The Best Makeup Products for Concealing Acne and Blemishes: High-End and Drugstore


As someone who identifies as having very problematic skin and always having a blemish or two to fight on a daily basis, I definitely have had my own struggles with self confidence when it comes to my skin. Those who suffer from acne will know that you feel so self-conscious and sometimes makeup is the only solution to getting a break from your own paranoia that everyone is looking at your bad skin. I suffered with moderate acne as a teenager which was part of the reason why I discovered makeup very early on and learned how to use it to help improve my confidence levels.

These days my skin is looking a lot better than what it used to, however recently I went through a really bad breakout that lasted several weeks and my confidence levels dropped significantly again and I was dreading have to attend activities or important events because of my skin. The whole emotional rollercoaster we go through when it comes to acne inspired me to write this post with my top recommendations for covering up blemishes. This post covers the products I swear by that really work for me when my skin is really bad but I want to feel better and go out to face the world.





I won't be getting into skincare recommendations in this post, but I did think it was worth mentioning that all the makeup in the world will be useless to you if you don't properly moisturise your skin to prep it for makeup. No matter if you have dry skin, combination skin, or you are an oily mess, you need to moisturise your skin to create a smooth base for makeup. This is especially true if you have any dry, flaky bits on your face from topical acne creams or spot treatments. This Skinstitut Moisture Defense Normal Skin* is a light gel moisturiser that instantly absorbs into the skin and has no fragrance or other irritating ingredients that will affect your skin. I swear by this no fuss moisturiser as the first step in getting ready to apply makeup over my blemishes. A more affordable alternative is the Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturiser which is a similar no frills moisturiser for under makeup.




Next up, it's important to apply a primer to smooth over the skin and to help blur out bumpy skin textures and raised blemishes. Obviously larger pimples and cystic acne will still be seen after makeup is applied, however a primer can help your blemishes to look less noticeable and to blur the appearance of red, irritated skin. I especially would recommend the Dermalogica Redness Relief Primer* which has a green base that works to counteract redness, including redness caused by pimples. It helps to create a neutral base for you to apply foundation and concealer over the top, and also allows you to use less of these products since the redness will be reduced and there will be less to cover up. If you're not a  fan of green-based concealers, you could try any smoothing primer that still offers a little hydration to your skin such as the super affordable Boe Pro Finish Base Primer* which is a new favourite of mine that works extremely well for my skin.




When I have a lot of acne going on, I take it to the next level with my colour correcting and use this green-based corrector over the primer to cover over any remaining redness. A small amount goes a long way. I use a small concealer brush to dot over the red spots remaining on my face and you can use a damp sponge to blend it in. You should be left with a completely neutralised base so when foundation is applied your redness is no longer peaking through and blemishes are covered much more easily. The 6 Colour Concealer & Corrector Palette from BH Cosmetics is super affordable and works really well for me. A high-end version of this palette which is quite similar is the Stila Cosmetics Correct and Perfect Palette.




When it comes to foundation, I have found two options that have worked really well for me. I have combination skin, and depending on your skin type, you might be looking for different things from your foundation. I find that the Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation is such a beautiful full coverage foundation yet it is still very creamy, and therefore offers some hydration to the skin, which would suit normal to dry skin types really well to prevent exaggerating dry areas of the face. It is quite long lasting and I find this does not budge on me. I generally apply this with a flat top kabuki brush or a beauty blender and buff it out into the skin. You only need one layer of this foundation for full coverage.

If you have more of an oily skin type and you are worried about longevity of your foundation, you could also try the MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Foundation. This is the foundation that I use on most of my freelance clients, and what I would use for weddings and special events because it literally does not move. It doesn't provide any additional hydration but the coverage is definitely full and it photographs really well. This foundation can look cakey when it isn't applied correctly so I would suggest applying with a foundation brush and then blending in with a damp sponge for a flawless finish. It covers over acne and blemishes extremely well and you probably won't even need concealer after this step.



After all of these steps, you will find you probably won't need concealer since all of your redness and blemishes should be covered by now. If you still feel you need more coverage, the MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Concealer is full coverage and blends out really well with a damp sponge. You can use this concealer to match the face to cover any redness remaining, or grab a shade lighter to highlight under your eyes and in the centre of your face. A nice highlighted look is also great with acne-prone skin because it diverts the attention away from the problem areas. If this is a little out of your price range, you could also try the Maybelline Fit Me Concealers which are a little less coverage, but very similar and a super affordable drugstore alternative.




The last step to my routine for a perfect base is to set my face and lock everything in. A more heavy duty powder is the MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Powder which adds a little extra coverage and really stays put around the nose and chin areas if you are prone to your makeup breaking down during the day. A very similar and more affordable drugstore dupe is the Australis Fresh and Flawless Pressed Powder which works in the same way and really helps to bring the look together by covering over any remaining problem areas.



Well, I really hope some of these product recommendations are helpful for you. I have tried so many different makeup products, and  these are definitely the ones that have worked the best for me and helped me to gain back some confidence when having to attend events or be around a lot of other people. If you would like to see any other posts relating to acne, and the things that I do and products I use, just let me know what you would like to see.

I hope you all have a great Monday. Be sure to follow me on instagram, snapchat (bowsandpleats) and twitter if you'd like to stay in touch between posts!


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