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.
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
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)
-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:
(P.S. I’ve also tried the 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?