#Truestory: One of the first few things I bought as a makeup newbie was concealer. Remember those days of stockpiling heaps of stick and liquid concealers, trying ever so earnestly to hide little angry spots before heading off to school? (I admit, I was wearing concealer at 15, but hey, it’s not as detectable as foundation if you use just a wee bit, right?)

Kaviar Gauche Paris Spring 15

Anyway, it’s not entirely false to say that you’ll find concealer in almost every OL’s makeup bag today, and probably an entire drawer of it at home. So get more bang for your buck and bring out your stash of concealers ‒ they’re good for a variety of uses.

I’ve asked celebrity makeup artist Andrea Claire to spill the beans on all her tips and tricks to using this wonderful beauty invention. Enjoy!

TIP #1 It’s been said before ‒ concealer after foundation. Get the coverage you need from your base makeup first, before deciding on how much concealer you need. Andrea says it’s the best daily use method, unless you know, you hit the red carpet everyday (sure). “Apply it in a line of dots and then, tap and stipple to blend, instead of using a sweeping motion,” she said.

TIP #2 So a highly raved about concealer creases or slips and slides on your skin. That’s because it’s too emollient for you, go for something “drier”.

TIP #3 Too much concealer makes your under eye area look swollen. Make sure you’re applying the right amount by doing your makeup with natural light coming straight at you. “If you apply your makeup with overhead lighting, you’ll have the tendency to use too much concealer trying to blend shadows created by the light, rather than actual dark circles,” said Andrea.

TIP #4 While there are many ways to use one concealer, it’s not always a do-all.

Corrective concealers like this Camouflage Palette from Make Up For Ever, or Bobbi Brown’s ever so famous corrector ‒ must have that limited edition palette – can work really well for specific purposes, so don’t rule them out altogether.

Now here’s how you can extend its use.

If you’re the sort who can’t stand the look of a typical highlighter – micro-shimmer or not, just no – this trick is for you. Choose a highlighter that’s just about a shade lighter than your natural skin tone. Then, swipe it across the high points of your face and blend.

And if YouTube tutorials are now your late-night-drama-serials, you’ll notice the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer as one of the most used products for this. This concealer has light diffusing technology to create a softer, smoother complexion.

Andrea says that doing this before your foundation is the same as what’s now known as the Kim Kardashian contour. FYI, Kim K wasn’t the first to sport this look. This method was used back in old Hollywood, long before HD and when lights were hot and screen sirens were uber glam.

Us K-Beauty enthusiasts are no stranger to the ombre lip (or gradient lip, if you’ll like), which is achieved by first applying concealer all over the lip and then slowly blending a lip colour out from the centre. Lovely as it is, it can be a real a pain for those with exceptionally dry lips.

So if you can’t stand putting concealer on your entire lip, try this – apply concealer after your lip tint with a cotton bud. Andrea originally suggested this method to soften the look of harsh lip liners, but it’ll work great for the K-Beauty lip too. Just make sure that you’re not using too creamy a lipstick, and work slowly with the concealer or you’ll find the colour mixing into a murky mess.

Urban Decay’s latest Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer is incredibly smooth and non-cakey. It’ll work well with this method.

Andrea says to apply concealer to your lip bow for extra pout to your pucker. This method is loosely connected to number #1, where concealer works as a highlighter to emphasise your cupid’s bow.

By the way, such “pouty” lips are said to be extremely lucky, at least according to this.

Ah, the dreaded makeup mistake. Instead of reaching for makeup remover and a q-tip to correct that cat-flick (let’s be honest, it’s usually better to remove the whole thing), reach for your concealer.

Andrea says to put a light dot of concealer on the cotton bud and “lift” the mistake off. Doing it like this will help to keep the rest of your makeup intact. “If you drag a clean cotton bud on the makeup you want to fix, you’ll most likely disturb the rest of the makeup underneath,” she said. Cool tip, Andrea!

You know those lines you see in the morning – particularly if you sleep in your side – starting from the end of your nose and running diagonally along the sides of your mouth that only seem to get worse everyday? Yes, those annoying nasolabial folds.

Well, turns out you can get them “filled” and “plumped” without any needles involved. Andrea says you can just use concealer over your foundation to lighten the area – instant baby cheeks!

Give your eyes a little lift – again, no needles – by putting some concealer on the brow bone, just below your brow arch. We know straight brows are in, but they really aren’t for everyone! So frame your face with just soft arch, it’ll help your eyes look a little more awake.

Oh, there’s one thing you need to look out for though, Andrea says to beware of the dreaded Instagram brow ‒ you aren’t trying to make your brows look like closed-cropped cut-outs from your face!

Now there are lots more reasons for every beauty junkie to go through concealer “faster” so you can buy new ones to try. (Oops, didn’t mean to make the addiction worse!)

Andrea Claire can be contacted at aclairebeauty.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette in #12205, $63, is available exclusively at the Make Up For Ever Academy & Pro Loft. For more information, visit www.makeupforever.com.sg, and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Palette (Limited Edition), $69, is available at the Bobbi Brown store at ION Orchard and TANGS Orchard. For more information, visit www.bobbibrown.com.sg and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $43, is available at all Nars counters. For more information, visitwww.narscosmetics.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer, $40, is available in eight shades at all Sephora stores. For more information, visit www.urbandecay.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Visit www.sephora.sg and follow Sephora Singapore on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.