Young woman will full coverage makeup over blemish prone skin

Covered up but not cakey. Hot but not heavy. Flawless but not over-filtered. Yes, there's a fine line between achieving a full coverage finish and looking too 'done up'. Throw blemishes into the mix and you might think it's an absolute no-go zone - but it isn't (contrary to popular belief!) Here's everything you need to know to achieve a full coverage look:

How to cover blemishes with makeup

Step 1 – The Right Primer

If you have a lot of redness in your skin, you can address this issue with a colour correcting primer. Depending on what tone you are keen on correcting, you can go for primers with greenish, lavender, yellow or pink tints to them. These will help you even out your tone and prepare your skin for concealers and foundation. Equally, it may be the case that you don’t need a colour correcting primer at all, rather a concealer that will help you with colour correction in certain areas only. Find out more about priming like a pro in our guide.

Barry M Barry M Flawless Colour Correcting Primer £6.99 Buy Now
MUA MUA Tea Tree Pro Base Primer £4.00 Buy Now
B. B. Souffle Face Primer £9.99 Buy Now

Step 2 – Concealing

While people with dry, normal or oily skin are more likely to put on foundation before concealing, it's better to use concealer first for beauty lovers with blemish-prone skin. This means that you can conceal over problem areas only which avoids the heavy, cakey look.

If you want to reduce redness on any irritated pimples, make sure you go for a colour correcting concealer. Find a concealer for your skin type in our ultimate guide to colour correcting concealers.

Revolution Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer C5 £4.00 Buy Now
The Balm The Balm timeBalm dark concealer £15.25 Buy Now

Step 3 – Foundation

After you have applied concealer, it’s time to apply foundation. The type of foundation to go for should have skin soothing and mattifying properties. The formula should also have high coverage yet be lightweight, so that it allows you to build up the product where required.

Look out for ingredients such as fragrance enhancers and alcohol – these often are likely to irritate sensitive skin, so avoid them if you can.

Vichy Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation 35 Sand £14.99 Buy Now
Brand Description of the Product Price Buy Now
Brand Description of the Product Price Buy Now

Step 4 – Setting Powder

To maximise your foundation’s staying power, set it with a light dusting of powder. This can be a mineral powder or a translucent one. Doing so will ensure that your foundation stays flawless throughout the day without the need to put any extra layers of foundation on.

Rimmel Rimmel Match Perfection Loose Powder Translucent 1 £6.99 Buy Now
GOSH GOSH Mineral Full Coverage Foundation Powder Ivory 002 £9.99 Buy Now

Can Makeup Cause Blemishes?

A widely-spread myth is that makeup is one of the reasons blemishes appear in the first place.  Nu-uh. This is not true! Simply using makeup does not result in blemishes, however not taking it off before you sleep or using the wrong type of cosmetics might not help the situation. 

There is a bunch of reasons why skin problems occur, from sleeping on the same pillowcase for too long to not wiping your smartphone screen. And for skin conditions (eg. acne), it's often related to hormones so makeup will not come into play at all. 

Can I Use Makeup on Problem Skin?

The key to tackling skin problems is finding the right skincare routine for your particular condition. For some, it may be a simple change of day cream, for others this may involve a trip to the dermatologist’s office. If you are not sure what the triggers are, it’s best to consult a specialist who will help you find the cause of your skin problem and may prescribe you specialist antibiotic creams or medication.

There are no studies that say that generally using makeup on problem skin makes it worse. The key is to use the right makeup and avoid cosmetics that may contribute to clogging pores or are designed for other skin types, for example dry skin. Always purchase cosmetics that target your condition, if you are not sure, simply explain your skin concern and the makeup advisor will be able to assist you.

What Is Non-Comedogenic Makeup?

Non-comedogenic products are designed to be less likely to clog your pores because of their lighter, water-based and oil-free ingredients that are suitable for sensitive skin. It’s worth being aware that while non-comedogenic are less likely to cause breakouts, it is not guaranteed that it won’t happen to your skin – everyone’s skin condition is very different.