How I've Gotten Away With Skipping Foundation All Summer

Sick of flesh-colored sweat, I adjusted my beauty routine so I'd have skin I'm confident to show. (In public! Every day!)

I've been wearing foundation for almost 20 years. Not just sometimes--consistently. Pretty much every day.

Once I started, I felt like I needed it. At first, it was to help cover acne; then, to even out skin left discolored by that acne; more recently, just because I felt it made me look better for no particular reason.

It's been a harmless habit, but it has an annoying catch: in the summer, it melts off my face. I deal with excessive facial sweating all year long, but summertime is straight-up awful. And yet, I've insisted on wearing foundation all year round like the stubborn but adorable mule that I am.

I've tried every long-wear, sweat-resistant foundation there is, but my industrial-strength perspiration is just too much. Flesh-colored drips fall from my face, staining my collar; I blot gently with a paper towel (I bring one on my commute every day), and pull it away to see it drenched in sweat and foundation.

So this summer, I finally effed that noise. I gave up. No foundation. Not even BB cream.

But that meant addressing the reasons I wear foundation in another way. I had to adjust my skincare routine to help improve the look of my skin in such a way that I felt confident skipping what had become, to me, like a blue blanket to Linus. (Side note: I really like the name Linus. If I ever have a kid--a boy--I would totally consider it. But I dunno... does it sound too much like "penis"?)


The first thing I apply in the morning on clean skin is Perricone MD Advanced Eye Therapy. I've mentioned this little guy before; I keep coming back to it because its alpha-lipoic acid and DMAE make a noticeable difference on the little lines under my eyes. But we'll get back to my under-eye area in a bit.

I want my skin to look radiant and even without foundation, so I've been using a serum with gentle but effective ingredients: pur~lisse pur~bright ultra skin brightening serum. It relies on alpha-arbutin to inhibit excess melanin, while a ton of botanical extracts and oils--lupine, avocado, neem, etc.--help to support and youthify (not a word--should be a word) skin. While it may not lighten hyperpigmentation like a hydroquinone-based spot treatment, I'm really happy with its overall brightening effect.

Once the serum is absorbed, I apply 3LAB Hydra Day SPF 20, a light, noncomedogenic cream that gives me just enough protection for the very small amount of time I'm outdoors on my way to work. (It's a great SPF moisturizer, but by no means do you need to spend $85 to get the same service. Any light face lotion with sunscreen will do.)

Sunscreen is actually not my last skincare step. Once it has dried down, I apply Vichy Normaderm Total Mat Anti-Shine Mattifier on my forehead, nose and chin. It's like they melted down blotting papers into a lotion! Plus, it has salicylic acid, so it's helping to keep my skin clear in my most breakout-prone spots.


While I may not be covering my face in foundation, I still rely on concealer to make darkness less noticeable. But I had to find a concealer that doesn't stand out super-obviously on bare skin--not easy, you guys.

I was lucky to cross paths with (OK, it was sent to me) Miracle Skin Transformer Treat & Conceal Eye & Face. It beautifully covers both under-eye circles and blemishes (new, healing, and ghosts of), and it blends soooo nicely thanks to a naturally derived silicone base. I even use it on my eyelids just to even them out and serve as a primer on days I wear eyeshadow.

I don't always wear powder, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Sorry, that just flowed out of my fingers against my will. Dos Equis doesn't actually make powder, so instead, I use Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder. It's a colorless pressed powder with oil-absorbing properties, so it not only sets my concealer, it also gives me extra shine insurance.

And I just do the rest of my makeup whatever way I want to, because I'm a big girl and I do what I feel like.

I'll probably start wearing foundation again when it starts cooling off in the fall, but I might save it for fancy stuff and keep going barefaced for my day-to-day. Because, hello...

No weird jawline-blending, face-neck-mismatching issues! That alone is a great reason to skip foundation.

Do you wear foundation every day? Could you be convinced to be weaned off of it?