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When you think of Kim Kardashian West, natural makeup doesn't exactly spring to mind. She's a beauty muse in her own right, one who's makeup looks are always inventive and on point—but she prefers bright, baked concealer and tons of sculpting. Her long-time makeup artist, though, has coined a new technique which has an opposite effect. Rather than offering up a blurred, air-brushed texture, Mario Dedivanovic is spreading the gospel of "micro-concealing"—a technique that makes your makeup almost imperceptible.
This buzzy trick is an effortless way to conceal breakouts or uneven skin tone without covering your entire face with product. The result is a nearly natural look that covers what you wish to cover, while the rest of the product disappears into your skin. It sounds like a dream, really, so we had to ask Dedivanovic to divulge some of the details. Below, find his sage advice, along with common mistakes, the best products to buy, and easy ways to make sure you're employing the technique properly.
What is Micro-Concealing?
"Micro-concealing is technique used to precisely conceal blemishes or pigmentation using a small amount of product and a brush," Dedivanovic explains. To do it, you use a thin makeup brush to place the product gently into small dots throughout your face, exactly where you need coverage. Then, you feather out the product by applying as little pressure as possible to your brush. Then, pat with your fingers softly to set. "For this to blend correctly," Dedivanovic says, "color matching is so important." For that reason, he suggests you use No7's Match Made Foundation Drops ($15), as they come in a bunch of different shades and provide buildable coverage for direct concealing, or Laura Mercier's Flawless Lumière Radiance-Perfecting Foundation ($48). "Micro-concealing is all about celebrating your beautiful natural skin," Dedivanovic laments, so make sure to use a product that offers skin benefits or offers some glow.
How It's Different Than Traditional Concealing Techniques
"This technique works best for those who are looking to use a minimal amount of product and a fresher more natural looking face," Dedivanovic notes.
How to Find Your Shade
"For this technique, you must find as close to your exact shade as possible," Dedivanovic recommends. So, it's not the same as using a slightly lighter concealer to brighten your under-eyes. To make this process a bit more user-friend, he suggests standing near a window when you're swatching new foundation or concealer shades. "Light can be deceiving," he says. "My advice is to get as close to a natural light source as possible. Remember, it's rare that your skin will match one shade perfectly, so it’s important to mix and customize," Dedivanovic shares.
The Most Common Concealer Mistakes
"A common mistake I often see is not properly blending or setting your under-eye concealer," Dedivanovic shares. "Start with a flat brush and dab product under your eye (and any other blemishes). Then, using a damp sponge, start to blend the concealer under the eye and towards the outer corner. To avoid any creasing, be sure to set the concealer with loose setting powder right after blending with the sponge—this helps to keep the concealer from settling into fine lines," he explains.
The Best Formulas to Use
Dedivanovic sites Laura Mercier's Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer ($29) and Secret Camouflage ($35) as two of his favorite concealers for micro-concealing. The former doesn't settle into fine lines, so it's really great for those ages 40 and above. The latter is especially great when you're concealing your under-eyes or concealing uneven areas on your skin (like discoloration or blemishes). He also loves Suratt Beauty's Perfectionniste Concealer Palette ($58). "This palette comes with three shades, making it super easy to customize your coverage," Dedivanovic says.
How to Keep Your Makeup Looking Natural
"My best advice is to start with a good skincare routine," Dedivanovic says. "If your skin is glowing and dewy, that will radiant through your makeup. Start by using a small amount of product to avoid a heavy application—that may lead to a caked finish," he adds. For micro-concealing, it's paramount to use products that are easily buildable.
The Most Important Things to Consider
1. Find a coverage intensity that is right for you. Whether that's sheer, medium, or full-coverage makeup.
2. Shade match, and don’t be afraid to customize your color with multiple shades. Mixing and matching is every makeup artists' best-kept secret. We all have unique skin tones and created customized coverage will create a more natural-looking canvas.
3. Make it long-lasting by adding a translucent powder or setting spray. We like Urban Decay's All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($32) and Becca's Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder ($39)—FYI, the powder is made with 50% water and glycerin and creates a mist-like sensation on your skin as you apply it.
4. Less is more! Especially if we are talking about micro-concealing. The technique works best when you use a soft hand and really gently apply the product.
5. Never rub in your concealer, rather use a brush or damp sponge to pat in the product and avoid any creasing. It makes it stay longer and look more natural.