Beauty & Makeup Tips

How to apply make-up if you have acne

Applying make-up on top of spots might not make sense to some people, but it’s a lifeline for others. Help ‘fake’ that perfect complexion with this advice.

Prepare the skin
Prevention should always be the goal, but spots and blemishes are often unavoidable, it’s important to have a through skincare regimen that you follow every morning at night. At the very minimum, you should cleanse and moisturize your skin twice daily.

Before you put on makeup, make sure your skin is ready for the task ahead! Wash your face thoroughly and use a face-wash to cleanse your skin and wash away any dirt or impurities. Try to avoid a face-wash that exfoliates as they tend to irritate the skin and cause more redness. Keeping the skin clean is important so remember to use soft clothes and regularly clean your towels. Always pat skin dry – never run with a towel!

Remember to use a non-greasy moisturiser to the skin; ideally it shouldn’t have an oil base, as there is no need to add more oil to the skin. Acne is caused by over active sebum (oil) production.

Applying makeup

Once your face has been thoroughly washed and cleansed, use a primer as they have a silicone base that helps fill in lines and evens out the surface texture of the skin. It makes your makeup stay on longer and stays true to it’s actual colour.

Use an oil free foundation such as Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup. This foundation gives great coverage and it helps clearing benefits that works on existing breakouts.

Avoid overloading the skin with makeup to ‘cover’ up impurities as this will block pores and may encourage more spots in the future.

Remember to find a good colour match concealer and blend it with your foundation. Just add a small dot of concealer and lightly tap it onto your blemish until it blends and looks natural. Use your ring finger it applies the perfect amount of pressure for applying concealer. Make sure your hands are clean first!

Applying too much concealer can make acne scars more visible or cause the makeup to look cakey. Remember that you can always add more, but it’s more difficult to take away what you’ve already applied.

Don’t choose a concealer that is lighter than your skin tone or you will just bring attention to the thing you are trying to cover up!

The myth with applying makeup when you have acne is that people think that they truly need to cover up with heavy makeup, when all you need is a bit of concealer. Don’t mask your face, embellish your makeup with gorgeous blushers, highlighters and colours to detract attention away from your problems areas and tricking people into thinking you have amazing skin.

Be careful with bronzers and blushers as the fine particles in the powder can clog up your pores and create more blemishes and spots.

Apply eyeliner, eye shadows and mascara to emphasis your eyes, this will draw in attention to your beautiful eyes. If you’re out for the evening, use false eyelashes for a show-stopping look!

When hiding blemishes or redness, use mattifying products, especially when it comes to concealers. Illuminators and brightening products are great for the under-eye area, but if you use them on a blemish, they’ll draw the eye right to it.

Removing makeup

Facewipes are great to get rid of makeup in a hurry, but it does not help cleanse the skin effectively – especially when you have acne.

Always wash of all your makeup at night before you go to bed, and make sure pillowcases are regularly washes as well. This prevents any pores clogging up.

Top Tips

Acne products don’t always work straight away and it may seem like you’re getting more breakouts, give it time and it should work.

Wait five minutes between applications to allow the makeup layers time to dry and set.

Make sure makeup brushes or sponges are clear, they are handy tools to blend your makeup for a more natural finish, and keeps you from touching your face with your fingers which can harbor excess oils and bacteria. I would recommend washing your brushes two or three times a week, the excess makeup left on the bristles are a breeding ground for dirt and oils you don’t want to keep spreading around your face.

Always use oil-free cosmetics and blotting papers are great to remove oil in the skin even when you’re wearing makeup.

Make sure to dab or pat your concealer on – never swipe or wipe! If you swipe it, it will rub off the top of the blemish, making it even more noticeable!

Keep the skin clear in the mornings and evenings to give your skin the best base for makeup.

Before and after the gym, remember to wash your face effectively to remove excess sweat and impurities.

Green cancels red – if you have a blemish that is very red, try applying a green concealer before your regular concealer. Green and red are complementary colours that cancel each other out when they are combined equally.


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