Now that Miley Cyrus’ dyed armpit hair is no more (“R.I.P. P.I.T.”), she’s moved on to documenting a new beauty obsession on Instagram: how to deal with zits. In one of her most recent series of posts, the singer and this year’s VMA host takes us along for the predictably eventful ride as she tries to conceal the blemish. It turns out the attempt that made us do a double take wasn’t the one when she used a fuzzy pink cat hoodie as a distraction or when she passed out on her pizza-patterned pillow (natch) accompanied by a big blot of zit cream. It was when she camouflaged her blemish with a fake beauty mark. Genius move.


Not only did the beauty mark, or as Miley called it, “biewty mark,” hide all evidence of redness, but it actually looked real and delicate on her skin. That was enough to convince us it was a hack worth trying the next time a pimple popped up. So, we spoke with Alexandra Compton, an esthetician and makeup artist at Credo Beauty in San Francisco, to see how you’d go about DIYing this look. She broke it down into three easy steps:


1. AlwaysTreat the Zit First: No matter how badly you wish it would just disappear, your blemish needs attention before you cover it up. “Skincare first,” Compton said. Try leaving the zit totally naked for as long as you can stand, because “if you cover your acne with makeup right away, it will take longer for it to heal and can actually clog your pores even more because it increases oil production in your skin. It needs to receive oxygen to recover,” Compton said. But if that’s just not in the cards — say it’s five minutes before you leave for work or you’re getting ready for a major night out — then start with a spot treatment that will help to clean out the pore. Compton recommends using the Indie Lee Blemish Stick ($28) first thing in the morning and throughout the day. “It’s got zinc in it that will help with the inflammation, so it will look less like a pimple and more like a flat, reddish, kind of flaky area that you can cover with makeup easily. And since the formula is completely clear, you can reapply throughout the day and it won’t distort makeup at all.”


2. Invest in Makeup That Will Help It Heal: Rather than cause further irritation by caking on makeup that only conceals, Compton said to invest in products with ingredients that attack the acne and heal your skin. She recommends a two-step care and cover-up regimen that starts with RMS Uncoverup ($36), a cream-based concealer made with antimicrobial coconut oil (bacteria can’t grow in its presence) to hide the pimple and keep it from further infection. Next, Compton recommends using W3ll People Realist Mineral Setting Powder ($24), a matte powder almost completely made of freeze-dried aloe to set the makeup and sooth the area. “Aloe is really healing and it reduces redness and inflammation.”


3. Break Out the Eyeliner: Faking the mark is fairly simple. Just grab a dark brown liquid eyeliner or sharpened pencil, like the Lily Lolo Eye Pencil in Brown ($16) and bullseye a dot on your blemish. “You would want the beauty mark to be right at the center in the head of the pimple because the raised area would look more realistic, like a real mole,” Compton said.

What are your favorite products to TCB when it comes to blemishes? Tell us your favorite zit coverup hacks in the comments below.

(Photo via @mileycyrus + Ethan Miller/Getty)