Everything’s Coming Up Rosacea: A simple spell can mend your Mean Reds!

Ah, the Mean Reds.  Holly Golightly wasn’t talking about rosacea, but she might as well have been.  Women who suffer from this patchy, flaky, highly sensitive, and unflatteringly rosy condition are perpetually unhappy with the appearance of their skin and have frequently given up hope.

Rosacea is a dastardly villain, and once afflicted, a woman can no longer apply her makeup as whimsically as the rest of society might. Foundation will often seep into enlarged pores while refusing to lay smoothly on the surface skin;  this can produce an odd effect: dozens of visible pinpoints of foundation interrupted by islands of scaly red skin.  And heaven forbid you wear a blush on top!  EEEEEEK!

What to do, WHAT TO DO??  If you suffer from rosacea yourself, you have undoubtedly sought the help of a dermatologist, and may already be doing something topically to treat the condition.

But what if you’re still red all over?

Close your eyes and say “Hocus Pocus”.

While you’re doing that, I’ll tell you a story.  I had a client recently with a FABULOUS face; sparkling green eyes, cheekbones to die for, and a mouth so large that I could count all her perfect teeth when she spoke. (She’s a professional singer, so she’s lucky).  Big lips, long lashes.  Great brows.  Fabulous face, yes.  Fabulous skin….not so much.

The poor darling had a serious case of rosacea, bless her heart!  Her usual routine is a smattering of powder across her face, lipgloss and masacara–she’s a 30 second makeup girl.  Unfortunately, the powder she was using was orange–and while she was sure that it was counteracting the red on her face, I was pretty sure it was just orange.  We had a tussle.  Hair was pulled.  Makeup was thrown.  Suddenly, a green cloud of dust rose up from my kit and settled upon her face.

hocus pocusHocus Pocus. It’s a mineral based powder by Larenim (mineral spelled backwards) that is ACTUALLY GREEN.  Now have we all studied our color theory, girls?  What’s the opposite of red?  Is it orange?  Blue?  Purple?  Very good.  It’s green.  A fine dusting of light green powder across red skin works miracles.

We experimented a bit, and found the best makeup scenario for her to be this one:

1. Apply a thin layer of aloe vera (or an aloe based makeup primer such as Mod’s) to the face.  Pure aloe is soothing, won’t clog your pores, and dries down to provide a barrier between makeup and your skin.  If you use liquid foundation and have rosacea and/or large pores, you must use a primer.

2. Using a soft brush, lightly dust Hocus Pocus over the red portions of the face only.  You may use a concealer brush dipped in Hocus Pocus for red blemishes, as well.  Hint: if your face is still damp from moisturizer or aloe, let it dry first! (Otherwise too much green is absorbed.  Hello, Wicked Witch!)

Note: We were both satisfied with the eveness of the skin at this point; she could have skipped foundation and gone straight to gloss and mascara, but she was having photos taken, so we went for flawless skin.

3.  Use your loose/pressed powder or pressed foundation (Larenim and ZuZu have nice ones) and pat over face gently, don’t “smear” the spell.  And don’t forget undereye concealer!pressedfoundationtop

4.  Finally, a little bronzer will warm up the skin.  You may think about blush.   Wait first.  Putter about the house for a bit.  See how long it takes for your skin to begin acting like the lunatic it is.  Seeing hints of pink after an hour?  You should probably skip blush altogether.

Now, I’m not usually a powder, powder everywhere kind of girl.  I like to hand mix mineral foundations with organic face creams or balm sticks to match my clients skin, and to leave a bit of a glow when possible.  AND I don’t like the look of packed-on powder that results from using certain lines.  That said, some skin prefers NOT to glow.

Some skin hates anything with oil (no matter how natural), and is quick to anger, so it’s best to be reasonable and do our best to keep it calm and soothed.   Aloe vera is great for this combustable fiend.  Consider using it everytime you use makeup.  And Hocus Pocus is makeup witchery at its best.  Other than that, ladies, watch the alcohol intake, which can set off a flushing of rosacea (I’m not saying ‘don’t drink’–I’m merely saying ‘observe the effects of your drinking’), the same goes for spicy foods and spicy men.

