Here’s exactly what happens after I notice a zit on my face. First, I have a full-on freak out, and ask anyone nearby if it’s that noticeable. I’ve even been known to send selfies. Next, I attempt to calm down (but that doesn’t really happen), and try to remember that stress causes acne in the first place. Finally, I furiously dig through my bag for concealer to make it temporarily disappear.
Applying concealer is ultimately your savior for masking an inflamed and irritated pimple, but only if you’re using the right kind. Pick one that isn’t buildable or adds too much luminosity to your skin without enough coverage, and you’ll make it look even worse.
This is not one makeup test-drive I assume you would want to do yourself, so I did the legwork for you and found the very best (and reliable) products out there.
If your pimple is as red as Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, this is the concealer you’ll want in your possession. Kat Von D’s “Lock-It” line is known for being incredibly pigmented, meaning it has enough color to even out major discoloration.
Kat Von D | $26
Laura Mercier’s compact includes two different shades so that you can customize the color of your concealer. Mix them on the top of your hand with a small concealer brush before dabbing the cream on your pimple.
This high-coverage concealer actually helps to heal your zit faster while it’s being hidden from the world, thanks to acne-fighting ingredients like tea tree, sulfur, and exfoliating AHAs and BHAs.
When it comes to concealer, a thin, creamy consistency is key. You want it to be thick enough to cover up your zit, but it also needs to sink into your skin so it doesn’t look cakey. Bobbi Brown’s latest concealer launch fits the bill, and you can get it in 15 different shade options.
When covering up a zit, you need to make sure the finishes of your foundation and concealer match. If you’re wearing matte foundation and need to hide a zit on your chin, you should use a matte concealer. This one is flexible, meaning it’s great for blending, and is ultra-pigmented.
It’s a cult classic, and it’ll only cost you $8. It’s fast-drying, lightweight, and buildable, so you can keep layering it on as the day goes on and it won’t flake off or glob up.
Maybelline | $8
This article originally appeared in InStyle.com.