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How to Cover Up a Pimple

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Person with blemishes visible in a hand mirror

Zits, pimples, spots, blemishes — call them what you will, they all love hanging out on your face (usually uninvited. Rude). Most people know that you're not supposed to pick them until they're "ripe" but honestly, when has a pimple ever offered itself up so willingly? It's rare, and even then they sometimes still leave scabs, hyperpigmentation marks, and the occasional scar. And when you just don't want a zit or a ghost of a zit to steal the spotlight from your radiant beauty that is where concealer comes in.

But blemish-concealing is an art that's slightly more nuanced than just dabbing concealer on and magically looking wide awake (concealer's other superpower). If I've learned anything from the pros it's that concealing a blemish takes a little more than concealer, depending on the stage of the blemish.

Angry, Reddened, Underground Ones

These pre-volcano cystic breakouts are often the most miserable because ow, they hurt. But they are fortunately the easiest to conceal since they are generally smooth and not overly textured. Just little irritated mole hills on your face. Fun.

Anyway. For this, you could use a trusted full-coverage concealer in your desired finish. A (clean) makeup brush is always recommended when concealing blemishes to lessen the amount of germs and bacteria you're mashing into it. Make sure to dust with a powder on top to set the concealer and to visually matte-ify the bump, making it look less like a bump.

The Classic Whitehead

Whiteheads are annoying but they're predictable. Keep 'em clean, don't prod them too much, and they'll usually give themselves up after a nice hot shower. But before that, they're usually surrounded by redness, like a target.

Makeup artist to the stars, Daniel Martin, once told me to use a tiny concealer brush and a heavily pigmented concealer (like EX1's Delete Fluide Concealer) to paint a thin layer over the redness itself and then dot whatever's left on the brush onto the top of the zit. Dust ever so lightly with powder on top to blend the concealer, but not too much! The idea is to pinpoint coverage over the exact area that needs coverage rather than doing a total wash of concealer over it.

Those Flaky Ones

Hate them. Texture complicates things a bit. This will require a bit of prep. Sometimes running a warm washcloth gently (gently) around the area will get the loosest, flakiest bits off. But if it's a fresh scab, I would not recommend this, lest you open up that pit again.

It probably feels counterintuitive but you gotta moisturize that sucker. The biggest giveaway when trying to conceal a zit is the dry, flaky bits that get highlighted once covered in makeup. Moisturizer can keep them further camouflaged.

Once you've moisturized, sometimes dabbing a tiny bit of primer will help your concealer to stick to the area, but if you have dry skin as it is, I'd skip it. (I mean, moisturizer kind of is a primer).

For these... topping with powder helps set your makeup, but it's dealer's choice in this scenario. I'd skip any products that could potentially be drying (thus, highlighting). Flakes love powder. Don't give it to them.


But also, blemishes are... hard. And Annoying. And don't follow the rules in the first place, so we're really going rogue here. How do you conceal your blemishes? What are your go-to concealers, powders, and general zit-disappearing products?


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Ex1 Delete Fluide Concealer

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Tube

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