My Everyday Makeup Routine & Tips (For Moderate Acne and Dermatillomaniacs)

before and after makeup routineHello again! After much deliberation, I have finally decided to make this handy dandy post about how I hide my acne and dermatillomania/skin-picking issues. Interested? Go on and click then!

So, first off, warning: this post is HUGE. It will be organized in a step-by-step way and will be very image heavy.

Let’s start with my skin stats, shall we?

  • Skin tone: NC15-20, or pale with a yellow undertone
  • Skin type: besides dealing with additional redness and scarring from my dermatillomania, I also deal with combo acne-prone skin. It’s winter at the time of this post, so my skin is leaning on the dry side.  .

All right. Let’s see what we got to work with:

  • note: Because I wanted to hit two birds with one stone, I have an BBia eyeshadow pigment on. Review for said pigment will happen in the near future.

Step 1: Lip Care


  • Since I have severely chapped lips while biting them like crazy, I put on an intense lip treatment/conditioner first thing.
  • This will later make any lip colour look way better when its time to put it on. This will also help from preventing any other products sticking to and drying out my lips (ie: foundation, concealer, powder etc…)
  • Product used: Carmex Lip Ointment
  • Similar products: Blistex Lip Medex

Step 2: Base/Primer

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  • The product used for this step varies very much on the condition of my skin and also what foundation/BB I want to wear.
  • For this post, I decided to stick with a no-frills mint-coloured base. It lightens the redness minimally but feels very light and gives a little moisture to the skin.
  • Product used: The Face Shop Lovely Meex Angel Skin Makeup Base
  • Similar products: Innisfree, Mineral Colour Primer (no.1 Green) or elf’s Studio Hydrating Face Primer [clear in colour].

Step 3: Foundation / BB Cream

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  • Foundations / BB creams are tricky business for those with acne and dermatillomania. The rule of thumb for acne is high coverage and a matte finish…however, matte finishes really don’t play nice with scabs and most foundations/BBs with high coverage are ridiculously uncomfortable to wear and have the decency to cake-up.
  • So, I usually opt for a medium coverage foundation with a satin finish and spot conceal my issues with a full coverage concealer that’s either dewy or satin.
  • HOWEVER, I’ve recently broken out badly and whenever that happens I grab this BB cream here. It gives just under full coverage while having a satin finish. It’s a pleasure to wear, especially in the winter because it gives a little bit of moisture without making me look greasy.
  • Product used: Lioele’s Triple the Solution BB cream [unfortunately, it comes in only one shade, suitable for those around NC15-25]
  • Similar products: Revlon’s Colorstay Whipped (my shade is Buff).
  • TIP: DO NOT RUB in product aggressively with your fingers or face brush. Yes, blending is important but…it can be done gently, okay? Your face is special and sensitive. I primarily stipple as much as I can with my fingers and/or brush and then lightly spread product downward (same direction as facial hair growth) to blend.

Step 4: Concealer

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  • Concealers~ There are so many out there, yet only so many can do the job right. I usually look for a FULL coverage liquid concealer, and in a satin finish.
  • First off, dermatillomaniacs out there, please get this concealer. It’s WONDERFUL. Coverage is awesome, yet it’s so thin. It doesn’t crease and/or cake on scabs and it’s a satin finish. And it lasts a heck of a long time on the skin. Those with acne should give this one a shot too!
  • Product used: Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Spot Concealer + Treatment (in 201 Fair) [I like this version a little better than the original, but that one works great as well]
  • Similar product: NYX’s HD Concealer (my shade is CW01)

Step 4.5: Blending Concealer

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  • This definitely deserves a step all on its own.
  • Blemishes are sensitive little buggers, as are scabs. What I find works best for me is using a flat top concealer brush. I simply blend concealer out by lightly stippling it on my spots. With fingers and sponges, I find they take away too much product and coverage…coverage I so desperately want and need.
  • However, before ever touching said blemishes/scabs, I spritz a daily makeup brush cleaner onto my brush, swirl it on a clean tissue and wait a few seconds for the brush to dry again. I may not be super sanitary with my routine, but I figured this was better than nothing.
  • Products used: Sephora’s Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner & an eBay unbranded mini face brush (dupe for Sigma’s P88 brush) [search for 8 or 10 piece brush set)
  • Similar products: Isopropyl Alcohol 70-99% in a spray bottle. & elf’s Concealer Brush.

Step 4.75: Settle and Pat off Excess

  • No pictures for this side step because it’s winter and oil isn’t something I have an abundance of right now.
  • First, take a break, grab a coffee and let the foundation/concealer warm and sink into your skin a little.
  • After a few minutes, grab a tissue and lightly pat away any excess foundation and oil. TRUST ME oily gals, this lengthens the time of your foundation wear. Seriously. If you have dry skin, you can go ahead and use this trick as well for those thicker foundations. You’ll be surprise how much can comes off without losing coverage.

