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In the quest to cover dark spots and flaunt a flawless base, high-coverage concealers can help but, sometimes, even with the best concealers, acne and dark spots still find a pesky way of peeking through.

Still, dark spots, triumph not. The latest beauty hack in TikTok’s treasure trove is letting us skip the search for the ultimate spot-hiding concealer and nail a smooth, blemish-free base every, single, time.

The viral “sticky method” has stuck (sorry for the tacky pun) with TikTok users because of how effective it is at concealing blemishes, but the question is: is it really good for acne-prone skin? We tell you the truth, as well as share how you make your dark spots disappear – makeup-free.

What is the “sticky method”?


HOW TO PERFECTLY COVER ACNE USING THE STICKY METHOD 😳👌🏻 #makeup #beauty #acne #acnecoverage

♬ original sound – Mikayla Nogueira

A makeup hack boosted on TikTok by MUA and influencer Mikayla Nogueira, the “sticky method” is all about prepping the skin before going in with concealer.

In her own words: “It’s called the sticky method because our face is going to get really sticky.” The reason it works is that the “sticky” products grip makeup and keep coverage high so that spots are effectively concealed underneath.

Start with a sticky serum and primer

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Photo source: @mikaylanogueira/TikTok

Even though we normally keep our eyes peeled for skincare products that leave a non-sticky finish, this concealer hack requires the opposite.

Mikayla first applies a “sticky” serum to her skin and lets it dry down, leaving a tacky, sticky finish. The same goes for the next step: a primer. Mikayla primes her skin using a gripping primer.

When she presses her fingers to her skin and pulls them away, her skin clings for a while before bouncing back. “That’s what we need because that’s going to adhere our MAC concealer like glue,” she emphasises.

Apply concealer with a brush and let it dry

tiktok sticky method dark spots (7) (1)

Photo source: @mikaylanogueira/TikTok

It’s not just the choice of pot concealer that’s important, but the way you apply it as well, which should be using a brush.

The really important step – pay attention here, is to leave the concealer to dry for two to five minutes before going over it with the foundation.

“That’s why a matte concealer is going to be the best option, because it’s going to have a higher chance of drying down,” Mikayla explains. She even recommends using a hand-held fan to blow over the face, just to be sure.

Use a sponge to apply your foundation

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Photo source: @mikaylanogueira/TikTok

Instead of applying your foundation in sweeping motions, use a beauty blender to dab at the liquid foundation. “That is going to make sure it does not interrupt the dried-down concealer underneath,” she emphasises.

For this hack, it’s also best to use a medium to full coverage foundation.

Photo source: @mikaylanogueira/TikTok

Fast forward to the final result and you would never have guessed that hiding underneath Mikayla’s smooth, filter-worthy base are angry acne spots and dark spots. There is no trace of blemishes on her skin – that’s how effective the “sticky method” is.

Why doesn’t the “sticky method” work?

Controversial thought: the “sticky method” might be great to cover up acne scars and blemishes, but it’s not such a good idea for acne-prone skin.

Why? Layering “sticky” primer, concealer, and medium to full coverage foundation over the skin, gives the skin less room to breathe, increases the chances of clogging the pores on your skin, and potentially aggravates acne.

Even though there are plenty of acne-friendly (non-comedogenic, oil-free, non-pore-clogging) makeup products that you can choose from, what’s better for skin with active acne is this: layer less makeup and use thinner rather than “sticky” products.

“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, MD, a Lousiana-based board-certified dermatologist underlined in an interview.

Dermatologists note that it is better to concentrate on treating acne and dark spots than bank on the “sticky method”. This hack’s better saved for your special events, rather than for an everyday application.

How to conceal dark spots without makeup

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Photo source: @tikkaisweird/TikTok

Makeup works to hide your dark spots, but skincare is what will help you banish your blemishes altogether.

Instead of relying on concealers to cover your spots, reach for a dark spot-correcting serum like Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution that’ll make your skin’s spots disappear even without the “sticky method”.

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Keihl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution comes in a clear bottle.

An intensive brightening serum, Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution visibly corrects dark spots, post-acne blemishes, and pigmentation for skin that’s clearer and spot-free.

Kiehl’s ingredient responsible for fading dark spots is none other than the hero vitamin C; uniquely, in Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, it’s in a stabilised form called Activated C.

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Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

As vitamin-C-infused serums are notorious for oxidising in contact with light, heat, and air, they’re typically housed in opaque bottles. The dark bottles prevent light from passing through and rendering the hero vitamin ineffective.

However, what’s special about Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is that it’s laced with a stabilised form of vitamin C and doesn’t risk oxidising in contact with light, or heat, or air.

The vitamin C in this serum remains effective at fading dark spots no matter how many times you pop the lid off the bottle – it doesn’t matter that the serum is housed in a lucid, clear glass bottle too.

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Photo source: @aim_isen/TikTok

Besides Activated C, Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution also brims with buffered salicylic acid, which gently lifts and sloughs away discoloured cells from the skin’s surface.

By making way for fresh skin underneath, the buffered salicylic acid evens the skin tone and smoothens the skin, putting you one step closer towards flaunting a flawless visage – “sticky method” or not.

Get a FREE sample of Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution to bid your dark spots goodbye!

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Ramp up your skincare routine

You can still turn to the “sticky method” on days you need a flawless skin boost, but on regular days, ramp up bare skin’s radiance by adding the spot-correcting serum to your skincare ritual after applying toner and before sealing your skin with moisturiser.

Just concentrate Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution on your dark spots – where you would otherwise dab your high-coverage concealer, to see them fade over time.

Or, apply three to four drops of the serum over your entire face to see an overall improvement in texture, tone, and radiance!

You’ll have no more dark spots to conceal with Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution! Shop the serum for S$99 (30ml) online at Kiehl’s or in-stores at these locations in Singapore, including Ion Orchard, Plaza Singapura, and Bugis Junction.

Kiehl’s on Wheels is also bringing the brand’s skin-lovin’ products closer to you between 7 to 12 April 2023. You can visit Kiehl’s on Wheels at TANGS from 7 to 8 April, and at NAFA on 12 April. Grab a friend and hurry down soon!

This article is brought to you by Kiehl’s.