Difference Between Foundation and Concealer
By Claire Miles - August 3, 2022

Both foundations and concealers are considered makeup necessities, but the functions of each seem so similar that it gets easy to mix them up. Foundation and concealer are known as face coverage makeup, which is why they look similar at first glance.

Table Summary

They are applied to the face to create an even skin tone and smooth texture.They are applied to specific spots and blemishes to blot them out.
Typically has a lighter formula which is easy to blend.The formula is thick and opaque, making it relatively difficult to blend.
They are not usually pigmented.Usually are pigmented.
Applied before concealerApplied after foundation
Choose a shade close to skin toneChoose a shade or two lighter than skin tone.
foundation bottle and brush on marble table

Getty Images / EyeEm / Anna Galkovskaya


Foundation is a kind of makeup that covers the entire face before other products are used. Foundation gives the face a uniform look and feel.

As the name implies, a concealer is meant to hide specific imperfections on the face, such as spots, dark circles, and blemishes.

Foundation VS Concealer

An important difference between Foundation and Concealer is in the formula. The concealer formula is usually much thicker than the foundation formula. This difference is why applying concealer to the entire face is wrong, as it is difficult to blend and ends up looking clumpy on the face. Even when both are applied to the face, the foundation is still applied first. Concealers also tend to come in smaller, more compact packages. Concealers are also occasionally pigmented to treat certain imperfections. Green pigments hide red spots, and orange or pink spots help hide dark spots. Most foundations are not pigmented. When choosing a foundation, it is advised to choose one slightly close to one’s skin tone. However, when choosing a concealer, professionals advise picking one or two shades of lighter concealer is ideal.