Photo: Courtesy of sephora.comElizabeth Siegel, Allure magazine
In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen's scars get magically erased with futuristic technology. In real life, well-applied makeup is the next best thing. "A lot of it is about manipulating light," says makeup artist Joanna Schlip, who has scars on her own face from a burn. The secrets are patience-wait a minute between steps and makeup won't smudge-and the right products and tools. Here's how they can work a little trickery.
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Two layers of primer can fake smooth skin. With an oil-free one, like Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer, apply a light, even coat, then dab more directly over each scar. If the area still looks concave, brush a concealer that's two shades lighter than your skin on top, using crisscrossing strokes (Schlip likes thick, creamy concealers, such as Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage). Otherwise, go straight to a foundation that matches your skin tone, applied the same way. (Choose one that's creamy, waterproof, and matte, like Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation SPF 20.) If the scars are on your face, cover any redness or discoloration with the same foundation for a uniform effect. Finish by dusting on loose translucent powder.
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"They can be the easiest type of scar to hide," Schlip says. They're also the only scar you want to cover with color-correcting concealers-the kind that come in yellow or green shades. Use the former on greenish or blue scars, and the latter on red ones. (Try Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Correcting Concealer Trio in Green or Yellow.) Tap the color on with your fingers until it neutralizes the scar. Then apply your usual foundation on top with a synthetic brush (such as Paula Dorf Foundation Brush), making little X's until it's well blended. (This motion provides better coverage than circular strokes, which can look streaky, Schlip says.) Finish by pressing on loose translucent powder: Gently roll it over the scar with a powder puff several times.
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"This is what I have, and they can be brutal," Schlip says. They're usually lighter than the surrounding skin, so the first step is to make the scar darker so it appears to recede. "I use lip stains," she says. A peach lip stain, such as CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain in Flirty Nude, works best for skin with yellow undertones; rosy stains, such as Benefit Benetint (which Schlip uses), conceal scars on skin with pink undertones. The bright shades may sound intimidating, but you won't see the color under makeup-and since scars can be slippery, the stains help the makeup stick better. Smooth any bumps with a thin layer of primer (applied with your fingers) and concealer (painted on with a concealer brush). Then brush on foundation and set the makeup with loose translucent powder.