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Liz Who?


My name is Liz and I blog as a hobby. I like all things bright and beautiful!

Email me at liz [at]

Disclosure: Most of the products I review here are press samples unless stated otherwise. FYI!




Fashion & Beauty - Top Blogs Philippines

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Reader question: How to conceal dark blemishes

Hi Miss Liz! I have a birthmark on the face and while I know that sometimes, confidence is the key, people looking all the time can get to you. And I want to try going birthmark free for the first time! How do I cover it? What do I buy? Heavy concealer? Heavy foundation? I'm pretty much willing to go until the MAC budget, but no high-ends such as Chanel, etc. Thank you! :) - Hannah

Hi Hannah! Thanks for your question. I know how debilitating it is to walk around with marks on the face. We want to tell ourselves that it shouldn't affect our self-esteem, but they still exist and people look at them. I've been struggling with blemishes most of my life. They're not quite the same thing as a birth mark, but the principle of concealing them should apply.

The trick is concealing only the problem spot/s instead of your whole face. The finished look would be more natural, showing more skin than makeup! You also have to be careful about the concealers you use. They should be able to stick for hours, even after a lot of oil and swear - maybe even water if you're out for a swim. 

In this tutorial, I used a light foundation (actually, it's just a cc cream) as a base, applied a thick, opaque concealer to completely cover the blemishes, and then applied a thinner concealer to blend in the thick concealer. Then, I set the whole thing with powder to seal the makeup in place.

Yeah it's four layers of makeup but remember, I only applied it where there are particularly dark blemishes. For lighter blemishes, one layer of concealer will do, if the foundation doesn't take care of them first. :) Let's begin!

Step 1: You can use any makeup base you prefer - tinted moisturizer/ BB/ CC cream or foundation, it's up to you. The base is really more for evening out the skin tone and possibly providing some SPF versus coverage. If you already have good skin, then you can just use your prefered moisturizer.

Step 2: Apply a heavy, opaque concealer on the spots using a small concealer brush. I'm using a Real Techniques here, but you can also use a pencil eyeliner brush if you want extra precision. I highly recommend the Artdeco Camouflage Cream Concealer. It's not very expensive, and it is super heavy coverage. You can also try the Cinema Secrets Foundation Palette, Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer, and Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer. These are the heaviest concealers I've tried to date.

Step 3: This is where traditional spot concealing slightly differs from my technique. It might sound kinda redundant, but this is extremely effective in boosting not only the coverage but also the lasting power of your concealer. :) Once you have your opaque concealer in place, apply another layer of concealer or liquid foundation on top of it. Don't blend the first layer of concealer. Just smother it.

I've made the mistake of trying to blend the heavy concealer with my fingers or brush, but the blending action just thins down the concealer and makes it look cakey. It's waaaay better to choose a thin, watery concealer / liquid foundation to blend the opaque concealer onto the skin - just make sure to use a shade that matches perfectly. I used a Real Techniques pointed foundation brush here, just the perfect size, but you can use any flat brush for this job.

Recommendations: Any liquid base that matches your skin, MAC Studiofinish, MAC Studio Sculpt, Benefit Boi-ing

Step 4: Pat, don't swipe, some powder to set everything in place. Any powder will do - translucent, sheer, foundation, that's fine. The goal is to cement the layers of makeup in place.

And that's it really! If you feel that the makeup looks too thick or heavy, just mist it with some water. MAC Fix+ or the Evian spray works well. :)

Is it obvious that I'm wearing a ton of makeup? ;) Well, it's technically not a lot since that layers were just on a few areas. The blemishes I have at the moment also aren't especially dark. I just did the tutorial for your reference. These days I prefer mid-coverage concealers like the MAC Studiofinish or Benefit Boi-ing, but hey, you never know when a nasty acne scar will pop up right?

Hope this helps, Hannah! Let me know if you have more questions. ;)


PS I would super appreciate it if you can help me win at the Virtual Style Awards! You can vote 10 times everday (just click till it's ten) until September 15. Thank you very much!

Reader Comments (23)

Awesome technique, Liz! Thanks for this.:) Do you have a solution, though for blemishes on areas of the skin with enlarged pores? Sometimes the concealer makes the pores more apparent. If I try to buff it into the skin naman, the concealer gets thinned down and the blemish is visible again.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJix

I have a blue birthmark on my right cheek and as I got older it became darker. I've been obsessed with full coverage foundations and concealers because I just want to cover it up. I used to cake on the foundation and concealer but I realized it makes the birthmark more obvious because you can really tell I'm wearing A LOT. It's really impossible for me to cover my birthmark completely without it looking like a mask. Now I use a light hand and I don't cake on products over my birthmark. My birthmark still shows through but since it looks more natural I'm okay with it.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina

I've noticed someone uses the same user name as mine. So I just added an N so it won't be confusing. :)

Back to the topic. I have lots of dark spots right now from acne breakout. This tutorial is right on time. Though can you suggest any alternative products from drug store brands? Some of the items you mentioned are not available in our area, specially MAC products. :(

PS. About Virtual Style Awards, I think you might have meant it ends in September 15 instead of August? Not sure though. :)

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina N.

@Jix better to fill it up with a silicone base like the Benefit Porefessional or L'Oreal Base Magique first before concealing. If too wide, then unfortunately there isn't much to be done. :(

@Nina Thanks for the feedback! Haven't tried concealing birthmarks yet, although with this technique I can cover up my mole on the upper lip. I guess it depends on the actual mark in question no?

