Large pores? Minimize them.
Unfortunately, you can't change the size of your pores, but you can minimize them and avoid enlarging them further. The best way to make pores look smaller is to keep them clear, because clogged pores can appear bigger; they also cause blemishes. Stick with products labeled "non-comedogenic," which won't block pores, and avoid picking at blemishes, which can damage skin and potentially enlarge pores permanently.
Your next best line of defense is to camouflage enlarged pores with the right makeup to create a smooth, almost-poreless look. Control shine and minimize the look of pores with Pur Minerals See No More Pore Minimizer ($23). Apply under makeup for a perfected complexion.
Breakout? Tone it down
Blemishes usually show up when they are least welcome -- prom night, before a first date, on the eve of a big presentation -- you get the idea. To help banish pesky breakouts, you're going to have to do some damage control.
Start by cleansing your skin with a breakout-busting but non-drying cleanser (Nothing is worse than zits and flakes.) We like Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam ($18.50) because it combats blemishes while leaving skin soft and smooth.
To tone down the prominence of your pimple, hold an ice cube on it for 30 to 45 seconds (longer if needed). The shock from the cold tones down size and redness, and makes concealer easier to apply.
Use a concealer with slight yellow undertones to minimize blemish redness. Apply a small amount to the affected area and blend gently with a concealer brush or soft makeup sponge. Pat concealer lightly to set, and then continue applying the rest of your makeup. Go easy: The more makeup you pile on your face, the more obvious your hiding efforts are.
Blotchy skin? Calm & correct
Stress, lack of sleep or a night of too many tequila shots can leave your skin looking red, blotchy and uneven. To get your skin back on track, start by drinking lots of water. Rehydrating helps plump up your skin and flush out toxins, giving you a glow from within. If plain old H20 isn't your thing, add a squeeze of lemon for further toxin-busting benefits.
Next, calm skin with a hydrating mask. Try a gel formula -- it feels cool on your skin as you apply it. Pop your mask in the fridge for 10 minutes before using for added cooling and calming benefits. Try Murad Resurgence Hydrating Gel Mask ($30), which boosts hydration, calms irritation, plumps up fine lines and softens skin.
Finish with a tinted moisturizer or sheer, water-based foundation, which looks more natural than full makeup. Dust on some translucent powder, and play up your eyes and lips to draw attention away from your less-than-ideal complexion.
More get-gorgeous tips
How to get beautiful eyes
Look your best -- even when you don't feel it
How to look effortlessly gorgeous