A Make-Up Artist Guide To Covering Spots

A Make-Up Artist Guide To Covering Spots

Covering an unsightly spot is a make-up challenge most of us have faced. Get it right and it disappears, get it wrong and you draw more attention to it. Here, Hannah Martin, celebrity make-up artist and former UK Pro & Artistry manager for Bobbi Brown, shares her top tips for getting it right...

Firstly, how to prep the spot… 

If you have a particularly angry blemish, try sleeping with an acne patch - I love ZitSticka and Squish. A patch will draw out impurities and reduce swelling making the spot easier to cover. If not, I highly recommend using an overnight spot treatment like Malin and Goetz Salicylic Gel.

Covering a whitehead

  • Firstly, don’t squeeze it. A freshly squeezed whitehead is often a bit weepy and concealer simply won’t adhere to wet or broken skin. 

  • To avoid breaking the skin, use a make-up brush to apply concealer very gently over the top. If you’re concerned about spreading bacteria, use a cotton bud. 

  • Cover the entire spot using a full coverage concealer like Tarte Shape Tape or Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer and then set it with loose powder. 

  • Repeat both steps making sure you don’t touch the area with your fingers.

Covering a blackhead

  • Start with a quick exfoliation treatment. Apply a face oil to the problem area (I like Votary Blemish Rescue Oil), leave for a few minutes and then buff the area with a flannel or muslin cloth in circular motions. 

  • I often find blackheads start to come away with this gentle massage. The oil will also help hydrate the skin so the concealer sits more smoothly. 

  • If pores are an issue, apply a pore minimising primer to smooth and fill in the pore without clogging it. I recommend Smashbox Minimize Pores Primer. 

  • Then apply concealer over the area and set with a powder. I’d avoid stick concealers over blackheads as they may be too dry. Instead, I would use some Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer on a fluffy concealer brush.

Covering an angry red bump

  • Resist the urge to squeeze. A red bump may be painful but it’s easier to conceal than a scab.

  • Conceal a larger area than the blemish alone, so it looks more natural.

  • Be sure the concealer matches your skin tone as a hint too light or too dark will draw attention to a blemish that might otherwise go unnoticed. 

  • Take a full coverage concealer like the L’Oreal Infallible More Than Concealer and draw a cross right over the bump. Dab gently with a clean ring finger to spread the concealer. 

  • Although full coverage concealers tend to be long wearing, it’s still beneficial to set with powder.

Covering a dry or flaky spot

  • Prep your skin as normal and then apply the tiniest bit of emollient using a cotton bud on the offending area to soften the skin. Bobbi Brown Skin Salve is excellent for aiding blemish healing by nourishing the damaged skin.

  • Dry, flaky spots are best concealed with a brush so you can work your concealer right into and around the area. 

  • I like to use a little Cover FX Power Play Concealer on a fluffy synthetic brush then stipple over the blemish. Use a tapping motion to get the hairs of the brush in amongst the dry skin for full coverage. 

And finally, how to guarantee long lasting coverage…

It’s also always worth powdering your concealer in place to really fix it to the skin. I prefer a loose powder as you can get lots of product on your brush for effective setting rather than trying to pick up lots of pigment from a pressed powder. If you worry a brush will move the concealer, try using a pad or sponge to deliver the powder instead, and dab rather than sweep.

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