How to Cover Up Dark Spots

A flawless face is something we all lust after, especially once we’ve seen less than flattering pictures of ourselves. While the start to obtaining such a look begins with a healthy lifestyle and proper skin care (and don’t forget genetic luck), there are makeup application tips and tricks that can help us achieve an even skin tone and gorgeous base.

Since I’ve received many questions about makeup, I thought this was a good opportunity to address one concern I hear frequently – dark spots. I have natural, barely-there beauty down, but when it comes to great coverage and stunning looks, I turn to the true professional, Motoko Honjo Clayton – my makeup artist for The Real. She is amazing! And was happy to share a few  product recommendations and tips with me on how to properly cover anything from freckles to dark spots without looking like you’re wearing a mask of product.

How to Cover Dark Spots

Motoko, me and Adriana getting me ready for The Real

Motoko offered two methods – one for light coverage and one for heavier coverage. Here’s what she suggested.

Light Coverage

Start off with a BB cream that delivers. There are plenty out with various tint options, like Bobbi Brown BB Cream, so you’re sure to find one that matches your skin tone. Once you’ve applied BB cream all over (only after your moisturizer and primer, of course), select and apply a concealer with heavy pigmentation to the spots you’re looking to hide. Her pick: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, long-lasting coverage. The trick here is to find a concealer with an orange or pink tone, as these colors will cancel out brown, purple or blue hued spots on the skin.

How to Hide Dark Spots

Full Coverage

If you’re getting ready for a picture perfect moment, skip the BB cream and apply a cream foundation with strong color payoff. Try applying Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer with a sponge or brush and mixing with moisturizer to change the thickness and coverage. If you prefer liquid foundation, Motoko says stick with one that is matte, like NARS Sheer Matte Foundation. Once you’ve applied foundation – don’t be afraid to build up the product if you’re concerned about it looking cakey –then apply and blend concealer that is a shade lighter than your foundation over each spot. You can create a triangle of concealer under the eyes to illuminate the face and mask dark circles as well. Once finished, set it all with powder and move onto your next feature.

Have any other makeup application questions? Share with me below and I’ll try to post more with either tips from myself or more pros. ;)


Want to see more from Motoko? Follow her on Instagram and check out her website.

  • tjr_can

    Thank you :-)

  • jojo2611

    Are there any inexpensive make-up products for dark spots that you can recommend, because I cannot afford those products

    • Hi Jojo. There are products you can use like Mark Concealer Stick, Covergirl Smoothers, IMAN Second to None Cover Cream…some of the pricier products will last longer and tend to be thicker so you don’t always need to apply so much per each application, but if you stick with this process and do a cream foundation you can build it up to cover anything. :)

    • Marykay. Here’s my website

    • Andrea Edwards

      There are some great full coverage options that work great but are not as pricey. ;-)

  • Ayantu

    Why still use a primer and moisturizer with BB/CC cream, shouldn’t it already have these included?

    • You won’t necessarily need to do this every time, but some formulas vary enough that the coverage of the BB or CC isn’t as strong. If you use serums or other products as well, you can likely start with those and then skip the moisturizer and go straight for the BB.

  • AshleyHope1990

    But your Always beautiful. Make up, Makes No Difference

  • Khaleesi

    I find Revlon colorstay the best inexpensive store brand, unless something else came out that I’m not aware of, but I am having a hard time finding the right shade. They are either too light or too dark for me. Someone said that a darker shade than yourself should be applied and tested on the back of your hand, since the skin is thinner, while others say that it should be tested on the back of your wrist. Also, since cream foundation is thicker, does it cover better and therefore less is used? Can you help clarify these questions when buying foundation in a store.

    • Yes, if you use a cream foundation it is thicker, so it will provide better coverage to start. You won’t need as much product, but you can also mix it with a bit of moisturizer if looking for thinner coverage so a cream foundation can be your go-to for any look. They suggest the wrist because it tends to be a little lighter than the rest of your arms and closer to your face (since we wash and hopefully use spf frequently) the color matches there best. I like to try the wrist and the back of the hand. If they aren’t too different than you’ll find a better match – or you can mix product to achieve a more accurate coloring. If looking for lighter coverage you can try L’Oreal True Color Match. There are a ton of color options and the brand is very affordable.

