How do you conceal acne?

How do you conceal acne? What’s your foolproof technique? Go-to products?

I like creamier, heavier coverage concealers. One of my go-to products is Eve Pearl’s Salmon Concealer. The consistency is very moisturizing, emollient, and it spreads well over acne.

Thanks to Li Ming for today’s question!

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Alycia Avatar

I use a full-face primer, then my physician’s formula green concealer, then foundation, then a normal (skin toned) concealer, and THEN I set the whole works with powder. It covers really well, and stays on like crazy! πŸ™‚

Kris Avatar

Foundation over it first time, then a creamy concealer, I use MAC Studio Fix then loose powder over it with a puff. Usually I do not layer too much, it will have adverse results.

Rada Avatar

I use Lisa Eldridge’s method, as she showed in a video on YT. I use a light-medium foundation all over my face (Bourjois Healthy Mix or MUFE HD) and then concentrate on the acne areas with a full coverage concealer (love MAC studio finish concealer and Eve Pearl Duo foundation for that purpose). I put quite a lot of powder on these parts (with a velours puff or my beloved Hakuhodo G543 Powder DR Round) but only dust a light, thin layer of powder everywhere else, so that I don’t end up looking like I have much on, though the part of my face with issues now look flawless. This is the best method I’ve ever used to cover acne – takes a little bit longer but it’s totally worth it. Check her video out if you haven’t already – her channel is just in a league of its own! πŸ™‚

MereMakeupManiac Avatar

i usually have one or two pimples at most during or nearing my period and like you i use creamy concealer then pat it with powder. wow, been hearing a lot with Eve Pearl cosmetics. maybe worth checking out. do they ship internationally? thanks Christine, your blog is always an insipiration – for outer and inner beauty!

artemis Avatar

i still haven;t found an affordable concealer that covers well acne[not even mentioning finding a concealer that would cover my dead dark circles :))…but what I do usually is put foundation all over and then concealer stick on spots, then powder. i haven’t tried a green concealer yet but i’m curious

Bibi Avatar

I use Physicians Formula concealer twin and one side is green. It has a doe-foot applicator and dries really quickly. I apply a small amount of green to the blemish and dab with my finger until I see the redness neutralized. After a couple of moments I use the “flesh” coloured side and it covers the whole thing. It works really well.

heidi Avatar

I don’t know about drugstore concealers for blemishes but revlon photo ready is great for dark circles. It has a creamy texture and is somewhat salmony in color. For blemishes I use kat von dee’s tattoo concealer. Works like a dream. I’ve heard hard candy glamoflage is supposed to be a dupe but I haven’t tried it.

Katy Avatar

If you have a Target close to you, try the Sonia Kashuk concealer quad. It comes with a light concealer, medium, and a green tinted one and also with a setting powder. I think this concealer lasts and looks much better than my MAC studio finish. I haven’t touched it since trying this one!

Mariela Avatar

Hey! So I usually use Make Up for ever’s Waterproof camouflage concealer (8)! It really works for me, for red spots, acne, you name it! It dries fast (maybe you wont like the stickiness) if you choose the correct shade, it will last for ever! It is actually $30 😐 but it’s worth it and I use it almost everyday!; more than a new t-shirt i have never used in my closet πŸ™‚

piggles Avatar

Agreed. I also make sure to give the zit a good zapping at night. Also use an exfoliating mask if I’m having breakouts because it’s that time of the month or I’ve been lazy about washing my face at night.

Laurel Avatar

I usually try to use a little more foundation or a heavier coverage foundation first to try to cover it, but if it is really bad I’ll use a creamy concealer such as the Tarte Amazonian clay waterproof concealer or the new Nars concealer which I’m loving!

JULIE Avatar

Don’t conceal it, treat it. When I got acne, I treated it with Paula Begoun’s BHA solution and gentle 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion. Hot water compresses (soak a washcloth in hot water, let cool lightly if necessary, and wring it) helped bring pimples to a head.

rebe Avatar

My favorite is Laura Mercier’s secret camouflage. I like the consistency and it blends into my skin well. I have very minor skin blemishes though (occasional pimple or 2); others may not like it of they have more serious acne.

