Battle of the Bump

It never fails. Just before any big shindig, a pimple the size of Texas erupts somewhere front and center on my face. My standard pre-party checklist: a hot Betsey Johnson number, a trendy piece of jewelry, shoes to kill and a super-size tube of blemish cream. But there is help. Armed with a game plan and these handy tricks to fend off unwanted eruptions, you’ll have more time to obsess about lip lacquer rather than zit cream.

If You’ve Got a Month

You are so ahead of the game (lucky)! Consult with an aesthetician or dermatologist about a series of microdermabrasion treatments, natural acid-based peels or a combination of both. With adequate hydration and healing time between sessions, both treatments work to exfoliate dead skin cells, stimulate collagen production, decrease the appearance of fine lines and most importantly, stop pimples from rearing their ugly heads. Also, have the specialist recommend a homecare regimen and stick with it. You won’t see results overnight so give your skin time to adjust to its new routine.

If You’ve Got a Day

Run, don’t walk, to your aesthetician or dermatologist. Picking and squeezing at the offender will only damage the skin around the blemish and make it look worse. A skincare specialist, especially one who already knows your skin, is much better equipped to sterilize the area, extract the pimple and speed up healing time.

If You’ve Got an Hour

First, don’t panic. Here’s celebrity makeup artist Shalini Vadhera’s simple trick for on-the-spot concealment. Start by applying Visine directly on the pimple with a Q-Tip to reduce redness. Then, using a synthetic brush, apply a concealer that matches your foundation onto the blemish. Press the concealer in with your finger to blend. Set the spot with a translucent powder and off you go!

Bad skin be darned and see you at the party! I’ll be the one with the healthy, clear complexion and the ruby red lip lacquer smeared across my teeth.

Zit Zappers that Rock

  • The Judith August Everything Pencil, EraseZit Antiseptic Concealer
    This innocent little pencil is my secret weapon. Even the super-manly Spa Boy uses it. Tea tree oil and camphor soak up oil while concealing redness anywhere on your face.
  • ZAPZYT Acne Treatment Gel
    In desperation one particularly bumpy day, I picked up this dirt cheap product at my local grocery store. At just under $5, the 10% benzoyl peroxide dries up persistent pimples in record time.
  • Benefit Cosmetics Galactic Shield!
    Honestly it was the packaging that attracted to me this product. What girl can resist a superhero chick decked out like Wonder Woman? But the 2% salicylic acid works to dry up the pesky invaders while a slew of other ingredients soothe and heal.
  • ZeroZitz! Emergency Power
    An aesthetician introduced me to this natural concoction of sage, carrot seed oil and other healing ingredients. At the first sign of a blemish, soak a cotton compress with ZeroZitz! and apply it several times a day to the area until it’s gone. Also can be used daily as a toner.
  • Burt’s Bees Parsley Blemish Stick
    Finally, always a fan of the natural approach wherever possible, I was drawn to this cute little tube because of the parsley, which is known for its acne healing properties. Plus, the clear-skinned associate at my local Wild Oates caught me eying it and went into a dissertation of how she swears by the stuff. Sold me.

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