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HOW TO: Make Up With Blemishes

I’ve had a fairly shocking week with my skin - a total of SIX pimples reared their ugly little heads - two on my forehead, and four on my chin. I was feeling absolutely horrendous, especially as my skin has been quite well behaved over the past few months, so I was caught by surprise by this bout of skincare rudeness. The silver lining to this dark & ugly cloud is that I have had the ideal canvas to experiment with makeup & skincare to calm & cover blemishes Here are my tips: 

  • Clay masks are great if you have a day to hibernate at home, as they are great at drawing pimples out & speeding up the process, but when you have to face the world I prefer using gentle masks that work to calm redness and ‘smooth’ over pimples, which makes them easier to cover when heading out. I’ve been testing the Dr. Alkaitis Organic Universal Mask which has done a nice job of quietening my skin and seems to have prevented the blemishes from becoming too inflamed. 
  • Don’t apply a drying pimple formula during the day - makeup will cake over any blemishes and make them look even more obvious. Another Dr. Alkaitis product I am loving is the Organic Soothing Gel, which is a soothing and hydrating antibacterial treatment, perfect for daytime use. I find that it’s not quite hydrating enough to use without a moisturiser or sunscreen on top, but it’s worth adding to your routine to soothe and treat blemishes. 
  • Makeup wise, it’s well-worth checking out Lisa Eldridge’s excellent video tutorial on acne covering makeup. Whilst Lisa doesn’t use clean products, the philosophy & techniques behind the makeup application are incredibly useful. In particular, I think it’s a great tip to keep foundation really light where skin is clear to avoid looking like you’re wearing a mask. As my cheeks are clear and have a relatively good texture, this week I have focussed on applying really light foundation over cheeks, then buffing a coral cream blush into cheeks along with a little RMS Living Luminizer. This gives the appearance of really healthy skin and draws attention away from the spottier areas. Similarly, I have applied no makeup over lips and have concentrated on eye makeup; again, to draw attention away from the chin. I have to admit that I have been using some not-so-clean products this week (Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer & Natio Pure Mineral Redness Corrector - both of which contain parabens, among other things) out of pure desperation to cover all the spots, but I am on the hunt for clean alternatives to these! As I mention on the About page, I take a ‘mostly’ approach to clean - so I don’t feel too guilty when I very occasionally turn to these products.  
  • I wear my hair out when I have particularly bad skin - it’s my curtain from the world! Make sure you keep hair looking fresh & bouncy when wearing it this way: spots & greasy hair are not a good look together, but clean, shiny hair will draw attention away from blemishes and make you look generally healthier. 
  • And finally - whilst I felt like a giant walking pimple this week (now that’s a charming image for you), it’s important to remember that no-one pays as much attention to your skin as you do. So take a deep breath, a little concealer, and you’ll get through this! 

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