What Makeup Do You Use to Cover Up a Red Nose?

Published in: Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To


Hola, muchachas bonitas. I barely speak a lick of Spanish, but I’ve decided it would be REALLY FRICKIN’ COOL to teach Señor Tabs (aka El Gato) some Español.


So far he only seems to understand two phrases — “Friskies, muy bien!” and “Dónde está Fancy Feast?” — but he’s been a fast learner for a cat.

After our Spanish lessons this morning, Tabs and I went through some e-mail. Here’s a note from Christine, who asked about a makeup ish I’m guessing many of us have had to deal with at one time or another.

Help…I have redness on my cheeks and nose. I’m able to cover my cheeks pretty well, I use Laura Mercier’s Secret Camoflauge mixed with a little bit of moisturizer (my skin is dry) and then pat on Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals on top…I do this to my nose as well but by the time I arrive at work in the morning, I look like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! What can I do to keep my nose red-free? Is my application of the makeup wrong?

Hi Christine,

Girl, when my nose is pulling a Rudolph I try to remember two things: 1) that Rudolph is awesome (he leads the sleigh!) and 2) that there are quite a few products out there designed to help red-nosed ladies like us.

I’ll often start by incorporating a makeup primer with a green tint (to offset the redness on my nose) into my routine; if you’ve never used a makeup primer before, then you’re in for a treat. Makeup primers provide a surface upon which foundation or concealer adhere, extending the wear time of many products and creating a smoother appearance. When used to conceal redness, I’ll apply it only where the redness occurs.


A new one I’ve heard good things about is Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer ($32) in Green. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m a fan of the Make Up For Ever line, and I think the product looks really promising for fellow members of Club Rudolph.

Other green primers to consider:

If you’re not sure which one to try, a Sephora sales associate may be able to provide you with a few samples to help you decide (sometimes this doesn’t work, but if you live near a Sephora it could be worth a try).

My fellow rosy-nosed girls, do you have any tips/tricks/product suggestions to help hide a red nose? Let’s give Christine a helping hand.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Christina says:

    Hey… this might not work for everyone, but it occasionally does for me (in the summer, at least).

    What I do is make sure to wear bronzer. That way, if there IS a little rosiness somewhere, it looks more like I spent too much time in the sun (versus couldn’t figure out how to tone down the red).
    .-= Christina’s last blog post… Is He Kicking Himself? I Hope So =-.

  2. Kate says:

    I highly recommend the MUFE HD Primer in Green. This product is like a miracle! I have a lot of red in my skin (nose, chin and cheeks) and this tones the red down beautifully. Now I can leave my house with just this primer and no makeup and I feel great – no more worrying about the red.

  3. Jackie says:

    I use Bare Minerals, too, but as my daily moisturizer, I use Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion – it is green tinted, so it goes everywhere to help with dryness and redness. It’s tremendous! It’s the only thing I’ve found that evens out my skin tone. Good luck! 🙂

  4. JK says:

    Oh I have this problem too! I have really red skin, cheeks and nose, and I really have to take a lot of redness out. I like to start with a peach/yellow tinted primer (I use one my the Japanese brand Noah), and that helps a lot. Then I apply a yellow-based skin-tone concealer (I use Neutrogena) using a light hand, because I’ve found it reduces redness a lot more thoroughly than foundations usually do. I blend thoroughly and set it with powder.

    I’ve had some bad luck with green bases, because my skin is SO pale that they can give it a weird, darker cast, so if you’re pale I recommend trying peachy/yellow tones!

    Hope that helps!

  5. Stef says:

    A couple of drugstore options too. My Mom has Rosacea and unlike me, won’t pay Sephora prices. So we’ve scoured the shelves looking for options…
    -I second Jackie’s recommendation of Eucerin Redness Relief products. They make a pen with a sponge tip called Tone Perfecting Creme that is for spot areas (I use it for pimples). I bet you could concentrate that on your nose.
    -Physicians Formula also has perfecting products that have treated her well, lotions and powders.
    Both lines are worth a try!
    .-= Stef’s last blog post… We heart Darla Teagarden =-.

