This is how to hide pimples and how to cover acne with makeup without looking cakey. An expert London based makeup artist is revealing all right here and right now.

A London based MUA wants you to know this about cover up for acne

In Acne by Cheryl Woodman MChemLeave a Comment

I have such an exciting how to hide pimples tutorial for you today and psst – yes we’re covering how to cover acne with makeup without looking cakey. I know you’ve been asking 🙂

While long term it’s my aim here to get you healthy, happy, clear skin long term. I so get it. Makeup and cover-up can be the confidence boost you need short-term.

And today I’m hosting the wonderful Hannah Davies right here, right now. She’s a London based makeup artist with a whopper of talent, her Instagram portfolio is impressive and she’s worked for the likes of Gym Shark, Toni & Guy, New Look, TedX and Marie Claire.

Told you she was the real deal.

In today’s blog interview you’re about to find out;

  • The #1 acne cover-up mistake plus how to fix it
  • How to cover acne with makeup without looking cakey
  • How to hide pimples/How to hide a zit
  • How to cover acne with makeup naturally aka how to look like a bare faced beauty
  • The most overlooked cover-up tip ever – it will literally take you 30 seconds to do each day – I’ve already tried this and it’s made one huge difference
  • Plus so much more

Are you ready for this? Let’s get to it eh…

Hi Hannah, Welcome, welcome, welcome. It’s so great to have you here. Now I want to get stuck right in with something I know’s going to be so, so useful for all the wonderful ladies out there with pimple and acne-prone skin.

What’s the #1 mistake you see wonderful women making when trying to cover up acne? Or trying to figure out how to hide a pimple?

For me as a skincare expert it’s over-washing skin – even twice a day can be too much. I’m so intrigued to hear your answer.

This is how to hide pimples and how to cover acne with makeup without looking cakey. An expert London based makeup artist is revealing all right here and right now.

#1 How to Hide Pimples Mistake

Tools and Techniques for sure!

Some of the most common mistakes I see is when someone is looking for a certain end result, whether that be a full coverage base or an eyeshadow look and they are using a brush or tool that’s making it harder to reach the desired finish.

Stipple brushes are a hugely popular choice when applying foundation and although a great brush, if you’re looking for coverage then it probably isn’t your best option. These brushes are great if you’re looking for a light, natural base as they effortlessly blend and spread the product easily across the skin, but when you’re trying to build up coverage this could be blending your product away too much.

Flat foundation brushes are great for building coverage, using the flat side and a tapping technique to build on the areas that need more focus. This is a great technique as it blends the foundation into the skin and by not sweeping the brush back forth you avoid pushing the product into any crusty patches which are common with blemishes.


Within my work I personally like to apply a thin and light base first to take away redness and even out the skin tone. I then use a small round-tipped brush that looks similar to an eyeshadow blending brush to apply concealer on any spots.

Hannah, you are a goldmine! There are so many fantastic tips here, thank you so much for sharing them. I’m hearing press, press, press, tap, tap, tap. And do not at any cost go back and forth.

Talking about that tapping technique – how would you recommend a makeup newbie go about it? And I so want to know – how do you use a face mist during foundation application and avoid that ‘washing out/tearing out’ effect where the foundation pigment starts separating?

How to Cover Acne with Makeup Naturally

Don’t overload!

Your foundation should only be in the tip of the bristles, if you can see product halfway down towards the base of the brush then you’ve got too much on your there. Not only will this make it more difficult to thoroughly clean, it will also make blending more difficult and you could end up with stroke marks.

I tend to use the face mist if the skin still looks a little dehydrated and if the makeup is clinging anywhere. It adds a little more moisture to the foundation that allows you to re-work it and re-blend, you don’t want to drench the skin so just a fine mist will be ample. If it’s still looking dry after it’s absorbed then you can spray again and that will avoid the separation.

Wow – there are so many helpful tips here for how to hide pimples naturally, thank you so much Hannah. It’s easy to get sucked into looking for the best acne foundation or the best concealer for acne and it’s super refreshing to hear you taking ‘how to hide pimples’ back to technique. Talking about the best concealer for acne, what do you look for in a concealer and what are your top 3 tips for application?

Best Concealer For Acne

I prefer a creamy consistency for concealers, nothing that looks or feels too dry. It needs to have a good buildable coverage but still allows you to blend easily into the skin so it virtually disappears.

1. Use an under eye concealer for eyes and not your concealer you use to cover blemishes.

As under eye concealers are a lot thinner and usually contain light-reflecting particles, this is what helps to brighten under the eye as they bounce back light.

Using heavy concealer under the eyes will make it more likely to crease, the skin around the eyes is much thinner so you need to treat it slightly differently.

2. Use a small brush like a pencil brush for precise application for covering spots.

And then blend the edges.

3. Don’t forget around the nostrils and crease of the chin.

These areas can have more redness (but not always) so a little concealer lightly swept around these areas will diminish any redness coming through.

