If you have read any of my foundation reviews in the blog, I’m guessing you won’t be surprised when I say I pretty much exclusively use light to medium coverage foundations on day to day basis. I hate the feeling of having a layer of makeup on the skin, and I despise it when the foundation is visible to the human eye. It’s just one of my pet peeves. So about a month ago, I decided to take it one step further, and go foundation-free for 30 days. And you know what? I loved it for most parts. Now the experiment has completed, I have continued some of the habits built during the process, and would like to spill all my learnings with you.
Lesson 1: You Need Less Coverage Than You Think.
You have probably heard this a million times, but trust me, it’s true. Yes, I’m blessed with pretty good skin in general, and I have invested a lot (both in terms of time and financials) into a good skincare routine for years, so for most days, I don’t feel the need to cover up my skin entirely. But even so, I have had days where I feel the need to have medium coverage foundation, for uneven skin tones, for the redness, for the occasional breakouts, or just in general for the “imperfections”.
It took me about a week to get completely comfortable with bare skin, and for the most part, I don’t think anyone has noticed the differences other than myself. Because honestly, we are all self-centric and nobody pays much attention to others’ skin. Foundation free also feels surprisingly liberating, it’s a feeling I can’t quite put words to it. All I can say is that at the end of the day, I no longer feel the rush to wash everything off my face, and I appreciate my skin much more than I ever did.
Lesson 2: A Good Concealer, A Good Blush Saves The Day.
I raved about the RMS Un-cover up concealer/foundation here, it was truly my one and only complexion product for the 30 days. Depends on how I feel about my skin on the day, I would use it either just under the eye, or apply very lightly all over the face with a fluffy brush. It doesn’t conceal all the problems I have, but it makes me look a bit more polished and rested.
Also, let’s never underestimate what a good blush can accomplish. Even when the complexion is not perfect, a nice natural blush color just brightens up the entire face and give you that lifted effect. After I finished this challenges, I’ve arrived at a conclusion that my daily must-have makeup item is not a foundation, not a brow pencil, not a lipstick, but a good, solid blush that gives life back to my face. Plus, if it’s a multitask cream blush, they work as lip color too, don’t they?
Lesson 3: If You Are Glowing, It Distracts The Imperfection.
I’m a religious practitioner of glowy skin on a daily basis, I don’t posse even one matte finish foundation or tinted moisturizer. If a product has the word “glow” on it, you bet I’m all over it. When I kicked start the 30-day challenge, I decided to further step up my glow game by adding a drop of facial oil to my day time routine – either mixed into moisturizer or lightly tapped on after sunscreen. The ones I have been reaching for the most are the Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate and the Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil, both are lightweight on the skin, absorbs quickly and layers well with other products I have going on. The oil coupled with the Josie Maran Daily Moisturizer with spf 47, which is a very glowy moisturizer/sunscreen on its own, have given me the glowy skin of my dream. It’s borderline oily, if I’m being honest, so some days, I will strategically powder the T-zone with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, which takes away the shine but leaves the glow on the skin. Trust me, when your skin is this glowy, you wouldn’t even notice small imperfections yourself, let alone others who aren’t spending hours staring at your face up close.
Lesson 4: Cream Products Are Your Best Friends.
Putting aside the concerns of skin imperfections, one of the practical reasons I reach for foundation in the past has been creating a good base for powder products to grip to, which tend to be blotchy when applied directly to bare skin. So during the 30 days non-foundation challenge, cream products have truly become my best friends. I mean, I have always been a fan of them, but now our friendship has been put into the tested and is stronger than ever. Some of my favorite cream products are the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel (a cult favorite for very good reasons), the Becca Glow Glaze Stick, Glossier Cloud Paints, Nudestix Matte All Over Face Color Blush & Bronzer in Bondi Bea and all their blush shades really (I have developed a serious addiction to them), and Hourglass illume sheer trio, all of which are glorious. They applies effortlessly and blends to the skin like you are naturally blushing and glowing. Yes, they may not last as long as some of the powder products (though I would say Nudestix last exceptionally well for me), but they fade nicely and sort of becomes one with your skin.
Did I go back to foundations after the 30-day challenge? Yes, I did. For two reasons: 1) because I have so many base products accumulated from previous purchases that I cannot just sit here and watch them rotting away; and 2) putting on foundation is quite a therapeutic ritual for me in the morning – a few minutes completely dedicated to myself, the joy I do not want to take away. However, I did find myself gravitate towards even more sheer and lighter base, such as the M.A.C face and body, which has been my go-to lately. I just can not seem to work up an appetite for even medium coverage foundation, such as Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, which was my day to day favorite for a long time. But you know what? I’m not mad at it, with a very sheer and glowing base, coupled with lots of cream products, I have actually been enjoying makeup more than ever.