Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Difference between foundation and concealer (Makeup)

  • Difference between foundation and concealer (Makeup)

    Posted by VinTec on August 16, 2023 at 8:15 am

    Hi there!

    Recently, I’ve been working with the development of makeup formulations. It’s been pretty challenging, as I’ve never worked with these types of formulations before, but it’s been really exciting at the same time. A lot to learn about, and also a lot to tst about and a lot of questions, lol.

    So, what do you guys have to say about the main differences between foundations and concealers regarding the pigmentary composition. I know that these products have very similar structures, but I’m not sure about the concentration of pigments. I’ve been looking to some starting formulas at Prospector and it seems thar concealers have a higher Titanium Dioxide concentration than foundations. It makes sense, as concealers usually offers high coverage, to cover dark circles and blemishes. Does that makes sense to you?

    I would love to hear your take on this.

    Thank you in advance!

    Kind regards 🙂

    VinTec replied 9 months, 4 weeks ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Zoya

    August 16, 2023 at 1:53 pm


    As a consumer I would choose concealer for full coverage and foundation for a more pleasant wear during the day with medium coverage so it does make sense to me that concealer has higher percentage of TiO2.

    • VinTec

      August 25, 2023 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you, Zoya! In the next few weeks I’ll be testing it out in the lab.

  • Perry44

    August 24, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    The primary function of both foundations and concealers is to even out skin tone and provide coverage, but they are a little different. Here’s a breakdown:

    1. Purpose:

      • Foundation: The primary goal is to create an even base. It can be sheer, medium, or full coverage, but it’s typically spread over the entire face. A foundation’s main objective is to make the skin tone appear consistent and smooth, but it might not necessarily cover every imperfection.
      • Concealer: Specifically designed to hide blemishes, dark spots, and other imperfections. It’s often thicker and provides more coverage than foundation.
    2. Pigment Concentration:

      • Foundation: Contains pigments, but typically at a lower concentration than concealers. This allows for buildable coverage, so users can decide how much they want to cover their skin.
      • Concealer: As you observed, concealers generally have a higher concentration of pigments, and often more opacifying agents like Titanium Dioxide. This gives them the ability to effectively cover dark circles, redness, and blemishes. The higher concentration of Titanium Dioxide makes the product more opaque, thus offering better coverage.
    3. Texture & Consistency:

      • Foundation: Available in a variety of formulations – liquid, cream, powder, stick, etc. The consistency varies based on the type of foundation but is generally formulated to be easily spreadable over the entire face.
      • Concealer: Typically thicker in consistency than foundation. This allows it to stay in place over blemishes and provide lasting coverage.
    4. Application:

      • Foundation: Applied to the entire face to create a uniform base.
      • Concealer: Applied only to specific areas where more coverage is needed.

    It’s worth noting that there’s a trend in the makeup industry towards multi-use products and customizable coverage. As a result, the line is getting a little blurry between foundations and concealers. However, the traditional distinction between the two, especially in terms of pigment concentration and coverage, remains as described above.

    Your observation about the higher Titanium Dioxide concentration in concealers makes sense when you think about the product’s intended use. Titanium Dioxide is used for its opacity and whitening properties, making it excellent for covering imperfections.

    • VinTec

      August 25, 2023 at 3:44 pm

      Oh, that was a class!

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful answer, Perry!

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