You can always count on a zit to raise its ugly head at the worst possible moment. Whether you’re planning a special event, going on a date or enduring a public speaking engagement, acne has a habit of appearing at the most inopportune moment. Whether you blame it on hormones, on your elevated stress levels or just put it down to bad luck, the good news is you don’t have to shuffle through your day with an ugly spot spoiling things for you.
Thanks to innovations in concealer, foundation and, most importantly, the techniques and tools for applying them, you can get a great air brushed finish to your skin that lasts all day long. Here we take a look at the most effective ways of covering up acne blemishes, and making your skin photo ready no matter what.
As soon as you notice a spot
When you realise you have an acne issue that needs to be sorted out, the first thing you need to be concerned with is reducing the size of the swelling and flattening out the pimple. You can try holding a piece of ice against it for a few minutes to reduce the swelling, or try an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen. Products containing Benzoyl Peroxide are also a good bet for shrinking uninvited face monsters.
If you have a bit of time to treat your spot before your engagement, you can dab some hydrocortisone cream onto it before you go to bed. Cover it with a round plaster so the cream doesn’t rub off on your sheets, and with any luck it will be significantly smaller by the morning.
Whatever you do, resist the urge to pop your spot if you can. Breaking the skin will make it a good deal more difficult to cover up the spot with makeup, and will create a larger, red ring around the area which will only make it more noticeable. Similarly, try to avoid the high street spot treatments, as many of these contain ingredients that suck moisture from the skin and leave red, dry patches which are harder to treat.
Get ready to perfect your complexion
Before you can apply any makeup, you’ll need to prepare your skin and make sure your whole face is in great condition. Start by opening up the pores, either by placing a hot, wet towel over your face for ten minutes, or by taking a hot shower.
Now your pores are open, you can use a gentle cleanser to clean and refine all your facial skin. Make sure you cleanse the area of your pimple really well, but avoid scrubbing at it, as this will only irritate the area more. Once cleansed, make sure you moisturise well with an oil free moisturiser to give yourself an excellent base from which to start your makeup.
Now you’re ready to work some magic on your skin and banish that blemish for good. Before you start you’ll need some supplies. You’ll need a good concealer, preferably both a green concealer and a colour matched one, as well as mineral makeup or a lightweight powder to fix.
You’ll also need a top quality make up brush for applying and perfecting your concealer. Ideally you should choose a soft bristled, antibacterial, dense brush made from synthetic materials. We highly recommend the Conceal Perfector P02, as it ticks all these boxes and more in terms of amazing, flawless coverage. So now if you’re ready let’s start to cover up acne blemishes.
Covering up your pimple step by step
1. Start with your usual foundation
Before trying to tackle your pimple, apply your usual foundation, BB cream or tinted moisturiser to give yourself a flawless, even base from which to start. We recommend the use of a flat top foundation brush to give a professional finish to your foundation. For tips on perfect liquid foundation application, see How to Use a Flat Top Foundation Brush here.
2. Apply green concealer
Start by covering up your pimple using a good quality green hued concealer, particularly for the middle area. Start by dotting the middle of the pimple with your concealer brush, and then gently blending the concealer until it has melted into the skin. Wipe the excess concealer off the brush before blending.
3. Add a colour matched concealer
Use your concealer brush to apply colour matched concealer around the outside edges of the pimple. Use a ‘stippling’ technique to get even coverage and a great finish. Stippling simply means dabbing the brush in a sewing machine type up and down motion with the brush at right angles to your face. This will do a great job of covering up any redness surrounding the pimple.
4. Blend for a perfect finish
Blend the concealer towards the outer edges of the affected area, working from the middle outwards. Try not to disturb the concealer in the centre of the spot too much. Use your concealer brush to gently stipple around the area, giving even coverage and a perfect finish, but avoid ‘painting’ or wiping the concealer before it is fixed.
5. Fix your concealer
To finish your make up perfectly, cover the pimple with mineral makeup powder. You can use your concealer brush to dot the spot with mineral makeup until it is completely covered. Because the powder sits on top of your skin and doesn’t sink it, it will last longer and keep your spot covered perfectly all day long. Alternatively, apply a translucent, lightweight powder to fix.
Now you’re ready to throw on your glad rags and enjoy your big day, without your spot stealing the limelight.
As with many skin care issues, prevention is usually better than cure. Avoid getting pimples as much as you can by eating a healthy, balanced diet, drinking lots of water every day and by maintaining a thorough skin care routine. Sometimes spots are unavoidable, however, but with a little help and some amazing makeup brushes, you can still look your best even when your skin is misbehaving.