I’m so glad you mentioned redness. That’s a biggy for acne-prone skin types and figuring out how to hide pimples. Even when that pimple or acne breakout’s disappeared it can leave behind the pesky post-inflammatory erythema (PIE) scars. Can you share some of your best redness-reducing makeup tips?

How to Cover Acne Scars

A lot of people tend to use the tinted green primers and products to counteract redness and then choose a more golden/yellow tone foundation shade.

Personally I would only use these kind of products if it is extreme, and only in the areas that have redness other wise you may end up looking a little unwell.


Also make an honest judgment, if you have naturally quite pink tones in your skin all over then it will look really strange when your face looks a different tone to the rest of you.

Sometimes the pink tones can still help dial down the redness but will avoid you looking like a completely different shade on your face to the rest of your body.

If the redness is concentrated in just one area, then absolutely a golden tone will help counteract the redness.

There’s some really great skincare products and diet tips for rosacea that in conjunction will help.

Oh heck yes. Diet can have such a huge impact for redness reduction – I actually have a free acne diet cheatsheet which can help with that. Here, here to that. I absolutely love that actually sticking with core makeup products can give better acne cover-up than adding in extra tints. It sounds like this is a biggy for how to cover acne with makeup naturally. Talking of which, do makeup products need to be high coverage to give great acne covering results?

Best Makeup For Acne

This depends on individual preference.

You can still use a really sheer foundation or tinted moisturiser if you prefer a more bare look and then with your pencil brush just dot concealer on to individual blemishes.

Of course if you like a heavier base then a full coverage foundation will save time and product building up the desired goal, and then use concealer on top of areas that require extra.

That’s great to know and I imagine with the right techniques you can cover up pimples and still look natural even with a full coverage base. I’m so intrigued to know, what’s your personal opinion on heavy liquid or cream foundations for acne-prone skin?

Best Foundations For Acne

For me personally I prefer to use sheer foundations as a base and then I add the concealer where needed, but that’s also because working on photoshoots that’s what photographs best. I have heavier foundations in my kit too if I’m asked for that.

It’s again all about individual preference and everyone is different, sure there are certainly tips and tricks to help but there’s no wrong way of wearing makeup, as long as it gives the person the confidence and happiness they need then that’s the main thing!

Here, here. I’m with you on that. I so often hear from the wonderful acne warriors I work with that they feel like they shouldn’t be wearing makeup because ‘makeup makes acne worse’ and I’m always sharing with them that actually the right makeup can be super helpful for acne-prone skin. So what is you look for in a foundation for acne prone skin?

Best Foundation For Acne Prone Skin

I prefer to use foundation that has a dewy/ creamy finish rather than a matte finish.


Myself I find them easier to work with, sometimes matte foundation can be drying and cake more easily.

If matte skin is the finish I’m looking for then I use primers underneath and powder on top to take away shine.

Yes! And I imagine these steps are so powerful for learning how to cover acne with makeup without looking cakey. How do you make sure makeup never looks ‘cakey’ or like you’re wearing a lot of makeup?

How to Cover Acne with Makeup Without Looking Cakey

Try to avoid a heavy hand, like I said before with the amount of product that should be on your brush, that’s the aim. It’s a lot easier to blend and gives you a much better judgment of how much more you need to apply, rather than applying too much and then desperately trying to blend away.

You’ll probably find yourself saving product too!

Sometimes it’s the product and not you, a good product indicates how easy you get on with it, if you’re finding something too hard to blend or to achieve the look you want then it’s probably a sign that you need to ditch it.

One last tip I’d really love to advocate is to clean your brushes!

I have a friend who still uses the same brush (much to my despair) from uni that resembles more so a back-combed badger’s tail, which she’s only washed once or twice since acquiring it!! Especially if you do suffer with breakouts, they will hold and harvest bacteria if they’re congealed with old makeup.

You don’t need a fancy brush cleaner, I find bar soap works great and to save time wash 4/5 at a time, no need to do each one individually. Try to clean them every night before bed and they will be dry by the morning. I promise you it will make a huge difference to makeup application and finish.

Oh wow, this has to be the most overlooked how to hide pimples tip ever and I have to admit I’m not the best at cleaning my makeup brushes either. But since trying out your gem of a tip I’ve seen such a huge difference for stopping that cakey look when I go in with powder after foundation. 

Honestly Hannah you are the best. Thank you so much for sharing your hard-earned makeup tips for acne-prone skin here. I know many acne warriors are going to get a ton of help from trying out your best makeup tips.

Psst – if you want to check out Hannah’s work or even pop her an extra ‘how to hide pimples’ question then you can head on over to her Instagram here.

Oh and if you have a friend you know needs these best makeup tips for acne-prone skin in her life right now. Will you be a star and use that big green sharing button below to pop her this blog with love from us both?