Rosacea Cover Ups For Men

If you follow my blog you will know that I am a huge fan of full coverage make up. My rosacea redness makes me very self-conscious and I feel more like myself when I know I can apply a full face of make up. But I know that not everyone can (or wants to) wear a lot of make up. So I have pulled together the products that would work as a rosacea cover ups for men and those who prefer a lighter look.


Earlier this year I wrote an article for Buzzfeed (which you can read HERE) about the realities of living with rosacea. It currently been read by over half a million people (WHAT) and I received so many emails from people all over the world asking for advice or just sharing their stories. There were some emails from men that really stood out to me because, although my rosacea massively affects my confidence and happiness, I can cover it with make up and a lot of men feel even more at a loss of how to cope with the condition because men in make up is not socially acceptable…for some reason. So I started thinking of products that could help to take the edge off the redness, without looking and feeling like proper make up. These would also be great suggestions for women who don’t like heavy, full coverage make up or those who aren’t allowed to wear make up to school etc.


The first two products are yellow-toned concealers. Concealers are a great option as they as small enough to pop in your bag or desk and are easy to apply. You just dot them on the area you want to cover and pat in with your fingertip. With these particular products you don’t want to overdo it as it can give you a bit of a jaundiced look!

In the below photo you can see the Sephora Smoothing & Brightening Concealer on the left and the NYX HD concealer in ‘CW10’ on the right. The first photo is before blending and the second is after a little blending to show that it doesn’t look too Simpsons-esque once you start to blend it out.


Below is my face before any products were applied. My skin is being very well behaved at the moment due to some recent changes in my diet and some great treatments but I have permanent red patches on my cheeks, nose and forehead.


I applied the Sephora Smoothing & Brightening concealer to the right side (as you’re looking at it) below. So you can see that it doesn’t look yellow on the skin, it has just evened out my skin very nicely. It doesn’t look obvious that I’m wearing make up and it felt very light.


Below shows the NYX HD Concealer on the other side of my face. As you can see this is a little bit more yellow-toned but I still don’t think that it’s super obvious that I’m wearing anything unless you knew. I have only applied the products to my cheeks and slightly onto my nose, so you can see the comparison to my chin and forehead.

Neither of these concealers completely cover the redness or marks on my skin but they are an improvement. I think these would be great for someone who didn’t want a full foundation or wanted something very simple to apply on the go.


The next three are probably the ones that look most intimidating. Green tinted products have been used for decades to counteract redness as green and red are opposite each other on the colour wheel (similar to orange and purple so peachy-toned concealers are great for concealing dark circles).

When you first apply them they can look very scary and, again, less is more. I applied a lot in the swatch photos below to show the products off but you would use a lighter hand when applying to your face.

From left to right is: Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer Colour Correcting Adjust, Dermalogica Redness Relief Primer* and Maybelline Master Prime Blur and Redness Control. These are all intended to go under foundation to even skintone before the foundation then does most of the work.


As the photos below show, the slight green tint stays on the skin in the first two products but the latter is very very subtle. As I mentioned before, I used a lot of product in these swatches, so the results on the face are a lot less obvious – as you will see in the photos further down.


Before, with no make up:


The photo below shows the Smashbox green primer on the skin – and as you can see there’s no weird green tint! The most intense redness (on the apples of my cheeks where I have a few broken veins) is still red but nowhere near as red as it was before. All of these primers intend to blur and perfect as well, so pores appear smaller, imperfections are lessened and the skin feels lovely and smooth due to the silcone-y feel of the product.


This picture shows the Dermalogica primer which I love to wear under make up. It really tones down my redness and makes my skin look so much better. This has SPF in which is good for those of us with rosacea as we need all the sun protection we can get!


The last two photos show the Maybelline primer applied to the left (on screen) side of my face. Although the cream isn’t as green as I thought it was when I bought it (in the US – sorry UK readers, I’m not sure when/if it’s coming to the UK). As you can see, in comparison to the right side, the redness is definitely lessened. It’s green to see highstreet brands getting into the colour-correcting primer realm, hopefully it’s a sign of more things to come.



The final two products are more akin to traditional make up and therefore offer the best results. They have more pigmentation so therefore are going to offer more coverage than something that’s just attempting to counteract the redness.

