Going Foundation-Free

I have something I want to talk about. I have reached the next level of enlightenment. I HAVE STOPPED WEARING FOUNDATION.

No, I can’t believe it either. I remember a time when I wouldn’t even consider leaving the house without a full-coverage face – including a thick layer of matte foundation. So it’s really surprised me how quickly (and well) I’ve adjusted to going without that mask on – especially considering my foundation-buying addiction and seemingly never-ending quest for “The One”.

So why (and how) have I done it?

Why? Generally, I just got fed up with the endless circle of applying and blending all that product – it takes time, energy and patience. Not to mention the constant touch-ups throughout the day and worrying about smearing, breaking apart and transfer. Also, I don’t honestly think my foundation ever looked that good. Yes, it covered redness, blemishes and scarring but the full-coverage look didn’t do my skin texture any favours and stopped me from actually looking like myself. I really like seeing my freckles and imperfections and having skin that’s so much more relaxed and glowy with nothing suffocating it.

I figured that ditching all the cover-up might make me less insecure about my skin (spoiler – I was right), and less paranoid about every single little spot and pore. Like I mentioned, I just got fed up of the whole thing and was tired of getting frustrated over foundations not working and taking it all off at the end of the day. I was also interested to know if it would improve the condition of my skin, but skeptical as weekends where I’ve been at home without a scrap of makeup have definitely NOT seen any improvements in my acne etc. I’m putting any large (positive) changes in that down to my new diet and exercise regime. I’ve spent the past few years just chain-buying foundations, desperate to find that Holy Grail product – if you read my New Year’s Resolutions post, you’ll know that I wanted to calm down on the base-buying front. Well, this is definitely one way to do it – there’s no point in buying foundation if you don’t wear it!.

Jumping off the foundation train has not been easy. I think the transition was triggered and somewhat helped along by my newfound love of Glossier makeup – especially their Skin Tint, which provides a sheer comfort blanket of sorts, for your skin. You’re safe in the knowledge that there’s something on your face, even if it doesn’t look like much. Working full-time in a professional environment also caused me a fair amount of trepidation – when I started to wear a low-coverage base, someone in the office actually asked if I was OK, because I looked flushed and unwell (cheeky buggers). My dark circles aren’t too bad, but I do suffer from loads of redness thanks to my fair and ginger colouring. When I blush, it’s extreme. So, that’s been a little tough to adjust to – looking somewhat like a tomato. Might try some anti-redness skincare…


Eventually, I just stopped with the Skin Tint and relied solely on concealer – which is all I’m doing now. With a careful, light and strategic use of the right concealers around the face, you can make a huge difference to your appearance and feel more confident in your skin.

My current base routine is:

  • Plenty of moisturiser!
  • Glossier Stretch Concealer in Light – under the eyes and around the face (chin, nose creases, above brows)
  • Either Revolution Conceal and Define or NARS Soft Matte Complete concealer – dotted on and patted into blemishes for spot-concealing
  • The Rest! Blush, bronzer, brows etc.

I really love how much time and frustration this cuts out, and my face feels so much more…free – especially in the hot and humid summer months that we’re moving into. You might think that such little product won’t do the job, but by putting product only where it’s needed (and sparingly), and allowing the rest of your makeup to pull it all together leaves the face looking fresh and complete, without foundation. My freckles and natural skin dimension shine through, which I love, and I can spend more time on my favourite thing – eyeshadow! I’ve been going for a thoroughly smokey and shimmery eye lately, and it doesn’t look too done-up or heavy at all.

So, I took the leap of faith – and I’m really glad that I did. My skin is still far from perfect, and I do struggle a lot with insecurities around cystic acne (believe me, there’s days when I want nothing more than to slather on the Double Wear). But training myself to focus on my complexion less has genuinely made me feel so much better and skin-confident. I can highly recommend going minimal – even if you just do it once or twice a week.

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