As many adults know, bad breakouts don’t necessarily end when your teenage years do.
Beauty vlogger Em Ford developed acne in her mid-twenties “out of nowhere” and now runs the blog and YouTube account My Pale Skin. She’s made a name for herself sharing make-up tips for people with acne, showing the power of cosmetics.
One particular video went viral two years ago and propelled her into the limelight. It showed her applying make-up to cover her acne, alongside some of the thousands of horrible comments she’s received online, shining a light on online abuse as well as the attitudes to adult acne in general.
Em knows that a good cover-up can give you a confidence boost. “Through applying make-up and knowing how to apply it, it gives you that level of, not control, but confidence, that you can choose to wear it or not,” she says.
“A lot of my audience have told me that learning how to apply their make-up, means it gives them the power to say, ‘I’m not going to wear any make-up today, and I’m going to go out, and I’m going to own it. Because I know that I can look like that red carpet supermodel if I want to, but I want to be a normal girl today – to be me and let my skin show’.”
She know it’s not always easy to feel confident if you’re having a bad skin day though. “Everybody has this habit of comparing themselves without make-up to pictures of absolutely beautiful people they may admire – in full glam hair and make-up, and we wonder why we don’t look like that.
“But you have to be patient and you can’t compare yourself to other people, the most important thing is to try and accept yourself and learn to be happy with yourself.”
So what foundations and concealers would Em recommend? Here are some of her favourites for acne-prone skin.
1. Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless Liquid Foundation, £6.99, Boots
“If you want a really good drugstore foundation, go straight to Maybelline. They have an amazing matte and poreless foundation,” says Em.
This one is designed for normal to oily skin, gives medium to full coverage, and comes in 19 different shades.
2. Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid Foundation, £7.99, Boots
“If matte isn’t your thing, try the Dream Satin Liquid Foundation, which is slightly more dewy,” says Em. “They both look amazing and I’ve used them in so many videos.”
It’s oil-free and promises not to clog your pores.
3. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation, £30, Debenhams
Em says: “If you want something a little more mid-range to high-end, go for Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation. They do a liquid or a stick, I’m a big fan of the stick, it’s so quick to use.”
This professional concealer was created for use on high-definition film and TV so it’s designed to make skin look flawless in photos and still feel moisturised.
4. Kryolan Dermacolor Camouflage Creme, £20.50, Kryolan
“This is the ultimate concealer,” Em says. “I have never met a make-up artist who does not have this in their kit and I struggle to go a day or two days without using it. It’s a make-up artist standard concealer palette and it literally changed my life. Oh my god, I love it.”
The pro make-up palette was created especially to cover highly pigmented skin, discolourations and even tatoos – so it can tackle acne too.
5. NYX Conceal, Correct, Contour Palette, £10.50, NYX
“NYX do a pretty good concealer palette as well – the Conceal, Correct, Contour Palette. It’s got six different shades,” says Em.
Kill three birds with one stone with this product, which uses buildable colours to help you cover up problem spots and even out imperfections.
6. Maybelline Master Camo Colour Correcting Concealer Kit, £11.99, Boots
“Maybelline do a similar palette actually, the Master Camo Correcting Concealer,” says Em. You may wonder why it includes a green shade – but that can be used for combatting redness. The yellow hue is for under eye circles and the highlighter brightens shadows and enhances cheekbones.