Andrew Avatar

Being a guy wearing tons of makeup issa nono.. first and foremost is treatment of the affected area.. wash, scrub, treat, after a couple days i can in with some conceal work and foundation w/ treatment and a nice mattifyin powder to finish

snm Avatar

I can’t! well I don’t really have acne problems,but I have post-acne spots so easily.either way,I can never cover an acne or mark well.every concealer seems to disappear when I try to blend them.I also hate the way a pimple looks when topped with heavy concealer and powder.if there is really something that needs concealing I use a yellow/green corrector but generally I find that treating acne and then concealing them is more important.

slick Avatar

For spot concealing, I neutralize the redness with Physician’s Formula green concealer applied with a 219 brush. I’ll let it set and then go over it again with my regular concealer (Studio Sculpt). Foundation and setting powder on top of that and I’m good to go! I really wish more brands would make green concealers :/

Michelle Brown Avatar

I add a tiny dot of green concealer onto each major spot. A little bit of it goes a long way, so any excess that gets on my major acne goes onto my minor acne. Then I use one or both of my skin-toned concealers on each now-green spot. The green concealer is Palladio herbal and the skin-toned concealers are Smashbox Camera-Ready (darker, creamer, less opaque) and a full-coverage one from Avon (paler, thicker, and more opaque). And watch Lisa Eldridge’s Acne Covering Makeup video!

Brigette Avatar

I use Physicians Formula Gentle Cover Concealer in Cover Green and then foundation because it really is green (it covers the red really well). But I really prefer treating my acne and then use a tinted moisturizer.

Angela Avatar

I do this too! The way I see it is that if most of my skin is great but I have a small blemish, people are like “w/e, she has a small pimple’

If you cake concealer on it, it causes it to (A) get bigger or (b) slow down its healing.

Also, it becomes more noticeable!

Devi Avatar

I don’t wear foundation/concealer, but I always said that if I did, I would do exactly that; put makeup on everything BUT the acne. I feel that if you conceal it, then you’re bringing more attention to it, because then people will see a bump with no redness around it. It just becomes obvious that you’re trying to conceal.

Ashley Avatar

I agree, whenever I see women with foundation on (even without acne/breakouts), I find it brings more attention to their skin. I find that flawed skin looks better than covered-up skin actually, because no type of facial makeup that is meant to have any type of coverage (even something sheer) will look like your own skin. It always makes me think “well what’s under all that?” especially if I can see parts of the makeup melting off, which draws more attention to it.

And honestly, only people who have acne themselves of are close to someone with acne will really notice your skin issues. It’s called priming. I don’t recall ever seeing someone with acne prior to the age of 14, when I developed acne. And I don’t recall seeing people with scars until I noticed my scarring on my cheeks, and now I see a lot of people with scarring. I even noticed my cousin’s boyfriend has scarring on his cheeks. And it’s obviously not likely that prior to my own experience with these things that I’d never encountered people with the issues. I just.. didn’t see it.

mumtaza Avatar

i don’t conceal acne. i just sheepishly display it in recognition of my flawed humanity. i would i’m sure conceal it but my acne is very vindictive and doesn’t approve being toyed with. if i put anything over it or try to sugar coat it in anyway it usually seeks vengence and ends up scarring my face and lasting a month extra. i’ve also found that penzoyl peroxide and even tea tree oil actually chemically burn the area around the acne and cause red burnt peeling, scaling, and god-awfulness. so i just try to wash my face as often as possible with fragrance free dove soap and then hold a swab with alcohol directly on the screwed up areas and lightly press. i also sometimes use presciption antibiotic ointment if it just looks crazy infected. i have been known to pick at or pop things (not advised!), but only if a)i can’t help myself or b)the look of a blood red, throbbing blemish would be preferable to whatever is already there.
i know this is a long comment but i really would like to say: for years a really bad zit/acne patch would make me so bummmed out and down on myself that i would really want to avoid social situations, meeting people i wanted to like me, etc. now that i’m in my thirties i realize pimples are so not an issue at all. in fact they can be very charming. a beautiful man/woman/person is still a beautiful man/woman/person with acne. my spouse has some acne scarring on his cheeks from deeper acne in his teens and i think it is totally sexy because it alludes to a more naive period when a very sexy person may have not realized how sexy they were because they were preoccupied with a very superficial transitory skin problem.
that being said if someone has major acne i think the best coverup is seeing a dermatologist and getting medicine/changing diet to see medical results.
sorry to have written a novel! but i feel strongly about sharing because this is something that used to unnecessarily hold me back from loving myself.

