Let’s face it: Attempting to cover up a pimple with makeup can feel like kind of a pathetic act. You’re tempted to top it with as much concealer as you can to just bury the sucker, but you also want to make sure it’s blended and that people can’t easily tell there’s a giant mound of concealer on your face. It’s maddening. What makes it even worse is that after you’ve spent all that time hiding it, halfway throughout the day your concealer wears off, and there’s your pimple, glaring red for everyone to see. But of course, there’s a makeup hack to solve this all-too-common problem.
One Reddit user says she always puts eye-shadow primer on her blemishes before she puts any kind of color-correcting product or concealer on it. Yep,eye-shadowprimer, not just any old makeup primer. “Normally I have problems getting the makeup to adhere to the skin that has the most problems (due to oil or peeling when the skin is a new layer), so the area around it has all the product and the blemish itself is as red as ever,” she writes. But the tackiness and texture of eye-shadow primer make it ideal for this purpose. “I like to use a drier eye-shadow primer like the Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer so it really stays and it doesn’t add to any oil.” She follows this pro move with concealer, powder, and setting spray.
We asked cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller if any of the ingredients in the Lorac primer might help concealer stick to skin’s surface longer. “The primer contains several ingredients that are either hydrophobic [waterproof] or film-forming, specifically trihydroxystearin, polyethylene, disteardimonium hectorite, and triethylhexanoin,” he says. So it’s promising. But the real test of whether this is a legit trick or not is to check with top makeup artists. Fiona Stiles, who works with Serena Williams and Chrissy Teigen, is totally on board with the concept. “This sounds like a pretty good idea. I can see why it would be effective,” says Stiles. “The skin on a pimple is often stretched and shiny, making it too smooth for concealer to stick to it well. Something like an eye-shadow primer that makes the skin grippy sounds like it would really work to get the product to stay put and extend the wear of your makeup without having to do touch-ups.” And Brandie Hopstein, a makeup artist who works with Maddie Ziegler, says the reason why the Lorac eye-shadow primer specifically works so well is because it’s not oil-based. “It helps create a barrier between the skin and the foundation as well as holding the foundation in place,” says Hopstein. “When you apply a mattifying water-based primer, you’re supplementing the skin texture and giving it something to hold onto.”