4 Easy Steps to Concealing Blemishes

Michael Brown

Beauty Expert

Blemish, the swear word of beauty.

I mean, who likes them and why do they always pop up when you really need perfect skin? It’s like they know you have a big occasion on, so they just come out of nowhere.

Whatever kind of blemish you may have from red marks, patchy dry skin, or blackheads, there are ways to conceal these concerns and certain products that will assist in achieving once again, smooth, even skin.
blemishesImage via Zimbio

Covering blemishes are easier than you think. It involves having the correct tone of concealer, the right texture/finish and it’s all about that blend.

It also depends on the skin’s surface: Is the skin still in tact and its only un-welcomed colour you are correcting, or is the skin broken, or even dry? This can be a little more difficult, but still possible! 


Just like any skin type or condition, the skin needs prep and makeup needs hydration for it to bond to skin invisibly.

Blemishes or blackheads often mean excess of oils, but if you choose not to hydrate your skin, with a simple water-based moisturizer before applying any foundation/concealer, the product can find it hard to attach as the skin surface may not be smooth, plump, or worse, it could be dry.

Sometimes are skin with no makeup already looks in a good condition, but then as we apply foundation/concealer we then see that it is actually dry as foundation style products will catch instantly on even the smallest dry patch on our face.

My tip is to always hydrate the skin before any makeup application and for a blemished/blackhead prone skin, use a pore refining primer which is matte – this will instantly smooth your skin, giving your foundation/concealer a chance to appear less visible.


Always think back to contouring for every makeup decision you make: ‘Do I want to highlight this area and bring it forward, or so I want to recede away this area?’ Hmm, let me think, no questions asked – lets go hide!

This doesn’t mean go a dark shade and it will go away, but it definitely means choose more of a matte finish than dewy – we don’t want any light drawn to this area to bring the blemish forward.

Matte finishes are known for there ever so smoothing finish… Yes they don’t always give light, which for a dry skin is not the best for a youthful look, but they are great for blemishes as they don’t add focus to the area, rather just smoothing over, or away the concern.

Dewy finishes have great glow, but we don’t want a blemish to be pronounced, which is why this finish will not work well in coverage of them.

They are also usually in a liquid form, so the texture is very fluid and this means the longevity of wear is shorter than a matte or semi matte – if you have a blemish, you want coverage and for it to last.


A blemish of any sort is visible on the skin, so therefore it is not the same as our skin colour, just like dark circles under our eyes – they are darker than our skin tone, so need a slightly different shade than our skin tone.

In mild cases, your foundation applied in a dabbing application – this layers the product to gain coverage – will work well and become seamless, but for high colour blemishes or deeper pigment, you will need to slightly deepen the tone for it to have enough pigment to cover the area.

Generally speaking, the more yellow (Fair skin) to orange (olive skin) the concealer has in it, the better the coverage will be for any red, or dark pigment marks on the skin…

This is because going light will not counter-balance the concerned blemish shade present it will only highlight it so adding a lightly deeper and warmer shade than your skin tone will have enough pigment to cover the concern away.


I tend to always leave concealer as a finishing touch, after foundation. If you apply before and then are going to use a foundation, you may sweep away the good work you did and have to re-apply anyway.

If you are not a foundation wearer, you can use a little concealer alone and sometimes this is all the skin needs – don’t apply a product that is not needed just for the sake of it.

If you concentrate on evening the centre of the face first – under eyes, nose, centre cheek, chin, around mouth, you will be surprised how instantly fresh you look taking out some unwanted colour, besides, people look at the centre of your face first, so if that’s all clear, you are fresh in their minds.

My application for any type of coverage, using a foundation or a concealer product is a dabbing technique. When dabbing, you are layering, upon layering product to gain coverage whereas when I apply a foundation to the face for an even look, I generally use sweeping motions from centre of the face outwards to create a non-mask, less visible effect.

Type of Blemish

– If you are concealing only colour, that is easy and only a couple of dabs of your product will do the trick.

– If you are concealing a raised area, like a pimple, but the skin is still in tact and has a smooth surface, this is the same as above. Only a few small light dabs will do – just make sure you dab the actual spot and a little around the edges for total blend.

If the skin is broken (because of naughty squeezing – it really just makes things harder for yourself and can cause scarring – so don’t do it) or has a dry surface – it is harder to cover.

– Broken skin often has not got a dry surface, so dabbing a tiny bit of translucent powder over the spot can dry it out, then apply your concealer over the top as normal.

– If the skin surface is dry, try and leave your hydrating moisturiser on the area as long as possible before applying any concealer.

Start with a light liquid concealer to take away the colour and then add a little powder over the top, so it gives that smoother, matte finish, which is more in line with your dryer skin surface – this is not ideal and may still be visible really up close, but will help the overall skin look smoother than a dewy or shiny finish as the dry patch will show through.

– For blackheads, say across the nose, if you follow everything above and use more of a mineral powder finish, or a matte to semi-matte foundation, this will help not draw attention to the area like a dewy liquid foundation can and always use a little pressed powder over the area as this gives a smoother finish to hide and once again, not draw attention to the area.

What if I like a dewy, glow on my skin?

I know I have been saying matte and semi matte a lot in this post – hey, I love a glowing skin too, but any uneven, blemished or large pore type skin needs smoothing and less attention to the area, so powder and semi matte/matte is the way to go and even a slightly deeper shade for dabbing coverage on a high coloured area.

You can always add a highlight product still above the cheekbones, over your matte finish – this way the problem areas like your T-zone are smooth and hidden, but the side of your face is showing glow and cheekbones are still lifted by doing this.

Add glow where you can, not on the entire face and it also distracts from the matte area where you are trying to cover a concern – genius!


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