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How to Turn Problem Skin into a Flawless Complexion: Guest Blogger

It’s no secret that we absolutely love finding out makeup artists’ insider tips, which is why we couldn’t be happier to have beauty maven Stefanie Syat on the blog this week. (You may have seen her work on our staffers in Birchbox’s Fall Lookbook from earlier this year.) Syat is also the founder of Pre-Dame, a New York-based makeup party service that comes to you at any location and helps you prep for a night on the town. Stay tuned all week for even more of Syat’s expert tricks!


Last week, I received an email from my friend asking for some pointers on her skin: “I know nothing about it. Help!”  Here are some quick tips and tricks to give problem skin a flawless look in just a few minutes. Follow the steps below to even out redness and cover blemishes without masking your entire face. 

1. Start off with a clean and hydrated face. Apply the appropriate moisturizer for your skin: oily, combination, or dry.

2. Target general problem areas (redness or blemishes) with a fluffy, tapered eye shadow brush like MAC’s #217 or #224. Dab brush into your foundation—use concealer if you need more coverage—and buff around the nose, chin, and forehead using small circles to spread the product evenly. (I usually prefer a matte or satin finish instead of a dewy finish.) Continue buffing outward onto cheeks, hairline or as wide as you need to go. This will soften redness and lightly cover blemishes. 

3. Check for areas where you need heavier coverage. Using a small synthetic brush like Bobbi Brown’s Cream Shadow Brush, “spot conceal” directly on the blemish. Lightly blend and smooth the product around the area, but make sure to leave enough product on the blemish to let it set in.

4. Next up is a setting powder. Using a small and tight eye shadow brush—try MAC’s #239—to target the “spot concealed” areas and press the powder in. Then, lightly sweep the whole face with the powder with a brush like Jouer’s Powder Brush #2

5. Use a warming bronzer to bring color back into the skin. If you have larger pores or uneven skin tone due to scarring or blemishes, stay away from too much shimmer in your bronzer. The shimmer can get stuck in your pores or scars and create an uneven, oily look. That’s why I like Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Powder

6. Softly sweep a pop of color on the apples of your cheeks. This brings out a flushed and natural feel, and blush makes a big difference when you’re creating a fresh look.

7. Add a touch of highlight on the top of your cheekbone if you want to bring a little glow to the look. But, make sure to stay away from apples of cheeks, and keep in mind a little highlight goes a long way.

**Don’t forget to brighten under the eyes with a concealer one shade lighter than your skintone. For extra brightness, try a pink-based or coral-based corrector under your concealer to knock out any blue or green undertones. I like using correctors from Bobbi Brown.

Don’t miss the rest of Stefanie’s great tips! Check out the rest of the Pre-Dame guest posts here.

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