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How to Cover a Pimple with Makeup

Have No Fear, Makeup is Here

Despite our best skincare efforts, some mornings we wake up with an unfriendly companion: the dreaded pimple. 

While there is no miracle solution to zap a zit dead in its tracks (please someone work on this), you can cover an aggravating pimple effectively with makeup. 

So, grab your coffee, throw some calming lavender essential oil in your diffuser and let’s chat about acne. 

Let’s Talk Acne

First things, first. What actually is a pimple? 

A pimple is blocked pore. Plain and simple. There are three common types of pimples: blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts, each with its own set of frustrations. 

A blackhead is a pore clogged with dirt or debris most commonly found on the nose, the back, or the chest. A blackhead is easily identifiable; these pimples appear as small bumps with a black center. 

A whitehead is a pore clogged with dirt, sweat, or oil. This type of acne is characterized as a flesh colored bump with a white tip. If introduced to bacteria or irritated by popping, a whitehead can turn into a papule, a pustule, or a cyst. 

Cystic acne is a more severe form of acne accompanied by nodules or cysts. Nodules are firm, raised bumps on the skin while cysts are liquid or pus-filled bumps on the skin that feel movable to the touch. 

Dermatologists recommend avoiding makeup application on blackheads, whiteheads, or cysts to avoid introducing bacteria to the area. This is certainly the preferred method of acne treatment, and we would not advise otherwise. 

While we recommend avoiding makeup application on all forms of acne, sometimes a special occasion or an important meeting calls for a temporary cover-up. 

How to Cover a Pimple with Makeup

So, how exactly do you cover a pimple with makeup in a pinch? 

The process is simple, really, though it takes patience and persistence. Not all acne is created equal, however, and different acne types require a slightly altered foundation application technique as indicated in step 4. 

With a little TLC and a light hand, you can effectively cover any type of pimple using makeup products and tools you already have on your vanity. 

Let’s get started.

Step 1: cleanse your skin

Before you even think about applying a millimeter of makeup, you need to wash your face. You wouldn’t start painting a stunning landscape on a dirty canvas, would you? 

Make sure to cleanse your skin thoroughly and pat dry completely before moving on to the next step. 

Step 2: apply primer

Just as a paint primer helps to prep and protect a surface for a detailed paint job, a makeup primer preps and protects your skin before foundation application. 

Your skin is naturally rough, oily, and porous, which creates a volatile surface for foundation. A primer works to smooth the skin, fill slight creases, and reduce the appearance of large pores. Since acne spots create a bumpy skin surface, a primer will help to conceal pimples by creating a polished canvas. 

Step 3: color correct if necessary

Color correction helps to prevent visible discoloration on the skin after foundation application. This is where your middle school color wheel education comes in handy! Complementary colors (located on opposite sides of the color wheel) cancel each other out creating an even-toned base on which to apply your foundation.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If you have red, blotchy skin surrounding your whiteheads or cystic acne, you need green color correction. Green color correction  reduces the appearance of redness. If your cystic acne has a purple tint, you need yellow color correction. 

You can find a color correction palette to fit your needs at Sephora, Nordstrom, or popular drugstore chains. 

Step 4: apply foundation

Now, for the heavy hitter: foundation. 

Foundation can work wonders on acne-spotted skin if applied properly. If you have blackheads, you need a medium coverage foundation applied with a fluffy brush in circular motions. For whiteheads, you can use a medium coverage foundation applied directly to the skin with clean hands. Cystic acne requires a little more TLC since these spots are often bumpy on the skin; apply a buildable coverage foundation with a beauty blender sponge in a tapping motion.  

Step 5: lightly dust with powder

The finishing touch on your Mona Lisa masterpiece is a light dust of setting powder. 

When applying setting powder, be careful not to over apply. Just a light dusting in oily-prone areas will suffice (your t-zone is the most common culprit, you can start there and add setting powder as needed). 

Makeup Application is a Form of Art

Photo by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash

Makeup is a delightful hobby. Enjoy makeup application from the confinements of your own home, an occasional engagement reserved for major events, or an obligatory responsibility secluded to your morning routine. 

Regardless of your relationship with makeup, the application of makeup is an art form. The face is a canvas, and you are the artist. 

You can express your eclectic personality with an unexpected color palette or a wide range of finishing touches. Or, you can exude effortless beauty with enhancements to your natural features and muted colors. You can embody contemporary beauty icons, embrace styles from past decades, inspire your peers, gain unexpected confidence for a professional interview, or make an exceptional first impression. All with the simple stroke of a makeup brush, the dab of a rosy blush, or the swipe of your favorite lipstick. 

If makeup application piques your interest, if you find yourself daydreaming about making up your friends and complete strangers, or if you feel a flutter in your heart at the thought of spending hours sorting through various eyeshadow pigments and rouje… You may be perfect for a career in cosmetology. 

Avenue Five Institute in Austin, Texas is an accredited cosmetology school with a hybrid learning model offering hands-on and partial online coursework. In just under 8 months, you can gain the knowledge you need to pursue a career in the field of cosmetology. Enroll now and make your heart’s passion into your full-time career.