The products are the Natural Collection Tinted Moisturiser* (on the left) and Bioderma Sensibio AR BB Cream* (right). Tinted moisturisers, BB creams, CC creams… these all came about because of a gap in the market for people who wanted skincare and make up combined into one easy product. The Bioderma product in particular is great as their whole Sensibio range is great for sensitive skin.


The Bioderma BB Cream (on the right) is a little dark for me – a common problem with these types of products but I find that if you use it sparingly and blend it well it looks fine. You can always mix a little moisturiser into it to water it down a little. As with the green primers, I applied a lot in these swatches to show the pigmentation but you wouldn’t use this much on your face!


No make up:


Natural Collection Tinted Moisturiser shown below. You can immediately see that it’s better coverage than the previous products. The skin all over my cheeks looks a lot more even and matching in tone – no obvious marks where the redness stops and my normal pale skin begins. My moles and the broken vein next to the mole on my lip are still visible so it still looks very natural. It feels a lot like applying a regular moisturiser and is not hard to blend.


Below shows the Bioderma Sensibio BB Cream. As you can see it’s a little dark for me but I don’t think it’s so dark that people would stare! I think this has the best coverage of all the products: the colour on my cheeks looks very even without looking ‘made up’. It also has SPF 30 in it, which is brilliant!

Male-Rosacea-Cover-Up-2 Male-Rosacea-Cover-Up-1

Hopefully this post has shown you that there are a range of products out there that can help to minimise the look of rosacea redness, even if you don’t want to wear a full face of make up. From concealers, to primers, to tinted moisturisers to BB creams there is something for everyone.

I am very used to wearing make up, so to me a tinted moisturiser feels as light as air so I know that I’m perhaps not the best judge of what these products could feel like to a man or a woman who doesn’t wear a lot of make up. So I asked my (long-suffering) husband to be my guinea pig. He’s extremely low maintenence so I knew that he would give me an honest appraisal of the products. He didn’t think any of them felt heavy, sticky or cakey; he didn’t think he looked like he was wearing make up at all, in fact he was really impressed with how good his skin looked – if that tinted moisturiser goes missing, I have only one culprit.

I hope you enjoyed this list of rosacea cover ups for men. Do any of these catch your eye? Do you think you’ll be trying any? How do you feel about men wearing make up? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking for some next steps?


*Products provided as PR sample. Some links may be affiliate, for more information please see my disclaimer tab at the top of the page.



  1. Jo
    21st July 2016 / 7:06 am

    Hi Lex. I am a girl with rosacea too. I get the horrid papules with it like acne. What would be great would be a YouTube video on how to apply make up to cover up rosacea. Your skin always looks so good – you wouldn’t know about the rosacea! Teach us how! Xx

    • Lex
      2nd August 2016 / 10:52 am

      That’s such a lovely thing to say, thank you Jo! I will do a foundation routine video and give some tips, it took a lot of trial and error to get to this point (and a lot of very questionable make up looks…!) so if I can help others skip that bit I would love to!

  2. Saz
    26th July 2016 / 7:14 pm

    I’d like to second the above comment. I am completely baffled by the number of things I am supposed to be putting on my face. Moisturiser, serum, oil… primer, concealer, sunblock, foundation. I actually can’t even! I have no idea what the hell I am doing.

    • Lex
      2nd August 2016 / 10:14 am

      It can be really overwhelming, but it’s just about working out the basics your skin needs and then building from there (if you want to build that is!)
      I would say the basics are – starting with a clean face – moisturiser and sunscreen. That’s the basic skincare you need, anything else is additional.
      Then when it comes to a make up base you can go as minimal or full face as you like, depending on time, skill and your desired look. I go with primer (as I’m oily), foundation, concealer and loose powder. This gives me the full coverage I like and keeps it all in place. I hope that helps!

  3. Kathleen Medjuck
    1st August 2016 / 9:15 pm

    at first i didn’t bother reading this because of the title but i found it really informative for me as a rosacea sufferer who has been afraid of makeup for 20+ years and am just now trying to weave my way through this skin care and makeup world. Do you have a green concealer that you use?

  4. Kathleen Medjuck
    1st August 2016 / 9:22 pm

    you are obviously my first and most special blogger who has rosacea but I’m wondering if you know of any others?

  5. Mark
    22nd June 2022 / 10:20 pm

    As a man with rosacea, I can’t tell you how useful this is. Unsurprisingly, makeup is a whole new world to me, but this is a great guide to where to start.

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