How To Cover Vitiligo Patches With Makeup

by Emma Matthews

If you have vitiligo, you’ll likely understand when I say that the summer season can be filled with dread. Thud. Thud. Thud. Hear that? It’s the sound of my heart rate rocketing. It's around this time that figuring out how to cover vitiligo patches on your arms and legs might feel of utmost importance. Unlike those easy days in the winter, during which you can carelessly pile on layer after layer, the weather picking up most often means that your attention turns to clothing that will help keep you cool.

Shorts? Yep. Skirts? Naturally. Sleeveless shirts? You bet. Of course, the downside to this is those not-so-subtle vitiligo patches that are lurking on your limbs. For many of us, they’re the cause of far too much worrying and endless cursing at summer dresses that are just far too "revealing." I know the feeling. I’ve been there. Particularly when I’m attempting to get dressed up for a summertime occasion. Take weddings or a festival, for instance. No thanks.

That’s why I’ve put together a flaw-proof way to conceal them. Not only is it easy to do — take it from someone who often gets eyeliner and cream eyeshadow muddled up — but it’s also affordable. Unlike some tutorials for which you need specialist products like leg and body cover-up cream, this how-to includes basic cosmetics you’ll already own. Let’s get started.

What You’ll Need

To conceal vitiligo patches on your arms and legs, you’ll need the following.

  • Razor
  • Body scrub
  • Fake tanning lotion
  • Your usual foundation or concealer
  • A foundation or concealer that’s two shades darker than your usual one
  • Beauty Blender
  • Hairspray

1. Prep Your Legs

Start by preparing your legs or arms. Just like your face, the products you're going to apply will have an even finish if there’s nothing getting in their way. This could be anything from hair to chapped, dry skin.

Typically when I use this beauty hack, I’ll shave the area I want to cover before applying a body scrub to exfoliate the skin.

2. Create A Glow

Chances are you want to look like you’ve spent the weekend at St. Bart's, as opposed to cooped up in your dorm studying. It’s summer, after all. Once I’ve exfoliated my skin, I start faking a glow.

As I live in England, where our standard weather is gray and dismal, and I’m thoroughly against tanning beds, for me this involves fake tanning lotion. That said, if you don’t mind looking a little pasty or happen to live someplace sunny anyway, then feel free to skip this step.

3. Mix Together Your Foundations Or Concealers

Whether you use foundation or concealer will depend on the products' coverage. Those who have a lightweight foundation might want to use their concealer, since typically it will be thicker and offer a bulkier build. How else is it suppose to tackle acne and blemishes?

On the other hand, if your foundation is already high coverage, opt for that. Here, I’m mixing two foundations together to create a similar color to my pins.

4. Dab, Dab, Dab Away

Beauty Blender, $6, Amazon

Once you’ve mixed together your foundation or concealer, grab your Beauty Blender. You can either use the original or a thrifty DIY alternative.

Pop some of the product onto the blender before dabbing it on the patch you’re trying to conceal. Aim to do this in a stippling motion, as opposed to large sweeps. This will allow you to build coverage if needed.

5. Add Another Layer

Wait until the first coat of foundation or concealer is dry. If you feel it’s necessary, then you can add another, like I’m doing here.

6. Set It In Place

Once you’re happy with the coverage, set everything in place with a squirt of hairspray. Although hairspray shouldn’t be applied on your face since it contains lacquers and alcohol that can dry out skin, it’s OK to use it on your arms and legs. Just make sure you remove it with makeup remover or a face wipe once the evening is over.

Before And After

And there we have it: An easy way to cover vitiligo patches for a summer event. As you can see from the photo above, my vitiligo patches on my left leg are pretty much hidden.

Sure, it’s not a long-term fix, but it does the job and will hopefully give you a boost of confidence for your special occasion. Whether you're attending a wedding, BBQ, or summertime drinks on a roof top bar, you can now enjoy getting ready.

Images: Emma Matthews