Focus on rosacea: make up and cosmetics advice

Rowena wilsonCosmetics consultant Rowena Wilson gives her expert tips and advice on which skincare products to use - and how - when you have rosacea.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness and swelling on the face. Rosacea often begins as a tendency to
flush or blush easily, and progresses to persistent redness in the centre of the
face that may gradually spread to the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose.

Signs of Rosacea

Many people with rosacea suffer from frequent blushing or flushing. This facial redness may come and go, and is often the earliest sign of the disorder.

Persistent Redness
Persistent facial redness is the most common sign of rosacea, and may resemble a blush or sunburn that does not go away.

Bumps and Pimples
Small red solid bumps or pustules often develop. While these may resemble acne, blackheads are absent and burning or stinging sensation may occur.

Visible Blood Vessels
In many people with rosacea, small blood vessels become visible on the skin creating red patches all over the face.

Here are some suggestions as to how you can discreetly conceal the symptoms of rosacea. With the right make-up products, techniques and shades, there is no reason at all why you should not still look fabulous!

Make-up tips

As a professional make-up artist and skin camouflage consultant, I see people with many different skin conditions and issues associated with their appearance. With the right approach and a little patience it is very rare that a problem cannot be solved or at least lessened. So if you feel bewildered by what’s on offer online or feel that your condition prevents you from looking your best, here are some tips.


...use a sunscreen

A survey from the US National Rosacea Society found that sun exposure was the top trigger for rosacea flare-ups. Pick a sunscreen that protects from UVA as well as UVB rays. Make-up guru Bobbi Brown advises that you should pick a sunscreen with SPF15 or higher, containing the active ingredients of zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, as other sunscreen ingredients can be irritating.

Skins Matter recommends: Kalme Day Defense Cream SPF 25

...use a primer under your foundation

As well as providing hydration and making your make-up last longer, a primer can help even out redness. Primers are relatively new inventions but I think they are really worth it.

Skins Matter recommends: Jane Iredale Primers.

...use a foundation with a satin or matt finish

We need foundation that is yellow-toned and works with the primer. Go for a satin or matt finish rather than luminous. The most professional and hygienic way to apply your foundation is with a synthetic foundation brush. Start applying at the centre of the face and blend outwards.

Skins Matter recommends: Kalme Tinted Moisturiser and Rosacea Care Concealer

...wear bronzer

Blusher may give too much colour to the face and so bronzer is a more attractive option. It will give you a healthy glow when applied sparingly to the top of the cheekbones, tip of the chin and forehead.

Skins Matter recommends: Lavera Organic Mineral Sun Glow Powder (US customers click here.)

...try lip gloss

Gloss will not only add shine but give the illusion of plump lips and make any lines around the mouth less visible. Go for neutral shades or very sheer pinks or corals. Gloss instantly makes you modern.

Skins Matter recommends: Lavera Lipgloss (US customers click here.)

...define your lashes

Select mascara for sensitive eyes that has been ophthalmologist tested. Curl your upper lashes using a metal eyelash curler to wake up your eyes and then apply two coats of mascara in black or dark blue. These shades will reflect into the eyes making the whites appear brighter.

Skins Matter recommends: NATorigin mascara (black) (US customers click here.)

...invest in some good make-up brushes

The right tools are as important as the right products. GVTC has all the key brushes you need to get a professional-looking finish to your make-up.

Skins Matter recommends: EcoTools. (US customers click here.)


...over powder

Powder is essential to fix your foundation but it must be kept to a minimum, focussing on areas that are prone to shine, such as nose and chin. Otherwise it will look cakey and highlight any fine lines.

Skins Matter recommends: Suki Organic Powder Puff (US only; will ship to UK).

...over colour

With rosacea we may need to tone down but that doesn’t mean be boring! Use neutral shades in cool tones on the eyes to give a sophisticated yet contemporary look. Smoke, slate, mink and bone are the basics with graphite, espresso and black for definition. These shades may have less pigment than strong, bright colours such as blues and greens and so maybe less irritating. Also say “no” to sparkles and glitter.

Skins Matter recommends: Green People Eye Shadows - and Suncoat Vegan Eye Liner (US customers, click here)

...forget your eyebrows

Properly shaped eyebrows can give an instant face lift, framing your eyes as the focus of your face. Visit a professional beauty therapist to get the correct shape for your face and from then on you can maintain it. Always brush brows upwards and outwards and add definition with an eyebrow pencil using short, feathery strokes.

Skins Matter recommends: NATorigin eye pencils scared to modernise your look

The products and the knowledge are out there, so take a little advice, learn some new tricks, but above all enjoy it!

To contact Rowena Wilson call 07910 168 577 or email Her website is at

Updated March 2015.


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