Step 5: Face Powder

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  • The type of powder I use and how I set it varies, again, on how my skin is that day and what foundation I’m using.
  • If I’m feeling well covered and my skin is on the good side, I’ll stick to the translucent powders.
  • However, if my skin is not so good and I need that extra coverage, I’ll venture into the finishing powders with colour or even powder foundations.
  • Today, I wanted just a bit of extra coverage, but nothing too matte. So I grabbed this powder and a velvet-y powder puff I picked up at The Face Shop.
  • When applying powder with a powder puff or even a brush, do not rub in strips or circles. The usual rule of thumb is to lightly pat and press powder into the skin. I find this definitely helps with longevity.
  • ps: we’re looking a little flat, but we’ll fix that later!
  • Products used: Flower Beauty Powder Trip Foundation (in PP1)
  • Similar products: Maybelline Fit Me Pressed Powder (my shade is 120)

Step 6: Bronzer & Contour

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  • I know bronzing and contouring are two different things, but I’m including it into the same step, okay?
  • This is another one of those “dependent on condition of skin that day” sort of things. If my cheek area is relatively clear, I’ll reach for this shimmery bronzer meets blush. Because of its shimmery, it gives a very subtle look that I think is pretty. I usually place this under-ish my cheekbones. It’s a little too red for temples, so I just don’t put anything there.
  • For bad skin days, I go for matte bronzer/contour. Considering it’s winter, I grab cooler bronzers and bronze it up that way. When summer rolls around, I grab my warmer toned bronzers.
  • No, I do not contour my nose. I’m content without that extra step.
  • Products used: elf’s Baked Blush (in Rich Rose [has shimmer]) & elf’s Kabuki Brush
  • Similar products: NYC’s Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder (in Sunny [matte warm tone]) and NYC’s Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder (in All Over Bronze Glow [matte cool tone])

Step 7: Blush

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  • Blush is the “do what you want woohoo!” step.
  • The only tip I could give you is if you bumps and scabs around your cheekbone area, stick to matte blushes, shimmer will definitely accentuate them nasty spots.
  • Products used: eBay’s unbranded 10 blush palette (middle 2nd row blush used, matte pink colour) & elf’s Blush Brush.
  • Similar products: Any of elf’s studio blushes.

Step 8: Highlighting

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  • With bumps and scabs, highlighting seems like a scary thing. But trust me, it can work to your advantage…should your skin cooperate.
  • It’s all about distraction for me. I put a lot of work into my cheekbones with the bronzer, blush and highlight because my skin is usually clear around that area. With all that stuff, I like to think it takes the eyes off my other not-so-pretty areas of my face.
  • Anyhow, I would advise those who have troubles around the cheekbones to maybe trying highlighting with a lighter in shade matte product (whether liquid, cream or powder). I can’t really say how well this will work, because I’ve never tried it… and finding a lighter shade than my skin tone isn’t always easy.
  • ANYWAYS, I highlight my cheekbones, bridge of the nose, cupids bow area, inner corner of eyes and brow bone. Wham bam.
  • Products used: elf’s Baked Highlight (in Blushing Gems) and eBay unbranded small face brush (a Sigma P82 dupe) [search for an 8 or 10 piece brush set)
  • Similar products: Benefit’s Watt’s Up! and Wet n’ Wild’s Eyeshadow Trio (in Walking on Eggshells [very shimmery and intense highlight for fair skin])

Step 9: Spot Powdering

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  • A step for those oilier folks and those derma folks with freshly picked open blemishes (yeah, I hear yah).
  • So, I spot powder areas where I get more oily, especially in the summer, like my chin, nostrils and under-eyes.
  • I also spot powder on any open blemishes. Most liquids/creams just don’t stick to open blemishes. BUT, with powder, it will stick, help clot and prevent the wound from…releasing? any other liquids, while also adding some colour to disguise it.
  • This will probably be my most controversial tip, cause like it sounds cringe-worthy to put anything but anti-bacterial products on a wound. So, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, that’s okay. All I can say is that I haven’t had any issues doing so and that it does really makes a big difference appearance wise. I mean, all your face is covered but this one spot. How annoying.
  • Products used: elf’s Clarifying Powder (in Ivory) and eBay unbranded mini face brush (Sigma’s P84 dupes)
  • Similar products: Any coloured face powder really. I like using a more yellow-toned powder to help cancel out any purple from my under-eyes.