  6. lesley says:

    I get pretty red and dry on my nose… I like either MAC Select Cover-Up or Moisturecover concealers. They both provide great coverage and they don’t accentuate the dryness of my nose area. Hope this helps, Christine!!

  7. Brendaq says:

    Try using a green concealer instead of primer since you only have it on the nose, you don’t need a green tinted primer all over face if it’s just one area. If you do use an all over green primer and the rest of your face isn’t red, you may wind the risk of having a slight green tint if your foundation is not blended properly or is a very light coverage.

  8. ines says:

    MAC select cover-up in an NC shade (mine is NC15).

    the NW shades are good for covering purple/blue and NCs are good for redness and blotches!

  9. Kimie says:

    I have battled the redness my entire life. I think I was about 11 when my grandma bought me some powder to try to cover it up. I have found that skin care is the #1 thing that helps the redness! My face loves retinol. Boot’s restore and renew intensive is the shiz!!!! And it’s way cheaper that the Philosophy I was using. It seriously evens out the skin tone, making it so much easier to cover up the redness. I am in love with Sonia Kashuk’s color corrector. It’s right next to all her concealers and works miracles on redness, without the blending issues I tend to have with the green stuff. Good luck!

  10. Jaime says:

    I have serious redness issues, too! I’ve found that using a very gentle soap has actually helped the most – because it lessens the redness at the source, and I don’t have to use as much makeup! I use Kiehl’s Centella Skin-Calming Facial Cleanser with my Clarisonic Brush, along with their Ultra Facial Creme. I find that my redness is reduced if I moisturize well, too. I’ve used this combo for about 7 months, and have noticed a significant decrease in redness.

    As far as makeup goes, I alternate depending on the season. I find that a BeautyBlender sponge combined with Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy foundation works well at covering redness in the dryer months (especially when combined with a primer – I use Smashbox Photo Finish Light). In the summer, when I’m less dry, I use Bare Minerals over sunscreen (the sunscreen helps the powder stick a little more, and also protects from more redness!!).

    That was a lot of info – but I hope it helped! 🙂

  11. I don’t have any tips, I need tips. When it is cold and allergy season, my brown nose turns extremely red. Would the green tint work on an African American woman?

  12. Shiny says:

    I have redness just on my nose, I also find that foundation doesn’t stick well to my nose unlike the rest of my face. Totally interested in seeing what other people do to combat this.

  13. I would also look into the Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette if you’re by a target…it comes with a green shade that is somewhat yellow toned and really seems to erase redness for me better than any other green concealer. You can even use this as a base on your nose before foundation instead of after. The palette is 12$ and includes a peach toned concealer, a light shade and a setting powder…I can’t live without it now!

  14. breeann says:

    I found Boots No. 7 Colour Calming Make-up Base. It’s a green toned primer. I love it. It neutralizes redness. You have to apply it with a light hand and build up coverage or you’ll look like Shrek. But I wore it on my wedding day with fabulous results!

  15. Marmar says:

    I’m not sure how useful this would be for -every- skin tone, but my super secret redness fighter is canmake’s shimmer light base :


    It’s a cheapie Japanese name brand that works exceptionally well (like Cover Girl only better). For my skin tone I just dab a tiny bit of the “lavender pearl” then apply my bronzer/make up as usual. Works wonders. It comes in three shades for different tones!

    You can buy their products here (the light base is 15 bucks including shipping) :

    .-= Marmar’s last blog post… hee young strikes again. =-.

  16. Amy says:

    Tabs “El Gato” cracked me up. The fella started calling Tab’s long lost sister, Lola, El Gato several years ago. Because she is so original gansta yo. Her name has now morphed into the more formal, “Lola Del Gato.”

    As for redness, I’ve had good luck using BE’s Bisque. I usually tap it on very lightly with my finger over the red area and then apply BE foundation over it to blend in well.
    .-= Amy’s last blog post… Grace in Small Things, Part 24 =-.

