Pinpoint Concealing for Newbies
Pinpoint concealing is a technique that I knew very little about until I started watching Lisa Eldridge videos on the topic. Before then, the only way I knew to add coverage to my blemish prone skin was to smother entire areas in as thick a layer of concealer that I could manage, poorly blending it out with my fingers in a way that ultimately dragged the product (and probably any bacteria surrounding the blemish) around the rest of my face. I remember once watching an episode of Will & Grace, during which Will tells Grace 'cover-up is supposed to cover it up, not make it look like a little clay mountain'. In a nutshell, that pretty much sums up my experiences of using concealer in my teens.
Pinpoint concealing works by specifically targeting blemishes or areas of pigmentation, allowing you to maintain a fresher, more natural look to the rest of the skin. My favourite thing about the technique is that is works just as well on mild blemishes and areas of scarring as it does on problems that are more visible. By applying heavy duty concealer directly to the issue, you're no longer at risk of spreading bacteria (assuming you wash your brush regularly... ahem).
I find that creamy texture of the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer makes it the perfect product for the job. It's definitely heavy duty, but it's also easy to blend and not as drying on the skin as some of its competitors. Cream concealers like this one are probably your best bet (I also love Benefit Erase Paste), but something like the Seventeen Phwoarr Paint could work too, although it might just take a little more time to manipulate. Then comes potentially the most important part; the tools. There are two key ones when you're using the pinpoint technique; an ultra fine, thin brush to add the product and a small but fluffy option to blend it out. The Zoeva 228 Luxe Crease brush is the one that I generally use for the latter part, although you can find similar shapes and sizes in any eye makeup brush set. For the pinpointing itself, the Louise Young LY24 is by far the best I've tried. It's incredibly thin and has a slightly pointed tip, allowing for a precise application of product.
After applying my base, I begin by dotting a tiny amount of concealer onto the areas that need it. As opposed to sweeping product across the entire face, I use the LY24 brush to apply around a pinheads worth of concealer to directly on to each blemish. The whole thing looks a little strange at this point, although it's only when I've fully applied product to all of my blemishes that I'm able to see just how small the amount of skin that needs extra coverage actually is. Once that's done, I pat the product in very gently with my ring finger before using the fluffy brush to blend out the edges. Having a visible change in texture on the skin is one of the most obvious ways you could draw attention to a blemish, so blending well around the outside is key as it allows you to keep a thicker layer of coverage on the pimple itself. You could take the extra step of patting a sponge over the area if you need to, although admittedly most days I just leave it as it is. Leaving the rest of the skin with as little coverage as possible gives the illusion that all of your skin is naturally fresh, radiant and flawless; as well as preventing you using up expensive, heavy duty concealers all too quickly.