She spiced up the small screen as Miranda Hobbes on the cult TV series Sex and the City, and now actress Cynthia Nixon is speaking out about her experience with the chronic inflammatory skin condition rosacea. Read on as she dishes about the foods she loves, her biggest beauty indulgence and her secrets to embracing that natural flush.
FITNESS: What made you start working with the National Rosacea Society?
Cynthia Nixon: I first started working with the National Rosacea Society because 16 million people have the condition, but not many know about it, so I wanted to raise awareness. When you have it, it can be awful to treat it yourself. The first thing you have to do is speak to a dermatologist and get a treatment plan. You can’t cure rosacea, but you can control it. I had acne in my teens and early 20s, and then developed rosacea in my 30s. So many people think of it as acne, then use scrubs and masks and don’t realize they are only making the problem worse. You need to know what to do and what to avoid. Rosacea is a condition that can cause embarrassment and discomfort.
FITNESS: What’s been your experience with rosacea, and how have you managed it?
CN: I cannot stress enough the importance of seeing a dermatologist because everybody’s skin is different. After I found out what the dermatologist recommended and he prescribed me medicine, I have managed to keep it under control. I also got information about things that I was eating that were triggering the rosacea.
FITNESS: What specific foods trigger rosacea?
CN: Spicy foods trigger it, like tabasco and jalapeño peppers. I still eat those things, but I stay away from them when I know I have important events coming up. Other things that can trigger it are red wine and too much sun exposure.
FITNESS: What have you learned from working with the National Rosacea Society?
CN: I’ve learned that rosacea is much more common than we think. Also, if you don’t treat it, it can get worse. There are four different kinds of rosacea: redness, pimples, eye irritation and thickening of the skin. Your face gets red and blotchy and it’s not fun. You have to tend to it so it doesn’t get worse.
FITNESS: Moving on to beauty: What’s one product that never leaves your bag?
CN: Undereye cream for sure. I find myself applying some too many times per day!
FITNESS: What are your haircare, makeup and skincare routines like on a typical day?
CN: My hair tends to be oily so I wash it two to three times a week. I wake up in the morning and wash my face, then apply some toner, moisturizer with SPF, and undereye cream.
FITNESS: What are your secrets for looking great anytime, anywhere?
CN: I make sure to maintain a gentle regimen. I don’t use many products because they can be too harsh on my skin and can cause my rosacea to flare up. Also, I wear SPF all the time.
FITNESS: What’s your diet like? Are there certain foods or snacks that are your go-tos?
CN: I’m a big fan of cheese! (Editor’s note: Woman after our own heart!) I also eat a lot of salads. I keep celery, carrots and almonds in my house. I also keep protein bars around because those things can really help sustain you through the day.
FITNESS: What’s your biggest beauty indulgence?
CN: Facial acupuncture for sure. It keeps my blood flowing. With rosacea, my skin can get very inflamed so the circulation boost is helpful.
FITNESS: How do you stay in shape when you’re on the go?
CN: I work out mostly when I’m at home. When I’m away for a couple of days, I’ll use the hotel gym. I try to eat well; I’m a vegetarian. Also, as I mentioned, I make sure protein bars are always around.
FITNESS: What’s the best tip you’ve picked up from the makeup, hair and skincare experts you’ve worked with?
CN: I actually received the best tip while filming Sex and the City and that is “put as little foundation on as possible.” Maintain a good skincare routine. A ton of foundation only ages you!
Visit rosaceafacts.com to view Cynthia’s iPSA and take a self-screening quiz.
—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern
As part of their 2010 Fresh Faces Tour, Clinique is stopping at college campuses across the country to educate women on looking and feeling beautiful in their skin. This week, they set up camp at the University of Missouri — go Tigers! — where they treated us to free makeovers, hair touch-ups and a professional photo-op. They even offered advice to women pursuing careers in fashion and beauty. One lucky woman will have the opportunity to intern at Clinique next summer!
During my visit, I picked up a few tips from Clinique makeup artist Debbie Petrak. After 20 years with the company, she knows a thing or two about on-the-go beauty!
FITNESS: Sometimes loose eyeshadow falls under my eyes when I’m doing my makeup. How do I remove it without smearing?
Debbie Petrak: I like to start with eye makeup before foundation. Then, you can fix any mistakes before applying a fresh face of makeup.
FITNESS: Even with a clean face, my blush still goes on splotchy after a workout. What gives?
DP: This is a sign that you need to exfoliate. The powder sticks to dead skin, giving it that splotchy effect. Beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin underneath.
FITNESS: How can I find a foundation that’s right for me?
DP: Choose three shades that look closest to your skin tone. Then, blend each color onto the side of your face at the same time. You should choose the one that blends invisibly into your skin. If you can see it, it’s not the right color for you!
For more information about the Fresh Faces Tour, and to find out where they’re stopping next, visit www.cliniquefreshfaces.com.
— Catherine O’Neill, contributing blogger. Photo by Lindsey Cavanaugh.
When deciding on a full-coverage foundation, it’s best to go natural. Like many women, I have fallen victim to a cakey appearance when trying to diminish blemishes and imperfections. Thankfully, I’ve come to realize that I don’t need all that heavy goop to get effective and long-lasting coverage. I’ve recently traded in my cream foundation for a mineral one, and not only do I look and feel fresher, but the coverage is the same as my old stuff! A personal favorite of mine is Maybelline New York’s Mineral Power Finishing Veil Loose Powder. The powder gives a natural finish, and unlike heavy foundations, it won’t clog pores (added perk: it comes with a 100% natural kabuki brush for even application).
Dermatologist Heba Abdulla, M.D., of Lakes Skin Centre in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, gave me all the facts on mineral makeup: It lacks fragrances, synthetic dyes, and preservatives, all of which can irritate the skin. And, because most mineral makeup contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, it also helps protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. If U.V. rays are your concern, try the brand ColoreScience, which has earned the Skin Cancer Foundation seal of approval.
When it comes to foundation, less really is more. Have you tried mineral makeup? If so, what did you think of it?
-Nina Ramadan, beauty intern
I’m so proud of our summer beauty intern (and current blogger!) Catherine O’Neill: She’s a finalist in a monthly contest called “Stila Girl of the Month.” See her story below and vote for her here.
Why I should be the next Stila Girl of the Month:
Stila made me fearless! After 6 years of braces (and headgear!), I can now sweep on Raspberry Crush Lip Stain with confidence. Thanks for putting the power in my pout! Stila isn’t just a line of products — it’s an attitude. Thanks for helping me embrace my very best self, Stila!
My Signature Stila Look:
I ALWAYS have Stila on my lips! For a fearless look, I reach for Raspberry Crush Lip Stain. When I’m feeling more flirty, it’s all about Long Wear Liquid Lip Color in Petal. And I won’t leave the house without my Lip Glaze in Honeydew. From their One Step Foundation to their gorgeous eyeshadow palettes (Smoky Eye original for me!), Stila is my go-to for creating a look that transforms me into the fun, fearless girl I’m meant to be.
Want to be the next girl of the month? Check out this link for all the how-to.