Cosmetics are constituted mixtures of chemical compounds derived from either natural sources, or synthetically created ones. Cosmetics have various purposes. Those designed for personal care and skin care can be used to cleanse or protect the body or skin. Cosmetics designed to enhance or alter one’s appearance (makeup) can be used to conceal blemishes, enhance one’s natural features (such as the eyebrows and eyelashes), add color to a person’s face, or change the appearance of the face entirely to resemble a different person, creature or object. Cosmetics can also be designed to add fragrance to the body.
Primers are used on the face before makeup is applied, creating a typically transparent, smooth layer over the top of the skin, allowing for makeup to be applied smoothly and evenly. Some primers may also be tinted, and this tint may match the wearer’s skin tone, or may colour correct it, using greens, oranges and purples to even out the wearer’s skin tone and correct redness, purple shadows or orange discolouration respectively.
Concealer is a cream or liquid product used to conceal marks or blemishes of the skin. Concealer is typically the colour of the user’s skin tone, and is generally applied after the face has been primed to even out the wearer’s skin tone before foundation can be applied. Concealer is usually more heavily pigmented, higher coverage and thicker than foundation or tinted primers. Though concealer is often more heavy duty in terms of pigment and consistency than foundation, a number of different formulations intended for different styles of use – such as a lighter concealer for the eyes and a heavier concealer for stage makeup – are available, as well as colour correcting concealers intended to balance out discolouration of the skin specifically.
Foundation is a cream, liquid, mousse or powder product applied to the entirety of the face to create a smooth and even base in the user’s skin tone. Foundation provides a generally lower amount of coverage than concealer, and is sold in formulations that can provide sheer, matte, dewy or full coverage to the skin.