The actress recently opened up about her longtime struggle with acne and her polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosis
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Keke Palmer's fans were inspired by her openness when she shared a candid image of her barefaced skin with acne on Instagram. Soon after, the actress (who revealed the severe breakouts were a result of her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis) got flooded with questions about how she uses makeup to cover the blemishes.

"Ever since I have shown my acne scars and just my struggle with acne, I saw a lot of comments following that post because people [were] looking at my makeup coverage and how I was able to camouflage and hide my scars. I've been dealing with acne and struggling with makeup and trying to cover it for a really long time. I don't think there's any shame in it," Palmer, 27, said on Instagram.

So she decided to show her step-by-step routine for achieving a full coverage look to cover up "extreme acne."

keke palmer makeup routine
Credit: keke palmer/ instagrm

Before applying any makeup, Palmer put a thin layer of Aquaphor Healing Ointment on her complexion and eyelids to create a barrier between her skin and the foundation. Then she spritzed some Caudalie Beauty Elixir and got started with concealing.

"I'm going to start with orange. It's like the cancel-out method," Palmer said as she applied the M.A.C Cosmetics Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette directly on the acne on her cheeks and the under-eye region. She followed it with the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in the same areas for more "spot correction."

"I really encourage everybody watching this to do it your way. Everybody's skin is different," Palmer said as she blended the concealers out with a damp Beautyblender Sponge.

To amp up her coverage, the actress applied the M.A.C Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation (in shade NC 50) all over her face. Then she used a lighter shade of the same NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer "to hit all these spots we've seen on the charts" — under the eyes, down the bridge of the nose, between the brows and the center of the chin for highlight.

As she continued to blend out her makeup, Palmer explained that growing up in front of the camera with acne wasn't easy since makeup artists wouldn't use the right shades on her skin.

"When I was younger in my movies sometimes they would just put whatever was the darkest color of my acne scars. Sometimes you look at my movies and you see I was three, four, five different shades at once because if I had a bunch of acne, they would make me whatever the color of the acne," she said. "I had to learn to do my makeup on my own to make sure I felt happy and comfortable. I had to find the best way to advocate for myself."

As Palmer finished her foundation, she grabbed a few different powders to lock in her base, starting with the M.A.C Cosmetics Dark Mineralize Skinfinish Studio Fix.

"If you're having texture problems like I always do you really should try to keep your skin as matte as possible because you don't want to highlight that," she said.

She also tapped on a little bit of the Lancôme Absolue Powder for a smoothing effect. "This is the everyday clean fresh-faced girl. It's perfection that we create for ourselves," Palmer said when she showed off the finished look.

Last week Palmer shared an up-close look at her acne struggle which she and her doctors learned was caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. “For some of you this may be TMI, but for me my platform has always been used for things much greater than me,” she said. “Polycystic [ovary] syndrome has been attacking me from the inside out my entire life and I had no idea.”

Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer
| Credit: Keke Palmer/instagram

Palmer said she’s sharing her story — and her acne — to let others know “that it’s okay.”

“My skin has made me sad many nights but I do not give up on myself. I know this is not me and my body has been looking for help,” she said.

The star continued: “The least harmful thing PCOS can bring is acne. To all the people struggling with this please know you’re not alone and that you are still so f---ing fine! MY ACNE AINT NEVER STOPPED ME. But we don’t have accept this. Now I can really help KEKE! And I love her so it’s ON."