It's no secret that my skin has been acting up recently... but I always try to look at the bright side of life. In this case...my bad skin makes me an ideal test case for acne-covering make-up! I conducted a "scientific experiment" taking before & after pictures of my skin using various acne-covering products - and noted down my thoughts on each. Hope this post may help anyone else out there struggling with the same issues.
Some thoughts before I start the comparison:
-I took before & after pictures each time because the lighting and extent of my acne varies day-to-day. These photos were taken over a couple of weeks as I don't wear makeup everyday - and I don't want to stress my skin out!
-I'm wearing this moisturizer under my make-up in all photos
-I prefer using a heavy coverage make-up that I can build up where I need, rather than a concealer + foundation. I find this leads to a more even look (as a separate concealer can sometimes highlight the areas you want to conceal - not good!)
-Your experience with these products may vary depending on the condition of your skin and your application technique
-These pictures are not pretty...AT ALL, but they're honest. It does get me down when my skin acts up and I can't explain why. But I know this will pass...and I feel loved no matter how I look (but of course - I always want to look my best!)
I've created a "break" in this post so you don't have to see the pictures unless you want to! Click "Read more" to continue.
1) Product: Dermablend Corrective Foundation (Shades 35 Sand & 55 Bronze) Inspired by Lisa Eldridge's Acne Covering Makeup Video
Tools & Technique:
-Apply La Roche-Posay Cicaplast as a primer
-Mix 2 shades on the back of my hand and stipple on using this brush
-Blend and stipple some more where necessary
-Set with this powder
-Doesn't irritate my sensitive skin at all
-The price is relatively inexpensive plus you only need a small amount to cover your whole face - so this will last you a while
-Stays in place pretty well
-Comes in a very limited shade selection (4 shades) so it's very hard to get a good match
-Not very buildable - it gets heavy and cakey quite easily. Unless you're an expert blender, I would save it only for evening wear.
-Doesn't cover my pigmented purple scarring - those areas look grey
-Despite using a primer, it can still get patchy and flakey over blemished skin
2) Product: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW35 (used as a foundation as per this video)
Tools & Technique:
-Pump concealer on the back of my hand and stipple on to my face using this brush
-Blend - this product is very pigmented and easily covers acne marks.
-Stipple some more where necessary and blend really well or it will look uneven.
-Best coverage of anything I've tested - super pigmented and easily buildable yet it doesn't look heavy or cakey - it just looks like your skin. Success - NO greying over purple areas! Skin looks great other than the bumpy texture (which no makeup can fix!)
-MAC's amazing color range makes it easy to get the perfect match to your skin - so there's no mask-like effect (I'm usually a NC35 but the MAC make-up artist recommended NW35 to counteract the purple scarring)
-Beautiful finish - it looks like your skin is in soft focus. Doesn't need to be set with a powder and it lasts ALL day - doesn't fade or get patchy over blemishes
-MAC foundations aren't the best for acne-prone skin, so I only use this on special occasions and I wash it off as soon as I get home. (EDIT: I've been using this product around 5 days a week - and it doesn't aggravate my skin at all. I think SOME MAC foundations can congest my acne-prone skin - but this isn't one of them).
-As this is meant to be a concealer, it comes in a small bottle. And while you only need very little, this would be used up quickly if used as an everyday foundation.
EDIT: Wanted to update with a picture wearing this foundation - you can't really notice the acne unless you're up close and see the bumpy skin:
3) Product: Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base in Golden Glow
Tools & Technique: (I've found 2 ways of using this)
-Moderate coverage - apply powder with flocked sponge on places that need concealing. Use Handi brush to buff foundation over the rest of your face and neck
-Heavy coverage - Use this brush to press/grind the powder over areas that need concealing. Use this brush to buff foundation over the rest of your face and neck
-Can set with POM mist or mineral water spray
-Provides the best acne coverage out of all the mineral foundations I have tried to date. Easily covers mild to moderate acne - red areas completely disappear under the product
-Finely milled powder applies seamlessly. Leaves a silky airbrushed/porcelain finish to my skin - similar to Laura Mercier but with more coverage and no bismuth. Easy to layer - no caking or heaviness.
-Built in UVA/UVB protection with SPF 20. Makes it easy and non-irritating to apply daily sun protection
- Does not cover my dark purple pigmented acne scars - these areas look greyish under foundation (so far, no foundation has been able completely cover the purple - just the MAC concealer used in place of foundation )
-Pricier than most other mineral foundations I've tried - however, it will last you a long time, and both the packaging and the product are VERY high quality.
-Shade is slightly too light for me. Mineral make-up is quite forgiving and you can usually use a shade lighter or darker - but since I am layering heavily to conceal acne, the lighter shade becomes more apparent. However, this is not a problem with the foundation itself - Jane Iredale has 24 shades covering warm, cool & neutral tones - and you can get the right match if you try it on in person at a salon. (EDIT: US & Canadian readers can also call this number (877-519-9420) at Jane Iredale to be given some foundation samples to try)
4) Product: Everyday Minerals Pressed Base in Olive Medium (discontinued)
Tools & Technique:
-Use this brush to press/grind the powder over areas that need concealing. Use this brush to buff foundation over the rest of your face and neck. Can set with a spray.
-Doesn't irritate my skin AT ALL plus it's easy and quick to apply - perfect for daily wear!
-Pretty good acne coverage (better than the other mineral powders I tested here) though not as good as the Jane Iredale one.
-Very reasonably priced ($12 for the compact) and lasts forever
-Can only order online
-The pressed powder has been discontinued, and the loose powders have been reformulated with an irritating ingredient (details here)
-Finish isn't as nice as other mineral makeup I've tried - doesn't leave my skin glowing or looking airbrushed like the Jane Iredale and Laura Mercier versions do.
I'm happy to have found a daily foundation that won't aggravate my acne (Jane Iredale) and special event foundation that completely covers my acne (MAC Concealer). For now I'm giving my skin a break from trying new products, but in the name of research, I would be testing these products next:
MUFE concealer but found its performance similar to Dermablend - though not as gentle on skin)
DISCLAIMER: I purchased these product myself except for the Jane Iredale products (which were sent to me by the company - but I was on the verge of purchasing them anyway!). As always - when I review a sent item, I consider it as if I paid the retail price...and evaluate it objectively. Gifted or not, I blog to share my true feelings and help my readers
What foundation works best for you?