What Is the Difference Between Primer, Foundation, And Concealer?

Knowing the difference between the three is the key to a perfect finished look.

By Esha Saxena

If you are new to the world of makeup and looking for a take-off point, the right place to start will be to understand the difference between primer, foundation, and concealer. Yes, there is plenty to explore in the makeup game, and, as a newbie, you are excited to know it all as soon as possible. But, starting from the initial steps of makeup is your best bet. Build your base and go on from there to delve into the multitude of products, makeup techniques, looks, and more. Check out this article for all you need to know about the holy trinity of makeup: primer, foundation, and concealer. Scroll down!

Primer – The Best Beauty Prep

when applying makeup what goes on first? Want your makeup to last longer and look 3x times better? Use a primer. A primer creates a smooth base for your foundation and other face makeup. This often-neglected essential can blur pores, smoothen fine lines, correct discoloration, and magically set your makeup in place for hours. You must always apply primer after moisturizer or your last skincare step and before your makeup.

One primer we absolutely recommend is the Porefessional Primer from Benefit. It’s silky, lightweight formula is oil-free, translucent, and complements all skin tones.

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[ Read: Top 15 Makeup (Foundation) Primers And Their Reviews ]

Foundation – The Second Skin

You may have a doubt either to apply concealer or foundation first? Applying foundation is the second step in a typical makeup routine. The right foundation formula can help cover imperfections, even out skin tone, and give your skin the desired finish, like dewy, matte, satin, or natural. It can also help other makeup products – such as blush, highlighter, and concealer – go on much more smoothly.

To avoid the dreaded “cakey” look, apply your foundation using a damp beauty sponge. It absorbs products, allowing you to add the ideal amount of foundation to your skin gradually.

There is a wide variety of foundations available in different shades, coverages, and compositions. The three main categories include liquid, cream, and powder foundations. If you are a beginner, we recommend trying Maybelline’s Fit Me Foundation. It comes in both matte and dewy finishes in over 45 shades for a diverse range of skin tones.

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[ Read: 10 Of The Best Foundations For Combination Skin ]

Concealer – A Magical Quick-Fix

Once you have your primer and foundation on, your skin can look quite amazing. However, nobody’s perfect, and we all have days where our skin refuses to cooperate with us. From angry zits to redness and dark circles to spots, concealer comes in handy to fix all your skin issues instantly.

Use a concealer brush or your fingertips to apply concealer. If you want it to look natural and undetectable, make sure you blend it out thoroughly.

No matter what your skin type, it is a good idea to have two concealers on hand – one to cover spots, and one to cover dark under-eye circles. We recommend NYX’s HD Photogenic Concealer for spots and Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Eraser for dark circles.

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[ Read: Best Liquid Concealers Available In India – Our Top 10 ]

Check out the difference between foundation and concealer, concealer vs foundation.

Concealer vs Foundation vs Primer

PrimerFoundationConcealer
What is it?The base that allows all your other makeup to go on smoothly by creating an extra layer between your skin and the makeup.Closely resembles your skin color and is applied over a primer.A kind of color corrector that helps brighten your skin and hide imperfections.
UseIt helps makeup last longer while keeping oil and shine at bay.It evens out your complexion while hiding blemishes and redness.Masks dark circles, large pores, age spots, and blemishes
Types AvailableCream, gel, and powderLiquid, stick, cream, and mousseLiquid, balm, cream, and stick
Makeup StepStep #1Step #2Step #3

A primer forms the base, a foundation forms your second skin, and a concealer magically makes your spots, blemishes, and other inconsistencies disappear. We hope the basic difference between primer, foundation, and concealer is clear. These different makeup products are explained in detail and also we have recommended some brands for your reference. These are must-have items in your beginner makeup box. If you can master these basic layers of makeup, you will almost be at an expert level. So, get yourself these items and start practicing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use concealer without applying primer?

Yes, you can. However, if you wish to conceal stubborn spots, then using a primer will help the rest of your makeup stick to your face better and last throughout the day.

Can I use concealer without foundation?

Yes, if you want a minimal look, you can skip the foundation and use a concealer for a light, fresh-looking complexion.

Can I use moisturizer instead of primer?

No. A moisturizer has a different function from a primer and won’t give the same effect and results. However, both are crucial steps in makeup application. You need a moisturizer to hydrate the skin and a primer for better and longer coverage.

Can I mix my primer and foundation?

Yes. You may mix your primer and foundation to prepare a thin base for your makeup. This will help you achieve a lighter and more natural look.

Is primer better than CC cream?

No. Both are different products and have different purposes. A complexion corrector cream is tinted and can hide skin discoloration. Primers usually don’t have pigments and are meant to fill pores and let the makeup stay for long. However, you can skip primers when using cc creams.

Is primer good for oily skin?

Yes. A primer can control the excess oil and keep the oily sheen off your face when applying makeup.

Key Takeaways

  • A primer, foundation, and concealer are not the same makeup products.
  • A primer is a base for the other makeup products you apply on your face.
  • Foundation, similar to your skin tone, is applied over primer.
  • A concealer is used to cover blemishes, discolorations, spots, and more.

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author
Esha Saxena is a writer and journalist and holds a master’s degree in media and mass communication. She firmly believes... more