These are the blemish hacks Fashion Quarterly editors swear by

Despite having access to FQ’s jumbo-sized beauty cabinet, breakouts can still be a thing for the Fashion Quarterly team.

But with the team’s collective experience in battling blemishes, these bad boys don’t stand a chance. From disguising the problem to banishing pesky imperfections, each FQ-ette has her own unique way of dealing with this particular skincare situation.

Tom Ford Illuminating Powder and Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturiser

“My go-to treatment is benzoyl peroxide gel in a low concentration (2.5% or 5%), available from the pharmacy. I dab a small amount directly on to the blemish and leave it on for a few hours – or better still, overnight. To cover blemishes, I firstly make sure my skin is well moisturised as benzoyl peroxide and other acne treatments can dry it out. My go-to concealing product for the last few years has been Bobbi Brown’s Corrective Spot Treatment, but this has been discontinued and I’m down to the bottom of my very last tube — I actually don’t know what I’m going to do without it! It’s literally a miracle worker and you only need a dab the size of a pinhead before blotting it into the skin with your fingertip for the blemish to all but disappear. Once I’ve concealed, I dust mineral powder over my entire face to give an airbrushed effect.” —Kelly McAuliffe, digital editor

Estee Lauder Advanced Blemish Serum, Clear Difference, Mac Pressed Powder

“In general I try to wear as little makeup as possible for the duration of the blemish’s life cycle. However if work commitments or events call for makeup, this is my cover up routine: I apply my foundation as usual and then using an eyeshadow brush, dab Estee Lauder Clear Difference Advanced Blemish Serum onto the spot. I do the rest of my makeup while waiting for it to dry, then I apply Estee Lauder Perfectionist Brightening Serum + Concealer — it’s full coverage and long wearing. Finally I set the whole thing with MAC Pro Longwear Powder which I press in with a beauty blender. I take the Blemish Serum to work and continue to apply it throughout the day; I find it helps it to heal faster.” —Sally-Ann Mullin, editor

Smashbox colour correcting pencil, Benefit Boi-ing concealer and Osmosis concealer

“I take a multi-pronged attack when it comes to disguising breakouts. First I correct any redness with the green-toned Smashbox Colour Correcting Stick in Get Less Red, then I apply Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer. I always apply it with a small brush and sweep from different angles, as it helps give you proper coverage over a blemish’s often-uneven surface. If the blemish is in the dry-out phase I’ll switch my concealer out for Osmosis’ version — its inbuilt moisture balm hydrates the skin and stops any flaking throughout the day.” — Bronwyn Williams, beauty and features editor

Malin + Goetz Acne Treatment

“I started repeat-purchasing Malin + Goetz Acne Treatment (slash miracle worker) a few years ago after seeing it on (I think?) Lorde’s Instagram. The solution combines active sulphur with salicylic acid and calming camphor, and can be dabbed directly onto blemishes using a cotton tip. Disclaimer: it looks ridiculous so apply just before bed and in the company of those whose teasing you can handle. And remember that when your spots have all-but disappeared come morning, you’ll be having the last laugh, anyway.” —Phoebe Watt, features writer

bareskin concealer and Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

“I’m all for treating the problem first. I swear by Ultraceuticals Ultra Clear Spot Treatment for banishing blemishes fast and effectively. When it comes to disguising breakouts, it’s super important to avoid products that might block pores even more so I go for mineral where possible — bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation and bareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer is a winning combo. But for a big event or photoshoot, Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer is a lifesaver with its maximum coverage and budge-free properties — a little goes a reeeal long way.” —Skye Ross, Miss FQ digital and associate editor


Estee Clear Difference blemish treatment, Avene Cleanance Gel, Avene Treatment

“In terms of killing a pimple, I have been using Avène skincare. I wash with the Cleanance Cleansing Gel and then use the Cleanance Expert cream. Both are preventative, to stop pimples before they turn up. The gel is super gentle and basically fragrance free — I use it morning and night. The cream is also incredibly gentle and keeps the very clean without stripping the sebum from your skin. When that doesn’t work, e.g. time of the month, I use Estee Lauder Clear Difference Targeted Blemish Treatment to dry them out. For makeup I use the Innoxa Cover and Correct Concealer Palette. I use a very small brush to dab on the green to the targeted area before I apply my foundation. After foundation I apply a mix of the correct colour to match my current skin tone to finish it off flawlessly.” —Jess Thomson, fashion and editorial assistant