Week 5: How to Cover Rosacea with Makeup (with video)

Even though my red light therapy is progressing, there is still some redness on my skin that makes my complexion uneven and there are times when I would like to cover rosacea up so that I’m the only one who knows it’s there.

While I don’t really mind the remaining redness on a regular day, I’d rather have a more even look when I am attending a special occasion or when I’m a guest author at an event. If you have redness on your skin, regardless of whether or not it’s rosacea, you know that it can be challenging to achieve that “flawless” complexion when you’re seeing people live and don’t have Photoshop to help you out.

The first step when you want to cover rosacea to find the best makeup.

Cover rosacea with makeupThe best makeup for rosacea is not the same from one person to the next.  There area  few brands that focus on sensitive and reactive skin.  There are also some brands that focus on maximum coverage.  It can take a bit of tinkering before you find the one that will give you the best coverage without causing your rosacea symptoms to worsen in the process.

This is particularly important when you will be wearing makeup for rosacea every day.  As a writer, I’m fortunate enough to work from home, but most people don’t have the luxury of being able to look like they just fell out of bed when they’re sitting at their work desks.

How to find the best makeup for rosacea

Before April, I had been trying to find the best makeup for rosacea for a handful of years.  For the first decade that I had the condition, the usual drugstore brand foundations were enough to cover the extra pink in my cheeks.  But as the condition progressed, I started to need better coverage and that would do less damage to my skin while it was on.

Near the end of April, I had a large event that I needed to attend as a guest author and I desperately wanted to look my best.  I was already very nervous about having to do readings and answer questions in front of hundreds of people, so looking nice was an important part of building my confidence (yes, I’m vain. I can admit it!).

I had already tested several products and had spoken to a number of cosmetics consultants, but I wasn’t having any luck.  My skin was flaring a lot – nearly constantly – and the bumps were rampant.  Before I explained the problem to the consultants, they often thought I had a bad sunburn or a severe case of acne.

The challenges were as follows:

  1. My skin was reacting to absolutely everything.  Even my previously-fine moisturizer was causing my symptoms to worsen.
  2. The colour of the redness was very deep red.  At times, it was nearly purple in places.  This required a heavy-duty level coverage.
  3. My skin is extremely fair.  Many foundation brands don’t sell shades that are light enough for my skin tone.  Unfortunately, the lighter the shade of foundation, the lower the coverage level will typically be.
  4. Green-tinted products often don’t work with very light foundations.  I tried several green-tinted primers beneath my foundation makeup, but the colour of the foundation wasn’t enough to block out the green, turning my makeup an odd muddy sewage colour. Ugh!

With those issues in front of me, and with only three days before the big event, I was lucky enough to meet Rich Halliday, a cosmetics consultant and brand ambassador who was at my local SD Beauty Boutique and was helping to prepare for a large pink ribbon event (BTW, by mentioning his name in this post, I am merely showing gratitude for all of his help, I’m not suggesting that he endorses any of the products/techniques that I use).  I explained my struggle to him and he took the time to help me to choose the right primer and foundation and he showed me how to apply them to my skin for the maximum coverage, minimum irritation to my skin, and best finished look.

The experience was incredible.  When one side of my face was being covered and the other one wasn’t yet done, a few of the customers in the store stopped to watch.  They were amazed at how the right makeup choices could cover rosacea and leave no sign of it behind; as was I!

I highly recommend speaking with someone who has expertise in cosmetics and in problem/reactive skin, if you are fortunate enough to have someone like that in your area.  If you can’t, try to focus on very good quality foundations that are meant for high coverage and sensitive skin at the same time.  For a severe rosacea symptoms, that might mean makeup that is meant for drama or covering tattoos.  That type can be tough on the skin, though, so it should be a last resort.

How I cover rosacea with makeup

To start, I wash my face and moisturize.  The next step is to use a very good quality primer.  The one that Rich Halliday showed me was called Shiseido Glow Enhancing Primer SPF 15. My skin absolutely loves this stuff.  It creates an effective barrier between my face and the foundation makeup, so that irritation won’t happen.

