Quick Solutions to Common Skin Problems
Step 1: Use a concealer formulated both to cover and to treat blemishes. "You want something drier than an undereye concealer, which is usually quite creamy," says Jose Parron, director of the Image Studio at Barneys New York. A treatment concealer or an oil-free stick foundation will stay on the trouble spot without migrating.
Step 2: Whether you use your finger or a concealer brush, the key is concentrating the pigment right on the pimple. "Gently tap the product onto the blemish," says Raychel Wade, owner of Cheek to Chic, a New York City–based makeup consulting service. "If you wipe or rub it on, you won't get the concealer where it needs to be."
Step 3: Use a sponge to dab a tiny bit of powder (in a moisture-rich formula) onto the spot you're trying to hide. Follow this with a light dusting of powder over the entire face to set your makeup.
RS pick: Lancôme Dual Finish Versatile Powder Makeup ($38, lancome.com).
Even Out Skin Tone
Step 1: Apply foundation over the whole face, then treat the dark patches with a full-coverage concealer. Products with sufficient pigment for this purpose will have a thick consistency and will usually be labeled as providing medium, full, or heavy coverage. Warm the concealer in the palm of your hand to make it creamier and easier to apply, then blend it over the trouble zones using a dry sponge (a damp sponge will dilute the pigment too much).
Step 2: Setting the makeup with powder will help it last.
RS picks: L'Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Concealer ($9.50 at drugstores); Dermablend Quick-Fix Concealer ($24, dermablend.com).
Soften Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Step 1: Since makeup that's too heavy can build up and cake in fine lines, apply a light layer of a sheer foundation. Choose one labeled as "moisturizing" if you have dry skin, or one that is silicone-based (you'll see silica in the ingredient list) if your complexion is slightly oily. Look for products that claim to have light-reflecting properties, which will give your skin a subtle glow. But you don't want all-out shininess. Too much shimmer can accentuate lines, especially around the eyes, warns Los Angeles makeup artist Heather Currie.
Step 2: Add concealer, but only on the dark areas under the eyes. Areas of the face where skin tends to be driest―around the outsides of the eyes, for example―are where makeup is most likely to highlight lines. To increase the sheerness of the concealer, mix it with a pea-size amount of eye cream before gently tapping it on with your finger, says Vaughn.
RS picks: CoverGirl Advanced Radiance Age Defying Liquid Makeup ($10 at drugstores); Prescriptives Flawless Skin Total Protection Makeup ($42, prescriptives.com); Revlon Color-Stay Under Eye Concealer SPF 15 ($10 at drugstores).
Step 1: Women with light or medium skin, who are especially prone to redness, can use a color-correcting concealer on such prominent areas as the chin and nose. Typically tinted green (a color that counteracts the red), these products restore skin to a neutral tone, explains Vaughn. If the product is thick, make it blend more easily by applying it over a lightweight moisturizer―look for those formulated for sensitive skin or labeled "hypoallergenic"―and spreading it gently with your ring finger or a sponge.
Step 2: Finish with a light foundation or a tinted moisturizer over the entire face. "Applying to much foundation can cause even darker blotches on the skin," says Vaughn. A light layer of subtle makeup will veil the redness and make you look as if you have a healthy, rosy glow.
RS picks: Almay Smart Shade Makeup SPF 15 ($13.50 at drugstores); Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup ($25, clinique.com).