Going foundation-free can no doubt be daunting; all the pigmentation and pimples that you usually cover up are suddenly put on display for the world to see. But having a bare-faced routine provides you many benefits: Not only will you spare your pores from clogging, but you’ll also be able to save some extra time in the morning to sleep in. The secret to going foundation-free? Not necessarily all the zit-zapping formulas you’ve spent a fortune on. Instead, all you have to do is invest a little extra time and effort on your skin and over time, you’ll be tossing away all your powders and foundations to the curb. Scroll through the gallery below as we delve into the nitty gritty behind achieving flawless base-free skin.
Text: Michelle Yeoh / Her World / October 2017
Additional text: Cheryl Lim
Image: Glossier’s Instagram
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For more beauty stories, read 10 Life-Changing Beauty Essentials For Lazy Girls and Here Are 5 Different Facial Masks For 5 Different Skincare Needs.
For starters, apply lighter coverage
If you’re not too keen on the idea of going foundation-free right off the bat, here’s an alternative: experiment with light coverage first. Trade in your foundation for more lightweight options such as BB creams, tinted moisturisers, or even skin-perfecting concealers like RMS Beauty’s Un Cover-Up ($58), which doubles as both a concealer and foundation.
You can also wear a coat of pore-blurring primer by itself for smooth and skin and you’ll look fresh faced and put together in mere seconds. Following these other steps, the condition of your skin will improve so the coverage you feel is necessary will become lighter and lighter until you feel comfortable without any at all.
Pay attention to the rest of your face
It’s important to keep yourself look well-groomed and immaculate with a radiant complexion to boot. If you’re already ditching foundation, you wouldn’t want to look unkempt with wild, unwanted brow hairs sprouting all over the place. You want to look purposefully au naturel, not lazy (don’t let them see through you!).
Groom your brows on the regular to maintain the arches that’ll define and frame your face. If you find your complexion looking sallow or dull without foundation, smear on a cheek or lip tint on your cheeks for a rosy, radiant glow.
Photo: Instagram / Glossier
You may have mastered your skincare routine, but topical remedials can only go so deep. You’re really not helping the condition of your skin every time you reach for that bag of potato chips. It’s a sacrifice that must be made, ladies; ditch the pore-clogging dairy and dehydrating sodium-packed foods for better looking skin.
Instead, indulge in foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, sardines or salmon), collagen-boosting vitamin C (citrus fruits like oranges or broccoli) and antioxidants (cilantro, goji berries and pecans) for a healthier complexion and skin that’ll glow from the inside out.
Invest in consistent treatments
Consistent treatments perpetuate the biggest improvements to your skin condition. Dead skin cells are a hassle to get rid of, and a build up will only serve to give you uneven, dull skin. A chemical peel will work well in this instance to remove dead skin cells, miraculously clear acne and brighten up the skin.
Seek out professional facial sessions as well (once every 3-4 weeks) to keep your skin clean, clear and toned. Soon, you won’t even have a single flaw in sight to conceal in the first place.
Image: nikitabuida / Freepik
Stick to your skincare routine
Your skincare routine deserves an upgrade and some extra time out of your day. A crucial step that can’t be missed: double cleansing. Make sure you deeply cleanse your skin in the morning and night time to remove all traces of makeup, dirt, dust and pollution from your skin. Perfect your base, then take it step-by-step from there. If you need further elaboration, here we have a comprehensive guide to the best skin care routine.
Photo: Instagram / gotskininthegame
Target pore size
This step will give you a poreless, milky-toned complexion that’s so good, you’ll swear off foundation forever. Invest in a skincare product that’ll take care of clogged blackheads, whiteheads, and reduce the size of pores. Retinol-based lotions or serums are great for emptying out pores and tightening around them so that they look smaller. We recommend Kate Somerville’s RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream ($129) for this very purpose. Side note: It also works to treat uneven skin textures and aged skin with wrinkles.
Get a quick-fix on bad days
We’re all going to have bad skin days where flare-ups and zits run aplenty. But the trick here is to work with it, not against it. Turn to a restorative mask to best deal with angry blemishes and dull skin. The Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask from Origins ($50) is fantastic for decongesting hormonal, dull skin by removing dirt and absorbing excess oil in the skin.
Or, opt for a natural remedy instead. Pop some tea tree oil onto your zits while you’re on the go for a quick and easy way to reduce redness and inflammation.
Do your mid-day touch-ups
The best part about not having any foundation on is the freedom to pack on skin-enhancing serums or face mists that have been sitting on our desks during the working day for a quick complexion pick-me-up.
So what if you don’t have any base on and you’re starting to look greasy by mid-day? Fenty Beauty’s Invisimatte Blotting Paper ($26) has got your back to lift away all the shine. Or if you’ve got dry, crepe-like skin that’s got half your team of colleagues asking you if you’re ill, give your face a couple spritzes of Herbivore Botanicals’ hydrating face mist ($50) for a shot of moisture.
Don’t forget sunscreen
Though you’ll find your skin improving dramatically after you’ve stopped wearing foundation, you shouldn’t compromise on sun protection. After all, most of us rely on our foundation having SPF built in (which isn’t enough coverage against the sun in the first place), so it really should be more than an afterthought to double up on SPF protection once we’ve ditched the base.
Peter Thomas Roth’s Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion with SPF 30 ($75) is an ultra-lightweight antioxidant option that’ll give you a non-greasy, extra-sheer protection against UVA/UVB rays. It’s also rich in antioxidants to protect the skin against free radical damage. Double score!