Perricone MD's No Makeup Skincare Is Basically Magic

Ever-elusive natural makeup look: I've finally got you in my grip!
Publish date:
June 16, 2014
makeup, perricone, perriconemd

It looks like summer has finally arrived, and with it, a huge amount of stress. I'll spare you the details, but the last time I put on a whole face of full coverage foundation, eyeliner, and mascara, I sweated most of it off and cried off the rest. It was a disaster. I swore off makeup for the rest of summer and resigned myself to going around looking pale, tired, and spotty.

Enter Perricone MD's new No Makeup Skincare. They graciously offered to let me try it out and I'm so so glad I agreed. Before I get to my review, here's a little background information about the No Makeup line.

The idea behind No Makeup Skincare is to pack your makeup with ingredients that are beneficial for your skin. The concealer and bronzer both have Vitamin C ester to "support natural collagen production" and "diffuse sun damage," while the foundation promises to "minimize the appearance of fine lines and pores" with alpha lipoic acid. Even the lipstick contains neuropeptides to smooth your lips.

Now, I can't speak to the validity of these claims because I imagine it would take a few months to even notice a difference. I tend to be a little skeptical of, "Look how much science we put in this makeup!" claims, anyway. So I'm just going to focus on how the makeup looks and feels, but I will say that I don't hate the idea that maybe there are some great skincare benefits to be had by using these products.

More importantly, they all have SPF! The lipstick has SPF 15, the bronzer, blush, and foundation have SPF 30, and the concealer (which is great for use around the eye area) has SPF 35.


My first impression was that I LOVED the packaging. It's grown up and fancy and just has a nice feel to it--cold and heavy. It feels like money. And science. But sexy science that makes you prettier, not like ninth grade chemistry class science.

The packaging is also really convenient, since they were smart enough to give the foundation a pump and the bronzer an eyedropper that dispenses a controlled amount of product so you don't spill it everywhere. Even the blush has a nifty doe foot application, like a lipgloss. My only quibble with the containers is that it's easy to confuse the concealer with the mascara.

I thought you guys might want to see a closeup of the mascara wand. It has very small bristles, thicker on one side and thinner on the other. You use the thicker side first to deposit a serum and add volume, then you use the thinner side to lengthen and separate lashes.

Honestly, it involved a lot of squinting at the mascara brush, and I don't like my mascara to be complicated. That's the downside. The upside is that it gave me natural, non-clumpy lashes that looked a lot longer, and it didn't smear or flake at all--not even the next morning. (I'm terrible about removing mascara before bed.)

Makeup Swatches

Before Photo

I'm not wearing any makeup other than some brow powder and a redness-canceling primer. I have no idea if you really need to wear primer with this makeup, but I usually prefer to err on the side of primer.


With some trepidation, I pumped two to three squirts of foundation in the lightest shade, Fair to Light, into my hand and applied it with my fingers, as is recommended. It goes on quite sheer, with no streaks or caking. The effect is truly natural, like a better version of my skin. Although it didn't really cover up my more stubborn spots, it gave my skin a nice, evened-out glow. I would say it's one step above a BB cream as far as coverage. It does have a noticeable scent; I can't describe it but it's not offensive in any way.

I was also afraid it would melt off and make me look shiny, but as you can see in the photos below, the final appearance is surprisingly matte.

In these after photos, along with the foundation I'm also wearing the line's blush, bronzer, concealer, mascara, and lipstick. The concealer is much thicker than the foundation, and a little darker. I found it was better for the eye area than for covering up spots. I dotted it under my eyes and on my eyelids as well. It did help to conceal under eye darkness, and it occurred to me that it would make an amazing base for eyeshadow. Upon double checking, I found that it can indeed multitask as an eye makeup primer. Bonus!


I applied the bronzer next, also very nervously. Bronzer easily comes off as too dark or orange on my skin, and this bronzer is a very dark brown liquid. Luckily it's easy to apply once you get the hang of it. I only needed one drop from the tear dropper. I dotted it under my jawline and around my temples and then quickly blended it in with my fingers. It blends in like a dream. I actually thought I could have gone back and added more.

I'm excited to play around with the bronzer more. I want to see just how Kardashian I can go while still looking natural. Another time, though.


Next I applied the blush, which might be my favorite product out of the whole line. It's the perfect pink-coral shade, first of all. The doe foot application makes it easy to dot it on. Then you can just blend it in with your fingers.

I never wear blush because my cheeks have a natural flush, so I was nervous about how this would look. I've also never tried a liquid blush before. In the end, though, I loved it. I even dabbed some on my lips for a coral lip stain. I now keep this little bottle in my purse at all times in case I need a touch-up during the day, but it lasts so long that it's not really necessary. I just don't like to be away from it.


This lipstick is a pretty sheer pink. It looks nice on its own or layered on top of the matte coral blush for extra shine (which is what I did here). It smells amazing, and it also feels amazing--like rubbing liquid silk on your lips. This is now a purse staple.

Overall Likes and Dislikes

I liked this line so much I even took the time to put on the foundation, blush, and lipstick before work the next morning. I never wear makeup to work because I'm lazy--and because the last time I wore a bright lipstick there a random guy came up to me and said, "Oh, you have makeup on. I like that... uh, makeup on you." I usually try to avoid weird interactions like that.

But this makeup looks like I have NO makeup on! Crazy, right? It mostly just makes me look more awake. I actually screamed "IT'S ALIIIIIVE!" after seeing the end result in the mirror before I left for work. Turns out other people don't appreciate that sort of humor at 7 a.m., but what can I say? I'm just so excited about finally finding a summer beauty routine that works for me.

Honestly, the only thing I don't like about it is the very limited shade range. The foundation comes in two shades: Fair to Light and Light to Medium. The lightest is perfect for extremely pale girls like myself, but anyone beyond a light "medium" is left out. I hope they expand it to include darker shades soon, and I know you guys will agree with me on that.

Do you think you'll be trying Perricone MD's No Makeup line? If you already have I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. I'd also love to hear what you do to de-stress. Personally, I think I see a book, a bottle of wine, and some lavender bath bombs in my near future.

All photos by Joshua Kirby