(This is where the eyeshadow step would go, should I choose to wear it. But I typically don’t)

Step 10: Eyebrows


  • How you do brows are up to you. I don’t conceal around my brows like some do. Too lazy. Tbh, my brows are not fleek. At all. They’re just…yah know. there. darkened. yeah.
  • I simply take an angled brush to brow powder or coloured wax and have fun. I use wax when I have time and want a strong but very natural brow. I use powder when I’m super lazy and don’t give a care in the world. I then set it all with a brow gel. I like this gel, but the wand is stupidly big.
  • Products used: elf’s Eyebrow Kit (in Light), Sonia Kashuk’s Angled Eyeshadow Brush, Sonia Kashuk’s Tinted Brow Gel
  • Similar products: Any matte brown-ish/taupe-ish eyeshadow, elf’s Wet Gloss Lash and Brow Gel.

Step 11: Setting Spray


  • Guys. If I could convince you to add one thing to your makeup routines, it would be to add a setting spray. If anything could make your face look more natural, it’s a setting spray. DUDE, GET A SETTING SPRAY
  • Not only does it prolong your foundation, it makes your face look more like your face. Seriously. It’s a game changer.
  • I personally like dewy finishing sprays, because it takes away the powdery look even more than the matte finishing sprays and I also think the more shiny (note: not greasy) my face looks, the less noticeable my dermatillomania scabs are.
  • Products used: NYX’s Dewy Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray
  • Similar products: Skinfood’s Red Orange Makeup Finish (in Glossy) and L’Oreal’s Pro-Spray & Set [matte finish]

Step 12: Mascara

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  • That’s right. No eyeliner. Because although pretty, I’m content without. Plus, it’s so frustrating to get perfect liquid eyeliner wings, am I right?
  • SO, mascara and lash stuff in general is up to you guys again. The only thing I would like to convince ya’ll is to curl your lashes. It makes your eyes look bigger and pretty and stuff. Maybe I’m just saying that because my lashes are straight as heck and don’t exist otherwise.
  • So, I curl my lashes, wiggles my mascara through them so they’re coated but not clumpy. I may do too much on my lower lashes, but they do not exist if I don’t go a little cray-cray.
  • Products used: The Face Shop’s Freshian Mascara (in 01 Curling) and Tweezerman Eyelash Curler
  • Similar products: Benefit’s They’re Real! and…meh, any eyelash curler I guess.

Step 13: Lip Colour

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  • So I went and got dressed before I decided on a lipstick. And I chose on this brownish reddish colour, with a shine finish.
  • If I were to do a matte lipstick, I would grab a lip exfoliator, like one elf makes, and do a little rub before applying lipstick.
  • Again, lip colour is up to you. It’s sort of trial and error to figure out which ones accentuate chapped and bitten lips.
  • Products used: Maybelline’s Color Sensational (in 275 Crazy for Coffee)
  • Similar products: Uh. Um. Try elf’s Essential Lipsticks?


Awkward level: moderate

Awkward level: moderate

AND WE’RE DONE, HURRAH. That is definitely the longest post I’ve ever done.

Was this somewhat helpful to ya’ll? I know this looks like a lot of work and a lot of gunk on my face, but for me, it doesn’t feel heavy at all and it takes me about 15 minutes to get this all on, even with me wasting time by karaoke-ing to my tunes, I swear.

I hope this goes without saying, but this whole routine is what I found works best for me. And what’s awesome for me, might not work for you. I’m no professional skincare expert or makeup artist. More and more disclaimer and “don’t come back angry” words…

Much love,
Nadine, T.M.E

ps: FYI, my skin isn’t typically this bad. I recently was forced into trying these detoxifying vitamins by my mother, who was tired of my weak immune system. After two weeks, my face exploded with blemishes in places I don’t usually get them and god, I had a mini freak out. My mother then reluctantly told me that a side effect of the vitamins could be skin troubles. Thanks mom. Thanks a lot. Anyhow, it’s been about two weeks since the original incidents and most of my face is clear, just a lot of redness left behind 😦

pss: this post took forever to write. goddamn.


8 thoughts on “My Everyday Makeup Routine & Tips (For Moderate Acne and Dermatillomaniacs)

  1. I read your post and went out and bought the Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Spot Concealer + Treatment. So happy. I had a ‘self inflected issue’ on my cheek and it covers it up way better than my other concealers. Thanks an bunch!

  2. Many thanks for this post. I’ve been struggling with dermatillomania (I just recently figured out it’s an actual condition, more than just a bad habit) for years now. I used to not wear any makeup at all because I didn’t want to be uncomfortable in my own blemished skin. Long story short, I started wearing makeup a couple months ago, and I have indeed developed self-consciousness regarding my red, scabby face. I’ve been seeking out better product that won’t cake around my wounds. I’m a noob at all things cosmetic, so this post is incredibly helpful! Thank you!

  3. THANKYOUTHANKYOU SO MUCH for posting on how to cover up dermatillomania picks (I like to call them derma dots)!! It’s so hard to find good makeup advise having dermatillomania and I’m often left with a products that do no justice. Tried out your suggestions and it worked better than anything I have ever tried! THANKYOU!!

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