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A Pro Makeup Artist Shares Tips To Prevent And Conceal Hyperpigmentation

makeup artist tips
Photo Artwork: Joy Adaeze

After years of piling makeup on top of makeup to try and cover up her blemishes and patchy brown spots, Rheesa Persaud finally cracked the code to the perfect makeup routine for people with hyperpigmentation, especially for those with a darker complexion, and you might be surprised. 

[SEE ALSO: JLo’s Top Makeup Looks And Why She’ll Forever Be A Beauty Icon]

Rheesa Persaud, also known as Reesiibabe on Tik Tok, fell in love with color while studying graphic design in art school. That passion for color led her straight into the world of makeup palettes and pigments, where she went on to become a certified makeup artist shortly after college.

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At the beginning of Rheesa’s beauty career, she would use just about anything as skincare and makeup remover resulting in blemish picking and infuriating dark spots. Not for nothing, this experience taught Rheesa that skin comes first and makeup comes second.

Her secret to covering those pesky spots– less is more. “You don’t need a full heavy face of makeup to attempt to cover up dark spots or blemishes that many brown women experience.” Growing up in Guyana, Rheesa noticed her family putting coconut oil on their skin (which she strongly advises against) to get a glass-like skin effect. She always wanted that clear-skin look but had trouble achieving it. 

It’s eight years into her beauty career, and Rheesa wishes she could go back and tell her younger self that more makeup is not the answer. “You can actually achieve a flawless look using fewer products and less steps than influencers may be sharing,” she tells us. Rheesa is ready to share not only her tried-and-true techniques for covering hyperpigmentation but also her absolute must-have products to get the full effect. 

What are the most important things when it comes to skincare?

Toners and Serums are the medicine. People think of cleansers and moisturizers, but it’s the toners and serums that make a massive difference on the face. For those who say toner will dry out their skin, think of a wound. If you have a wound and it’s scabbing up, you can’t put medicine on it because it won’t get directly in. You have to remove that dead skin with the toner, which will help cleanse everything. Your serums will treat the wound, and your moisturizer acts as the bandaid. Toners with more alcohol will be more drying, but if you follow your routine, even if it is drying out, your skin will eventually self-correct itself. 

Keeping up your skincare routine is crucial in seeing results with your skin. You’re going to get tired, and there will be nights when you don’t want to do it but trust me, your skin will thank you in the end. Double cleansing is something I really want to stress as it’s helped me so much with clogged pores. Clogged pores lead to breakouts, which leads to picking, which leads to hyperpigmentation, so avoiding that together is possible with a good skincare routine.

Rheesa’s Favorite Serum: Topicals Faded Serum for Dark Spots & Discoloration

Rheesa’s Favorite Toner: The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Exfoliating Toning Solution

Rheesa’s Favorite Oil Cleanser: Kose Speedy Cleansing Oil

Rheesa’s Favorite Overall Cleanser: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

How did you discover more coverage can be easily achieved with less product? 

I asked myself a year and a half ago why am I using so much foundation. I started working for NARS cosmetics, and it’s all about that glassy skin look there. I learned different techniques, such as the trend underpainting, where you do your corrector, concealer, brush, and cream bronzers first and then add a very light layer of foundation as the last step. This helps drastically avoid cakiness and creasing. Concealer goes just a long way. You don’t need a full mask of foundation. In fact, I heard someone once say to treat your foundation as a transition color. Blend everything out. Foundation is not the main focus. 

Walk me through the perfect routine on how to cover hyperpigmentation.

Skincare First 

-Don’t forget those toners and serums. 

-Setting Spray Between Layers 

-Applying setting spray between each layer helps the makeup stay in place and not droop down your face during the day. 

-Rheesa’s Choice: Elf Stay All Night Micro Fine Setting Mist 

Primer 

-Use Primer as normal before any makeup routine. 

-Rheesa’s Choice: REFY Glow and Sculpt Face Serum Primer with Niacinamide

Color Correct Your Dark Spots 

-If you have a deeper and more brown skin tone go with an orange color corrector; if you have a lighter skin tone, choose more of a peachy color.

-Rheesa’s Choice: LA Girl HD Pro Corrector Concealer

Conceal 

-Use one that’s your exact shade and one two shades lighter to brighten your face. I always invest in very high-coverage concealers because you can blend them out and apply only the convergence you need. I leave concealer on my eyes for about a minute or two, and then I blend it into my blush. 

-Rheesa Choice: Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Concealer

Cream Blush 

I apply two drops of RARE Beauty cream blush and blend out nice and smooth. 

Rheesa’s Choice: RARE Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush 

Tinted Moisturizer / Foundation 

-Only apply in the areas that don’t have any product. I’ll lightly go over the edges of the bronzer and the blush with whatever is left on my brush. I usually only use one pump or less of either a tinted moisturizer or foundation. 

-Rheesa’s Choice: Yensa Skin on Skin BC Foundation 

Set All Those Layers With Powder 

-Using a triangle velour puff is the biggest game changer in applying powder under your eyes. I like adding a small amount of powder to the puff and then rubbing it into the back of my hand. I apply that thin layer under my eyes, let it sit, and then decide if I want to go in with a little bit more to really bake it. Don’t go in and bake right away. That’s where the craziness comes in. 

-Rheesa’s Choice: Huda Beauty Easy Bake Loose Baking & Setting Powder

If you could give one piece of advice to a young brown girl struggling with hyperpigmentation. What would you say? 

Keep up the routine, keep it consistent, and it gets better. Good skincare heals all. 

Jillian Angelini Reflect Beauty Author
Jillian Angelini

Jillian, she/her, is a Brooklyn, New York-based writer and sexual education student fascinated by all things wellness. On a given day, you can find her playing with her cat Misu, trying every sushi restaurant in New York, or writing about the latest trends. Instagram: @jnangee

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