When you see a pretty face rocking a natural, no-makeup look, chances are she didn’t skip a trip to the makeup aisle: a flawless-looking complexion is often achieved with a little help from a concealer or BB cream. From dark circles and discoloration to a rude breakout, a bit of the right makeup, applied correctly, can do wonders.
But before you starting shopping, take a few notes on how to use concealer without upsetting your acne. Although concealer can seem like a magical quick-fix, its important to be gentle with your sensitive and blemish-prone skin. Keep up your usual routine of cleansing, treating, and hydrating with SPF protection. Then cover up imperfections with a beneficial formula that boasts not only its camouflaging talents, but repairing, skin-loving qualities, too.
Cleansing your hands is step one. Applying concealer often involves using your fingers to dab on products (allowing the warmth of your skin to help smooth on product) and you don’t want to be spreading around bacteria from pore to pore. If you prefer to avoid touching your face, apply with a synthetic concealer brush, making sure to wash it often with an anti-bacterial brush shampoo.
Concealer is meant to be used on particular areas of your skin. It’s not an all-over substitute for foundation, but rather should be used in tandem. If you’re a fan of liquid foundation, start there, then reassess what you’d still like softened and follow-up with concealer. If you use a powder foundation, apply in reverse order to avoid a cakey finish.
Consider your skin type and its concerns before purchasing concealer. If you have dry skin, avoid matte finish formulas. If you have oily skin, pass on the creamy formulas that will clog pores. Cream-to-powder concealers are best for normal to combination skin and may exacerbate for blemishes and/or dry spots. The best choice for acne-prone skin tends to be liquid concealer: easy to apply, least likely to cake or migrate, and finish with a more natural, dewy look.
If its redness you’re spotting go green with a color-correcting formula—the green tint in these products counteracts the redness of blemishes. Then layer with a medium coverage concealer in a shade that closely matches your foundation. Switch up formulas to solve each dilemma: yellow formulas are ideal to cover deep purple tones, like dark circles and scarring, and can also be used to highlight brows and cheekbones.