Acne tends to rear its ugly, pus-filled head at the worst possible time – the day before a big interview, when a friend’s wedding is around the corner, on the morning of your hot date. Cue big sighs all around cause you definitely know what I’m talking about. Thankfully, all is not lost. Here are the best tips and tricks for girls with acne-prone skin so you can conceal those zits and still look great – all without aggravating your breakout.
Prep your base
Before you go all out and start painting your face with concealer and foundation, be sure to take good care of your skin by gently exfoliating and moisturising first. After all, you don’t want bits of dead skin flaking off when you apply your makeup. Next, follow with a lightweight gel moisturiser or emulsion and let it thoroughly sink into skin before starting your makeup routine. A smooth and well-hydrated base means your makeup is going to glide on more easily.
If your pimple looks ‘ripe’ (i.e. you can already see the little yellow pus head pushing through the surface), try spot-treating it with a deep-cleansing mask like the Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask ($35, 30ml). This can help draw out impurities and dehydrate your zit so that it heals faster. You can also wrap an ice cube in a soft face towel and hold it against the bump to quickly bring down swelling and inflammation. The cold helps to constrict blood vessels and soothe skin.
Use a primer
Acne-ridden skin often also looks inflamed and angry. Neutralise the redness by using a green-tinted makeup primer or colour corrector before you skip ahead to concealer and foundation. Use it on your whole face if you’re suffering from a widespread breakout or apply only to zit patches to even out your skin tone in those areas.
Your skin already has no problem in the sebum-producing department so look for skincare and makeup that are oil-free and non-comedogenic so that they won’t clog your pores.
Put away the heavy stuff
Instead of going for a thick and heavy foundation to cover up your spots, opt for a lighter, water-based foundation like the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation ($64) instead. Then use concealer only on the areas that need it. Piling on heavy, cream-based foundation on your entire face not only looks unnatural, but also draws attention to problem areas by accentuating the bumps and ridges.
Does your makeup start sliding around or melting off by midday? Don’t forget to set your makeup with powder. We like the Fenty Beauty Invisimatte Blotting Powder $44, that comes in a universal shade and a non-comedogenic formula. This helps to absorb excess sebum, control shine and minimise the appearance of pores. For a more natural look, dust loose or compact powder only onto your T-zone so that the rest of your face retains a natural glow. Powdering your entire face can make your complexion look flat.
Skip the shimmer
No matter how much you love sparkle in your blusher, steer clear of it if your skin is currently going through an acne breakout. Shimmery products can highlight imperfections and draw attention to zits, so stick to matte blushers and bronzers until those pimples have cleared.
Highlight other features
When your skin is breaking out in one area, it can be helpful to play up your other features. If your zits are clustered on your forehead or cheek area, use a bold lipstick to bring the focus to the lower half of your face. Breaking out on your chin? Doll up with eyeliner and mascara so that your peepers become the centre of attention instead.
Set your makeup
As the final step in your regimen, lock in your makeup with a setting spray like the Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray ($48). This helps your makeup last all day and also refreshes your skin so that it doesn’t look overly matte or flat.
Take it off
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for acne-ridden skin is to prevent future breakouts. Once you’re home, don’t wait to take off your warpaint. The longer you let your skin stew in the day’s accumulation of dirt, grime and makeup, the more prone it’ll be to getting clogged and inflamed all over again. It also goes without saying that you should double cleanse to thoroughly remove all traces of makeup – first with a micellar solution, then followed by your gentle facial cleanser.
Text: Joyce Cheo