade. However, there are a few factors to consider that may help you make a decision. 

For example, if you have a lot of hyperpigmentation or darkness under your eyes, using multiple concealer shades can help you achieve a more even and balanced skin tone. 

On the other hand, if you don’t have many skin blemishes and just want to cover minor skin concerns, using one concealer shade may be sufficient. 

Another thing to consider is the formula of the concealer.

If you’re using a liquid concealer in several shades, you can quickly swipe on several shades and blend them because of the ease of using sheer liquid formulation.

However, blending multiple shades may be more challenging if you’re using a thicker cream formula. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to use more than one concealer shade. The answer should be based on your skin’s needs.

Which Color Concealer Is Best for Dark Circles?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a concealer for dark circles. 

The first is the color of the concealer.

A good rule of thumb is to choose a shade one or two shades lighter than your skin tone, which will help brighten up your undereye area. 

But make sure not to go any lighter than that. If you go too light, your concealer will end up emphasizing your dark circles.

Additionally, as mentioned above, use a color corrector to neutralize the dark tones in prominent dark circles.

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of concealer you choose. A liquid concealer will easily blend and give you a natural look. 

However, if you have very dry skin, try a hydrating concealer formulated with skincare ingredients, which will not only conceal but also help to hydrate the area under your eyes.

Quick Tip

Want an affordable and high-quality ultra-hydrating concealer? Go for the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Concealer Stick, which is infused with hyaluronic acid that delivers deep moisturization.

Finding Your Concealer Shade Is Easy If You Know Your Skin

From brightening the skin to giving you a fresh and flawless appearance, the many benefits of a concealer make it a must-have beauty product.

Finding the answers to the question “how to find your concealer shade?” may be difficult at first, but it becomes easier and simpler if you genuinely know and understand your skin. 

Knowing your skin tone and undertones significantly speeds up the process of finding the right concealer for you.

Don’t be afraid to repeatedly try a product at the counter before buying it. After all, you want to be sure. 

Once you find the right concealer, all the effort will be worth it!

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  • Janille Gultiano

    Jan, a distinguished freelance makeup artist, also boasts a BA in Mass Communication, laying the foundation for her diverse talents. For over four years, she's carved a niche as a captivating content writer, with her articles resonating in various spheres. Beyond writing, her expertise extends to crafting robust Public Relations and Corporate Communications strategies. Each endeavor reflects Jan's unique blend of creativity and precision

  • Rebecca Green

    With ten years in the beauty industry, Rebecca Green has mastered the art of makeup. Trained by celebrity makeup artist Debra Macki, she's worked from Macy's to Bobbi Brown, freelanced for high-profile clients, and even launched her own brand, BeccaPink Makeup. Her versatility spans from everyday looks to editorial shoots, and her work has been featured in Greek Cosmopolitan.

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