How to Cover Hyperpigmentation With Makeup

June 22, 2022
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
person with red hair wearing drop earrings and a peach top
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 hard to cover. 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 achieve a flawless-looking complexion and hide blotchy skin, we turned to Dermablend artist and educator Rachel Short.

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 will help even out your base, selecting a foundation shade that matches your undertones is the way to get 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 that has high-performance pigments. Short recommends the Dermablend Flawless Creator Lightweight Foundation, which provides full coverage without looking or feeling cakey. “When someone has hyperpigmentation, I use one to four drops all over their face to even out their complexion,” she says. “Or, I mix two drops of Flawless Creator into a hydrating serum to thin it out.” 

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.

Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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