ROSACEA 101: Make Up For Rosacea

I get asked about make up for rosacea a lot, so I thought I’d put a few of my top recommendations in one handy blog post. I originally shared these on instagram (if you’re not already following me, you can find me HERE) but I know some of you like a longer, more detailed review so here we are!

DISCLAIMER: All products I review are suitable for my rosacea, I would never talk about something that caused me flare ups or irritation. However, we are all different so please do your research to look at ingredients and find products that work the best for your needs. I am not a make up artist, or a doctor.

APPLICATION: I apply all base products with a damp egg-shaped sponge as it gives the finish I like (soft, natural, no streaks), is less aggravating for my sensitive skin than a brush, and makes layering products much easier. If you prefer using your fingers or a brush, that is fine – no judgement here!

I have tried to recommend a few different kinds of base products, each of which comes under the over-arching genre of light, medium, or full coverage. Which coverage you choose will depend on how much of your redness or pimples you want to cover and the finish you like. I explain more in each section, and also talk through which products are best for different skin types. This is not an exhaustive list, but it contains my most-used/most-loved products at the moment.

The links below may be affiliate links, which means that I get a very small commission if you choose to purchase from my recommendation, at no further cost to you. I really appreciate every person who uses my links, it’s a nice way to show your thanks for the free content I share.


I don’t tend to wear a lot of base products these days but when I do, I typically reach for something light coverage -perfect if I want to even out my skin tone and give myself a little bit of glow. If you are looking for make up to completely cover your rosacea, then these won’t be enough for you, but if you like a natural look, if you’re not allowed to wear obvious make up at school/work, or if the patriarchy has convinced you makeup is only for women (*eye roll*), these are my recommendations:

  • Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Sheer Tinted Oil-Free SPF25 (8 shades available) – this is probably my most used base product of the past year. It goes on easily, feels like nothing on the skin, looks great, and keeps my skin feeling comfortable and happy all day. It is described as a tinted spf, but if I used the amount I would need for sunscreen coverage, it would lose the natural finish so I treat it as a light coverage base, to be worn over my separate sunscreen. Fragrance-free. It has a glowy finish.
  • Clinique Sheer Tint Hydrator (5 shades) – the name of this product sums it up well. A great option if your skin is on the drier side, as it contains hyaluronic acid and activated aloe water. Natural, dewy finish.
  • Trinny London Skin Perfector BFF Rebalance Serum Foundation (14 shades) – This has now been discontinued. Grrr. I think this product is the successor: BFF Stress.
  • 17 Second Skin (20 shades) – This is probably the highest coverage of the 5 here, but I would still class it as light coverage. At £5, it’s also the most affordable if you’re looking for a budget option. Contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. Soft matte finish and would layer well if you wanted more coverage.
  • Dr Jart+ Camo Drops – this product might look a little bit intimidating because, well, it’s green. But colour science teaches us that green counteracts redness, so if you want to minimise red tones in your skin, this is a great product. Start small: put two drops on your fingertips and pat the product onto the skin, then add more if you need it. It will change colour as it blends into the skin. Note: does contain some essential oils. Soft matte finish.


My current favourite medium coverage bases are below. These are great if you want some extra coverage, but don’t want anything too heavy or ‘makeup-y’ looking.

  • L’Oreal True Match (48 shades) – OG followers will know that I’ve been wearing this foundation for YEARS. It’s lightweight, the colour range is brilliant, and it’s incredibly buildable without feeling or looking mask-like. Satin matte finish.
  • Sculpted By Aimee Tint and Glow (10 shades) – New to me but rapidly becoming a favourite. Contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. It’s a dewy formula with a glowy finish. There is also a Sculpted By Aimee Second Skin (30 shades) which gives more coverage and is a 100% mineral formula which I know will appeal to some of you (FYI that one does contain lavender oil, something to be aware of if you find essential oils irritating).
  • Erborian CC Crème (3 shades) – This is one of those products that starts out white, then as the microcapsules containing pigment burst, it changes shade. It feels very light on the skin, almost like moisturiser, and gives a really lovely dewy finish, without looking shiny. I’d say it’s on the lighter side of medium coverage. FYI it does contain quite a few perfuming ingredients.
  • The Body Shop Nude (40 shades) – I don’t know why more people aren’t raving about this product. Hydrating, comfortable to wear, great coverage, natural finish… it’s just great. Satin matte finish.
  • Clinique Even Better Serum Foundation (42 shades) – You only need a tiiiny amount of this product, literally half a pump for your whole face! It’s a really great coverage foundation, that still looks like skin. I have a video of me applying it from about 2 years ago if you want to see it in action HERE. Note: it does contain salicyclic acid, which my skin usually doesn’t like, but I had absolutely no issues. Satin matte finish.


Here we go – the high coverage foundations I would recommend. I think this is the hardest category for many people, because we want something that gives enough coverage to completely hide our rosacea, but we don’t want to look like we’re wearing a mask of make up. So here are my favourites. I’m also going to include some medium coverage foundations that build really naturally to full coverage.

  • Estee Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue (28 shades) – If you have ‘normal’ to dry skin, I think you’ll love this. It is hydrating, gives a natural glowy finish, but packs a real punch with coverage. Contains fragrance.
  • IT Cosmetics CC Cream+ (23 shades) – I’d say this is med-high coverage but it’s a rosacea community favourite for good reason. Great coverage, gentle on the skin, and now comes in different finishes (matte, glow, or original formula). Contains perfuming fruit oils.
  • NYX Born To Glow (45 shades) – If you like a glowy finish that isn’t greasy or shiny, this is absolute perfection. It covers redness instantly and wears really well over the day. When I used to wear make up a lot, this was the one that I knew would never fail if I wanted true coverage with a beautiful luminous finish.
  • Oxygenetix Oxygenating Breathable Foundation (14 shades) – It’s pricey, but for good reason. It was designed to be used after chemical peels, so it is suitable for even the most sensitive and irritated skin. It is aloe based, which makes it hydrating and gentle on the skin. It’s also water-resistant, so great for warmer weather/holidays. It gives fantastic coverage but somehow feels so light on the skin. It’s magic. You can currently get 20% off on Face The Future ,which helps with the expensive price tag!
  • DCYPHER Custom Foundation (infinite shades!) – A really clever concept: you complete an online consultation where you choose your preferred coverage level and finish, take some photos that analyse your skin tone, and they send you your matched shade. You can adjust your shade if it’s not quite right (mine was perfect straight off the bat which blew my mind!) up to three times. Completely personalised foundation – the future!

What are you favourite base products for rosacea? Let me know in the comments!




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