Cold sores are never fun, and they have a way of showing up at the worst possible moments in life. This is especially true for women.

While there are ways to understand when you might get a cold sore – such as knowing your triggers, including stress, a cold, excessive sun exposure, etc. – there’s no way to avoid a cold sore 100% of the time. Thankfully, there are techniques women can use to help cover up a cold sore.

Tips for covering up a cold sore: 1

  • Use Concealer
    Use a Q-tip to place a small amount of concealer – ideally the same color as your skin tone, and preferably a ‘dry’ concealer – to the affected area. Next, blend it into the skin just above your lip line — in the area of the cold sore. This may help mask the cold sore, blending it into the natural color of your skin. As an added measure, try using powder foundation to cover the concealer.
  • Use Natural Lip Color
    In the very beginning stages of a cold sore’s development, you’ll want to choose a lip color that closely matches the natural color of your lips. Next, use a Q-tip to blend some of the freshly applied lip color on the cold sore. Once you’ve done this, be sure to throw the Q-tip away — don’t touch it to your lips again, as doing so may spread the virus further.
  • Adjust Your Lip Color1
    As the cold sore continues to form, utilize darker shades of red on your lips to help mask the darkening color of the cold sore1. Again, make sure to use a Q-tip – or a tool you don’t mind throwing away – to apply the lip color to the cold sore area.

Seal and Protect Your Lips
As the cold sore progresses, it may be a good idea to utilize something that will provide a little more moisture. Applying a lip lacquer to the cold sore area, will help add a protective layer to the cold sore, while also preserving the lip color you’ve added.


  1. WebMD (August 20, 2013). How To Hide Cold Sores. Retrieved January 26, 2016 from