1 Diffuse dark spots & freckles
To even out discoloration (e.g., sunspots or melasma), blend a liquid foundation all over and “dab a heavy concealer only on dark areas to keep from looking overdone,” advises Ali Larter's makeup artist Mai Quynh.
Want to look freckle-free? Opt for a stick foundation instead of lique for more coverage.
Try: Diorskin Forever Extreme Wear Flawless Makeup SPF 25 offers a medium coverage.
L'Oreal's True Match foundation claims to perfectly blend and match skin tone, with SPF17.
2 Smooth fine lines
Before applying any makeup, use a foundation primer or line-smoothing moisturiser to “even out the surface and prevent foundation from settling into creases,” says Quynh.
Stay away from products that have a heavy texture like solid or powder foundations.
And be careful when applying loose powder, warns Quynh. “Lightly dust onto oil areas like the T-zone, but beware: using too much can emphasize wrinkles.”
Try: Giorgio Armani’s luminous base or Shu Uemura’s UV Under Base, in cream or mousse variations.
3 Neutralize redness
Mask broken capillaries and red patches with a heavily pigmented camouflage cream. “Pick one with a yellow base to counteract the red,” Quynh says.
Molly Sims’ makeup pro Monika Blunder advises: “Dot a tiny amount onto skin and use the tip of a concealer brush to small areas like capillaries.”
For larger areas of redness, gently pat (don’t rub) it into skin with fingers.
4 Brighten a dull complexion
Look for foundations, tinted moisturisers and loose powders that are “hydrating and contain iridescence,” advises Quynh.
Or, suggests Blunder, “mix a few drops of liquid bronzer to foundation before applying”.
“Opt for a cream blush,” says Quynh. “The creamy texture contains a little shine, which gives skin a healthy glow.”
Use a foundation brush to apply to the apples of cheeks and blend.
Try: Anna Sui Moisture Treatment Gel, with a blend of ceramides, olive oil and raspberry extract to moisturise and help makeup stay on, Benefit’s You Rebel tinted moisturiser or Clarin’s Hydra-Matte Lotion, a moisturiser best for combination skin.
5 Hide under-eye circles
Use a highlighting cream instead of a concealer. “It gives more of a boost,” Blunder says. Blend with a concealer brush. “The area is delicate and can pull if you use your fingers,” she says.
Blunder’s insider trick for dark circles? “Bring your blush up closer to your eye, to where the circles end. It brightens the whole face,” she says.
Try: Benefit’s Bo-ing, described as an “industrial-strength” concealer, in three shades, that claims to hide the peskiest problems or Bobbi Brown tinted Eye Brightener to diffuse dark circles.
6 Cover a blemish
Place chamomile tea bags on the irritated area for 10 minutes before applying makeup. “It calms any redness,” says Blunder.
Dry flaky skin around the blemish? Prep the area with a moisturizer first. “Then use a thin, pointed-tip brush to apply concealer for precise coverage,” says Quynh. Set with powder.
Try: Clinique’s Acne Solutions Concealing Stick, a precise pencil-style concealer for spot camouflage – under, over or even without makeup!