The triangle concealer trick was one of my most defining beauty revelations. I can’t remember exactly how I first came across the technique, but sometime during my sophomore year of college, I learned that the best way to apply your concealer was to draw an inverted triangle that spanned the length of your nose. And it changed everything.
Before this discovery, I used concealer in the most literal way possible: to hide my blemishes, redness, and dark circles. The triangle method, however, opened my eyes (literally and figuratively) to the illuminating powers of concealer. I realized that the product could do way more than cover up my “flaws”; it could also accentuate my features. The method showed me how to use concealer to add radiance, highlight my cheekbones, and draw attention to my eyes.
While I’ll always have a soft spot for the famed technique, it’s no longer my go-to in 2021. The triangle method has quietly faded into the millennial beauty hall of fame along with heavy contour, matte lips, and super-defined brows. In its place, a few TikTok concealer tricks that better align with Gen Z’s less-is-more makeup approach have risen to the top of the pack. From a crease-free hack to the facelift technique, the app’s most popular concealer methods involve a lot less product and a lot more payoff. Keep reading to learn exactly how to pull them off.
Meet the Expert
- Ashley Rebecca is an NYC-based makeup artist and a regular contributor for Byrdie covering makeup, skincare, and haircare.
- Kenneth Soh is a London-based makeup artist whose clients include Cara Delevingne, Naomie Harris, and Phoebe Dynevor.
The Facelift Method
Out of all the viral makeup tips on TikTok, the facelift concealer hack is undoubtedly one of the most popular. Content creator Megha Singh first shared her trick for using concealer to mimic the lifting effects of a cosmetic procedure last May, and it’s been recreated by thousands of users on the app ever since.
In another viral TikTok, makeup artist Criss Scortezz explained why he prefers this technique over the triangle method. “The reason I’m not a fan of the triangle shape under the eye is because it emphasizes the lowest point of the cheek way too much,” he says, noting that the method can actually drag your face down. Instead, Scortezz prefers a technique similar to Singh’s that creates a much more lifted appearance. To demonstrate, he applies the concealer in the inner corner of his eye, bringing it down to the side of his nose, which “gives the nose a natural contour.” He also swipes on a thick line that starts just below the outer corner of his eye and extends up towards his eyelid.
To demonstrate the difference, Scortezz applied a triangle shape on his other eye, and after blending both sides out, the distinction is clear: one side of his face is visibly more lifted than the other. Unlike the triangle technique, Scortezz’s method concentrates the product in two high-impact areas rather than all over his cheek. This allows the highlight to sit under the eye—where you actually need it—and brings attention upward towards your temples.
Makeup artist Ashley Rebecca tells us that she likes to consider her client’s face shape when using concealers. But, you “can never go wrong” applying it to the inner corners and at the edge of each eye for a lifting effect. “The great thing about the facelift method is that you can actually forgo the contour and blush and still get the lifting benefits from where the concealer is applied,” she explains, noting that the method is great for all different skin types and ages.
After seeing Scortezz’s TikTok, I was excited to see if the facelift technique could be as revolutionary as the triangle method once was to me. I applied my concealer following his instructions and carefully blended it upward for ample lift.
While it might not have looked like I’d undergone a face-altering procedure, I was seriously impressed by the results. My face looked noticeably more lifted than it usually does after I’ve applied concealer. And as Scortezz promised, the technique really did draw attention where I wanted it—every time I looked in the mirror, the concealer placement pulled my gaze to the tops of my cheekbones rather than to the center of my cheeks.
The Blending Technique
Another concealer technique I’ve seen on TikTok comes courtesy of legendary makeup artist Wayne Goss. I hadn’t been familiar with Goss’s approach until I saw a TikTok from @banksmakeup, a user named Courtney who regularly shares her take on viral makeup trends. In her video, Courtney breaks down her “favorite concealer method,” which she learned from watching tutorials from Goss and makeup artist Robert Welsh.
Full disclosure: I was convinced that the method wasn’t for me after initially trying it with subpar results. But after seeing a few more TikToks praising Goss’s approach, I was determined to attempt again. To learn more about the technique, I did a deep dive into Goss’s popular YouTube channel and watched basically every concealer tutorial he has. As fans of the makeup artist already know, Goss had been talking about the shortcomings of the triangle concealer method long before TikTok even existed.
