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How To Achieve Flawless Makeup Without Foundation

September 30, 2020 By

Can you still look put together without foundation? Whether you’re pressed for time and need to nix some steps from your usual makeup routine, or simply don’t like the feel of foundation — there’s still a way to show off even and natural-looking skin to your best advantage.

Read on for all the reasons why you can definitely skip foundation, plus foolproof ways to pull off that fresh-faced look.

Why Go Foundation-Free?

The fresh-faced look will forever be in style, but the buzz around skipping foundation makeup has never been louder. Chalk it up to the so-called “skin positivity” movement, but more and more people (your favorite celebrities included) are giving up foundation makeup products in favor of more fuss-free, everyday makeup – even if it means showing off real skin textures, pores, and hyperpigmentation.  It’s all about embracing perceived “flaws” and resolving insecurities about “imperfect” skin.1

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Feel-good confidence aside, skipping foundation can also do wonders for your skin. The less products you pile on your face, the smaller your chances are of clogging pores and causing breakouts. You’re able to let bare skin “breathe” and show off a more natural look, especially in the summer when it often feels too hot to be layering too many products on your face.2

Not only that, you’ll also be saving yourself time and effort doing routine makeup touch-ups throughout the day (since foundation can often look cakey or faded after a few hours). 

Keep reading for our best tips to get polished-looking skin and a put-together makeup look, without piling on powder or liquid foundation.

How To Prep Your Skin For A Flawless Complexion

So, what’s the secret to a gorgeous foundation-free look? A good set of products that can both prep skin and show it off in its best light – plus, playing up some of your other features. 

Skin First

Foundation is meant to perfect your complexion. It can help hide imperfections, create a smooth finish, and give you a perfect, clear canvas to work with. But in lieu of foundation, what are you to do? Invest in great skincare.

A skincare routine that works for YOU can really help lessen your need for a cover-up job. By improving the quality and clarity of your skin over time, you’ll find yourself reaching for that foundation product less and less. Here are some essentials you need to put skin first.

Eye Gel Patches And Eye Creams

Eye gel patches (even better when fresh out of the fridge) and high-quality eye creams can help target common issues like puffy eyes, fine lines, and even dark circles , so you can skip the heavy foundation under the eye area. By brightening and de-puffing your delicate eye area, you’re able to give off a youthful and vibrant look without needing any makeup.3


Specially formulated and very potent, serums provide a hyperboost of skin-saving ingredients – perfect for when you want to “wake up” tired-looking skin, smooth out patchy areas, and give off a more polished and youthful look without makeup. Serums often give skin a dewy or hydrated look, lessening your need for illuminating foundation to “fake” that glow.4

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Tinted Moisturizer

The simplest trick to get an even, glowing complexion? Tinted moisturizer. Since you need to seal in moisture and protect your skin from the elements anyway, why not choose a product with a touch of coverage to match your skin? This can give your complexion a more polished glow, but won’t feel as heavy as regular foundation. Pro Tip: To keep that fresh glow intact, don’t apply setting powder over your entire face. Instead, apply it on targeted areas — where your skin tends to get oily, like the center of your forehead, nose, and chin.5

Everyday Makeup: Your Flawless No-Foundation Guide 

Once you have skincare sorted, it’s time to finalize your lineup of trusty products to complete your flawless, natural look. No need to scour YouTube – here’s every step you need to know… 

Step 1: Brush Up Brows

Well-groomed brows help make you look instantly more put-together, even if you’re wearing the bare minimum of makeup. Channel that off-duty model look by making your brows look fuller  and well-shaped, and use your preferred brow makeup (be it a gel, powder, pencil, or pomade).6

brush eyebrows | City Beauty

Step 2: Spot-Treat Skin

The light-reflecting pigments in a glowy primer can help skin appear more radiant and blur any imperfections, too.7

Go for a lightweight, luminous tinted moisturizer, BB cream, or CC cream all over your face, and use a small amount of concealer only in places you absolutely need it. Make sure you blend well to keep skin looking natural.8

Step 3: Add Cream Color

Choose a cream blush for a pop of color that boosts the natural finish you’re looking for.9

Thinking of eye shadow next? You can also play up eyes with a wash of neutral brown cream shadow across the lids.10 Curl your lashes to enhance that bright-eyed and bushy-tailed look.

Last cream color to apply? A light swipe of matte lipstick. If you’re feeling fun and flirty, go for a vivid color… otherwise, opt for a gorgeous neutral shade to complete your no-makeup look.

Flawless Without Foundation IS Possible

There’s no reason not to rock bare skin. It’s an interesting experiment to see how your makeup routine and daily looks would evolve without relying on a heavy foundation makeup base. It may even show you what your skin truly needs to look fresh and youthful naturally, instead of constantly covering it up.

Focus on caring for your skin to achieve a real glow that even the priciest foundation can’t fake, and perfect the rest of your makeup application skills with a light hand and quality products. Barefaced beauty, here you come!

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