Adelita Avatar

God’s know how much I love Bobbi Brown Corrector + MΒ·AΒ·C Pro Longwear Concealer combo as my undereye concealer, but as an acne concealer, Cle de Peau or Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer are the best, period.

Josefina Lucas Avatar

When a pimple decides to come out from hiding, I use my Clinique Acne Solutions Concealing Stick Pencil in Shade 02. Its AMAZING at covering it, not to mention it also contains an active 2% Salicylic Acid. Hides and fights it so its a win-win for me! Love this stuff!

Jessica Avatar

I put my foundation on, then I cover up any remaining dark areas with MAC Studio Finish concealer. I blend the concealer with my fingers and then with the tip of my Beautyblender.

Ashley Avatar

I don’t conceal it. I found a method that cleared up my acne (water-only, hands-off approach), am letting my skin heal, and just go au-naturale. Covering up my skin now won’t make a positive difference – I’d likely break out more, my scarring would probably be more noticeable, and my red marks likely would not be 100% covered (especially once the makeup fades). Sure, walking around with shallow scarring and lots of red marks doesn’t make me feel totally comfortable, but since the marks are temporary and the scars may fill out, it’s not something I’m eager to try and hide. I’ve grown to accept myself as I am, and actually have enough confidence to be myself around other people now.

stacey Avatar

I dont conceal it. I use Rx. Retinol A now…wish they made it when I was a young teen…..spent countless of dollars on medication….best thing to do is to keep the skin clean and lightly moisturize.

Kristina Avatar

1. Foundation
2. A liquid-y, full-coverage liquid concealer patted in over large areas of redness or acne. Patting, not rubbing, gives the best coverage!
3. Conceal large spots with a creamy (not liquid-y) concealer like MAC Studio Finish with patting motions as well.
4. Powder the area.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 if necessary!

LM Avatar

maybelline’s age rewind actually covers the best for me, or layered doublewear foundation set lightly with powder between layers. trying to use the new tarte amazonian to see if clay helps heal even though the coverage isn’t nearly as good.

my #1 acne tip? put a dab of a the concealer on the back of a hand and apply from there. this way you don’t ever directly contact the concealer and the fingers or brush after its touched the bacteria affected area. this cuts down a lot on spreading blemishes. plus it allows some of the liquid to evap so you can get a stronger concentration of pigment.

(I also go up one shade on my foundation if I get a PMS-load of breakouts. it’s not enough to be noticable but the darker pigments hide more.)

shez Avatar

BENEFIT playstick foundation.i use it as a concealor over my foundation. i have been using it for nearly 10 years. i have tried every other product out there but always come back to this…

Val Avatar

I agree with those who said to treat rather than conceal because it can either look too heavy or make it worse, but I for one cannot leave the house with no makeup, especially when I have a few blemishes; so I found a happy medium that so far has been working amazing.

First I apply a light dusting of mineral powder foundation (so that the concealer will adhere better) all over my face, then I spot treat with Tarte Amazonian clay waterproof concealer (which is amazing, super creamy & blendable & lasts all day w/o creasing or looking cakey). Then I apply another light dusting of powder. After I finish my face (some bronzer & blush) I finish off with Korres mineral illuminating powder using a fan brush. So far this has been the best method to work with my sensitive skin & I always get complements on how well my skin looks and makes me forget I had pimples to begin with!

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