      • Khaleesi

        Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my specific questions. I really appreciate it. You’re great.

      • Wujdaan Alansi

        Tamera, do you use L’oreal True Colour Match? If you do can you please tell me what foundation shade you use? Thanks.

  • Seker Michael

    you look amazing

  • Thembisile

    Always looking stunning dear,,, m a big fan.cause m a twin too

  • Guest

    These just seem to expensive for me, are there any lesser expensive brands that work I just can’t afford that stuff. Glad it helps you though.

  • If you have dry skin what is the best moisturizer to use?How do I do smokey eye makeup?
    Thank you for this wonderful & informational post!

  • TT Talk Fan Page

    Excellent article great read ~:-)

  • abby

    Great tips Tamera, and I’ve also learn much more on how to apply makeup from your reply to other comments, thanks for always sharing. God Bless.

  • catherine


  • Kandace

    Do you use a beauty blender(any sponge) or a brush? What application tools do you recommend?

  • Rhiannon Childers

    Tamera, I know my question isn’t about the dark spots but I have been wanting to know what colors and brands of lipstick you use. Everyday on the real I love the lipstick that you are wearing. I would love to find some at least similar. Thanks

  • Lindzie

    Hi Tamera! Please do a post about your skin care regiment, you and your sister have flawless skin. Love you on the Real ;)

    • Yes, I second this! Please expand on your “The Natural Girl’s Beauty Routine” post.

  • Dawna

    Any suggestions for dark circles? And without full coverage because I’m not into makeup like that. Just mascara, eyeliner and lipstick.

  • This is so true! I am NC45 and use the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage (shade 4) over Bobbi Brown’s Color Corrector (dark peach) to even out any dark areas before setting powder or foundation.

  • Eva mays

    Hi tamera my name is eva and I need a treatment for black spots wat can I use

  • Jaclyn

    Good afternoon Tamera,
    I’m a Hispanic female with light skin, I usually use ivory for my color in foundation. I have a birthmark that is a light brown color on my face, I usually use concealer in Medium, but I feel like it’s still very visible, any suggestions? I like to just wear the concealer whenever possible, without foundation.
    Thanks for your advice,

  • happylinda

    Thank you for the info found above. If you have any advice concerning small round white spots from the sun on my arms, please share. My daughter’s wedding is in April and I chose a strapless gown. Thanks!

  • SR

    This is off topic, your makeup looks amazing and you are a naturally beautiful person inside and out. I noticed your eyebrows look lighter. I have very dark hair (black) and dark eyebrows and want a different look at times. Your lighter eyebrows seems to open up your face or I notice your eyes and your entire face. I sometimes feel my dark eyebrows although thick and dark kind of take center stage. Any suggestions, Did you lighten yours?

  • Wow that’s really interestibg. Straight to the point, less products to use. That’s. Goof point right there. sharing!!!

  • Kenya Adams

    Thanks so much. You really answered my questions , sister, sister.

  • Chef Jo Jones

    Go to or if u live like I do in Oakland you can hit the beauty supply in a black neighborhood lol (sorry but true and they carry this brand as well LA Pro Girl or LA Pro $3.99 full amazing coverage concealer tubes. nYx also depending on your skin tone .. Amazing and SAMs beauty supply online

  • Schnora Gardiner

    What is a bb cream

  • Tara Carter

    I seem to have tried all makeup and by the time i get to work or out its half way gone. I just want to have a makeup that makes me look flawless. I don’t want to wear a lot of makeup because it makes me look like a have on a pound of it on. Plus it gets all over my clothes. Right now i have a covergirl brand that makes me look darker than i am just trying to cover my acne scars.

  • camryn carter

    what kind of bb cream do you use what kind of products do you use to cover up dark marks ans what kind of makeup do cover up you dark marks