My relationship with complexion makeup has been an interesting journey. As someone with rosacea, keratosis pilaris, plenty of freckles, and generally dry and sensitive skin, I’ve struggled to find a product that provides solid coverage without completely changing the way I look, or causing irritation and flare-ups. Foundation never really gave me the effect I was going for, but after a bit of trial and error, I finally found a routine that allowed me to get flawless, dewy skin without using foundation. But first, how I got here.
I’ll never forget the first time I got my makeup professionally done for my school’s homecoming dance when I was 15. I made the mistake of letting the makeup artist have full reign and she ended up using a heavy, full-coverage foundation, when, at that point in life, I wasn’t even using so much as a tinted moisturizer. When she finished, I looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognize myself. No freckles, and not even the tiniest patch of redness in sight. While some might argue that that look was the whole point, for me it was a disaster. I have always loved the art of makeup and its potential, but I quickly learned that I prefer to simply enhance my natural features. I like my freckles, and through the years I have embraced my rosacea too. It’s like “natural blush” I’ve been told.
I’ve tried many makeup products that claim to provide a natural-looking complexion. BB creams, CC creams, tinted moisturizers, lightweight foundations — you name it, I’ve tried it. Many of the products were good, but I still always felt that there was either a bit too much coverage or not quite enough, and my complexion never looked perfectly blended. Plus, many of the formulas left my skin feeling dry and crusty but the end of the day. My redness is patchy, so with tinted moisturizer, for example, certain areas of my cheeks would look smooth while other areas would show bumps and redness right through the formula. Different patches of skin needed different amounts of product, which meant applying it was especially complicated and often looked uneven.
Then, during the early days of our COVID lockdown, I went down an hours-long rabbit hole of watching celebrity beauty tutorials on YouTube (I’m not alone here, right?) and discovered a hack with a product I had somehow never considered before.
OK, I know what you’re thinking — this is not ground-breaking information — but it was the first time I had seen a tutorial that used concealer in a targeted way in lieu of a full face of foundation. So, I started skipping foundation as the base, and instead began concealing the areas of concern: under my eyes, the bottom half of my cheeks, a bit around the nose — wherever I felt needed a little extra coverage for dark spots or redness. The application is buildable, and by using a more pigmented concealer I have been able to fully conceal redness where it isn’t wanted, leaving it on the upper parts of my cheeks where it looks more like blush.
It turns out you don’t need product covering every inch of your face to accomplish a glowing and even-toned complexion. My skin feels much brighter and lighter without foundation sitting on my face all day. In fact, this new concealer hack has even led me to ditch foundation altogether.
In order to achieve that flawless dewy glow, my new morning routine consists of skin care products that add a boost of hydration, plus a moisturizer to keep dryness at bay, and then I finish off with sunscreen. Then comes the concealer, which I’ll either apply with my finger or my favorite Artis concealer brush. Saying goodbye to foundation in favor of concealer has been a game-changer in both how I look and feel. My skin is so much more comfortable without being weighed down by an extra layer of foundation, and I absolutely love the way my complexion looks. Not 100% Kylie Jenner filtered flawless, but naturally flawless, with just a bit of rosacea and freckles shining through. While foundation is still great when I have an event or a good excuse to go full glam, I’ll be sticking to this new routine for my everyday look.
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