Foundations and Concealers can be similar and different. I always view these 2 products as a pair and I would never use one without the other. They are both used to cover up impurities in the skin but the purpose and way you use them is completely different.
When it comes to foundations and concealers, it is very easy to get confused. Honestly, when I first started doing makeup, I had the same question too.
Here is a look at these 2 products in detail:
Foundation – A foundation is used to create an even tone on your skin. Next time you go to the washroom, study your face in the mirror without makeup on. Look closely at the skin tone on your forehead, nose and cheeks. Did you notice that they are all of a different shade? The truth is that no one has one color on their skin. One may have dark eye circles, blemishes, acne, fine lines or other skin impurities. Foundations fixes this by covering the impurities, giving your face an even, natural look.
Depending on the coverage you need, foundations come in sheer, light, medium or full coverage. You can choose which foundation need depending on the amount of coverage you need:
Sheer Coverage – This is very light and transparent. Only hides minor and light skin impurities.
Light Coverage – Cannot cover acne or freckles. It helps to correct slight unevenness.
Medium Coverage – Covers acne, freckles, light eye circles, light blemishes
Full Coverage – Thicker and most heavy. Pretty much covers everything. Certain types of full coverage foundations may make your skin look cakey.
Foundations are also used to create a base for other makeup, protects your skin from outside impurities and some foundations even have moisturizers and sunblock mixed in! It can get confusing in the world of foundations as there are so many options. I suggest you check out the guides that I have written for selecting the best foundations. You can begin by selecting your skin type.
Concealer – Concealers are thicker than foundation. Like it’s name suggests, concealers are meant to “conceal” a concentrated area on your skin. Usually, it’s just one spot on your skin that is hard to cover. Concealers let you wear a lighter coverage foundation while allowing you to cover the spots that needs to be covered the most.
You can use concealers for everything, like black spots, acne, blemishes and blotches. Usually, people put concealers on their problem areas first, then use foundation to blend and even out the skin tone. I have written guide on applying concealers and foundations here.