Goss has demonstrated a variety of different concealer techniques and tricks over the years. Still, one tip remains the same in all of his tutorials: using less product will give you better results. Like the facelift method, Goss recommends concentrating your concealer in the inner corner of your eye where you have the most darkness. However, the beauty of his technique—along with Welsh’s technique—is in the blending rather than the application.
Instead of using a sponge to blend out your concealer immediately after applying, Goss says to first use a brush to build coverage and work it into your skin. This will prevent the sponge from soaking up all of the product and help the concealer look like skin. After you’ve finished blending with the brush, you can then take a damp sponge and use it to push the concealer into your skin even further. If you want more coverage, Goss suggests adding a touch of extra concealer in the corner of your eye and repeating the process.
“Wayne Goss is really such an incredible makeup artist; there’s no need to tweak his method,” says Rebecca. “The only thing I’d say about that is it doesn’t take as long as it looks once you’ve mastered your application and blending.”
I realized that I hadn’t heeded Courtney's advice to really work the concealer into my skin during my first attempt at the technique. Armed with my newfound knowledge, I gave the method another try and incorporated some of the tips I picked up from Goss’s channel. Following one of his tricks from another concealer tutorial, I first put on two layers of eye cream (letting the first dry before I applied the second) to prep my under-eyes for makeup. Next, I swiped on some liquid concealer from the corners of my eyes down towards my nose and then picked up my blending brush. This time, I spent a full minute buffing the product into my skin, working it from my inner corner across my cheek.
Once it was almost fully blended, I grabbed my damp beauty sponge and used pressure (as Goss suggested) to push it into the concealer. This step made a huge difference—I typically use a light touch with a sponge, but applying pressure helped the product really melt into my skin.
In my opinion, the best part of this technique is that you only need to use a tiny amount of concealer. Because of the additional blending, Goss’s method provides almost as much coverage as the triangle method, but with a third of the product. Plus, it looks way more natural.
The Crease-Free Setting Hack
As much as I love the finish of Goss’s technique, I’ll admit that I don’t have the patience to carefully buff out my concealer on a daily basis. Like lipstick and eyeliner, it’s a technique I’ll primarily reserve for the weekends when I have the time to apply my makeup with the attentive precision of a beauty YouTuber (I don’t believe anyone who claims they never narrate their routine like a tutorial). During the week, my makeup look is usually limited to whatever I can fit in in the five minutes before my first Zoom meeting, which is why TikTok’s creaseless concealer hack immediately caught my eye.
This trick focuses on blending rather than concealer placement, and it can be used in tandem with the facelift method. In one viral TikTok, user Karla Vega Kazemi explained exactly how to pull it off. Rather than immediately blending out your concealer after you swipe it on, let it sit for two to three minutes. According to Kazemi, allowing the product to dry slightly can help prevent it from sinking into lines and creasing. After a few minutes, blend it out using a beauty sponge or your fingers.
Once you’ve blended, Kazemi suggests spraying some setting spray on your hand and then using your fingers to tap the product on top of your concealer. Finish off by gently pressing on your setting powder of choice using a brush (Kazemi says to look up when applying your powder to avoid extra creases).
Celebrity makeup artist Kenneth Soh agrees that the key to a creaseless finish is to keep your application and layers light. “Start with less and go back in if you need more,” he says. Before going in with your setting spray and powder, Soh suggests using a blotting sheet to lightly press over the concealer to remove excess moisture and grease. “That way, you need less powder to set, and your skin doesn’t get cakey,” he explains.
After trying just about every eye cream, under-eye primer, and concealer formula out there, I was eager to see if a two-minute trick could really provide that elusive crease-free finish. I applied concealer to both of my eyes to test it out, blending one side in immediately while letting the other side sit per Kazemi’s instructions.
Even after following Kazemi’s setting spray trick, the two sides of my face looked nearly identical. After a few hours, however, I noticed that one of my under-eyes looked subtly smoother and definitely had less creasing than the other. It wasn’t a drastic difference, but it was 100% worth the two additional minutes I added to my routine by letting the concealer dry.
The Bottom Line
Despite the differing tips and applications, one constant remains: less is more. No matter which technique is currently trending (I might be eating my words in a few years when the triangle method is back in vogue), Soh says that a light hand is the key to a smooth, crease-free finish.
“For me personally, concealer placement will always depend on the person I’m working on,” he says. “I work on a ‘where needed only’ philosophy, but these TikTok viral trends are fun for bringing ideas to the masses.”