Q. For the last year I have suffered from eczema/dermatitis on my face, neck and scalp for the first time in my life (I am 59). I have found an emollient called Doublebase is very good for my face, and steroid cream has helped on my neck – but I seem to get breakouts on my face after using make up (I rarely use it since this started). I wondered if you could recommend what brand of make up would be good to use.
A. OK, a couple of suggestions.  The first is that you look for the words ‘non-comedogenic’ on the label of any foundation that you choose.  (We guess you’re talking about ‘foundation’ when you say ‘make-up’, but let us know otherwise!)  Non-comedogenic means that it doesn’t block pores, and our guess is that what’s happening is that you’re already loading skin up with those emollients and the make-up is kind of the last straw – so your skin erupts.  The entire Clinique make-up line is ‘non-comedogenic’, so that counter is a good place to start.  (Please don’t buy foundation on-line.  It’s really the fast track to an expensive make-up mistake.)  No. 7 Ultimate Foundation is also non-comedogenic.  Or you could try mineral make-up, which is the lightest and airiest of all:  check out brands like Lily Lolo and Inika, which really are pure minerals, unlike some of the products out there currently making that claim.




Q. My problem is one that is really causing me so much embarrassment in the last few months: my nose has become purple-coloured and I have failed to cover or get an explanation as to how it came about. I am 62 years of age – not a drinker – and am using Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish and Instant Boost Skin Tonic. It seems to me it has only since I have been using these products that this has flared up. I was advised not to use the scrub or brightening mask as they would stimulate the skin too much. No make-up stays on my nose so makes it difficult to conceal it – I am at a loss, so please help.

A. We think it’s possible that you have developed rosacea, which is almost certainly not linked to those specific products but to a whole host of other factors;  in fact, many women we know find some relief from Liz’s range, so it’s more likely to be a stage-of-life thing, we feel.  It’s jolly hard for us to tell without seeing you, but you may want to pop along to the doctor and see if she/he agrees with that diagnosis, and take things from there.  There are various lifestyle steps that can help with rosacea – more of those in a minute – but obviously the key is to start with the cosmetic solution, as if you can conceal it you automatically feel better about it.  (That’s just a fact, and frankly, it’s why we love make-up.)  We suggest that you first of all try a mattifying product on the nose, which can help make-up to stay put better. Apply the mattifying product, allow 10 minutes to sink in, and then we suggest that you experiment with mineral make-up, which can be extremely concealing without looking heavy;  you can then carry it with you for a touch-up during the day, and swirl on to add cover.  Our testers highly rate Bare Escentuals Foundation SPF15, to which we’ve awarded a Green Beauty Bible Award;  NB, despite the name ‘foundation’, it is actually a powder.  Another option is Susan Posnick Colorflo, (this is our own favourite mineral make-up), in which the powder is contained in the actual brush handle, which is good for on-the-go touch-ups (you pump the brush end to prime the product with powder).  (For your info, there’s also a brush available for the Bare Escentuals product, but you need to go to a bricks-and-mortar stockist like Selfridges or their own London boutique – at 40 Neal Street, London WC2H 9PS – to find that element.)


Bare Escentuals Foundation SPF15, £23 at www.lovelula.com – buy here (NB if you enter the code bb12 at the checkout you’ll get an exclusive 5% discount)


Susan Posnick Colorflo, £41 at www.tlcbeautyclinic.co.uk - buy here


Q. With regard to the mineral powdered foundation Colorflo by Susan Posnick:  I’m 44 and with lines around the eyes (and oily T-zone) and I thought that powdered foundation sits in/emphasises lines, so always use liquid. I would like to try this, but without being able to test it first – and at £40 I don’t want to risk wasting my hard-earned cash! 

A/ Yes, you do have to be a little careful with mineral make-up in the crinkles round the eye zone, using a light touch – but that’s no reason not to try it.  In fact, our experience is also that the slight sheen that mineral make-up delivers actually ‘bounces’ light off this area rather flatteringly (creating a bit of a soft-focus effect), unlike traditional mattifying loose and pressed powders.  Still: we understand your concerns.  So:  we suggest that you ring the very helpful team at the UK importer of Susan Posnick on 020-8997 8541.  If they still can’t help you locate a store where you can try-before-you-buy, try Inika (say it ‘In-eek-a’), a mineral make-up range which offers a teensy sample bag of their Inika Mineral Foundation for just £1 so you can indeed experiment in the eye zone.  (And the product is fairly similar in formulation terms to Susan Posnick – though perhaps a little more ‘radiant’, i.e. gently glimmery).


Inika Mineral Foundation, £27.50 at www.johnlewis.combuy here

Q. I am trying to find a UK site which sells Jane Iredale mineral make-up.  Love the sound of the mineral SPF30, plus have heard good reports about the mineral make-up.

A. An easy answer:  just log on to www.jiproducts.co.uk.  This is the UK authorised stockist for Jane Iredale, which also features useful tips on application; they sell the whole range on-line and the site is extremely easy to navigate. Click here to find them.