I have rosacea and constantly struggle with redness on my face, which means my search for the best redness-reducing skincare and makeup products is also constant. I've already waxed poetic about my holy-grail skincare products that save my skin from redness, heat, irritation and sensitivity, so today I thought I'd share the makeup formulas I've found to do the same.
To get some clarification on what exactly to look for when hunting for makeup products to cover redness, I asked my facialist (and skin saviour), Vanessa Hernandez. "There is a chemistry and science when it comes to colour. The colour wheel has an array of colours which, when used correctly, can balance or cancel each other out," Vanessa explains. "Directly across from each other on the colour wheel are red and green. For someone who has red undertones in the skin, rosacea, acne or any kind of post-inflammatory issues, using a product with green ingredients can help to calm, soothe and cancel out that redness."
With that in mind, my strategy was to incorporate some products with green ingredients into the first steps of my makeup routine to neutralise redness and then identify the foundations and concealers with the right formulas to hide any remaining rosy tones. Keep scrolling to see and shop the all-star products I found for redness.
The number one thing every facialist and makeup artist preaches is the importance of skin preparation before applying your makeup. According to the experts, this can make or break your routine. Below is a quick overview of the products that help calm my skin down before any makeup even touches my face.
Vanessa actually recommended these PowerGlow Peel Pads to me the first time I saw her for a facial, and my skin hasn't been the same since. Once a week at night, I wipe the pre-soaked pad over my face, neck and décolletage and wake up with calm, clear, glowing skin. Combining glycolic and salicylic acids, vitamin K, lavender and chamomile, these exfoliating pads help improve the skin's texture while also calming and soothing any irritation. I typically shy away from acids, but this product truly shocked me (in a good way).
This hydrating face mist by cult-favourite brand Dr. Barbara Sturm contains hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to help gives skin a major boost of moisture.
This miracle product from IS Clinical combines vitamin C, vitamin E and olive leaf extract to protect the skin against UV rays and environmental aggressors. I typically can't use most vitamin C serums, since they irritate my skin, but this is my hero product. The vitamin E and olive leaf extract balance out the vitamin C, so I get all of the skin-protecting benefits with none of the sensitivity. It actually helps heal red, itchy or irritated skin and can relieve cystic acne. Even with the steep price tag, I can't recommend this product enough.
I use this soothing gel every morning as part of my skincare routine, and it immediately relieves redness and calms my skin, leaving a much more neutral palette to work with when going to apply my makeup.
I have two words for this product: game changer. This is another recommendation from the skin angel Vanessa Hernandez, who explained to me it's a green formula that helps neutralise redness while adjusting to your skin tone. She called it a "star product," but I totally underestimated just how good it is. It completely corrects redness while also concealing imperfections and leaves your skin looking radiant. I've been using this as a primer as the very last step of my skincare routine but before I apply any other makeup. If I'm just running errands, I actually use only this product in lieu of makeup, as the lightweight formula evens out my skin tone enough to make me feel 100% confident leaving the house without anything heavier. There was a time when I swore by Dr. Jart's Cicapair Treatment that gives a similar result, but I prefer dewy skin, and Dr. Jart was too matte for me. Erborian's CC Red Correct works just as well with covering redness but doesn't leave my skin feeling matte or dry.
Another miracle product from Erborian Korean Skin Therapy, the CC Crème is usually the next step in my makeup routine if I need a bit more coverage. It's super lightweight yet completely evens out skin tone and gives you the most amazing glow. Your skin still looks (and feels!) completely natural, and I get compliments every single time I wear it.
If I'm applying an actual foundation, I always use this Cover FX stick first. Right after my primer (I love Laura Mercier's Radiance Foundation Primer for a real lit-from-within glow), I swipe a few strokes of this green formula over my cheeks right near my nose, my chin and on my forehead between my eyebrows, as those tend to be the areas with the most redness. Then I blend it into my skin with my Beautyblender and—boom!—redness is gone. I then apply my foundation right on top of it, and you would never know of my typical rosy status.
If you haven't tried Koh Gen Do's famous Aqua Foundation, I highly recommend you do. The medium-coverage, buildable formula gives you perfect-looking skin that could easily be mistaken as your own. It's super lightweight, and the cooler undertone in my shade (213) neutralises any remaining redness I have. Now, I realise it's not cheap, but a little goes a long way, so it does last a lot longer than most foundations.
Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation has reached cult status for a reason. Its medium coverage hides imperfections while still looking totally natural on your skin. It's one of my all-time favourite foundations, and it works wonders at covering rosacea and uneven skin tone.
My final foundation recommendation is Laura Mercier's Flawless Fusion. It's a long-wear formula that stays looking fresh all day, which is usually a struggle for me. This has the most coverage of the three, so I usually save this one for events like weddings when I'll need to be looking my best for hours on end (with tons of photos guaranteed to take place).
Armani's Power Fabric concealer is what coverage dreams are made of. It's high-coverage yet never looks cakey or thick, so it's the ideal candidate to hide any blemishes, red spots or dark circles that your foundation may have missed. It's also super blendable with a few dabs of my beauty blender, which is much appreciated as compared to other formulas I have to work harder for.
Another full-coverage yet easily blendable option is Laura Mercier's Flawless Fusion Concealer. I find this one to be best for my cheeks and around my nose. This concealer also comes in a wide range of shade options, so finding your perfect match is easy.
If you're looking for a concealer that not only blurs imperfections but also brightens, the YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Concealer is for you. I love using this one under my eyes and around my nose to cover both dark circles and redness. It also contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin and caffeine to address under-eye puffiness.
The final step in my makeup routine actually has nothing to do with makeup and everything to do with taking it off. A lot of cleansers and makeup removers irritate my skin, but I've found my holy-grail product in Farmacy's Green Clean Cleansing Balm. It takes off all of my makeup (including stubborn waterproof eyeliner and mascara) in one easy swipe without the slightest hint of redness or irritation. I seriously can't recommend this product enough. Plus, it's 100% clean, so if you're trying to detoxify your routine like I am, this is a great addition.