How to Cover Hyperpigmentation With Makeup

September 15, 2023
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
Close-up of a model with blonde hair swatching green color correcting makeup on her face
Have you ever applied a face full of foundation only to find that your acne scars, dark patches and melasma are still visible? We’ve been there — hyperpigmentation can be challenging to cover, even for seasoned makeup pros. With the right foundation, concealer and techniques, though, it is possible to even out discoloration with makeup, if that’s your goal. For expert advice on how to camouflage discoloration and achieve a flawless-looking complexion, we turned to aesthetician Rachel Short.

How to Cover Hyperpigmentation With Makeup

Tip 1: Color Correct 

Color-correcting products are great for evening out your complexion, but with so many options, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. “Choose a neutralizer based on your skin tone,” says Short. If you have fair to lightly tan skin, select an orange shade to neutralize dark spots. If you fall into the tan to deep range, red is excellent for canceling out dark hyperpigmentation or post-acne hyperpigmentation. Try the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector, a full-coverage product which has shades to cover everything from dark circles to discoloration.

For a drugstore option, we also love the NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Palette.

NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Palette

Tip 2: Know Your Undertones 

While color correcting concealer will help even out your base, selecting a foundation shade that matches your undertones is the key to getting the most natural-looking coverage. Not sure how to identify your undertones? Check your veins. If the veins on your wrist are blue or purple, you likely have a cool undertone. If your veins appear slightly green or olive, you probably have a warm undertone. If your veins are blue-green, you’re likely neutral. 

Tip 3: Look for Intense Pigments 

To really cover discoloration, look for foundation and concealer formulas that have high-performance pigments. One of our favorite full-coverage foundations is the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Full Coverage Foundation With SPF 50+. It’s a hybrid color correcting cream and foundation with a multitude of skincare benefits. 

If you’re looking for spot coverage or a concealer to disguise dark circles, try the Maybelline Superstay Longwear Liquid Concealer, which provides a matte, full-coverage finish for up to 30 hours. 

Maybelline Superstay Longwear Liquid Concealer

Tip 4: Don’t Use Too Much Product 

“Many people tend to layer foundation over concealer and then top it off with more powder and foundation,” says Short. “The caked-on foundation ends up being more noticeable than if they were to just use a pigment-loaded foundation.” That’s why sometimes less is more — even when you want a full-coverage look. 

Start with a light layer of foundation, then build the product and add concealer as needed. Remember: It’s always easier to add coverage than to take it away.

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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