Smooth Operator: How to Cover Up All Your Skin Woes

woman with tongue out

image: Imaxtree

No matter what your age, flawless skin always tops the list of beauty priorities. Before Beyoncé made us proud to sing “I woke up like this,” we all questioned whether our skincare and makeup routines were enough to achieve (or better yet fake) flawless skin. Think piling on layer upon layer of makeup is the only way to cover up skin issues? Think again. A new crop of lightweight tinted moisturizers and blemish-fighting creams are designed to subtly disguise acne, scars or even rosacea. It’s finally time to let your natural beauty shine through. Read on for expert fixes to combat the most common skincare concerns.

Cover Up Blemishes and Acne

We’ve all been there — it’s the morning of a big meeting/date/fill-in-the-blank and you wake up with a larger-than-life blemish. “First, start with an ice cube and take acetaminophen [to reduce swelling],” explains makeup artist Lavonne Anthony, who has worked with actress Kerry Washington. “Next, apply a lemon yogurt mask for 10 minutes for morning and night — the live cultures will help clear up skin. Specifically, the acidophilus is what makes it work. If you can’t find lemon yogurt, the DIY version is to squeeze lemon into plain yogurt.”

When a nasty pimple pops up, it’s tough to keep your hands to yourself. But we promise it just isn’t worth it. While it seems like all eyes are on you—and staring at your blemish—Anthony knows exactly how to cover acne with makeup. “The best way to cover up acne is to do it last, after you have cleansed your face, applied any base, foundation or tinted moisturizer, like the new Vichy Normaderm BB Clear.” BB Clear not only instantly conceals your imperfections, but treats acne with salicylic acid and mineral pigments. It also hydrates and controls shine for radiant, even, healthy-looking skin.

“For flawless results, try what I like to call the Band-Aid method,” continues Anthony. “Start off by making crisscross lines across the imperfections with concealer (similar to a mini checkerboard) using a synthetic liner brush. Then, gently tap the area with a clean finger to blend in.” Couldn’t keep your hands off? “If the pimple has been squeezed, I recommend using a cotton swab to apply a thin layer of liquid bandage. The active ingredient is benzethonium chloride which acts as an antiseptic and sealant. Allow about 15 minutes to dry and your makeup will glide over seamlessly and cover the blemish.”

Reduce Redness

We hope you were paying attention in art class because your instructor was onto something. “Use the opposite color on the color wheel to cover your imperfections. Think green on red, orange on brown/blue, yellow on purple, etc.” explains Anthony. “The best way to cover up redness or rosacea is to use a primer or concealer that has a green base. It will even out skin tone and visually correct redness.  Once it has had a moment to set, apply your base, tinted moisturizer or foundation with a damp sponge.”

Even Out Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a result of too much production of melanin, causing over pigmentation, dark spots or even hormone-related melasma. The easiest way to combat future discoloration? Daily usage of SPF 30 or higher, rain or shine. “Unevenness can be covered by using a full-coverage concealer that is buildable and layerable,” explains Anthony. Pack a one-two punch by upping the ante on your skincare regimen to fight hyperpigmentation while you sleep. “[Look for] over-the-counter lighteners or brighteners that contain natural ingredients such as coffee-berry extract, arbutin, kojic acid and licorice.”

Mask Undereye Circles

Save excess baggage for your next trip, not your beauty look. Whether you got 4 or 14 hours of sleep, you can tackle your skin woes with concealer. “The eye area is [roughly] seven times thinner than the other skin on your face,” shares Anthony. “The best type of concealer is one that is a bit drier—not necessarily thicker—so it adheres to your skin. Most people go for the heavy foundation to mask over everything. However, If you can cover the imperfections, you really don’t need foundation.”

Presented by Vichy Laboratories