If you are guilty of perennially picking at your pimples or you have battled cystic bumps since your teenage years, chances are you have been plagued by an acne scar or two. The dark marks and crater-like indentations linger, take weeks and sometimes months to see themselves out.
Although makeup is the easiest way to hide these dreaded guys, certain products and application techniques can draw attention to them rather than minimize their appearance. Here are some tips for dealing with acne-scarring.
Prime time: Before you apply so much as a drop of makeup, you should always prime. Prep your complexion with a primer that will smooth over any problem areas. You should choose a product that is smoothing and seems to fill in the scarring while brightening the whole face.
Avoid the glow: Makeup formulas that have a lot of luminosity, dewiness, or a high shimmer content tend to bring out texture and really emphasize the difference between the flat skin and the raised skin throughout the scarring. Avoid anything glow-like, and that includes most highlighters.
On the flip-side, matte products are the best because of their ability to absorb light and soften the appearance of the textured areas.
Selectively highlight: Rather than dusting a highlighting powder all over your face, stick to areas you really want to accentuate like your cheekbones. Just remember: Don't put highlighter on any areas of your face that you don't want to draw attention to.
Stipple, don't swipe: Stay away from wispy or buffing strokes, as they can cause the scalier bits of skin to become more prominent and leave a grainy effect. Instead, you should press on the foundation into the spots that need the most coverage, and then take a larger brush to blend the product into place with a bouncing motion. To finish, use whatever is left on the brush to lightly tint the rest of the skin.
Matte it up: Just like with your foundation, you should opt for a cover-up that is both matte and highly pigmented. Focus on a concealer that is super-opaque and matte, and does an incredible job smoothing out the unevenness in the skin texture. To apply the concealer, dot it onto specific areas with a flat brush, which allows you to press the product into the skin seamlessly.
Color-correct: For more stubborn marks that still show through a layer of concealer, give color-correcting a whirl. You can layer a good color correcting product under your regular concealer to cancel out any dark spots.
Set your work: To keep all your hard work in place, set your makeup with a setting spray. Not only will it extend the life of your base, but it won't leave a dry, powdery effect on the skin like many pressed and loose powders do.