@Nina Unfortunately I haven't tried any drugstore concealer that really works. :( Although at least the Artdeco concealer can be shipped to your location - try

August 26, 2013 | Registered CommenterLiz Lanuzo

Yes the mark in question really does matter. I have no problem covering up brown marks because skin tone concealers work. For my blue birthmark, if I use my regular skin tone concealer it makes it look green because it's yellow-based. I have to use an orange corrector to cancel out the blue and then layer on my regular foundation/concealer. Sometimes it makes the right side of my face look extra orange than the left so I've stopped doing that. Since I've been using mineral foundation, I've tried concealing my birthmark with a peach mineral blush and then buffing my mineral foundation over it. It works pretty well and looks very natural.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina

Oooh, will try step 3 later! Very useful tips, Liz! :)

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMariana

I forgot how much makeup you had!

@Nina N. Have you tried Elf's color correcting concealer? It doesn't cover up, but it neutralizes everything so the next product you put would have a good base under it. I use it under my eyes and for a few spots, and it works pretty good, nicely priced at P130.00 too. The only downside I see is the doe foot applicator. Wish it was a brush instead. :/

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaulina

Regarding pores, i have watched on youtube recently that instead of spreading your pore-filler primer on your face, you spread it on your fingers instead and then tap 'em on the parts of your face with pores. I tried it and it works better than spreading it. :)

Liz, i'm surprised you didn't include the vichy dermablend foundation? And wow, you are the master of blending! I've been lemming to get the artdeco, like i swatched it several times at beauty bar but i'm not sure really if i can blend it well. You totally don't look cakey or what. Thanks for sharing your technique! Will try it soon! God bless! =)

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

I use a Cinema Secrets concealer (the one in the pot) and it works wonders for me :-) I just have to pat a little amount using a concealer brush and build it up if I have to. Curious about ArtDeco though since it's half the price!

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I've been stopping myself from buying the Artdeco concealer and choosing instead to spend on skincare to bust my pimples, but they just won't go away! Aarrrrggghhh. Well, at least I learned a new technique from this post, so thanks for that!

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAviva

i need this for my cheeks! but since it makes up most of my face, it might look too made up >_< anyway thank you for this awesome technique!

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkimii

Oooh! Great tips Liz! I personally love the Benefit Boi-ing, it really gives the right coverage without looking too cakey. I think the important thing when applying concealer is to be really patient in patting it down instead of blending it to your skin. Another thing that works well for me is when ever I have really "hard concealers" (e.g. Benefit Erase Paste or Skin Food Banana Concealer) is best to apply it first to your fore arm to warm the product up, making it easier to spread to the problem areas on your skin instead of applying it directly.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

Will definitely try this technique~ Thanks!

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJuvy

Voting for you 10x everyday :-) Good Luck!

Awesome technique! Can I also use it to cover or conceal spider veins on my face?

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRochelle Rivera

I am so gonna try Artdeco once my MAC is finished, heavy coverage+cheap! though MAC Studiofinish has always been reliable and a little comes a long way :)

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaui

Love this very informative post!

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

@Ms. Liz. Ohh. Will browse there later! I'm so excited!

@Paulina, I'm currently using it! It's okay with my eye bags but doesn't really hide my dark spots! And I have lots of them!

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina N.

Thank you so much for this post!!! :) I have A LOT of blemishes so this is very helpful. Can't wait to try the Art Deco concealer after I finish up my concealer. Love your base makeup collection. :)

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercaterwauler

I have the same problem. But mine is because of pimple scars. I will try this solution and share my thoughts.

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFati

Thank you so much Miss Liz! Funny since Miss Martha (of Beauty Junkee) also e-mailed me today saying she's going to answer the same question on her blog. I'm glad for both of your inputs because I'm trying to be as informed as possible! I am going to the mall tomorrow and buy the necessary things. I'm not overly conscious of my birthmark since it's something I've lived with my whole life but really, when people stare so hard and whisper and taunt I can't help but feel a bit affected. Getting a bit dramatic here haha. Thanks again for your input!

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

I am so amazed of how your concealer in this post worked! I am loving my Collection cosmetics concealer (which is affordable and gives really good coverage) but I'm defo keeping an eye on this Artdeco concealer! And thanks for the tips!

September 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngel Diamante

Oh wow. This is very helpful. An artist friend told me to use the concealer-foundation-concealer-foundation technique, but it feels heavy, kinda uncomfortable and it's hard to blend in with the rest of the foundation on my face. Another advice was to use the corrective concealer then layer foundation on it then seal the make-up but when I asked the saleslady to do it in front of me, she wasn't able to show me a nice, blended-in finish. Or maybe it's because she's used her fingers to put the make-up on. Anyway, I'm gonna try this tip and hopefully it works out. Thanks! :D

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercimmerian

Thank you Liz! I didnt know about this technique until today! This is an enormous feat for me, at least in beauty. Im about to let go of my MAC Studio Finish Concealer because it doesnt stay long on my blemishes the way i thought it would but now i know i should make use of it as a blending concealer on top of my The Bodyshop concealer stick, which is the heavier one. Im eyeing the art deco one when i ran out of TBS sticl concealer. Thank you for coming up with really helpful posts like this one!

February 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoy Baltazar

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