Good skin days are wonderful, but unfortunately for most of us, they’re few and far between. Luckily, we have the tools to give us the confidence to step outside with our heads held high. You just need to know the right tricks. The most important thing to remember when you’re covering imperfections is perspective. Take a good look at your skin and evaluate just how much of it is having trouble. If you have a few blemishes or under eye circles, that’s no reason to pile the makeup on all over. Let the areas of your skin that are having a good day shine, but for the others, here are a few tips on how to cover up acne and other skin woes, plus some of our favorite hero products to keep them concealed.
The instinct when covering a blemish is to layer on the products, but that’s not effective and all those products end up being pretty uncomfortable on your skin. We recommend starting with moisturized skin, then applying a thin layer of foundation. This will cover a lot more than you think and result in using less concealer. Then go in with a high-coverage concealer, such as Tarte’s Maracuja Creaseless Concealer ($24), right in the center of the blemish and pat with the pad of your finger to blend. Using a brush will often result in spreading the product around where you really don’t need it.
Unfortunately, covering up acne is only half the battle. You also need to maintain coverage throughout the day. Depending on your skin type, this could mean dealing with dryness, oily skin or itching — and everyone knows that prodding fingers are the enemy of blemishes. Our hard and fast rule when it comes to touching up blemishes is remove and reapply. You’ll find that if you use any sort of setting powder, applying a creamy concealer over it will only draw more attention to the area you’re trying to hide. If you have the privacy, use a small amount of makeup remover or a wipe, such as Josie Maran’s Bear Naked Wipes ($12), to remove the concealer and reapply.
Under Eye Circles
The first step to covering under eye circles is knowing why you have them. Some women have bruise-toned circles, which is a result of thinner skin that exposes the blood vessels underneath. Other women have sunken eye sockets that cast a shadow. If your bags disappear when you raise your head, you have the latter and should go in with a light-reflecting concealer, such as the iconic Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat ($41), to illuminate the area. If you have permanent shadows, go with a creamier formulation, such as Dior’s Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer ($33), that will offer more coverage.
Combating redness really starts with your skincare. It’s important to know why your skin is red, otherwise you’re just treating the symptoms, not the problem. If you know why your skin is red, and are looking to minimize the appearance of the flush, it’s best to start with a tinted primer. All of the green products on the market may look like gimmicks, but if you check out your trusty color chart (we all have one, right?), you’ll see that a product, such as Make Up For Ever’s HD Microperfecting Primer in 1 Green ($34), will cancel out much of the redness. Don’t try to compensate with foundation because you’ll just end up with a mask.
If you’re trying to camouflage visible pores, it’s all about the base and top coat. Primers can be key in reducing the size of visible pores. Similarly, an HD or microfinish formula powder, such as Laura Mercier’s Invisible Loose Setting Powder ($37), can help add another level of blur to your skin and reduce the appearance of large pores.
Anyone who has dry skin knows that beyond the itching, peeling and overall irritation, it can be a nightmare to get your makeup to sit properly. The first step in this battle is obvious — moisture. This may mean using a hydrating serum, such as Caudalie’s Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum ($49), under your day cream to get the most impact. The next step is foundation and we suggest using cream or liquid formulations to avoid the dreaded clumping on dry skin.