How to Conceal Every Type of Breakout, Including Big Stress Pimples

June 06, 2022
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
How to Conceal Every Type of Breakout, Including Big Stress Pimples

Acne comes in all shapes, sizes, textures and tones, and depending on what kind of acne you have, it can be difficult to conceal with makeup if that’s what you want to do. What’s the difference between concealing blackheads, cystic bumps or even whiteheads? Turns out, there’s more method to the acne-covering madness than you may think. Ahead, we spoke with NYC-based makeup artist, Kasey Spickard, about how to conceal different types of acne — and when not to conceal it at all.

How to Conceal Most Types of Acne

According to Spickard, concealing any type of breakout starts with a good skincare routine before makeup application even begins. “Make sure you’re prepping the skin properly before application,” he says. “Start by gently exfoliating any excess dry and dead skin cells from the area.” He recommends the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, or for a more thorough cleanse, try the SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser


“Once you’ve exfoliated, you want to moisturize the skin,” Spickard continues. “I love the Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate. It’s great for all skin types and is very hydrating.” You should also go for a hydrating long-wear primer that will help keep your skin looking smooth and your makeup shine-free. We recommend the Urban Decay All Nighter Face Primer


How to Conceal Every Type of Breakout, Including Big Stress Pimples

How to Conceal Red or Scarred Acne

“To effectively cover acne (especially very red acne), you will need to do some color correction,” says Spickard. For blemishes that are bright red, you will want to use a green color corrector to neutralize redness. We recommend the NYX Professional Makeup HD Photo Concealer Wand


“For acne scarring or older blemishes, which typically tend to be more brown, you want a corrector on the red/orange end of the spectrum to neutralize them,” Spickard notes. He recommends the LiveTinted Huestick in Rise, a terracotta shade. 

How to Conceal Whiteheads, Blackheads and More

To hide small raised bumps, blackheads and whiteheads, choose a full-coverage concealer, like the Dermablend Cover Care Full Coverage Concealer, or the Urban Decay Stay Naked Correcting Concealer


“After applying your color correctors, stipple or dab your concealer over the acne,” says Spickard. “It’s important to use a sponge or stippling brush to do this. Do not swipe the concealer on or you will end up removing the corrector you just placed.” 


Once you’ve concealed, apply your foundation. “Dab or stipple the foundation over the corrected areas,” Spickard adds. For a matte finish, try the Lancôme Teint Idôle Ultra 24H Long Wear Matte Foundation. If you prefer a luminous finish, you’ll love the IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40


If your acne is filled with pus or other liquid or if it’s bleeding, apply a pimple patch over your blemish for healing before applying foundation or concealer. We like the Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Original.


How to Conceal Every Type of Breakout, Including Big Stress Pimples

How to Conceal Cystic, Bumpy Acne

“Makeup can help correct discoloration, but it won’t be able to cover any rough or raised skin texture,” says Spickard. What you can do, however, is be diligent about setting your foundation and concealer with a loose powder, which can help smooth out the appearance of the skin’s surface. We love the Dermablend Professional Setting Powder. “Apply powder with a damp beauty sponge and press that onto the blemish to set your work,” says Spickard. 

How to Conceal Every Type of Breakout, Including Big Stress Pimples
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Kiyo Igarashi, Visual Designer: Hannah Packer, Producer: Jessica Thiel, Digital Tech: Paul Yem, Model: Shaderska Valdez

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