Summer Blunders: How to Cover Up Sunburn and Tan Lines

We’ve tried to give you all the tools to help keep your skin burn-free this summer, but sometimes a sunburn can sneak up on you (it happens to the best of us — right, Kim?). During the warmer months it’s nice to show some skin, but red, scorched skin and unsightly tan lines can detract from a perfect summer look. Here are some tricks and products that can help you fix any summer skin problems. 

How to Cover Up a Sunburn

Covering a sunburn can be tricky because you don’t want to aggravate your already irritated skin. The most important thing to remember is to keep you skin very moisturized. Before you even start to apply makeup, make sure that the skin is hydrated and clean. With a very light hand, prep the area you want to cover with a green toned primer, such as Smashbox’s Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer in Color Adjust – Green, $38, which will help to counter the reddness. Be sure not to rub the product in but instead smooth it over the skin. Next, go in with a foundation that will provide good coverage without a lot of blending. Even the softest Kabuki brushes could be very painful so try an airbrush foundation, such as Dior’s Diorshow AirFlash Spray Foundation, $62. The great thing about this product is that it gives a very velvety, full coverage finish without any blending. You just spray and let it set. If you’re uncomfortable with a spray, look for a formula that’s meant for the body, such as MAC’s Face and Body Foundation, $33. The honest truth is that it’s very hard to fully cover a sunburn without hurting yourself. You don’t want to interfere with your skin’s healing process so don’t bother with foundation unless it’s absolutely necessary. 

How to Cover Up Tan Lines

If your skin isn’t damaged, just tanned, it can still be tricky to cover but you have a lot more options in terms of applications because you don’t have to deal with the pain factor. Where many people go wrong in trying to cover tan lines is to cover the entire area. Don’t try to use spray tan or self-tanning lotion to even out the area as you’ll only make the dark areas appear darker. You should find a foundation that best suits your tanned skin tone and concentrate it where your skin is uneven. By using a concealer brush or small foundation brush, you can carefully apply the product where it’s needed and save yourself from looking covered in makeup. If the difference in tone is very noticeable, try a concealer, such as Make Up For Ever’s Full Cover Concealer, $32, just along the lighter skin. Then, when you apply your normal foundation over the whole area with a buffing or kabuki brush, you’lll soften the line and give your skin a more natural finish. Be sure to set the area with powder but it may be worth investing in a setting spray, such as Urban Decay’s Dew Me, $29, which will not only help keep your skin moisturized but will help give a more skin-like finish.