The Mean Reds may be with you for a while.  Some experts claim rosacea is genetic (having to do with the “Celtic Curse”), some say it’s bacterial, some say it’s dietary, and some are simply clueless.  We do know that it affects three times as many women as men, and that the years between 30-60 are fun times for the Mean Reds to develop.  The ensuing flakiness is certainly annoying, but (contrary to popular thought) your skin can be GENTLY sloughed, depending on your sensitivity, which will make your skin feel better to the touch. Yes, you may be a tad red after a gentle scrub, but what’s new?

As for the color of the Mean Reds?  Say a little spell, and watch them disappear!  Hang in there, girls.  We’re pulling for you!


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11 thoughts on “Everything’s Coming Up Rosacea: A simple spell can mend your Mean Reds!

  1. I really like your tip about the green mineral powder! This is great. But I am a bronzer girl, so its going to be harder for me to give up my bronzer make up 🙂

    • Ha! I like bronzer, too! It gives me cheekbones when I’ve drunk too much wine and am puffy, and it makes me look healthy when I’ve been avoiding the sun for 11 months:) Don’t give up bronzer–just make sure you’ve got the redness under control BEFORE you reach for the goddess glamour that bronzer provides. Yellow-based tinted moisturizer, foundation, or powders are also great for rosacea, and can be easily integrated into your quick morning routine:) ….and then bronze away!

  2. Cute article;) I like all things pure cleanser by bioelements for my rosacea. I started with the his soap and decided to try the pure line for the organic value. It always pays to go green!

  3. Hi Aimee! I’ve rosacea and have been reading “tips and reviews” for days… this is by far the best advice I’ve come across.

    Please though, help clarify step 3? Can a brush be used, to apply that loose/pressed powder to set the hokus pokus, without smearing it? Would it be ok to gently buff in Larenim’s mineral powder? (I also hate that pressed on powder everywhere look). I need it all to blend and DISAPPEAR – u know? but I do get oily and have very large pores… so not sure the green alone would suffice.

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Amber!

      I think there are three ways to approach the “setting”.

      1) ROLL your mineral powder brush over the Hokus Pocus, rather than buffing. Buffing is likely to diffuse (if not erase) the good work you just did with green.

      2) Buff everywhere BUT the red patches, where you PRESS setting powder

      3) Try applying Hokus Pocus AFTER your mineral foundation. (We often apply foundation first, and concealer second, when you know what you have left to deal with) So, after buffing foundation, see where you need more coverage, and see if you can LIGHTLY apply (probably in a rolling motion) the green powder.

      Or 3a) Finally, if you like the 3rd technique best, but have trouble blending the green, consider using a YELLOW mineral concealer instead.

      Let me know how it works for you!

  4. There are certain contrasts between acne rosacea and acne vulgaris. As you probably know, acne vulgaris is the most common form of acne which seems to start with the onset of puberty and is characterized by the formation of whiteheads and blackheads. Acne rosacea, on the other hand, usually makes its first appearance between the ages of 30 and 50, is confined to the face — mostly the nose, cheeks, chin, forehead and eyelids — and is not associated with overactive oil glands.”

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  5. In step one you mention to use a aloe based primer like Mod’s. Where can I find this primer. I have searched online and unable to find this brand.

    • Thanks for the heads up, Stella. Modskinlabs.com seems to be under construction now, but you used to be able to find their primer there, or at Whole Foods, or on the major organic skincare shopping sites. I’m not sure what’s up with them, but in the meantime you can try one of the many other great primers on the market–i love aloe based primers (a good face cream with lots of aloe is great, too)–You will find varying degrees of “clean-ness” in primers: Tarte, for example, have two versions: one with silicone, and one without for those who object…

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