A Pro Makeup Artist Reveals the Best Tips for Covering Up Pimples

Beautify that breakout


You wake up, and then you see *it*: a big fat pimple. Ugh. Anyone who’s suffered from acne knows just how stressful it can be to feel like everyone is staring at your face.

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Whether you have a big date planned or an important presentation to give, knowing how to best conceal your wicked whitehead is key to feeling as confident and fabulous as you are.

Luckily, we talked with makeup artist Megan Fraser to give us the scoop on how best to cover up that pesky pimple.

AwesomenessTV: A client comes to you with a pimple. What do you do? What are the steps you take to tackle it? 

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Megan Fraser: For a lot of clients, the first thing they do is point out how bad their skin is. Guess what, it’s not bad at all! Everyone has suffered from a bad pimple to a full-on breakout and there are easy ways to cover it.

My usual complexion routine is to apply foundation first, then go in with a concealer. The foundation is the first step in an even coverage and can sometimes be enough if the pimple isn’t too bad.

If the pimple is red, I’ll apply a concealer first, let that dry down (if you go in too quickly with foundation after concealing, it’s just going to blend away, so wait a minute or two). Then I go in with a foundation. If it’s still trying to peek through, I go in with a little bit more concealer at the end and finish with a translucent setting powder so everything stays in place.

Another option is to go in with a green or yellow color corrector first on top of the zit and blend in WELL. The green or yellow color will counteract the redness, but be very light-handed with these products, or it can make the skin look sickly.

ATV: What products do you recommend to cover up pimples?

MF: A good waterproof concealer. Waterproof just means it’s going to stay put all day. In my kit, I use the Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer. It honestly doesn’t budge and is high in pigment so you don’t have to use a lot of product, which is key to making your skin look natural, even when covering acne.

ATV: Is there a difference between products or techniques when you approach one solo pimple versus multiple pimples/acne?

MF: Not really. The only difference is making sure to find a concealer that matches your skin tone, or your acne will be even more obvious on your face. A lot of people tend to buy lighter concealers for their under eyes for the brightening effect it can make, but unfortunately, on pimples, it’s just going to highlight them more.

ATV: What are some big NO NOs when it comes to covering up pimples?

MF: Less is more! A lot of people want to glob on concealers and full-coverage foundation when they are experiencing breakouts, which isn’t the best for your skin. Try to let your skin breath as much as possible and if you need to cover up acne, my best advice is to use a more full-coverage concealer, just on your spots, and then a light-medium coverage foundation for the rest of your face. This way, your skin won’t look cake-y throughout the day and will give you the best, most natural results.

ATV: Any other words of wisdom when it comes to covering up pimples?

MF: Acne can make anyone’s self-esteem take a hit, but just remember that everyone gets pimples! My main advice is to find a full-coverage concealer that perfectly matches your skin tone and use tiny amounts at a time on your pimple, let it dry down before applying more or going on to your foundation. A full-coverage foundation isn’t always needed to create flawless skin.

Brianne Hogan
Brianne Hogan

Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer in Toronto who loves coffee, cats and astrology. Her byline's been featured on HelloGiggles, Elle Canada, Flare, Thrillist, among others. Keep up with her on Twitter, Facebook or her blog.