Next, I apply the foundation that Rich Halliday showed me.  It’s Shiseido Powdery Foundation (Natural Light Ivory #120). It is a very thick product, but it gives very good coverage and it is quite comfortable to wear.  I am extremely grateful to Rich for all of his help and advising.  I understand that when it comes to the best makeup for rosacea coverage, the idea is to spend on the primer and foundation. The rest of the products you choose are up to you, but when you want to cover rosacea, you need to get quality.  I personally wait for sales before I make any purchases because I have the luxury of not wearing that much makeup on the average day, but I know that this could be a cost prohibitive strategy for many people.

In this way, my next technique could actually be helpful to you to save money while still gaining the benefits that I learned from Rich.  I’d like to point out that all of the techniques after this point are mine.  Rich did not show me this money-saver or any of the techniques that I use in the video, below, so it’s not his fault that I use all the wrong tools and I may not do the rest of my makeup in the right order or using the right techniques 😉

Since the Shiseido foundation is needed only to cover rosacea symptoms, the rest of my face does very well with a regular drugstore product from Cover Girl (called “Clean Liquid Sensitive Skin” foundation in “Ivory”…which I just found out was discontinued and replaced by another product, argh!). I just blend it right over the Shiseido product.

I finish that off with a powder and then add a touch of blush that is the same shade as the rosacea.  I am very light handed with the blush.  It’s just enough to make any redness that shows through the makeup look as though it is supposed to be there because it is a natural colour and it is even.

Here is a video I created to show how I cover rosacea with makeup:

Please forgive the deplorable videography.  Clearly, I haven’t found my groove yet.  I’m also far from being an expert in makeup application.  I don’t know anything about how I should actually be putting it on, how to contour, or anything else.  What I do know is how to apply foundation properly for maximum coverage of rosacea symptoms.

My goal in creating this video isn’t to show you how it should be done.  It’s to show you how I do it so that you can see that it can be done.

Even though my rosacea symptoms aren’t nearly as bad as they used to be, those same techniques worked just as effectively when they were at their very worst.  It’s worth it to request a sample of products from Shiseido or another good quality brand (both a primer and a powder foundation from the same brand) to give them a try.  That way, you can see how your skin reacts before you pay for the full sized product.

Now, back to the “usual”…

How is the red light therapy going after 5 Weeks?  Let me tell you!

As the progress with the red light therapy continues, the bumps that I used to have on my face are completely gone.  There are still little circles of pink that show where they used to be, but that’s all that is left. The pink is still continuing to fade.

Though I would be inclined to become impatient with the gradual fading of the redness (pinkness) of my skin, the fact that I don’t have flare-ups anymore, that my skin is soft and comfortable and never hot, tight, or itchy, and that it is still headed in a positive direction is keeping me extremely happy and satisfied with the Peak 630™ Red LED Light Therapy Set and I would recommend it for other rosacea sufferers to try as a part of their overall efforts to heal the symptoms.

I recently read an article in Prevention magazine that pointed out that a bad case of rosacea symptoms can take up to 2 years to fully clear.  It also stated that some redness may be permanent if it is left untreated too long.  I may very well discover that some of the redness will never go away since I’ve had it for about 15 years without ever successfully clearing it, but to be honest, even if this is as good as it gets, I will still continue to use the red light therapy forever, if that’s what needs to be done.

So far, of everything I’ve tried – from prescription medications to home remedies and everything in between – this is the most effective rosacea treatment.  I’m happy that when I have to cover rosacea redness with makeup now, I’m not facing half of the challenge that I did only a few weeks ago.

I didn’t take any pictures of my progress, today, but I will go back to doing that, next week.  This week, I worked on the video for your viewing pleasure 😉

Do you have tips or tricks that you use to cover rosacea with makeup?  Please feel welcome to share them in the comments, below!

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