Tips & tricks to cover challenging skin conditions

Natasha Wright, international MUA, shares her expertise on how to utilise make-up to bring the best out of skin conditions.

Hair & Beauty

If you have a skin condition, it can be difficult to figure out a make-up routine that works for you. After all, the majority of make-up campaigns are aimed at hiding so-called 'imperfections', rather than working with them!

We've covered the best foundations for common skin concerns, and talked with the skinspiring Rochelle Richards about living with vitiligo. And in this article, International MUA Natasha Wright sheds a light on this often-overlooked area of the beauty industry, by sharing her tips on how to use make-up with skin conditions.

How to use make-up with acne
@nazhayabarcelona | Photo by Peter Devito


The key to working with acne prone skin is firstly making sure your tools are clean (i.e brushes and sponges). If not, you can make the acne worse, as brushes and sponges collect bacteria.

It is very important to moisturise your skin before you apply foundation. This makes a huge difference to the skin, as acne-prone skin can be very dry and textured in certain areas, so always make sure to moisturise those areas very well and keep throughly hydrated. But make sure it’s an oil-control moisturiser SPF30; this will act as a primer due to its matte finish while creating a great base for foundation, and it stops product from clinging to any dry skin. I use a stipple brush and a beauty blender to apply foundation.

Acne-prone skin can also be very red. I typically use a green shade corrector; yellow also works well, and peach and orange on dark spots is great for darker skin tones. When choosing a concealer colour, go slightly deeper than the pimple. If it's too light, it’s like shining a spotlight on it.

Finally, apply transparent powder to finish!

How to use make-up with hyperpigmentation


Hyperpigmentation is characterised by brown patches on the surface of the skin, usually bought on by hormonal changes, sun exposure or skin irritating products. In order to cover hyperpigmentation, moisturise skin but also make sure to apply a SPF on hyperpigmented areas, as the sun can deepen the patches.

Always apply a primer, which creates a smooth base and ensures long lasting finish. When applying foundation, add a small amount of the product on the back of your hand, and make sure to apply it in thin layers, using a beauty blender to give more of a natural finish. Stippling brushes give a fuller coverage, but for more precise placement use a synthetic eyeshadow or concealer brush.

Use a powder brush to apply foundation powder or translucent powder to set make-up, prevent transfer and give a more full coverage flawless look.

How to use make-up with vitiligo
@evakhynesam | Photo by Brock Elbank


Vitiligo occurs when pigment-producing cells (Melanocytes) die and stop producing melanin, which leaves blotches or white patches. Whilst not life threatening, some people can feel a bit embarrassed by the visibility of their condition, and therefore feel the need to cover the patches.

When trying to find good products that work, you can go for specialised brands, but to be honest most brands have very industrious concealers that cover fantastically well - it’s the colour match that needs to be right. Vitiligo patches are completely white, so they're very hard to cover. You’d think it would be simple, but when colour matching the patches, foundations seem to always turn orange, so the undertones should be very cool - avoid red undertones. This balances both tones and gives a more streamlined, flawless finish.

When applying foundation, firstly you’d make sure skin is cleansed and moisturised and you should use the highest SPF factor suncream, as vitiligo skin burns easily due to lack of melanin. When I apply foundation, I prefer to use a beauty blender or stipple brush. Make sure you apply several thin layers; the aim is to make the make-up look as natural as possible, but without looking heavy.

When you're happy with the results, set with translucent powder and add peachy toned blusher to give the face more of natural glow.

How to use make-up with psoriasis


Psoriasis is a common autoimmune condition that presents rash-like scales on the skin, which can be very challenging to cover with make-up. The key to covering up psoriasis is not for it to appear dry, and also bear in mind that it can get highly irritated.

Firstly, I’d apply a very rich moisturiser to ensure skin is thoroughly hydrated. This will prepare the surface of the skin for foundation.

The best brush to use would be a synthetic stipple brush. Stipple several thins layers of foundation for an even look. The best product to use is a water-based foundation as this will hydrate the skin and prevent it from drying out. To set I’d use a mineralised powder, which is less drying on the skin and gives natural finish.

How to use make-up with psoriasis
@michaeladeprince | Photo by Nisian Hughes

Main image by @winnieharlow

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