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How I’ve Perfected Concealing My Onslaught of Acne (Including Product Recommendations)

~| 8 minute read |~


The art of treating a spot is having a concealer to give you confidence so you don’t pick too soon.” -Trinny London


Oh spots, how we love to hate you. In the last 8 months, I have had full-on major hormonal acne constantly. I have an obvious reason why this is the case (he is one year old now) but it made it a rough year for my face. That is also why you’ve seen a whole lot more of my kiddos on my socials then me.

It has been a year of me learning the skill of waiting to handle pimples until they are ready and developing the self-control to follow my own advice. Today’s post is about how to adequately cover spots so we don’t pick at them prematurely.

Many makeup artists use two different concealers on their clients:

One to cover blemishes, pigmentation and/or redness and one to use around the eyes that will brighten while keeping that highly expressive area looking youthful and hydrated. If you think of concealers as falling into one of three groups, it will help you immensely.

  • The first group is concealers with more coverage that dry down and stay put. These concealers can look dry around the fine lines of the face but it makes them ideal for spot concealing because you won’t lose the coverage throughout the day.
  • The second group is concealers that stay emollient. These tend to be better for around the eyes because they can hide a multitude of sins without making your skin look tired and dry. They tend to not have as much coverage and if they do, it fades unless you set with powder.
  • The third group is concealers that fall somewhere in the middle. They usually don’t have as much coverage as the first but they set more than the second. In my opinion, most concealers land here but knowing the distinctions can help you understand how to use them to your advantage.


My Recommendations:

These are products I have used personally, and in some cases repurchased. The list of products I’d love to review is longer than my arm but I only want to recommend things I have used myself and not just heard a lot of hype over.  That being said, my first recommendation is one that got a LOT of hype:


  • Tarte Shape Tape – I’d put this concealer in group #1. It is very full coverage with significant drydown, making it ideal for blemishes but not for use around my eyes. No matter how I apply it, this never looks good on me when I use it for anything other than spot concealing. I place a tiny amount on a the spot and buff in with a small dense brush.


  • LA Girl Pro Concealer – This was my go-to concealer over the summer because it never completely set but had decent coverage. I spent a great deal of time in the heat and could easily freshen my makeup by blending away any creasing with a finger. My spots peeked through quite notably but I was willing to compromise since most of my days were full of water and sunshine and not requiring a made up face. (I used a tinted SPF all summer to replace foundation. There are not many selfies in my cloud from this summer). Also, this product is $5 I think?? I squeezed out every drop.


  • Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define – Not only is this my current everyday concealer, but I have repurchased it. For me, this concealer is the best of both worlds. It’s been saluted as the dupe for Shape Tape and I would agree, except better. I like and use both but if I could only take one on a trip it would be MUR. It’s got slightly less coverage than Shape Tape but it doesn’t dry down as badly and leaves a skin like finish. When people tell me Shape Tape was too drying for them, I tell them to try this. Plus it’s a third of the price… Great for all around use, this is my favorite of the moment. Does that mean I’m stopping my search for the Holy Grail concealer that will end all searches? We’ll see. The industry prays not but my pocketbook says take it easy.


You can also skip concealer and use two different foundations instead. One sheer to medium coverage foundation as your base and a higher coverage foundation as a concealer just where you need it. Depending on the products you pick, this could end up being cheaper because you tend to get more product in a foundation (standard 30ml) than a concealer.

A tip I’ve found helpful is if you have an extreme breakout, put your higher coverage product on those spots as a preliminary base then gently apply your foundation on top. I’ve found it keeps me from removing my foundation when I go in with my spot concealing and I won’t have those rings around the spots because they didn’t blend perfectly into my foundation, which only highlights the spots I am trying to hide.

Also, check your makeup in several types of lighting. I’ve applied what I thought was a flawless base only to walk to a different room and see a distinct foundation line running the span of my jaw.

Finally, keep it simple. Don’t add as much as you think you need. It’s easier to apply thin layers then it is to remove excessive product when you’ve overdone it. Personally, I would rather error on the side of having a bit of pigmentation peek through then have a cake face. If you keep the skin looking fresh and youthful, people tend not to notice the stuff you’re trying to hide vs packing on the product and people only seeing the makeup.

If you struggle with any part of your appearance you feel is out of your control, know you are not alone. Our bodies are not our enemy even if they don’t always obey us. I’m committed to posting more #imperfectselfies to help break the picture perfect world of the internet and to create space where we can be real together. The last thing I want is my feed being curated free of personality and flaw.

We don’t need to have perfect skin, be thinner, or airbrush our photos to be beautiful. We already are.

And putting time and effort into being more beautiful doesn’t make us vain. It makes us women. <3


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