If you're fairly new to makeup, or just don't feel especially savvy, the amount of different products out there can get prettttty confusing. I've actually been asked this question multiple times recently, so I figured I better make things a little clearer for ya.
Foundation and concealer are both similar in that they are designed to make your skin look better. Because our goal is to have healthy-looking, even-toned skin, both products are used to create this even appearance and hide away any imperfections we might have...like zits, dark spots, or general unevenness.
So what's the difference you might be asking? Let's break it down. For one thing, foundation is designed to be used on the entire face, whereas concealer is designed to be used only in areas that need some extra hiding power. Both products contain skin-toned pigments that offer coverage of your own skin, but concealer contains more of these pigments, so it can hide the things that still show through after you put on foundation. Another difference is that foundation tends to change the appearance of the surface of your skin by offering different 'finishes'. Foundations typically either add more glowiness & radiance to the skin, or take away the skin's shine to create a matte appearance. Concealers, on the other hand, may offer slightly different finishes like this, but in general are designed to have a natural finish similar to your own skin so that they blend in.
The last thing worth mentioning is that both products are totally optional! I often get asked 'Do I need to wear both?' or 'Can I wear concealer on it's own?' and the truth is...it's entirely up to you! You won't look strange or be 'doing it wrong' if you wear only one of these products (or neither of them)! I myself don't care to wear foundation on a daily basis, but will often pat a bit of my favorite concealer under my eyes and on my zits before I head out the door. Keep in mind that as with all makeup, the reason there are different products is to give you options so that YOU can decide what you love and works best for you. Don't feel pressured to buy anything you don't think will be useful and enjoyable!
PS. In case you missed it...I JUST released my first ever makeup course on how to get 'Natural, Flawless Skin'. For those of you who want to make your skin look amazing, but also don't want to have that dreaded cakey, unnatural appearance, this will be PERFECT for you. If you're a bit of a makeup novice, this is a great course to learn the right techniques for applying your foundation & concealer for every day. If you're a makeup lover, this is a great way to take your skills to the next level by learning actual pro techniques (hellooo I've been doing makeup for 16 years!). Plus...I teach you how to know what products will work best for you AND I include my ultimate buying guide so you know what products I think are worth your money. Head back to my homepage here and check it out!