how to cover self harm scars with makeup


I’m back with a new post today – and I think it’s an important one. I’ll be explaining how to cover self harm scars effectively with makeup, but to do so in the most helpful and simple way possible I’m going to include pictures of the covering process. That means I am going to slap a big ol’ TRIGGER WARNING for self harm/self injury on this post, because my legs, especially pre-makeup, have obvious self harm scars. They are scars, not cuts, all at least 6 months old, and they are not nearly as bad as some self harm scars I’ve seen in my day – but still, if you think that seeing images like that might upset you, please stop reading now. I don’t want to upset or trigger anyone.

To add some content below my trigger warning I’ll include a silly selfie with me wearing black lipstick that I took tonight – I don’t want triggering pictures near the very top of this post/the page, because then someone might see the images before they see or read my trigger warning and leave. Plus you all know how I love to show off a cute selfie and promote self love. The lipstick is Black Knight by MAC.

yes, I’m making a silly face! Why am I doing that with my mouth? Who knows.

Sometime you may need to cover self harm scars, for instance you might potentially want to for a job interview, if you have self harm scars. If you’ve got this problem, fear not, I can help you! This is the most effective method I’ve found, and I’ve tried several methods of covering scars (including photoshop, haha!) If you are reading this and you haven’t self harmed yet, but you are planning on it and want to know how to cover the cuts after, PLEASE don’t. Just… please don’t. Call a crisis line, talk to someone you trust, try using temporary tattoos instead or using another coping technique (there are even more on google!).

Also, hopefully by now anybody who could be triggered by self harm scars has left… so let’s get right to the how-to process!

I’ll be covering one of my most visible scars to demonstrate for this post. I want to note that, unless you use all waterproof products (which I didn’t – and don’t worry, there’s a list of what you’ll need below), this probably won’t survive swimming, rain, heavy sweating or other things that tend to make makeup rub or wear off. This is very long-wearing, but it isn’t waterproof (or magical).

Here’s a picture of my leg with the scar I’ll be covering, with no makeup on it whatsoever:

the arrow points to the scar I’ll be covering up with makeup

Not so pretty, right? I imagine you can totally understand why sometimes I’d want to cover that scar (and other scars).

Here’s a list of What You’ll Need for this (I haven’t been sponsored by any of the brands I mention, but you can substitute a similar but different product for any of these, there are many out there):

  1. a heavy coverage creamy concealer in your skin tone (tip: try to not only match the shade, but also the tone to your skin – you either have warm, neutral or cool toned skin, and a matching concealer will look more natural) such as this Physician’s Formula concealer
  2. a powder foundation in your skin tone – either pressed or loose powder is okay – two pressed powders that I like are this Lorac powder or this L’Oreal powder
  3. a setting brush – I like the Real Techniques setting brush, but any similar brush will do. In a pinch, a powder brush/kabuki brush/sponge works too, but a setting brush will add more coverage and help the makeup last longer.
  4. (optional) a face/skin primer – this isn’t necessary and I didn’t use one for this tutorial, but if you want then you could apply a primer to clean skin where you want the scars covered before you start using the other products. If you do use primer, make sure you don’t use one with shimmer!

as you can see, I’ve hit pan on this powder from using it so much – it’s also a great face powder 🙂
First I made sure your skin is clean and dry. Next, if you’re using a primer you’d apply your primer over the scar. I didn’t use a primer, so onto the next step – take the heavy coverage creamy concealer:
I applied the concealer to the area I wanted to cover (that one bad scar). This particular concealer that I used by Physician’s Formula is so heavy coverage that a little really goes a long way. I still apply it somewhat generously for such a heavy coverage concealer, though, to ensure that I really cover the scar(s) as much as possible when I do this.
here you can see some concealer next to the scar I’ll be covering…
…and here I’ve used my index finger to spread it over the scar and surrounding skin to fully cover it.
Now the scar is fully covered, but it doesn’t really look like skin (yet!) it looks like makeup over my skin. That’s where blending the edges comes in – but be careful, I made sure to blend the edges by tapping/patting with my finger instead of rubbing it or using another harsh motion that would remove some of the product from my skin! By gently tapping it outwards and blending carefully, I get the most natural effect and also didn’t lose any coverage from rubbing off the concealer. I even made a gif to show you the tapping motion I used, although you want to do it repeatedly in different spots, not forever in one spot like this gif will loop and show you 😉
I use the pad part of my finger, not the very tips of my fingers
After I spent a small amount of time blending out all the edges of the concealer, it looked like this:
It almost blends in with my skin already, but I wasn’t quite done yet! Without the final step, the concealer will wear off much more easily throughout the day, and it isn’t quite as covered as I like it to be. Also, if you use a different concealer if/when you do this, depending on the concealer you might want a more natural (less shiny) finish over your skin. 
So, then I used a powder foundation (just a translucent powder work to would set it but would not add more coverage like a foundation would) and a setting brush to apply it.
I pushed the brush’s fibers into the powder foundation to pick up a good amount of powder onto the brush. A good setting brush should be able to hold quite a lot of powder, and I don’t worry about using too much powder – excess powder can be brushed off/away after.
My setting brush ended up looking like this:
Then I patted on the powder over the area I applied concealer to with the brush. If you are doing this and you are covering a large area, you may need to get more powder on the brush one or two times to set the whole area. Once I have powdered the whole area, I brushed over the area (it’s fine to do this with the same setting brush) to remove any excess powder. It ended up looking like this (remember, I was only covering one scar, so no comments on the others, please):
a vast improvement for that particular scar!
Especially if your scars are big, dark or raised, it’ll be harder to effectively cover them, but I’ve found that this method does an excellent job of a very difficult task.
Below is a zoomed out picture of my thigh after this process, with and without arrows pointing to the area where I covered a scar with makeup to show you how it’s even less noticeable from a small distance!
Hopefully this was helpful to you! Thanks for reading 🙂

One response to “how to cover self harm scars with makeup”

  1. Physicians formula concealers work really well for almost every type of imperfection.


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