If you have light to medium Caucasian skintone and your undereye circles are not very dark, you can probably purchase a basic stick or liquid concealer at the drugstore with no problems. Otherwise, you may need to purchase concealer where you can test it first.
Undereye concealer should be a shade or two lighter than your skin or your foundation. If you only wear concealer, and do not wear foundation, you may want to get a shade that more closely matches your skin. I use the same lighter shade with or without foundation because my undereye circles are so dark. If you are buying concealer specifically for your face only, the shade should match your skin exactly. Even though it is ideal to use a lighter shade under the eye and a skin-matching shade on the face, I still get away with using my undereye concealer for whatever is needed. There’s no way I’m going to buy two expensive concealers.
If you are in-between shades of concealer, you can mix together two shades of inexpensive concealer, whether it is in liquid, stick or pot form. You could also adjust the color of an expensive concealer with a drugstore one. Just don’t mix a liquid concealer with one from a stick or pot. With liquids, place a dab from each on the side of your hand by your thumb and use as a palette. Mix with your finger and apply. With a liquid, you could also mix it instead with a little foundation although it will make it thinner and give less coverage. You can use the same mixing method with a pot or stick concealer, but you will have to scrape a piece off with either a plastic make-up spatula, a Popsicle stick, or a toothpick.
Get the last bit of stick concealer out of the bottom of the tube with a toothpick (then apply to your hand first, not directly to your eye area), a concealer brush, or a clean lip brush. With liquid concealer in a tube with a wand applicator, use a concealer brush or a clean lip brush with a long handle or any cheap paint brush (that has never been used for paint) with a handle long enough to get to the last bit. You can also use a fresh Orangewood stick.
If you have a concealer you don’t like. I actually used a creamy stick concealer that didn’t work well under the eyes as foundation. It was a color that was very close to my skin color, not a lighter concealer. It actually looked quite good. It goes on like studio foundation. I applied it very lightly with a firm wedge-shaped sponge. Concealer provides medium to heavy coverage, but you can mix it with moisturizer for lighter coverage. You could also try using a liquid concealer you don’t like as foundation.
A low-cost department store option. MAC’s full-coverage studio foundation makes excellent concealer. It costs $23 for 1 oz. You get about 4 times as much as when you buy MAC’s concealer, making it about $6 instead of $10 for .24 oz of concealer. MAC also has excellent, very natural colors.
If you have oily skin and use a lot of powder or if your skin is a difficult color match, then you may want to buy powder where you can test the color first to get an exact match. If you have light to medium skin and don’t wear very much powder, you can make your own very inexpensive loose powder. For some reason, loose powder always seems to be more expensive than pressed powder. All powder is mainly talc, and that is what baby powder is. Mix approximately 2 parts of any brand baby powder with 1 part powder from the cheapest powder compact you can find (Wet ‘n’ Wild is the cheapest I have found) . Choose the powder compact in a color darker than your skin. You may have to adjust the amounts to get the best color match for your skin. Some women may need to mix it half and half. However, it is normal for the powder mix to appear a bit lighter that what you are accustomed to.The compact is only to cut the chalky white color of the baby powder. The baby powder will give the mix a lovely light and silky texture. Scrape the powder out of the compact with a toothpick or a Popsicle stick. Mash any remaining chunks with the blunt end of a make-up brush handle. Mix them (stir & shake well with the lid closed) in a new 1 cup size Tupperware container with a screw on lid that you just bought and will only use specifically for make-up. I have found good very low priced containers at Pick n’ Save and discount stores. Another reason an oily-skinned person may want to skip this tip is that pressed powder contains oils or waxes that help hold it together, so the pressed powder content may not work well for your skin.
To lighten or darken your face powder. Mash it up first if it is a pressed powder. To lighten the color, add baby powder. To darken: add a darker powder, a matte bronzer, brown blush, or brown eyeshadow. Add very small amounts, a little at a time. When adding dark powders, do not just stir them into the loose powder and shake the mixture. Also use the blunt end of a make-up brush handle and mash the whole concoction to get the dark powders to release all their pigment. Otherwise, the powder may look like the right color, but if you ever apply it by pressing it onto your face with a sponge or puff, it may go on much darker than you wanted.
To make a “luminescent” face powder for evening: add any kind of very light colored frosted eyeshadow, blush/highlighter to a small amount of face powder in your palm and apply with a brush. If you prefer, you can just dust your face very lightly with any of these frosted powders alone with a brush. But it will be easier to keep it subtle if you mix it with face powder first. A frosted face powder will give a slightly heavier and more matte look than mixing a frosted powder into your foundation.