It seems like we’re always one blemish (or eight) away from having flawless-looking skin and perfect skin tone. And while achieving smooth skin can be as elusive as a good night’s sleep, expertly concealing complexion issues is possible, if you know how to target and correct problem areas. “The most common complexion issues to cover are blemishes—sometimes with redness—and under-eye dark circles, “ says
Kristee Liu, a celebrity makeup artist based in Los Angeles. Liu breaks down her top complexion-correcting tips on how to
get flawless skin this summer (or at least look like you do).

Complexion correction: Nix uneven coverage

Before you can conceal problem areas, create a smooth base for an even makeup application with your skin care routine. “Moisturizer suitable for your skin type is definitely the key to building flawless skin, but a good cleanser that gets rid of makeup residue without drying your skin is fundamental,” says Liu, who recommends Kiehl’s Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser. Pat skin dry after cleansing and apply
your favourite daily moisturizer. “Let it set for a few minutes so the skin can fully absorb it.”

Minimize the appearance of fine lines and pores by applying a makeup primer like Benefit’s POREfessional Pro Balm where needed. “When applying foundation, start with an even layer all over the face then go back with some TLC on the areas that need more coverage,” says Liu, who opts for a combination of brushes and a wet-dense sponge for application. “I like to apply Luminous Silk Foundation by Giorgio Armani with a wet Beauty Blender sponge.” For a quick, allover application opt for large-bristle brush. “They tend to pick up and deposit more product for those problem areas that you want to conceal fast.”

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Complexion correction: Erase under-eye circles

Once you’ve created a
lightweight base for smooth skin, focus on colour-correcting dark circles around the eye to match your skin tone. “Concealer should be applied with a light hand under the eyes and on problem areas that still show through after the foundation, as concealers tend to be more opaque,” says Liu. And the best application tools for smooth skin are already in your hand. “I like to use my fingers to apply concealer under the eyes as the warmth softens the concealer and makes it glide on more smoothly.”

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More expert tips on how to correct skin tone on the next page…
Complexion correction: Conceal redness

The trick to covering up uneven skin tone is in your palette of concealers. “Think of the traditional colour theory—complementary colours cancel each other out,” says Liu. “Concealers that are yellow or olive-based are best for reducing the appearance of redness in skin, as these are most effective at countering the colour red.” Try Hidden Corrective Concealer by Hourglass and Chanel Correcteur Perfection Long-Lasting Concealer.

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And each problem area requires individual spot treatment in terms of evening out texture (dry vs. oily) and shade (redness and bluish under-eye circles) for flawless skin. “It takes a bit longer but the result is a more natural-looking complexion, without obvious traces of makeup.”

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Complexion correction: Smooth out texture

Build up to flawless skin without piling on layers of heavy foundation and powders. “The key is not to use every product all over the face and instead, catering to each problem area specifically,” says Liu. “If your skin tends to be more oily on the forehead, nose and chin—the T-zone— use powder on those areas only.”
Tone down areas of redness by applying more foundation and concealer to those spots than on the rest of your face.

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Lastly, round out even, smooth skin by creating highlights and contours on the face. “Draw out the dimensions with a
cream bronzer like Palm Beach by Nars.” Or apply a foundation that’s a few shades darker than your skin tone below the cheekbones, along the hairline and below the jaw line. “Blend well,” says Liu. We can’t stress this enough.

Read more:
Summer beauty: Lighten your foundation load
Eye care 101: Your daily routine
The best hydrating skin care products
How to apply concealer: 4 expert tips