Concealing a blemish or disguising a pimple takes more than simply dabbing on a creamy cover-up. From spot treatments to anti-bacterial concealers and application techniques, these insider tips and essential products will ensure your blemish is imperceptible. Here’s how.
Step 1: Apply A Blemish Gel
Before applying any makeup, it’s essential you treat your blemish first to help reduce any redness and help it to heal. Look for products with antibacterial ingredients and salicylic acid to gentle exfoliate and dislodge dead skin cells. Ren Clearcalm Non-Drying Spot Treatment combines salicylic acid with a soothing maritime pine and thyme complex that reduces redness. And the tea tree oil and chamomile in Eve Lom Dynaspot feel incredibly soothing on the skin and its light, pink tint makes it perfect for popping on under makeup. Apply a few drops directly onto the spot using a cotton bud – you don’t want to spread bacteria with your fingers – and then leave it for a few minutes so it has time to dry. If time allows, the blend of salicylic acid and active sulphur in Malin + Goetz 10% Sulfur Paste works wonders on drying out blemishes and speeds up the healing process – apply before you go to bed to calm an impromptu spot.
Step 2: Use The Right Concealer
Much like choosing a foundation, the right shade, texture and formula of your concealer is imperative for covering up a blemish effectively. Colour-wise, you need to avoid anything too light – you’ll only bring attention to your pimple – and instead, opt for a shade that matches your own skin tone exactly. Creamy, thicker textures are your best bet texture-wise as their consistency will offer more cover and longer lasting hold than anything with a more fluid, light finish. You’ll tend to find them in pots and compacts rather than wands – RMS “Un” Cover-Up Concealer is rich in coconut, beeswax and jojoba oils and nourishes any flaky areas brilliantly – it also comes in a vast selection of shades. The award-winning, waterproof and long lasting formula of Kevyn Aucoin’s The Sensual Skin Enhancer makes it ideal if you’ve not got time for touch-ups and NARS Soft Matte Concealer is oil-free and has a seamless matte finish.
Step 3: Blend Like A Pro
If your usual process of applying concealer goes somewhat like this: dab on, press in with your finger, repeat – you may need to re-think your repertoire. To start with, a specific concealing brush is essential. Brushes designed for applying concealer tend to have shorter, firm bristles that can provide targeted concealing and, afterwards, a lighter, fluffier brush will help to blend the edges into the surrounding skin. Surrat Small Concealer Brush has firm bristles and a shorter handle that makes getting into tricky areas a breeze. If you’re always on-the-go, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Pull Apart Brush comes apart to fit neatly inside the smallest spaces and NARS Precision Blending Brush #13 has a tapered tip that covers even the tiniest of blemishes accurately. Just remember, as with any application tools clean your brushes regularly to prevent spreading any bacteria on to other areas of your face – just swish in some warm water and a clarifying shampoo and leave to air dry.
Step 4: Perfect With A Powder
Once you’re happy with your concealer, setting it with a dusting of powder will help stop it from transferring, ensuring everything stays put. Again, either opt for a powder that matches your skin tone or for a completely fool-proof finish, a translucent formula will take off shine and set your concealer without adding any colour into the mix. By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder contains silica micro-beads that provide an invisible, matte finish and hyaluronic acid helps soften the skin to reduce the appearance of imperfections. The natural ingredients in the mineral based Laura Mercier Mineral Powder include zinc oxide, mica and pearl powders – and are ideal for helping keep the complexion clear. Apply lightly with a brush (Hourglass Veil Powder Brush is double-ended so works with smaller or larger areas) and resist overcompensating with layers of powder – use too much and you’ll only give your blemish more texture, making it more noticeable.