Beauty Basics Skin Skin Tutorials Tips & Tricks Tutorials

Breakout covering trick you never hear about!

I had one of my friends call me about a month ago to ask me for some makeup advice. Her question was this:

“I can’t seem to cover my breakouts with ANYTHING. Nothing covers them completely and nothing stays on all day.”

I gave her my best product ideas:

Full coverage foundation: Revlon ColorStay Makeup
Heavy duty concealer: Loreal True Match Super Bleandable Crayon Concealer
Setting Powder: elf Studio High Definition Loose Face Powder

and told her to watch {THIS VIDEO} about covering zits.
Before I ended the call I made her promise that she would try this out and get back to me. A few days later she sent me a photo and said “thank you it’s not totally covered but it’s much better.”

She was right. It wasn’t totally covered. I wasn’t satisfied. Although, I knew as soon as I looked at the photo what the problem was.

She has porcelain white skin.

What does that have to do with covering breakouts? A lot, actually. Let me explain:

Say you have gorgeous white carpet in your home and you spill wine on it

breakout covering secrets

It’s not going to be easy to get out. We know that. The biggest problem is that even if you can get most of it out you’ll probably always see that little outline of pink because white is not forgiving. Yes it’s and clean and fresh but it shows every single speck of dust. In fact I just bought a pair of white pants and I don’t think they’ve made it through an entire day yet and although I am tempted to blame this on my 2 year old it’s usually not even his fault. White is troublesome. Now imagine that the carpet is tan, or you’re wearing Khakis, no worries, right? I mean, I couldn’t even find a photo of wine spilling on tan carpet because no one would really even care enough to photograph it!

You see where I’m going with this?

The most effective way to camouflage a breakout on white skin is to get some tanner on there! That goes for dark circles, dark spots, and pretty much any other blemish.

The trick to covering blamishes you've never heard before!

{This photo has not been touched up, as you can see by the texture differences in the breakout areas. If you see before and afters where the skin is perfectly smooth where it once was bumpy, that’s probably not makeup. More like Photoshop}

I am not saying you need to go all out beach bunny brown, just add some extra color by way of a bottle.

I know I just posted all about tanning but for getting some extra color quick on just your face, neck and chest I use Tomas Airbrush Tan.

I apply just before bed by spraying it about 12 inches away and focusing on the outsides of my face (avoiding the T-Zone area) then spraying the neck and chest. By morning I’m good to go.

PS The winner of the Amplifeye Lash and Brow Fortifier is Carissa DeAnn(shoot me an email with your address [email protected])! Thank you all so much for entering!

PPS Thanks so much for all of your sweet comments on my love story post!

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  • Reply
    April 8, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Also Hard Candy has an amazzzzzing coverage for superlight skin. Its called glamoflauge. I use the ‘light’ one which is even too light somedays for my skin, but they also have a ‘extra light’ or tan. you can find it at walmart. It can be used to cover tattoos… good coverage for breakout days!!

  • Reply
    Allison B.
    April 8, 2013 at 7:20 am

    I am prone to cystic acne on my skin area. I have been seeing a dermatologist and it is getting better. However, I have a lot of red scars that are difficult to cover. I want to try a tanner on my face but I am afraid it will make me break out. I am obsessed with the Sun Labs self tanner you suggested, I use it on my body, but when I tried it on my face I broke out. Any suggestions on a good self tanner for the face that won’t cause acne?

    • Reply
      Allison B.
      April 8, 2013 at 7:20 am

      It should say “chin area” not skin area.

    • Reply
      Riley S
      April 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      I also used to have acne that has improved with the help of a dermatologist. My skin is still sensitive and acne prone, though. For the longest time I’ve only used self-tanner on my body and used a darker foundation and more bronzer. That worked okay, but one day I cautiously used St Tropez Bronzing Mousse on my face as well. There were no breakouts in sight. It doesn’t have the shimmer some tanners have too, which accentuates all those things I really don’t want accentuated. I did break out when I recently switched to a drugstore self tanner (L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Luminous Self-Tanning Lotion) though. Lesson learned – sometimes the pricey stuff is just plain worth it.

  • Reply
    Jessica T
    April 8, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Thank you so much Cara!!! I will definitely be trying the self tanner on my face. In my late twenties now I have been having acne problems, which I NEVER had in high school or junior high. And also being very pale in complexion like your model, I am so excited to try your tanner idea!

  • Reply
    Miss Viola Swamp (@imaqt209421)
    April 8, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Thanks for making me watch that video! I can’t believe I’ve been applying it wrong this whole time! This blog is always mind blowing 🙂

  • Reply
    April 8, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Her skin and my skin look exactly alike…thank you so much for this tutorial! and I love how you didn’t stop until she was able to completely cover the acne. Thanks for being a perfectionist!


  • Reply
    Hope Howland (@HHDesigns)
    April 8, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Great tip.. I have fair skin as well… but usually with a little bronzer my blemishes are pretty well covered up…

  • Reply
    April 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I found this so helpful! I’m asian but my skin is pretty fair and quite red so this was great!!

