I am a pretty dab-hand at covering blemishes after I grew up with pretty severe acne throughout my teens up until Roaccutane finally knocked it on the head at the age of 25. The struggles I went through to make my skin look somewhat ‘normal’ were endless…piles of foundations, concealers, blotting papers and powders filled my room as I worked out ways to cover without that awful masked look. It can really knock your confidence and self-esteem when you have bad skin & learning how to get on top of it can really change your life.
First up, makeup can only even the skin tone it can’t change the texture. So no matter how much you apply you will not be able to smooth the lumps and bumps and that is where your skincare and treatments come into play. Make sure you invest in skincare, and in particular your cleansing routine. I tried SO many types of makeup and application methods to make my skin look clear and what works for me may not work for everyone, it’s a game of trial and error and really understanding what kinds of things work on your skin.
Nowadays, my skin isn’t that bad. I am never without a few odd blemishes but I don’t mind that and it’s expected. However over the last few weeks, my skin has been the worst it has been for many years so I am finding myself digging up a few old die-hards for when I need extra coverage. Days @ home I NEVER wear any foundation or concealer (shoutout to the postman who I just answered my door to whilst wearing a beard of black clay face mask just now..) but when I have been going out /working/to events I still want my skin to look lovely and even.
You can see from the photos how my skin is at the moment ; breakouts, redness and I always have touches of acne scarring. Below is a step-by-step of how I cover and the products I have used. Before you apply your daily makeup, ensure the skin is lovely and clean and free from any excess sebum, dirt and build-up.
Easy steps for Acne coverage.
1.) Prep the skin.
Acne often comes hand in hand with oily or at least combination skin and therefore a good canvas for makeup is necessary. It will not only allow your makeup stay on longer, but if you use the correct one it will also smooth the skin, in particular open pores which is another lovely side effect of having oily/breakout skin. I particularly like the Hourglass Veil primer as it really makes my skin look so smooth and leaves a semi-matte finish.
2.) Apply Foundation.
Oil-free can be good but not 100% necessary – you can be breakout and dry and if that is the case you still need some hydration. I am combo/oily so will often opt for oil-free when I am needing to cover acne and breakouts. Here I used the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD which isn’t the heaviest coverage but is just the right amount for my skin at the moment ; way back when I would have been using the EL max cover or something as heavy.
I would suggest using some form of foundation/buffing brush so you fingers aren’t touching skin. A great & cost effective one is the Crownbrush C472. You can apply foundation straight onto the brush and then start by applying it to the middle of the face and blending outwards, use as little as possible to begin and slowly build it up in the areas that need more help. A true match foundation is key as you will be applying a fair amount and fear not, you can warm up your skin at the end with bronzer as opposed to doing this with a darker shade of foundation (as in my photos!).
3.) Now conceal.
Don’t go with any kind of cheap/greasy concealers…I have found that can make it worse! Something that is blemish specific is good as it won’t contain any bad/cheap oils that can potentially make your breakout areas super oily and gross-feeling within 0.03 seconds of application. You need it to have high pigment levels so it actually covers with minimal product ; those that are suitable for under the eye, will not be great for acne….and for the love of god STAY AWAY FROM ANYTHING TOUCHE ECLAT-TYPE OR LIGHT-REFLECTING. I am using the Amazing concealer at the moment, other favourites are listed below.
It is best to apply concealer with a precision brush, something like the Laura Mercier one below. This allows you to use minimal product and literally apply with the precision of a pin point to blemishes, this ensures you don’t end up with too much makeup on the skin. I will apply concealer straight onto blemishes and then press the product in with my fingertip as opposed to swiping it (off). Remember the colour of concealer won’t necessarily match your foundation as you are targeting darker and redder areas when covering acne.
4.) Set your makeup.
This is really important, depending on how much coverage you want you can either opt for a powder with or without pigment. With pigment (foundation powders) will give you that extra bit of coverage and is great to carry in your handbag for touch-ups. No pigment (translucent powders) will simply set everything you have already applied and de-shine.
I used to always set my foundation WITH a foundation powder and if you need a hella lotta coverage then this will work for you too. Currently I don’t need that much so I just use a translucent powder. Here I have used one of the best (& under rated ones) which is the Antipodes translucent powder ; very fine and lightweight and has a touch of radiance to to it.
5.) Finish the skin.
Once you have built up a fair bit of coverage your skin will look like…not skin…until you add some colour and warmth to it! Add a bronzer, blush and highlight if you still like your skin to have that lovely glow. Remember to highlight in the right places so you don’t end up looking oily opposed to radiant = fine line.
Makeup Favourites for acne coverage.
 Crownbrush C472 buffing foundation brush  Benefit PoreFessional primer  Hourglass The Veil mineral primer  Bareminerals Prime Time Oil control primer  Becca Ever-Matte poreless primer  La Roche Posay Effaclar MAT [6b] Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer  Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover  Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation  Too Faced Born This Way foundation  Bareminerals Blemish Remedy foundation  Amazing Concealer  Cover FX concealer  Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage  Laura Mercier concealer brush  Laura Mercier Translucent Powder
What are your favourite makeup products for when you need to cover breakouts and acne? Please let me know your thoughts & ask if you have any questions.