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All you ladies between the ages of 18 and 30, go on into the next room for the "Maturing Gracefully with Maturity" lecture. Now, all the rest of you who have been through that lecture in the past and want to know how to look like you NEED that instruction, stay right here and whip out that concealer.

Concealers have been around for a long time. Their uses have included hiding hickeys, zits and cold sores. Now as we venture into the realm of middle age, we can apply this cosmetic wonder for more effective uses.

Concealers come in two main types: the lipstick tube and the compact. The lipstick tube concealer is directly applied to the needed areas on the face, and then it is blended in using the fingers to get the desired effect. The compact type comes in a flat case (just like its name), and it is applied by rubbing the finger into the makeup and onto the face. When purchasing a concealer, it is important to buy a shade that is lighter than your face and also lighter than your foundation.

A concealer is thicker than foundation and has a slightly pasty texture. This is so you can spackle it right into the facial lines you acquired in middle age. Your wonder makeup will also take care of dark circles under the eyes and on the eyelids. That’s the basic background information. Let’s get started making a new, younger-looking you!

The concealer will be the first makeup you put on. Start at the top of your face and go down, looking for wrinkles, ridges and other imperfections that need minimizing or lightening.

1. Usually, the forehead doesn’t need any help. However, look at that area right between the eyebrows. See any vertical fissures in the fleshy skin? Slab some concealer on them. You’ll come back later to blend/spackle.

2. Want to look automatically younger? This will get rid of any dark circles you may have. Whether you need it or not, put a crescent-moon of concealer under each eye. Start at the inner corner of the lower eyelid and drag the concealer stick or your finger to the outer corner, leaving a makeup trail about ½ inch thick in the middle and tapered at the ends. Don’t forget that you have two eyes to do.

3. On the upper lid, put concealer on the area right where your lashes begin and the fold of your eyelid. Again, start at the inner corner and drag the concealer to the outer corner. Generally, this area will not be as thick as under the eyes. ¼ to ½ inch should do the job. Be sure to do both eyes.

4. Do you have lines that run from the outer nostrils of your nose down to the outer corners of your mouth, making you look like you have a…um, no offense, muzzle? Get rid of them! Start in the corner of the nostril where it joins your cheek, and fill it in with concealer. Follow the line right down to the outer corner of your mouth. Do this on both sides.

5. Look at your chin. Do the lines you just painted to your mouth extend to your chin? Continue the lines. See any dark discolorations you might want to lighten up? Go ahead and dab more on.

6. How about the rest of your face? Do you have any acne? Scars? If your skin is not inflamed from any lesions, you can apply some concealer directly to those areas as well.

Starting with the first area you put concealer on, use your fingertip to GENTLY blend it in. DO NOT blend it in until it vanishes! That would defeat the purpose. Blend until it no longer looks thick and pasty. The outer edges of the areas can be smeared to a gradual thinness so it won’t look obvious when you put on foundation over it. You probably look weird to yourself right now, but just wait!

Apply your foundation or liquid makeup to your face using a cosmetic sponge. Dab (don’t drag) the sponge over the areas you just concealed. Take your time; this is as important as the concealer steps. Your face should be evenly colored with less noticeable wrinkles and circles. Finish with the rest of your makeup.

Using a concealer is a great trick for middle aged and older women. Looking more youthful does not necessarily mean looking younger. Youthful denotes an attractiveness that springs from looking one’s best. And when you look your best, your youthful qualities are definitely enhanced!