  17. Anne Marie B says:

    I recently bought Physician’s Formula, Powder Palette, multi-colored corrector in Green for toning down red nose & cheels. I’ve really liked it & it’s helped even my skin tone out. Clinique also has some things… I looked, but since I’d never tried anything green…thought I’d go with something a little less expensive as a trial, and this Physician’s Formula powder seems to do the trick.

  18. abeer (yeah thats my real name) says:

    I love Rimmel products! <3

  19. Sanayhs says:

    I love Ben Nye’s red neutralizer concealer. It isn’t straight-up green, just has a tint. Eliminates the need to layer a green concealer and then a skin-toned one, does both in one step.

  20. Cindyrella says:

    I haven’t tried it yet, but I see Carmindy on What Not To Wear use a yellow powder from her line that I’d like tot try.

  21. Lindsay says:

    My skin never really gets red, but when I break out, I use a green concealer from Physicians Forumla and then I use a skin-colored concealer. I like “The Eraser” from Tarte.

  22. Carol L says:

    I think bb creams work really well for covering redness…. at least for me.

  23. nettie209 says:

    Let’s c…. hmmmm, I use my faithful Monistat chaffing gel and then follow with a dusting of Physicians Formula Click Pen Perfecting Mineral Concentrate in light/med and then finish with Bare Escentuals mineral foundations in a mixture of medium/med beige and then follow with the Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil. Try that out since your already a Bare Escentuals. I’m picture perfect most of the day with very little touch up!


  24. Suzann says:

    I’m currently using Physician’s Formula Conceal RX in soft green. It’s a thick cream that comes in a tube. You only need the tiniest amount, it goes a long way. But so far I like it – it blends quite well and doesn’t sink into the potholes – I mean pores. 🙂

    Brooklyn Shoe Babe – I would give it a try, a light green might work, with your own shade of mineral powder foundation on top, and then a setting powder to keep it in place.

  25. Kristine says:

    I second the MUFE Primer. It’s awesome! I have rosacea and it totally tones down the redness. I also use it on my clients all the time. When I was doing mini makeovers at a drug store for a promotion I used it on one lady on one side of her face just to show her the difference it would make without even foundation and she was amazed. LOVE it!

  26. Christina says:

    I used the Smashbox green tinted primer for a while to try and combat redness on my face, didn’t work!

    I would say, honestly, if you can’t get rid of the redness through skincare, then invest in MAC’s heavy duty concealer. It comes in a little tub like their eyeshadows, and not only lasts forever, but covers and STAYS like a mofo. No joke.

    It also doesn’t help that you pat on BE. You have to use the brush to push it into your skin (likewise with most foundations and powders to make sure it doesn’t appear cakey or fluffed on), and if you’re just patting it on, no wonder it disappears by the time you get to work. Maybe try a regular powder instead of BE.

  27. Irene says:

    Hands down… the VERY best thing for redness on the face is Lorac’s Neutralizer. You can put it on by itself but personally I think it works best if you mix 1/2 a pump to one pump with your moisturizer or your foundation… It is super easy and definitely the best product out there to tone down redness… the difference is incredible. It’s almost always sold out at Sephora so buying it on Sephora.com might be your best bet. I have yet to find something even comparable… not smashbox photofinish, not make up forever hd primer, not clinique… Trust me ladies LORAC NEUTRALIZER… life changing

  28. Michele says:

    Marmar- where do you get the cheapy Japanese product,

  29. Trude says:

    I used to use a yellow-based loose powder that Benefit made, but I don’t see it on their site anymore! That helped me a lot more than anything green-based (I’m super fair, on the warm side). You have to be careful to not make yourself too yellow, but the same goes for a green product too. 🙂

  30. Kate says:

    I use Clinique’s Supermoisture Makeup in “Linen”. Just a dab does the trick.

  31. bev clark says:

    i say loreal green primer! fab and sticks to nose rather than slides off..

  32. Kim Halfyard says:

    Ben Nye Red Neutralizer is excellent, inepensive and found at pro shops, also Cover FX is amazing. They are deeply pigmented so they last much longer that MAC Studio Fix.

  33. bushra says:

    MUFE HD Primer in Green

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