What is a 'very ruddy complexion'?

jennJanuary 21, 2005

Several years ago, I was out to lunch with some work friends. I think we were discussing make-up and one of them said to me "you have a very ruddy complexion". I thought "HUH???" Unfortunately it didn't occur to me to ask her why she said that.

I sort of forgot about it but not really. I've looked in the mirror many times since and wondered why she said that. My face is not red. I am almost 50 and I do have a few red marks, broken blood vessels here and there, but I would never describe my complexion as ruddy, and certainly not "very ruddy".

I've seen women with complexions that are very red and mine isn't anything like that.

Aside from the fact that this woman said something to me that I wouldn't dream of saying to a woman if it was true, how would you describe a "very ruddy complexion"?


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red. she is a clod to say something like that.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2005 at 8:17PM
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Isn't it amazing how one negative comment can stay with us? Like Jr. High School all over again! She's actually a very loving, kind person, but she does tend to say things that seem out of line.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 12:16AM
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I too have broken vessels here and there; but a very ruddy complexion to me would be a face totally red with broken vessels.

Fair skins will show capillaries more.

I like to "even out" my face with a light foundation...

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 6:42AM
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Very ruddy to me would be really, really RED!

Your friend most likely had just finished reading an article or saw something in Glamour magazine and felt the need to apply her thoughts somewhere :-)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 10:05AM
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Thanks everyone.... I thought "very ruddy" would be "very red". Since my face isn't even red at all, then it can't possibly be VERY red.

My friend has a tendency to make blunt and unnecessary comments whether they are true or not. When I see her face up close I notice obvious foundation lines under the chin. Maybe she's covering up something and she needed to point out someone else's flaws too. I feel comfortable with my face as it is, flaws and all, but I was still wondering if she might be right because why after all would someone say that if it wasn't true. She's in her upper 40s and I'd think those kind of statements would more likely come from a much younger person.

Anyway, thanks again!


    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 10:56AM
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Perhaps you had a glass of wine....perhaps you were eating something with hot peppers...or had been walking outside. Whatever the reason...it was by your words "several years ago"...Let it go...there are many things that could make your face temporarily "very ruddy"...maybe she was "very pasty"...or felt that way.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 2:57PM
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Linda -- it was a work lunch so I definitely wasn't drinking wine (I rarely do anyway), definitely not eating hot peppers (my stomach doesn't like them), and I hadn't been walking around outside. I'm not angry or upset with her about it... it just took me this long to ask what "very ruddy" is because I've casually wondered about it ever since and lately began to really wonder, so I thought I'd ask here what "very ruddy" means. That's all. :-)


    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 7:38PM
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I've heard of 'ruddy complexion' before. I always thought it meant, dull and not very glowing. I hope your feelings weren't hurt. Some people don't mean to be cruel, and just blurt out things.

Are you still friends with her?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 3:13PM
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oooooooooooh I just looked this up and it DOES mean reddish or rosey! How about that! Was this woman wearing rose colored glasses? hahaha!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 3:15PM
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Shaun, yes we are still friends. We are work friends and I don't see her often because we don't work in the same building. I run into her from time to time, or see her when I join her and the same group of ladies.

No, she wasn't wearing rosey glasses. She tends to be slightly critical at times, that's all. But she is also very thoughtful and giving. Her comment didn't hurt my feelings... it just made me wonder if I do have a ruddy complexion. I'm satisfied now that I don't.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 3:24PM
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I wonder why she said it?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 3:52PM
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I don't know -- that's the big question! If I don't have a ruddy complexion at all, then why say it? Sometimes I've felt talked down to by her. It's hard to describe without going into tremendous detail and I am not going to do that here.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 4:41PM
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There are people in this world that are hard to understand; I know someone who seems to always say something to annoy me, so I often wonder if it's my problem, sort of being too sensitive to what she'll comment on.
She knows I'm not a very good golfer, yet she'll always ask,
what's your handicap now ?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 5:30PM
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When my friend Katherine took a "Color Me Beautiful" type class many years ago, to sell Amway's Artistry cosmetics line (man, I wish they still had that stuff!), they taught her to be very careful about *how* she described complexions.

Even though, for example, you could call someone's skin "sallow" or "yellow", you'd be likelier to sell cosmetics if you said "ivory"!

Ditto with the rosy tones: you can call 'em red or ruddy, but it won't make you any friends.

Maybe your luncheon pal is merely vocabulary-challenged.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 6:10PM
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The Artistry cosmetics were great! I miss them too. I had my colors done with that line and the woman assumed I was a spring (warm) before she started the process, but I turned out to be a summer (cool).

Sylvia, didn't you used to frequent the Garden Party forum, several years ago? I think I remember seeing your name there.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 2:51PM
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I just remembered... We were talking about make-up and I said I don't wear foundation and that's when she said I should because I have a very ruddy complexion. LOL!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 10:25PM
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I guess I might be considered to have a rudy complection. It may be my Irish heritage.
My skin has a lot of rose color to it. In some places it looks as if I am blushing. If I ever blushed, it was a LONG time ago tho.
Actually I have never considered it a deficit (til now?? lolol)
Ruddy is good.

I do wear some foundation to even it out sometimes.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 11:50PM
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Given the choice between ruddy and my very decidedly olive skin...I'd take ruddy any time!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 10:18AM
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I think I would prefer olive anytime over ruddy. I have some broken blood vessels and wear heavy foundation to cover them. Still, for the most part I don't consider myself to have a ruddy complexion. Except if my blood pressure gets up sometimes my face will get red, also if I get hot my face will really turn red.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 2:10PM
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You are way overreacting and are obviously insecure about yourself. Ruddy just means you have a healthy red glow. Some people present it when they're hot or embarassed, some all the time. It has nothing to do with broken blood vessels which are called tlengiectasias.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 9:52PM
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the dermatologist & ophthmologist both told my husband he also has a ruddy complection... meaning his Irish heritage. It could explain other medical problems like dry eyes he was told. I think ruddy means the tiny blood vessels are closer to the skin in these persons & not a derogatory statement if said in this way.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 7:47PM
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She might have used the term ruddy in a wrong context. But I wouldn't worry about it. You might have had a beautiful rosey glow at the time she said that. I have a fair complexion, and told many times I'm red, even if I don't blush. I don't let it bother me. So don't take her coment to heart.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 3:19PM
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Ironically, I would take the comment as a *compliment* to mean that my skin has a nice warm glow without having purposely tanned! GOOD for you!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 4:01PM
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