“The sticky method makes total sense,” says makeup artist Jamie Greenberg. “Creating the sticky canvas grips onto your concealer and can make it a little tackier and heavier. This is better for staying put over your zit or blemish, and by not blending, you’re keeping the coverage more pigmented.” Once you’ve applied foundation to even out your skin tone, the concealer is less noticeable. “It’s a more reliable way to keep that heavy coverage in place rather than spreading the concealer around,” says Greenberg.
Greenberg recommends Pür 4-in-1 Sculpting Concealer specifically for its heavy-duty nature. “Tapping heavier concealer onto the blemish helps it meld with your skin without dispersing the coverage. If you blend it around, the pigment spreads and sheers out more, rather than staying in the one spot,” she explains of the “no blending” method. “For tough imperfections, you want that heavy coverage. If you’re just trying to brighten under the eyes, for example, then it makes sense to blend the concealer out.”
If you’re thinking of trying the sticky method at home, Greenberg recommends a “less-is-more” approach to makeup. “You think you need a lot of concealer but you don’t; you can always layer if you really want more coverage, but start light,” she says. “If you put too much on it can get cakey. By using primer followed by a good quality concealer, you shouldn’t need a lot to get the job done.”
The sticky method may look like magic, but dermatologists have mixed feelings about the layers-upon-layers style for acne-prone skin. “With the sticky method, each layer of products makes the other layer stick better to it,” explains Mamina Turegano, MD, a Lousiana-based board-certified dermatologist. A hyaluronic acid serum can be sticky or tacky with a thick enough layer before it dries. This makes it easier for a primer to ‘stick’ to the skin. The silicone or dimethicone in the primer also the concealer to then stick even better.”
You’ll want to also address the root cause of acne, not just cover it up. ‘I’m a believer that the less primer and makeup you have on your skin when dealing with acne, the better it is for the acne,” Dr. Turegano says. “There are definitely primers and foundations out that there are less likely to clog pores. But if you have acne, I would rely less on this method and work more on treating the acne.”