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How to Cover Up Acne with Makeup

April 17, 2020

It’s the night before [insert important event here] and, what do you know—a lovely little pimple or blackhead has appeared just to rain on your parade. Ugh, what’s a girl to do? Luckily, if you know how to cover up acne the right way, you can hide that bad boy without anyone being the wiser. As long as you use the right acne makeup, like our best foundation for acne cover-ups—and employ a few easy makeup hacks—you’ll be able to hide pimples without making them worse. Follow our seven tips on makeup for acne, including using a color-correcting concealer for acne, and you can get ready to say hello to a perfectly camouflaged complexion. It’s time to fake it (with 'it' being flawless skin) until you make it!


If concealer isn’t cutting it when it comes to mastering how to cover a pimple or blackhead, we feel you. That's why color-correcting concealer exists—or at least one reason it does! Known as some of the best makeup for acne, the idea behind color-correcting concealer is to use hues that sit opposite of one another on the color wheel to mask imperfections. So, if you have an angry-looking, red pimple, reach for a green concealer, which can help neutralize the appearance of redness. And if blackheads are what you’re trying to hide, grab a yellow concealer.

The L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Color Correcting Crayons come in five shades (green to neutralize redness, yellow to disguise age spots, and peach, bisque, and orange to hide dark circles and dark spots on different skin tones). Apply your color-correcting shade of choice as the first step in your acne makeup routine. 

Editor’s tip: To minimize how much you have to touch your face—which can encourage breakouts—blend out your color corrector with a makeup blender.


After you color correct, it’s time for concealer. But what is the best concealer for acne, you ask? Actually, the best approach to covering up acne is a two-pronged one: Using a light concealer first, then layering a concealer that matches your skin tone (which we’ll get to) on top. First, grab a liquid concealer that’s a shade or two lighter than your skin tone, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, Full Coverage, which offers high coverage. (We’d consider this must-have our best drugstore concealer for acne!) Gently dot it on before following with your regular concealer and foundation.


For disguising blemishes, a creamy concealer is always a good idea. A powder can actually give your skin a cakey look and draw more attention to the thing you wanted to hide in the first place, making your acne appear worse. No thanks!

After applying your other concealer, follow with the same concealer in a different shade—one that matches your skin perfectly—applying it with your makeup sponge so that you can cover your pimples from angles that you might not be able to reach with your fingers. And don’t rub the concealer on—be gentle and lightly dab and roll the makeup sponge over your skin. This approach will help ensure you aren’t rubbing away the makeup you’ve already applied.


Finding the best foundation to cover acne is a must. After you’ve finished concealing, reach for a full-coverage foundation, being sure to choose a non-comedogenic (i.e., non-pore clogging—which makes for the best foundation for acne-prone skin) formula. Try the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Super Blendable Foundation Makeup, which comes in a large variety of shades (45, to be exact!) to match every skin tone and undertone. It’s also free of oils, fragrances, and pore-clogging fillers.

If you don’t want to risk your acne being even the slightest bit visible, another option is the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Foundation. This full-coverage formula has an air-light texture, provides seamless coverage, and can be used everywhere from your face to your legs to cover imperfections and even skin tone.

If you prefer foundation that offers buildable coverage, which allows you to work up to your desired level, try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight. As its name suggests, this multi-tasking foundation is both lightweight and long-lasting, and also non-comedogenic. It checks every box on our best makeup for acne-prone skin list!

Regardless of which foundation for acne-prone skin that you choose, apply it with a makeup sponge—just like you did with your color corrector and concealer. Use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender to bounce and blend your foundation onto your skin.


Yes, we’re serious! If your pimple isn’t too big, you can totally turn it into a super-stylish beauty mark, which can give your face extra character. All you have to do is grab a brown eyeliner, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof, Up to 24HR Pencil Eyeliner in Brown, and cover up the blemish effectively and realistically. If you plan on doing this, just make sure you use a makeup setting spray to keep your “beauty mark” from rubbing off throughout the day! The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray will keep your makeup in place all day with no melting, fading, or touch-ups necessary.


If you want to wear makeup without making your acne worse, the most important thing you can do is remove your makeup. No, we aren’t saying not to wear it altogether, just that you need to take it off at the end of the day. That’s because when you sleep in your makeup, it can mix with the dirt and oil that has built up on the surface of your skin throughout the day, and this can lead to clogged pores (and, in turn, more breakouts).

Reach for a no-rinse makeup remover, like micellar water. Micellar water is powered by tiny oil molecules that help lift dirt, oil, and makeup up and away from the skin. Saturate a cotton pad with the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types and wipe it across your face.

If you’re in a rush or on the go, makeup remover wipes will do the trick. The L’Oréal Paris Ideal Clean All Skin Types Makeup Removing Towelettes are ultra-soft towelettes that will gently yet effectively remove all traces of makeup. The wipes also remove dirt and oil for skin that feels clean and refreshed. And don't worry, their alcohol-free formula won’t dry out your skin.

For makeup wipes that double as an exfoliator, try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Wet Cleansing Towelettes. These towelettes are specially formulated to remove all traces of impurities and makeup by gently exfoliating your skin. Containing vitamin C, they also nourish your skin to leave it looking radiant, brighter, and more refined.

Now that you know how to cover acne, why not learn more about what’s causing your complexion concerns in the first place. Click through to our article, This Is Why Your Acne Keeps Getting Worse.

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