How to Cover Blemishes Without Getting a Caked-On Appearance

by Glenda Taylor ; Updated July 18, 2017

Acne breakouts are no fun. You can cover a blemish with makeup, but if you’re not careful, you could end up with a caked-up clump on your face. Next time you get a pimple, don’t just dab on extra foundation or concealer -- follow some blemish-covering steps to reduce the appearance of the pimple without the area becoming cakey and flakey.

Wash your entire face and neck with a gentle facial cleanser and rinse with cool water. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel.

Apply a thin coat of moisturizer to your entire face. Use only a water-based moisturizer that absorbs quickly into your skin. The moisturizer forms a barrier over your face, smoothing your skin.

Dampen a clean makeup up sponge with water and squeeze out the excess.

Put a dime-sized dollop of makeup on your palm and press the sponge in the foundation, absorbing it. With light dabs, press the makeup sponge all over your face; apply a very thin coat of foundation evenly over the blemish.

Allow the makeup to dry before gently buffing your skin with a cotton facial pad. Use very little pressure over the blemish, just enough to smooth any obvious traces of makeup. A thin layer of makeup will remain on your face and over the blemish.

Repeat the application of foundation makeup. By applying multiple, very thin coats of makeup, you avoid thick, cakey streaks while covering the blemish. If your makeup is thick, use a little more water on your sponge. Buff again when the makeup dries.

Dab a tiny bit of concealer directly on the blemish with a fine makeup brush. If the blemish is red, a concealer with a yellow or green base may counter the reddish color. Use feather-light strokes to keep from adding too much.

Allow the concealer to set, and apply a light dusting of translucent facial powder. The powder removes the shine from your skin, making blemishes less noticeable. You can use a large, soft brush or a gentle powder puff to dust the powder on.


  • Use a clean makeup sponge every time you apply makeup.

Photo Credits

  • Carla de Koning /Demand Media

About the Author

Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.