“A Quick Fix Face Guide For Spoonies”

When the lovely Donna, aka Fibrogeek, asked me if I wanted to write a guest post regarding make up and chronic illness, I was more than happy to oblige. I’ve been meaning to do a post of this nature over at my blog Chronic Beauty for a while so thank you Donna for allowing me a little space here on your blog.

Having a chronic illness that involves pain and fatigue can make things hard when it comes to ‘getting your face on’ and when it comes to make up removal too. Despite these challenges, many of us still want to look good and prefer to conceal any tiredness or complexion imbalances we may have. Our health shows in our skin, including stress, which can take up to 6 months to come out in the skin. There are many products available that don’t involve a 12-step process, that are less ‘faff’, but do the same job in helping us to improve the way we look. So here are some tips and products for fellow spoonie beauty addicts that will hopefully help you to save time, energy and help to keep ‘the pretty in you’.

If you are feeling tired or achey, CC (complexion corrector) and BB (blemish balm) creams are pretty handy to use to improve your general facial look, without having to mask skin in foundation. Tinted moisturisers are great too, especially when you want that bit more coverage but nothing too heavy. They are easy to apply, either by using fingers or good face brushes, and most beauty brands sell different varieties and shades.


Two good CC creams are Darphin (with an SPF of 35) and Clinique (with an SPF of 30). However, there are plenty of other brands out there to choose from. We are all individual and have different requirements in a product so it is just a case of finding what product suits you and your skin best.


Two examples of tinted moisturisers are Liz Earle and Clarins. Liz Earle’s version is called a ‘Skin Tint’ but it’s the same kind of product with good coverage, giving the skin a subtle glow. As it is full of botanical ingredients it’s also very good for the skin. Clarins ‘Hydra Quench’ tinted moisturiser has an SPF of 15 and is also lightweight, super moisturising, yet a little bit more sheer in coverage. I used this on holiday for going out in the evening, over moisturiser and my developing tan, and it looked really nice and felt light in the heat.


Also, for summer, Ultrasun is a great ‘once a day’ brand for skin sun protection. Their ‘Tinted Face Cream’ is an SPF, moisturiser and base colour all in one handy product. It is a very moisturising face base that has sun protection and anti ageing benefits and you can always add a little more coverage of tinted moisturiser or powder if need be over the top. This is a great innovation in sun protection for the face, with colour. I personally swear by this in the summer months.

Another kind of face coverage is by way of mineral powder foundations or a baked cream to powder variety. These are very quick and you can build up the coverage. However, these are better used over a primer as this will give a longer lasting finish plus it will sit better on the skin. This is still quick to do as it’s just a case of swirling a good face powder brush on the product and then buffing into the skin. Hey presto..face base!
Two recommendations I use for quickness are Bare Minerals ‘Mineral Foundation’ (above) and Laura Geller ‘Balance n Brighten’ (below). Both come in several different shades and are great for all skin types.


A good tip for your make up on the go is to load product on a retractable brush, apply the lid and then pop in your bag ready to use. Then you can take out and use the product if you need a re-application later on in the day.

After you have used your CC or tinted moisturiser, products like cream blush can be used to add a pop of colour to cheeks and lips. There are also numerous colour sticks available for eyes, lips and cheeks by a variety of brands (from budget to high end). Bobbi Brown ‘Art Sticks’ and Clinque ‘Chubby Sticks’ are examples of good ones.

pencilsSticks in pencil or solid gel form, cream compacts and coloured balms are all great for convenience and also save energy as they are quick and easy to use. There is no need for applying with brushes or precision. You can use as little or as much as you feel like and they are also small enough to pop in your bag when going out and about too. Use straight from the stick or pot, then blend with your fingertip. Anything like this, added to a bit of face cream/powder, is all you need when you are lacking time or energy. You can finish with a coat of mascara and you’re good to go.

Tips For Removing Make-Up

The thing with make up is, it’s got to come off. Yes, I hear you, you’ve only just managed to make it through the day and now you suddenly remember that you have to cleanse your face. Well, Im sure we’ve all very naughtily gone to bed with a bit of slap left on. I cannot stress how bad this is for your skin and, on the very rare occasion that I have been so very naughty, I always make sure that I do a double cleanse, exfoliation and mask the next morning. Even if i don’t feel like it… I call it the ‘punishment for the crime’. The problem with having an illness is that your skin suffers by way of your condition/tiredness and medication. Many of us can also end up with reactive or sensitive skins. To be honest, we do really need to look after our skin that little bit more and cleansing is the base of all good skin care. Then, you can find an easy night cream or balm (I recommend Decleor night balms as they are quick and concentrated) to use after cleansing. You can curl up in bed at least knowing you are caring for your skin and wake up looking probably better than you feel.

