Posted by: Chelsea Novak | February 17, 2006

Technique: How to conceal a blemish

As many of you have read on my main blog, I’m continuing to have issues with my skin. Being 29 and still having to deal with acne is really, really, really annoying. However, having dealt with it for 18 some odd years, I’ve become pretty good at concealing the little fuckers. So good that people give me strange looks when I vent about my terrible skin. So I though that today I would share some knowledge on the thing that I do most, conceal blemishes.

Some are easier to hide than others, those being the smaller ones. And no matter how well you do it, a zit is a zit and scrutinizing eyes will be able to see it. However, only people in the fashion industry or evil people, like this one girl I went to highschool with who said that the first thing she looks for on a person’s face is the acne, are really going to be looking at your face like that.

The first thing you need to do is wash your face and put on some moisturizer. If you’re an oil monster like me, then something simple and oil-free like Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion does a dandy job. You see, it’s hard to let a zit just sit idly by. Odds are you’ve dosed it with some zit-killer and started drying the hell out of it or you’ve given into hate and popped it. Either way, you’re dealing with flaking and drying skin and what you need for good concealing is as smooth a surface as you can muster. For this reason, moisturizer is key. As is (I know this is terrible, but it works for me) having tweezers near by to remove flakes of dead skin. No peeling off the healthy stuff that’s trying to heal, that’s very much not good, just the dead stuff that’s not going to do anything but collect product in an unhelpful manner.

So, you’re all moisturized and you’ve given it time to dry. I usually put on my moisturizer in the morning, go make smoothies and check my e-mail and then go back to putting on my makeup. If you’re wearing foundation apply that. Work on creating a good base, you’re not concerned about concealing at this point.

The foundation wearing and the abstainers alike both need to do this next step. First thing you need is a concealer brush. The MAC Concealer Brush is my personal favourite. It’s absolutely key in the process. You need to be able to control how much product is going on and where. Also you don’t want to be getting your oily, germy fingers all over your face.

The next thing you need is a cream concealer. I’ve tried all the kinds of concealer out there and liquid just doesn’t cut it. Not at all. You need the weight and opacity of a creme. It’s not ideal because there can be waxes in the cream that can further irritate the blemish, but you cannot beat it in terms of coverage. Get a concealer a tone or two lighter than your foundation.

Put a little bit of cream concealer like MAC Studio Finish Concealer on the end of the brush. Just a little bit. You want to start out being really sparing with product as the less you use, the better your chances of it actually being hard to see. Do a quick dab with the brush and then start blending from out from the centre. I cannot stress enough how very little product you should have on your brush. Less is just so, so much more in this situation.

The dab and blend should get you a good result, but also take care to ensure that there is some concealer below the blemish. As a blemish is raised in comparison to the rest of your skin, putting light concealer underneath it helps minimize any shadows from overhead lights.

Next, apply some powder. When I have a truly terrible breakout going on, I’ll use MAC Studio Fix like a powder and apply it to the blemish. Don’t forget to blend. You don’t want to look like you applied more powder to just the one area. Otherwise, it’s just pressed power to lock in the concealer.

Put on the rest of your makeup and if need be, dab on a last bit of concealer before you go. The tiniest of all tiny dabs. Super, super tiny.

For touch-ups during the day, I very highly recommend the Bobbi Brown Blemish Cover Stick. It’s so portable and so effective.

So, that’s what I do and I’m sure it’s not the only way to do it as everyone has different skin and preferences, but I hope it can be useful!




  1. Hey, I found your blog in a new directory of blogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, anyway cool blog, I bookmarked you. 🙂

    I’m Out! 🙂

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