A common mistake that people make with acne prone skin is feeling that they have to wear a thick, heavy foundation all over their face in order to be able to conceal their blemishes adequately. In most cases, people will think they have a face full of acne, when really they have clusters of acne, usually around the jawline, chin, forehead and cheeks, but will have good skin elsewhere. When talking to someone, we naturally focus in on the other person’s eyes. For acne suffers this is usually the one place free of blemishes. So instead of covering the whole face in a thick foundation, the trick is to keep the eye area and any other area of clear skin very light, and then using a concealer or thicker foundation build up a heavier coverage, just on the areas where there are blemishes. This will create an optical illusion, whereby the person looking at you will be drawn into these lighter areas and will believe that you have a clearer complexion. After all not everyone wants to be caked in makeup, especially in the summer months when we really want our natural sun kissed skin to shine out. So it’s all about emphasizing the good bits and disguising the bad.
So how do we do it? Well first you need to ensure your skin is well cleansed and moisturized. Look for a cleanser that removes dirt and grime but not so harsh that it will strip your skin of its protective barrier and leave it vulnerable to bacteria. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and Moisturiser, or La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel and Toleraine Riche moisturiser are some good skin friendly brands to try. Alternatively your dermatologist will be able to recommend the best skincare and topical treatments specifically for your skin concern.
Once cleansed you need to prime the skin. A skin specific primer like Smashbox More Than Primer Blemish Control targets the cause of the blemishes, soaks up any excess oil, hydrates and soothes the skin, as well as provides a smother texture and extends the wear of your foundation. By creating a good base, it will ensure that the makeup you put over the top will not only look better, but also won’t slide off, or smudge by the end of the day. Look for those that are oil free, with no parabens and fragrances, which could aggravate and cause breakouts in sensitive skins.
Next, using a foundation brush, apply a lightweight foundation like Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup to the whole face. This foundation is perfect for oily skin. Not only does it give amazing coverage, it also has skin-clearing benefits that work on existing blemishes, whilst preventing future breakouts. The formula neutralises any redness and keeps the skin looking natural and light.
For those that don’t like a full on foundation, an oil-free tinted moisturiser like Laura Mercier has a buildable coverage, helps prevent excess oil from setting on the surface of the skin, and hydrates to prevent dryness, which can be a problem in combination skins. Bobbi Brown BB Cream is also a good lightweight cream. It’s all-in-one formula combines sodium hyaluronate and skin-quenching emollients to boost hydration and minimise pores. Its light reflective pearls help to give a luminous quality to dull skin, while botanical extracts and caffeine reduce discolouration and prevent redness.
Once the base is done you can start concealing. Apply a light diffusing, hydrating concealer like Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer to the under eye area. This will help to minimise any dark circles, reduce redness and brighten around the eyes (for more help in choosing the right concealer see my blog: How to Find the Perfect Concealer).
Then using a small pointy brush and a dry-textured skin camouflage concealer like Dermablend Corrective Stick that matches your skin tone exactly, apply the concealer directly to the blemish. Then sweep the brush around the base to blend the edges into the skin (don’t use your fingers, as you will transfer bacteria on to your skin). You only need a small amount, as it has such great coverage. It is far better to work in several thin layers than one thick; building up the coverage till the blemish disappears.
For clusters of acne use a fluffy blending brush to lightly buff the camouflage cream into the skin. This will help to reduce any surrounding areas of discoloration and seamlessly mix the camouflage in with your foundation, to appear like you haven’t got anything on your skin. You can then go in again with your smaller pointy brush to target any areas which need that little bit extra concealing. Skin Camouflage creams like Dermablend are great as not only are they non-comedogenic, so won’t clog your pores or react with your skin, they are specifically formulated to cover a wide variety of skin disorders, so their high pigmentation means you don’t need a lot of product to achieve a full coverage. They are also rub, sweat and water-resistant too, so perfect for summer holidays and oily, combination skins.
To set the makeup, using a translucent fixing powder like Dermablend Setting Powder on a powder puff, press and roll the powder into the skin. Pay particular attention to the blemished areas to really set the camouflage makeup, whilst using much less on the rest of the face to cheat the illusion that you haven’t got much makeup on at all. Add a little blusher, lipstick and mascara and you are good to go.
If you’re short of time and are looking for a fuller coverage without having to spend time concealing, Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation has a higher concentrate of pigment than regular foundation so it gives an amazing coverage with a natural looking finish, without looking like a mask. It also contains Vichy Thermal Spa water, which is renowned for its skin soothing and fortifying properties, so it acts as a concealer and skin treatment in one. Another good foundation, this time a mineral based product, is Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream. Non-comedogenic and oil free, its natural fruit extracts gently exfoliate, refine and rejuvenate the skin, whilst covering blemishes, minimising pores, smoothing and brightening the skin. Used in conjunction with Jane Iredale PurePressed or Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder, you can achieve an excellent coverage, with a radiant, healthy, flawless complexion.
To learn more about Skin Camouflage, the products I use and how it can help to conceal acne as well as many other skin disorders, book a consultation with me and you will soon be well equipped to be able to confidently apply your makeup in a way that not only conceals any imperfections, but feels so light you won’t feel like you’ve got makeup on at all.