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What Is Cosmetic Camouflage?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 21, 2024
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Cosmetic camouflage is the art of using cosmetics to conceal permanent or temporary marks or defects that may detract from a person's appearance. In many cases, a person may use cosmetics to conceal birth marks, scars or bruising on his or her face or other areas of the body. Individuals who suffer from uneven skin tone, rashes or breakouts may also use cosmetic camouflage to improve the way their skin looks. In some cases, it is possible to accomplish this type of camouflage using standard cosmetics, but there are several companies that also produce products specifically for the purpose of camouflaging imperfections. Some makeup artists and medical aestheticians specialize in offering cosmetic camouflage services and can assist individuals with cosmetic concerns in developing an appropriate personal appearance regimen.

Many people are sensitive about skin imperfections, particularly those that appear on their face or other visible areas of their bodies such as their arms and legs. For example, many women routinely use concealer under their eyes to hide dark circles. When an individual suffers an injury to the face, undergoes plastic surgery or develops a skin condition that results in a visible rash or scarring, they may wish to address changes in their appearance through the use of specialized cosmetics and makeup artistry techniques.

Individuals may begin the work of cosmetic camouflage through the use of specially formulated concealers and foundations. These products are typically highly pigmented and come in a variety of shades that can both neutralize skin discoloration as well as cover scars and other markings. While it may be impossible to completely conceal the appearance of certain imperfections without giving an individual an artificial or heavily made-up look, it may be possible to greatly lessen the imperfections appearance. For example, an individual with rosacea, or who has a number of red acne blemishes on his face, may be able to use a concealer with a yellow tint to counteract the redness, making it far less noticeable.

It is also possible to perform cosmetic camouflage on other areas of the body. Many women, for example, who have scars or rashes on their legs may use specially formulated leg makeup to conceal these markings. It is also possible for those who suffer from the loss of skin pigmentation through conditions such as vitiligo to cover up areas that have lost pigmentation through the use of these body cosmetics. Companies that sell such cosmetics often provide individuals with instruction in their use, as well as additional products, such as moisturizing bases and cosmetic removers, that can ease the use of cosmetic camouflage.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen , Former Writer
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.

Discussion Comments

By Rotergirl — On Mar 01, 2014

@Lostnfound: I feel your pain. My mom worked for a doctor and brought home these sample tubes of this stuff called Valisone, which was a cortisone cream before you could get it over the counter at Wal Mart. It was a miracle cream! Dab it on the zit the night before and voila! Gone in the morning. Wonderful stuff.

In the old days before schools searched your purses, I would get my mom to give me a few tubes (the pharmaceutical rep brought them by in boxes of 100) and I'd give them to my friends. My, was I popular! But I was doing it to help my friends, and it's not like I was handing out pills. I had several to hand out the day before prom. Many people owed their good prom pictures to me. Heh.

Anyway, these days, I'm fond of the stuff by Benefit called Erase Paste. I don't know how it works, but I covered up a zit the size of New Hampshire with it.

By Lostnfound — On Feb 28, 2014

And then there's the type of cosmetic camouflage that every teenage girl learns the first time she sees a zit in the mirror while she's getting ready for school.

There really is an art to covering up a pimple. It depends on what kind it is (red and sore, has a "core in it, etc.) and where it is. Obviously, the ones anywhere around the nose are the worst, and usually, the hardest to hide. Too much concealer only makes it more apparent, so the idea is to apply with a light hand and then do something to make it less obvious, like use more eyeliner to draw the attention away from it.

I was blessed with good skin, but those really painful pimples that would pop up right next to my nostril fold were the absolute worst. Couldn't pop them, couldn't cover them well and they *hurt*!

Lainie Petersen

Lainie Petersen

Former Writer

Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
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