how to conceal acne scars

Try as you might, there are some things that just never seem to go away… that spot on your favorite blouse, those emails you swear you unsubscribed from months ago, and the worst of the worst - acne scars. If you’ve been struggling with these pesky marks, you may have been wondering how to cover acne scars with makeup. It’s hard not to give up on those little marks that send you searching for the right concealer over and over again.

But at we can be just as stubborn as our spots, and we’re not giving up—we’re getting help! We asked celebrity makeup artist Melissa Walsh to show us how she conceals troublesome acne scars.

1. Step: Give It a Smooth Start

As with any makeup application, you want to create a good base. This is the most important tip in our guide on how to cover acne scars with makeup. A smooth canvas is key! No concealer is going to stick to flaky skin, so start by gently exfoliating your face.

Next, Walsh recommends using a brightening moisturizer such as Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion to help with redness. Now that you’ve got a flake-free base, you’re ready to cover up your skin with makeup.

how do i cover up acne scars


2. Step: Build It Up and Blend

The second most important tip in our guide for how to cover acne scars with makeup is choosing the proper tools and products. The key is the combination of products and tools you use. The right equipment can make a world of difference in covering up acne scars.

“Use foundation all over, but nothing heavy or thick as these can cake and make marks more obvious,” says Walsh. “Blend well using a brush or sponge.”

We love Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation for a cake-free complexion-perfector that’s not too heavy. For a seamless foundation application, we apply it with a BeautyBlender sponge. The egg-shape allows you to reach every angle.

“Then using a fine-tipped concealer brush, dot a highly pigmented liquid concealer over the marks,” instructs Walsh. Liquid concealers, like our favorite Lancôme Maquicomplet, offer the most coverage. You only need a small amount, but when applied with a fine-tipped concealer brush, you can make your spots disappear.

3. Step: Set and Go

Once you’ve concealed to your heart’s content, the final step to cover acne scars with makeup is to set it in place. The last thing you want is all your hard work melting away.

Follow Walsh’s advice and “finish by lightly dusting a very fine face powder all over to set the coverage and give the face a flawless finish.” Try Maybelline Mineral Power Finishing Veil Translucent Loose Powder applied with a full, natural-bristle brush.

Now You Know How to Cover Acne Scars with Makeup!

Concealing acne scars doesn’t have to take hours, nor does it require the skills of a professional makeup artist. Just make sure you apply a smooth base, use the right products and tools, blend well, and set your makeup with a light dusting of powder.

What other techniques do you need expert advice on? Leave your requests in the comments!

Photos: Thinkstock, Giorgio Armani, Too Faced, Lancome, Laura Mercier, Beautyblender

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