    I would LOVE it if you would check my blog out and maybe even follow too? 😀

  • Reply
    Sylvie Helen
    April 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    This is so clever, I am am also super pale and can never cover everything completely. I will definitely try this next time I have a breakout! x

  • Reply
    April 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Will you do a redhead makeup post one of these days? 🙂 I would looove that. This post totally makes sense, but at the same time I don’t know if I’d look good with tan because I’m a redhead!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    interesting. I am really pale and I can never completely hide a blemish and i find it so hard to find a concealer thats light enough! Ive only used fake tan once and it was a fail. I never new you could use it on your face!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    you are the best.

  • Reply
    April 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm


    Great advice! I wanted to tell you I cam across your blog on Pinterest and I am so happy I did. You are so inspiring and I love your makeup tutorials. Really, after I watched your “make it glow” post I went to Ulta and bought every product. I hope companies realize how valuable you are!! I also ordered Sun Labs from your link and can wait until it gets here! Thank you for everything and reminding me how fun makeup can be!


  • Reply
    Kacie's Kloset
    April 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I have really white skin and have trouble covering up blemishes. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  • Reply
    April 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Love this video. This may be a silly comment but does the translucent powder need to be loose or can be it a packed powder? Do you suggest one over the other? Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Amy Lynn
    April 8, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Interesting 🙂 I’ll have to keep this in mind! Personally, I’m a big fan of the green concealer stick, but I understand that it’s not for everyone. It really seems to help me with my redness though!

  • Reply
    Megan M.
    April 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I can’t believe the difference in those photos! Is that just self-tanner or self-tanner and concealing makeup?

    I have the same problem. I’m ghostly pale because my Irish/Norwegian skin never tans, only burns, and I’m constantly having breakouts. I kind of love my paleness though – I have dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. I’m afraid tanner would make me look a little Jerseylicious! LOL

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    As a redhead with very white skin, I go with the green Miracle Mint from Just For Redheads to cover up any redness on my face. Works like a charm every time!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Holy Moly! Amazing! Plus, she has a really cute chin. =)

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I am VERY fair and I agree that it is difficult to cover blemishes. When I’m tan, I can cover them like a boss LOL!

    Wanted to stop by and say congrats fellow Allure BBA finalist! I had been following your blog for a bit so I was totally fangirl when I realized you were a finalist, too! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I actually have medium/olive toned skin. I actually find that my acne/dark spots seem more prominent than my fair skin sis!!??? They also take longer to fade? I use self tanner on my face already, VS lotion tanner w/bronzer. I always try to avoid any dark spots when applying, but I still have a tough time with coverage!? But I ordered the Tomas’s….lil hope that will help!!!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    What about brown skin, how would you advise covering up some bumps and dark spots?

  • Reply
    Carissa @ Pretty/Hungry
    April 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I love your blog! You have revolutionized the way I do my makeup 🙂 And I now love doing my sisters’ makeup before big events because they always love the result and can’t figure out how it looks so much better than when they do it! I keep telling them it’s time they checked out Maskcara.

  • Reply
    April 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    That’s great….but what about covering up zits on DARK SKIN?!?!?! Help!!!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    question, why avoid the tzones? dont know if any comments or replies on that , its really late and im sleepy so didnt wanna read thru the commentslol just wondering

    • Reply
      Jessica T
      April 22, 2013 at 7:25 am

      I’m guessing you avoid the T zones because in the HACing Cara does (which is awesome by the way), you want the T zone to be lighter so it “pops” out from the rest of it. So using tanner on the T zones would make your HACing not work very well.

  • Reply
    Heather C
    May 11, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Hi Cara, I love your blog…I was hooked before I realized your hometown is my hometown!! Now I know you are good people;) Actually it was your blog that got me moving on changing up my routine and convincing me that I can do it and it is worth it! Along the path I have stumbled on a trick that has worked incredibly well for both my 16 year old son and me . We are not biologically bound, he is adopted–I say that because I don’t think it is just a fluke this works but I don’t know anyone else who’s tried it…..We have been applying apple cider vinegar to our face as a toner and not only does it prevent breakouts pretty well, but the greatest part is that it really helps take the red out fast and prevent the days and days of hyper pigmentation! It is stinky during application but the smell doesn’t linger, really! I can only get him to do it at night, but I use it both night and day. And it does sting broken skin (think fresh popped zits–I can’t get him to stop picking!!) but we just quickly apply coconut oil (big, big fan!) and it is soothed right away, also helping the healing. We started out using it at full strength without any irritation but now I dilute it half with water. I really hope some of your followers try this out because I want to know if it generally works or I’m just crazy!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I am 42 and have oily acne skin…Glytone is my preferred wash , but even that does not get all of my makeup off. How can I get ALL my makeup off, toner or something before my gel wash?

  • Reply
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