A Quick Guide to Primers, Foundations, and Concealers

Do you find yourself confused when differentiating concealer from foundation or primer? You’re not alone in this dilemma! Given the vast array of makeup products and marketing hype around each one, it may be confusing to figure out which product you really need when buying makeup online.

This article will be your quick guide to differentiating these makeup products and figuring out how to use them!


The primer is the first step in every makeup routine as it creates a smooth canvas for the foundation and the rest of your makeup. It helps smooth out fine lines and visible pores and allows your makeup to stay on for longer.

Primer is applied to the skin after your moisturizer and before your foundation. This product is usually made with dimethicone, a silicone-based polymer that minimizes the pores and gives you flawless skin.


The foundation provides you with an even skin tone. It gives you a clean and even base before applying the rest of your makeup.

When choosing the right foundation, it is best to match it up with your chest. The chest area is usually where you are tanner. You can also use the back of your hand to test for colors.

Always remember that store lighting can be misleading. It is best to see your foundation under the sun. Apply a few lines of the foundation on your skin and head outside to see how it looks in natural lighting. Also, consider an upgrade to a foundation that has SPF to give you additional sun protection.


A concealer comes in handy if you have red spots, acne, or dark circles. This product was designed to cover up brown sunspots, dark under-eye circles and to brighten the face.

Unlike the previous two, the concealer is not meant to be applied all over the face.

Which One Do You Use First?

Some people like to apply their concealer first, but we highly recommend that you use your foundation before adding your concealer. If you apply concealer first, it will just end up smudged 
and blended with the rest of your makeup.

Applying your foundation first ensures an even skin tone and eliminates the appearance of minor blemishes, discoloration, and redness. You can then apply concealer on the stubborn blemishes and discoloration that the foundation didn’t cover up.

Choosing the Right Concealer

Go for a shade that is only one or two shades lighter than your skin tone if you use it to cover up dark spots or dark under your eyes. Any shade that is lighter can bring attention to the area instead of concealing it.

Avoid using a stick or creamy concealer if you have oily skin. Creamy concealers can clog and emphasize your pores.

It’s also best to avoid using matte liquid concealers if you have dry skin, as they can emphasize dryness and flaking.


With the wide variety of makeup products available on the market, choosing which ones you need in your makeup box may be confusing. Knowing the difference between primer, foundation, and concealer helps you decide which ones you need and how to use them.

Are you interested in trying different primers, foundations, and concealers to add to your makeup routine? You may want a Makeup subscription box in the US. Get a curated makeup box from us at Fashionsta every month! Head on to our website to learn more.