Why I Ditched Foundation

On giving base the boot.

“Welcome back to my channel, today we’re going to be talking about…”

It’s a familiar phrase that anyone who learned how to do their makeup from the world wide web has engraved in their minds. YouTube is where we learned how to contour, how to do our eyebrows and how to over line our lips exactly like Kylie Jenner (and I still do to this day).

And while I am far from a makeup artist myself, I love sitting down before heading out with my friends and doing a glam look. For the majority of my late teens and twenties when I went in search of foundation, I would grab full coverage. The most full-coverage option on the shelf. I didn’t want a single pore to be on show. If I could just slather myself in foundation then I would have been a happy camper. 

Beauty Influencer Nikki Tutorials was my go-to for all things beauty related and she was not afraid to slap that foundation on. She still isn’t and I love that for her.

The problem with full coverage and my particular skin-type, AKA oily to all hell, is that product tends to start sliding right off after a few hours of wear. And it’s not a cute look. But try telling 21-year-old me that she should maybe tone down the foundation!

But one day, I ran out of foundation. And shock-horror, I had to leave the house. I grabbed my trusty concealer and tried to cover up the dark circles and blemishes that I perceived I had. And never in my life had I gotten so many compliments. People praised my “glowing skin”, they commented on how smooth it was. Things that I had tried very hard to conceal for almost a decade of makeup use.

Along with the oily skin comes break-outs and hormonal acne. Teenage me hated her skin and there was nothing that could make it go away. It was an insecurity that I had covered up with layers and layers and layers of makeup.

But, maybe my skin wasn’t as horrible and evil as I thought.

After that day I decided to try out leaving the foundation at home, using concealer instead as a base. Okay, full disclosure, I didn’t just get a spurt of confidence because I was told my skin was lovely. I also learned that the makeup artist on Euphoria didn’t use foundation on the cast. And if it’s good enough for Sydney Sweeney, it is more than good enough for me.

So, buh-bye foundation.

I was quite shocked by how much I immediately loved my new “glowing” look. Rather than my go-to products being the Fenty full coverage foundation and bronzer, I was grabbing my Charlotte Tilbury concealer and my Rare Beauty blush. More often than not I’d arrive to work with no makeup at all, something I wouldn’t have even thought of doing a mere six months ago.

And no one is repulsed by my appearance. I’m sure no one really cares what I look like. But it certainly gives me a confidence boost and the ability to fall in love with my skin.

Obviously, I’m not the only one on a foundation ban. Skincare has really overtaken the beauty industry, with every celebrity ever swapping their makeup brand for one to soothe our skin. It seems like rather than covering up the issue like I was doing for many years, the way forward is to make sure that your skin just looks flawless all the time.

Jennifer Rock, AKA The Skin Nerd, shared her thoughts about the latest trend of binning your foundation and she admits that there are plenty of benefits to it.

“Alongside saving money and time in the morning, forgoing foundations that are particularly heavy can give your pores some breathing space and help to avoid congestion and acne. That being said, many foundation formulations now contain skin-beneficial ingredients such as hyaluronic acid – a humectant that attracts and retains moisture in the skin as well as being super light and non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging). The trend for pared-down makeup has also inspired many skincare/makeup hybrid products such as serum foundation to extend your skincare further and create a more natural, skin-first look,” she explains.

She’s clearly enjoying the fact that “the skin barrier is having its time in the spotlight”. Unfortunately, while foundation is a one-and-done, if we want our skin to look flawless we have to put in the work!

“It is all about a consistent, thorough double cleanse, hydrating with skin-boosting serums and ensuring your skin is protected from UV rays all year round with a high factor, broad-spectrum SPF. Extra care taken with the skin enhances your complexion and removes the need for heavy, cakey makeup and cover-up.”

And while I had her, I had to know, what skincare should I be adding to my routine?

“My holy grails are Skingredients PreProbiotic Cleanse Hydrating Cleanser, vitamin A and our multi-award-winning Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50 PA+++, which offers a high level of protection with a primer-like, peachy tinted finish.”

Okay, so the skincare industry is thriving but what about the world of makeup artists? Have they seen a change in the way people want their makeup done?

Makeup artist Aron Whelan assured me that in the last two years there has “most definitely been a switch” from full coverage colourful glam to a more au naturel look. He adds that this is across all demographics, regardless of age, race or gender! 

Surely, they’re not all influenced by Euphoria! So why are we all aboard the natural skin train?

“In my opinion both personally and professionally from my clientele, people care less! We have begun to prioritise ourselves more shamelessly and rightfully so… this is driving a skin-first wave of confidence across the nation. Makeup for most people especially those who suffer from acne, rosacea and more was previously a form of coping mechanism. I used to hear daily ‘cover it up’ and ‘hide all this mess’ of recent years it’s more widely accepted and educated that these skinsuations (skin situations!) are normal and can only be ‘fixed’ or ‘controlled’ via the use of skincare! We can thank social media for this knowledge and understanding!”

Although Aron doesn’t believe we’ll be saying goodbye to foundation forever, he does think that skin-first foundation á la Irish brand Sculpted by Aimee is the way forward. So what product does he suggest instead of foundation?

He couldn’t be more excited to tell me – Declaré BB Cream SPF 30!

“This product has its limits in terms of its shade range but its colour-matching tech works a treat. I have yet to encounter a client I couldn’t use it on!” he says.

So it looks like the reign of full coverage foundation may be over. But that’s not to say that I still don’t indulge in a full glam look every now and then. Sometimes we just need to beat our faces to the gawds! And for that, we need a foundation so thick that God himself couldn’t break through it.

And worry not, full glam is still a very popular makeup look. But I’m just glad that there are options now, and plenty of them.

So will you be binning your foundation this spring?


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