I Know It's Time for "Dewy Spring Skin," But Let's Talk About Matte Foundations

Fashion week happens and then the weather finally warms up, and everyone acts like they're reinventing the wheel when they start talking about glowy skin for spring.
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Tynan Sinks
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Fashion week happens and then the weather finally warms up, and everyone acts like they're reinventing the wheel when they start talking about glowy skin for spring.

I know it's finally Springtime and everyone is pulling out their best spring beauty looks, but I'm gonna go against the grain real quick for a minute here. Everyone loves dewy skin, especially at this time of year. Fashion week happens and then the weather finally warms up, and everyone acts like they're reinventing the wheel when they start talking about glow-y skin for Spring. 

Here's the thing: Fresh, dewy skin is always in. What we're not talking about enough is matte skin, specifically by way of matte foundations.

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Now, I've made it no secret that I am always down to highlight myself within an inch of my life. Whether we're talking about that soft, diffused, ambient candlelight bullshit lit-from-within look or a full, high beam wet look, I'm here for it all. I want my skin to be so gleamy at all times that you'd think the Hubble Telescope was coming at you, reflecting the full glare of the sun with a drink in its hand. 

A good highlight — no matter how subtle or dramatic — can be kind of a balancing act, depending on the products you're using (both skincare and cosmetic). Pair that with the fact that your mug is going to look different in your bathroom mirror right before you leave your apartment than two hours later when you're out and your oil starts to kick in. THEN what? There's a lot to think about. 

Depending on what I'm doing on any given day, there's certain skincare or makeup that I'll reach for when I want to get a glow, but I won't ever use them all at once because the concept of "too much of a good thing" is very real when it comes to shine. You don't want your forehead to end up looking reflective in selfies in the middle of your night, right? Right.

Matte foundations are a sort of love 'em or hate 'em product, but I think they're overlooked more often than not, and they shouldn't be. There's a common misconception that matte skin equals dull skin and that, my friends, is an lie.

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To me, matte foundations tend to look more like my skin faster than foundations that promise a glow-y finish. Think about it. That pretty, fresh face of yours reflects light in its own way, but you're not usually glowing from every single angle like you are when you apply a dewy foundation. Some of my very favorite foundations are heavy on the glow, but the first thing I do after I apply them is to mute the glow a bit, in certain areas (my forehead) because I don't need all that. 

Matte products seem to sink in and become imperceptible and make everything look like your skin, but better. Personally, I think the "no-makeup makeup look" is kind of offensive and, even worse, a fucking bore, but fine, you want a no makeup, barefaced look? Reach for a matte foundation. 

Matte foundations don't mean your face is going to be — or needs to be  — completely no-glow, but it puts you in control. For a control freak like me, that's a very good thing. These mattes look amazing over an illuminating primer and, of course, you can highlight on top of them as you see fit, which I do frequently and enthusiastically. 

Plus, if you're covering any blemishes, dewy foundations might camouflage their redness, but the dewy finish is going to amplify skin's uneven texture and draw attention to any bumps you're trying to hide. FOR INSTANCE, wanna know a secret? I have a blemish in the photo below but you can't tell because it's covered in a matte foundation.

Sorry my stupid hand is in all of these photos I don't know what was going on.

Sorry my stupid hand is in all of these photos I don't know what was going on.

My favorite matte foundation at the moment, and the one I'm sporting in these photos, is YSL's Fusion Ink Foundation, $60. 

This shit is just... I mean, it's that good. It's a serum foundation, which, okay they don't refer to it as a serum foundation, but I do. It's one of the thinnest foundations you'll ever use. Listen close — the consistency is thin, but the coverage is not. 

Fusion Ink is a perfect middle ground of a medium foundation. I usually wear two layers of foundation to make sure everything is even, but I'm usually good with just one pass of this, another for areas with extra redness. 

My skin is instantly evened out and imperfections are covered without it looking shiny, heavy, or too opaque anywhere on my face, and my face is never flattened out. The great thing is is that your face is still going to reflect light on all the places it normally does (your forehead, nose, etc.,) but it's not gonna be on full blast. 

It looks natural. It looks like your very own skin.

The foundation is incredibly light, so even if you're having the worst skin day, you can build it up without it creasing or settling into pores or fine lines like some foundation that settle into these three lines on my forehead which is the least cute.

I hate it when anyone says that a product makes their skin "look like porcelain," I mean, how creepy is that? Plus touching porcelain always makes my skin crawl and my nipples hard BUT: this foundation makes my skin look flawless, but naturally flawless, not Facetune flawless. Know what I mean?

I'm not saying that this luxury foundation is the only way to get gorgeous matte skin, not by a long shot. You can cop foundations in the drugstore that do the damn thing just as well! There's L'Oreal's Infallable Pro Matte (more of a demi-matte on the matte spectrum,) $12.99, Rimmel's Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation (this one is pretty dense and I find myself blending it out quite a bit, but I also officiated a wedding in it and it covered the rapidly-increasing dark circles under my eyes from ripping six shots of Jameson before the ceremony), and my personal drugstore holy grail foundation, Maybelline's Dream Velvet Foundation, $9.99.

Do you guys prefer matte foundations over those that promise dewy Spring skin? If so, which ones? Tell me AND SHOW ME in the comments!

Tynan's skin is matte on Twitter @TynanBuck