There are ways round doing a whole routine of cleanse, tone, moisturise, serums etc. However, as night time is when the skin repairs, I would recommend using good removal products at night and preferably a treatment a couple of times a week (like wearing a moisture mask overnight). So even if our bodies feel rubbish, when we wake our skin will have had a little help. Anyway enough of the lecture (once a therapist, always a therapist)! For quick removal at night, here are a few products I would recommend.

Micellar cleansers are great as they suck away all the dirt and are quick. There are micellar waters and oils; the waters can be used with cotton wool to remove make up and the oils with warm water and a cotton flannel/facecloth.


Above is Bioderma’s micellar water, which is fabulous for all skin types including sensitive skin. It will remove all make up including eye products. Just make sure that you use enough product pads to ensure all traces of make-up are gone. Bioderma Sensibio is a very reasonably priced, so it wont brake the bank and will last for ages. It’s also a fave with many make up artists as it is quick, kind on skin and does the job well. It’s also lovely and cooling on the skin.
Decleor’s micellar oil (on the right) is another great product, which is lovely and kind to the skin, and again can be used for all make up removal including the eyes. Use this by applying to the face and work in, you can then either add a little water and turn it into a milk before you remove, or just simply remove the oil and dirt with your cotton flannel/cloth and warm water. Also pictured, is Liz Earle’s famous ‘Cleanse and Polish‘. This is not a micellar but rather a cream cleanser. Use by working a 50p piece size of product into the skin, remove with warm water and a liz Earle muslin cloth/flannel, including eye make up. This is gentle enough for all skin types with no stinging around the eyes. These products allow for quick and easy cleansing at night to remove all traces of make up and grime, plus they help to keep the skin soft and cared for.

There are many brands that do micellar waters/oils but I highly recommend the Biderma product, as its so quick and gentle. It can kept by the bed with some cotton pads when you are in pain or just too tired to stand over the bathroom sink.

Having fibromyalgia myself, yet being a lover of make up, I have gone through many products to find ones that are great for times of speed when you just feel, well.. rubbish. I hope some of these products and suggestions have been helpful. It’s a case of trying products to find out what you love and what works for you and your illness/time, but the ones I mentioned above are a great place to start. Just remember it’s great to feel a little better by looking the best you can, in the easiest way you can, and enjoy it!

Words & Photographs by Heidi Barnett


About the author:

heidi-chronic-beauty Heidi is an ex-beauty/aromatherapist, with past training including beauty therapy, International Federation of Aromatherapists, Decleor and Jessica Nails. She has worked in a salon, hotel spa and as a self employed therapist, performing massage, therapy facials, make up and nail treatments. Heidi had to give up work several years ago due to Fibromyalgia and Arthritis but remains passionate about holistic massage and the beauty industry. She decided to create the blog ‘Chronic Beauty’, combining her interests of writing and helping others with beauty. Heidi blogs about product reviews, product and treatment advice (including what she uses for her own chronic pain) and also writes lifestyle posts too. You can follow Heidi at her blog Chronic Beauty, on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Instagram.

Have you found this post useful? What are your favourite make-up products? Share in the comments below.


Hello, I'm Donna. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2013 and started this blog shortly after. After my health declined significantly the following year, I decided to become my own advocate and searched for answers. It took two years but, in 2016, I finally discovered I had Lyme Disease. On February Stars, I share my personal journey back to better health; discussing what has helped me and the mistakes I've made along the way. I also cover topics on self-improvement, managing symptoms and living life to the fullest with chronic illness.


  1. Hi there, this is a great post, lots of useful advice. I love Heidi’s blog and I’ll also be signing up now to follow yours! I have used the Lancome micellair water cleanser for years. I can highly recommend it, it’s one of my must haves. I also bought the Decleor night balm which is lovely.

    • Hello! Heidi’s blog is fab isn’t it? Thank you for dropping by and for following me 🙂 That’s great that you can vouch for these products too. Have a great weekend!

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