How To: Cover Up Blemishes

Alright, it's time for a "how to" post because I haven't done one in about seventeen bajillion and a half years. So that means we're about due. Like way past 40 weeks due. Plus I had quite a few of you actually asking me to blog about this one. Which is rare around these parts since I usually just decide to throw advice in your face even though you probably have no desire to hear it.

You don't have to be nice and pretend it's not true. Unsolicited advice makes my skin crawl too. 

So if you're already a pro at covering up the grossness that is acne, or blemishes, or sun spots, or (in my case) allergic reactions to bug bites, then you should probably head on out of here. And stat, because that's exactly what we're going to be discussing today - my newly adopted makeup routine for when my face decides to turn into that of an elementary student's suffering from Chicken Pox. 

My usual makeup routine exists of about nothing. I'm a nanny and my toddler gives me hugs regardless of what I look like, so I usually roll out of bed and head straight to work with nothing on. My makeup routine for social functions is still pretty minimal - mascara, some neutral eye shadow, bronzer, and if I'm feeling up for it I'll add in some eyeliner. But this obviously doesn't give me much coverage if my skin decides to go for a spin around the merry-go-round of hell. If I got a blemish I'd just put on a dab of ELF concealer and hope for the best. Or I'd just cancel plans. 

And let's face it (pun intended) the latter tended to happen way more often… 

But then I realized that in order to cover up the shit you don't like on your face, you're going to need to actually put more shit on top of the shit. Aka actually buy some legit makeup intended for covering imperfections instead of just dabbing on a dot of skin-colored zit cream and calling it a day. And I finally found a method (and products) that work. So let's get to it!

The products: primer | concealer | foundation | powder | brush | corrector | bronzer

The best thing about it is that most of the products I use can all be grabbed from Target or your local drug store. Sure anyone can go sit themselves down in front of a makeup artist who has an entire suitcase filled with $50 these and $60 thats and transform you into a red carpet beauty. But that's not practical. What is practical is waking up in the morning, looking at yourself in the mirror, realizing the horror that is your face, panicking, and running to the nearest/cheapest place to find stuff to cover up the hell before you need to head out into the world. 

At least that's my idea of practical anyway. I'll walk you through the steps to provide you with a little more depth. But please bare with me as my knowledge of makeup and correct terminology is that of a 12 year old…who is a boy.

First off, I start out with CoverGirl's BB Cream primer. This version is the only one I've actually ever tried and I love it. I've actually been wearing it every day recently because it's just so lightweight and it really seems to even everything out for me. 

Plus I think it might actually help combat acne. Then again I may just be delusional because I would think putting any sort of makeup crap into your pores would do the opposite. But what do I know, I stopped putting it on for about a week and ended up with cystic acne. So I wear the god damn BB Cream now. It's also lasted me a long damn time. Win win win all around!

The absolute most important part of this whole thing. I use Revlon's PhotoReady Concealer, It's the lipstick looking kind. Using a version like this is important because you literally want to color your face with it. Wherever you have a blemish, use your crayon to color over it. But don't blend it in yet! Fight the urge my friend and trust me on this one. You want it to be a caked on thick layer in this step.

Apply your liquid foundation all over the darn place. I use CoverGirl's Trublend Foundation but there are so many great foundations that it can be hard to choose just one. The Trublend, though, is thick enough to cover everything up without making me feel like I have a layer of cake frosting on my face. Which was my main problem up 'til now on trying to cover blemishes. I'm so worried about looking like one of those girls who wears way too much makeup and looks fake that I avoid anything heavy. But you just have to give in when trying to not look like a pepperoni pizza.

Once you apply this all over, the concealer from Step Two will start to even out and blend in. It works the same way as if you were doing a smokey eye - you layer on the darker shadow in the crease but you don't blend it, the second lighter shadow is then placed over the dark to do that for you. This little tip changed my blemish covering game ten fold since I used to think you put on the foundation and then put concealer over top of it. And I was so unbelievably wrong...

This is where the non-drug store products suit up and head into the game. I'm sure you can totally get by with the regular old thing here, I just prefer these better. I've been using the Bare Minerals Original Foundation for a few years now since it just seems so much lighter on my face (and you know by now how much I like things looking light, airy and natural). Once you've brushed this all over, take your finger and get a little more of the powder on it. Then use your finger to tap on top of each blemish just for an extra dose of a layer.

Oh and I was also recently introduced to thee best face brush, umm, like ever. The Pro Bronzer Brush #48 from Sephora. I swear I look prettier just by using this thing. The bristles are much finer so it can get whatever product you're using into your pores more, and thus covering up the crap better.

Elf Tone Correcting Concealer is what I used to use to try to cover red marks. It definitely still works for smaller imperfections that don't require an entire art class to cover but not so much for the heavy duty projects. But even with the monsters, I still use it. Plus it's only one friggin' dollar so why wouldn't I?!

Except for I use it after steps one through four. Odd I know. But the trick is to dab on the absolute tiniest amount of the creamy liquid onto each of your spots. You don't want to have to blend it in so you really only want a small amount. Then take your ring finger (since it uses the least amount of pressure or something) and tap on top of it a few times to matte it down over the spot. It's just a last little ditch effort to add some more coverage.

Sweep on some bronzer to liven up the one-toned matte look of all the foundation you just caked on your face. I've been using the Bronzing Powder by H&M lately. Seriously who knew they sold makeup I'd fall in love with?! I'm a real stickler for trying to find bronzers that don't have all that glittery gold shimmer in them, though. I'm trying to look like a sun-kissed golden goodness over here, not a Cullen trapped outside at noon. But this one from H&M is the perfect bronze shade without all that sparkle.

And there you have it my friends, my makeup routine for covering up any and all blemishes. Now it's not going to completely cover up everything but it certainly will allow you to get off your couch and keep those happy hour plans you attempt to cancel every time your face breaks out. Let me know if you have any questions!