And then there’s finding your best shade—an entirely different beast to tackle. “In a perfect world, concealer for under the eyes should be about one half to one shade lighter than your foundation, but if you have dark shadows that need to be color corrected, you have to factor that into your product selection,” notes Patinkin. In those cases, you might want to layer a peach- or orange-toned color corrector underneath your concealer du jour. “Think very light peach for lighter skin tones moving into a more orange/peach tone for darker skin tones,” she adds.
Rather than swatching on the inside of your wrist, Patinkin recommends applying right on the under-eyes, if you can. “Try to swatch your concealer under your eyes then hold a mirror over your head, up to the lights or the sky. This will show you what the color looks like without any shadows on your face and with an even distribution of reflective light,” she says.
As for blemishes, you’ll want to use a true shade match—or ideally even a half to one shade darker than your foundation. “If your concealer is too light, it will give the optical illusion that your pimple is protruding very far from the skin, whereas if it’s a little darker, it’ll give the illusion that it’s flush with your skin,” Patinkin shares. As a general makeup rule: Lighter shades bring forth an area, while darker shades help recede it.