Going Foundation-Free

July 17, 2016

Going foundation-free: using concealer, skincare, and less foundation

I've spoken about this before, but I'd like to address it further. I pretty much despise wearing foundation. True, I probably have not tried all there is to try, and I'm sure if I really went around sampling every foundation Sephora, Ulta, drugstores, and department stores have to offer, I'd find something I like. However, over the past couple years I've grown comfortable in my own skin (with the help of some other products...).

When first experimenting with makeup, I was a huge supporter of piling on as much as possible. My first foundation love was a low coverage one from Bobbi Brown that's since been discontinued, but is most similar to the Moisture Rich Foundation. Although I didn't really need it, I slathered this on my face with the addition of heavy concealer and powder (I know, we've all been there). I later moved on to the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, obviously on recommendation of the big beauty bloggers of 2013. This was great for some time, but as foundations do, it became old and I became bitter about having to buy a new one, and alas, did not repurchase. I dabbled with drugstore finds for a while, such as the Covergirl Stay Fabulous, L'oreal True Match, L'oreal Infallible Pro-Matte, and Rimmel Match Perfection. I eventually grew tired or disliked all of these, and here we are now.

One major problem I had with most of these foundations is that no matter what I applied underneath them, they always sunk into the laugh lines around my mouth and essentially gave me wrinkles. A teenager with wrinkles is really just not an attractive look, therefore after months of frustration, I opted for improving my skin tone and texture with skincare instead of foundation. Here's what I've come to know and love:

Skincare needs to work for you. Just because your best friend or your favorite vlogger uses something, that doesn't mean it's going to be perfect for you. Everyone has different skin that reacts uniquely to what's applied to it. Finding the right products for you takes time and patience, but it's all worth it. For my recommendations (I have combo skin), check out my skincare posts here, here, here, and here. At a glance, favorites are The Body Shop's Tea Tree lineSimple Micellar Cleansing Water, and Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. With the help of great skincare, you can lighten dark spots, therefore making your skin tone more even, something foundation typically takes care of.

Primer and concealer can take you very far. There have been lots of these two that I've used until the very last drop. To minimize pores, Benefit Porefessional is a classic goodie, but for a cheaper option I'm a fan of the NYX Pore Filler. For something more basic, check out Rimmel Fix & Perfect for a cheapie and Clinique Superprimer or Smashbox Photo Finish for something more high-end. I've always wanted to give the Too Faced Hangover Primer a shot as well. These will help improve the appearance of your skin without giving you cake-face or make you look like you're wearing a mask.

Concealers have come in and out as well, each being used for a different concern. Bobbi Brown Corrector is my favorite for under eye bags, but second place has to go to Benefit Erase Paste and It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye. All-around standouts are Nars Radiant Creamy and Maybelline Fit Me. The Tarte CC Under Eye Corrector and Urban Decay Naked Concealer are my next two to try. It's important to place these only in the areas that you need them. The easy way out would be applying them pretty much everywhere to hide the fact that you're not wearing foundation, but remember - you don't need to cover everything, just your few trouble areas. I like to focus on my under eyes, around my nose, and any leftover acne marks.

Occasionally if I need my makeup to last longer, I'll apply a light layer of powder, something like the Rimmel Stay Matte (shade translucent) or one of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders (I love shade Dim Light). It's crucial not to pile this on, or else things get majorly cakey, and will completely cancel out the natural quality of your foundation-less skin. I also focus this only on the areas I applied concealer, not my entire face.

One last thing to remember is that it takes time to develop confidence in your own skin, but it's also perfectly okay to wear foundation. Whatever empowers you is what you should follow. To me, feeling like my natural skin is showing through makes me feel much more confident now, especially when paired with other makeup that I love, like crazy eyeshadow or bright lipstick. If you're taking the path that I do, don't forget to remind yourself that your skin is beautiful, and you don't need to hide it.


Have you tried going foundation-free?
If you wear foundation, what's your favorite?


  1. Great post. I enjoyed reading it. I'm trying to improve my skin, so I don't need to wear foundation as much. It's a pain to always have to look for a new color.


  2. I actually have a fear of foundation. It used to be really unhealthy for your skin, so I've avoided it as an adult even though technology in the industry has come so far. I have pretty good skin, and I think the thought of needing to cover your skin is crazy and feeds into product consumption...

    Sorry about that rant! Just saying, I agree.




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