Believe it or not, most of us who try and conceal spots actually end up making them look worse. Top make-up artists Ariane Poole and Virginia Nichols guide you through the fool-proof way to cover a spot so you'll look like you have clear, sparkly skin. Read their top tips below:
• Less is more:
Too much concealer can look worse than none at all. Practise in natural daylight – and with the right equipment.
• A foolproof application method:
Apply a tiny dab of toner to the spot to dry up any excess oil in the area - this will prevent the concealer sticking. Next, apply your foundation as normal. Finally apply a concealer in exactly the same shade as your foundation - ideally a medicated product like Clarins Concealer Plus Corrector, £14
- directly on to the spot. Blend this outwards from the spot (not touching the area that needs full coverage), then apply powder as normal.
• To help dry out the spot quicker:
Use a specific spot concealer with anti-bacterial ingredients; try The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Cover Stick (£3.95)
. However, don't apply straight from the tube or you risk infecting the product. Place it on the back of your hand instead, then apply to the spot with a cotton bud, which you can throw away when you're finished.
• If you wear foundation:
Always apply concealer over spots and blemishes afterwards, not before. Too much make-up on the skin is ageing, and this way you only use what you need and so use a lot less.
• If you don't wear foundation:
You'll get a more flawless, but natural-looking, finish if you use a tiny bit of concealer on a brush just to paint out minor blemishes or marks.
• If a spot or blemish is red:
Add a tiny bit of green concealer first to take down the redness - but not too much or else it will look grey - dab a small bit of covering concealer on top, then dust over a little translucent powder.
• The most common mistake:
Picking the spot first to make it smaller. Concealer will not stick to the skin if it is wet so all this does is create a sticky, crusty blob. Instead, put the concealer on the spot but don't rub it in as this actually wipes off 90% of the coverage.
• Decide on your target area:
Don't use the same concealer on a spot that you do on your eyes. Spots and blemishes need a drier product that stays in place and ideally has anti-bacterial properties; the eye area needs a more moisturising consistency that moves with your skin. If you do try using one product for everything, you could find that an undereye concealer may aggravate a spot, and an anti-bacterial concealer used around the eyes may cause sensitivity.