Light years ago, before online acne makeup tutorials were a thing, covering up pimples was a covert operation carried out behind closed doors. But that “shush-shush, hush-hush, of-course-I-just-woke-up-like-this” era has long gone. Now we can turn to thousands of YouTube (and Instgram) vids for tips, tricks and—more than anything—comfort.
In this spirit, we looked back on the most popular and jaw-dropping acne makeup tutorials of all time and pulled out the best lessons and sourced all the products. Each video is a testament to the power of makeup and how, no matter what kind of skin you wake up with, it doesn’t have to define you.
December 24, 2016 Instagram video, by Goar Avetisyan
Views to date: 1.5 million
Top tip: Use a green-based colour corrector.
What to use: The Russian MUA uses two key primers as a base: she first brushes on M.A.C’s Prep + Prime Natural Radiance, $49, followed by Benefit’s POREfessional Face Primer, $39, to minimize the appearance of pores. Using a smaller brush, she then dabs on a green colour corrector to balance out redness (try Make Up For Ever’s 5 Camouflage Cream Palette, $49). She finishes it off with Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup, $46.
“How to Cover Acne Scars and Bumps,” by Domonique Utley
Views to date: 2.9 million
Top tip: Use two different shades of concealer—a darker one, followed by a lighter one.
What to use: Domonique first moisturizes with Estee Lauder Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme. Then she applies L.A. Girl Pro Concealer Orange Corrector, $6.50, to the darkest spots and blends it into the skin using a Beauty Blender, $28. She repeats the last step, this time using L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer, $15.50, in Warm Honey. After contouring her client’s skin and adding a splash of blusher, she uses Sacha Buttercup Setting Powder, $25, for a matte finish.
“Acne Coverage//Date Night Make Up Tutorial,” by Em Ford
Views to date: 3.4 million
Top tip: Take your time blending in foundation using circular motions. This stage cannot be rushed.
What to use: Vlogger and film student Em starts by gradually working in a layer of NYX HD Studio Photographic Foundation, $20. To brighten and highlight the skin, she suggests L’Oreal True Match concealer, $13, which she pats down using her middle finger. Shortly after posting this tutorial, Em created a short film, You Look Disgusting, in hopes of shining a light on society’s hypocrisy in regard to both skin imperfections and a face full of makeup. The film has been viewed over 23 million times.
“How to Cover Acne & Scars (IF You Want To),” by Melanie Murphy
Views to date: 17.8 million
Top tip: Follow three three-step routines so that you never forget a step: wash-tone-moisturize, concealer-foundation-setting powder and contouring-blush-highlighter.
What to use: The one product Melanie swears by is Vichy Dermablend Foundation, $36, which she gently pats on using an eyeshadow brush.
“Acne Foundation Routine! Pimples, Scars, Cystic Acne, Blackheads & Oil!” by Cassandra Bankson
Views to date: 28 million
Top tip: If you can’t get the hang of brushes, use your three middle fingers to pat on your foundation before using concealer.
What to use: Not only is Cassandra’s tutorial the most viewed acne makeup video, it’s also one of the first (she posted it way back in 2010). She starts by spotting and blending in Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation, $52. She then takes M.A.C Studio Finish Concealer, $28, and blends it into any areas where her spots still show. Finally, using circular motions, she brushes on two shades of M.A.C Select Sheer/Pressed Powder, $38—a lighter one, and then a slightly darker hue—to offset any dewiness from the concealer.
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