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Here’s What Happened When 3 People Went “Foundation Free” For a Week

The “foundation free” movement is going strong. We decided to try it out ourselves. See what happened!

We all have those spots or features that make us think twice about leaving the apartment without makeup. For me, unless I have my hair back in a ball cap on my way to Pilates, I pretty much never go out without under eye concealer. When my boyfriend and I started dating, I even pulled a move from Sandra Bullock in The Proposal (or pretty much any rom com protagonist) and snuck to the bathroom to apply some in the morning before he woke up.
As I’ve gotten a tiny bit older and wiser though, I’ve realized two very important things. One, hidings these “flaws” and looking like I’m wearing an Instagram filter 24/7 is overrated. And two, skin care can help to fix these so-called “problems” which in fact are just the result of slacking in the Treat Yo Self™ department.  
Celebrities like Alicia Keys and Demi Lovato led the charge for the #MakeupFree movement, and now, inspiring beauty influencers like Michelle Pham are leading the way toward a #FoundationFree movement. So for all you makeup gurus out there fear not: There’s still plenty of room for highlighter and statement lips. All the “foundation free” life is about is embracing your natural complexion and giving your pores a well-deserved breather.
So when The Klog team asked you all about the “Foundation Free” movement, a few of us were intrigued and wanted to try it out for ourselves. Here are each of our very real takes on what it’s like to be “foundation free” for an entire week.


I was really apprehensive to go foundation free. I have pretty bad dark circles under my eyes and if the aforementioned confession wasn’t enough proof already, I have even been known to use a cold eye mask in the mornings just to get rid of that puffiness.  I have a lot of freckles, so when I went foundation free the first day, I realized the upside of this experiment would in fact be the ability to see them. And honestly I quite like them, so this was definitely an upside.

The biggest difference I noticed throughout the week was that my skin texture improved a lot. I think having my face clear all day really allowed my morning skin care routine to sink in and be more effective. Since I wasn’t doing my cushion and BB cream, I made sure to do two layers of Hanskin Hyaluron Essence and to double up on moisturizers, using the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Essential Moisturizer and the Hanskin Bio Origin The Cream.
Overall, going “foundation free” has let me embrace some of the “flaws” I used to try to cover. And while I am happy to have been able to return to my BB cream, I now can embrace a way more minimal and natural look on a daily basis.
Here are the products Meg used: Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity, YonKa Gel Nettoyant Cleanser, Etude House Collagen Toner, Hanskin Hyaluron Skin Essence, Hanskin Bio Brightening Serum, Klairs Vitamin C  (at night right before toner), Missha Misa Geum Sul Eye Cream, Missha Cell Renew Snail Essential Moisturizer, Hanskin Bio Origin The Cream, Dr. G Brightening Up Sun (during the day).


I wasn’t sure of what to expect but I found that I have been relying on foundation a lot more than I would like. I discovered foundation a year ago and now I am someone who will not walk out the house without it on.

Every morning, during the challenge, I would find myself reaching for my primer before I remembered that it was not allowed for the week. Although the challenge allows you to wear other makeup, applying highlighter to bare skin felt weird so I opted to not use highlighter for the week, too. I also stayed away from shimmery and metallic shadows since my skin did not have the finished look I wanted. Instead I would use my Stila eyeliner, a nude lip color, and a matte colored shadow. This routine took significantly less time than my normal routine and cleansing my face was a breeze.
During the week, my skin felt lighter since it was not clogged with makeup and it also felt fresh. Moving forward, I think I will use less foundation in my routine or dedicate days to no foundation.
Here are the products Shante used: (Night routine) Banila Co Clean it Zero Purity, Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser, Clinique Dramatically different moisturizer. (Day routine) Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser, Son & Park Beauty Water, Clinique Dramatically different moisturizer, Triple C Lightning Liquid, Julep No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen.


I’m not totally sure how much of a difference the absence of foundation made… I actually think my skin looked worse on the last day vs. earlier in the week, but going “foundation free” did make me hyper conscious of my skin care routine, and I was way more diligent with keeping up with products because I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide bad skin under my makeup. I’ve been known to skip toner and essence entirely in an effort to cut corners (it’s bad, I know!), but without foundation to fall back on, I was much more accountable with using these products regularly.
My skin definitely improved in texture—whether it was from not wearing makeup or from my reinvigorated routine, I’m not sure, but I felt comfortable going without makeup every day, which was surprising. I was mostly worried about not being able to hide the dark circles under my eyes, but I made sure to drink lots of water and get as much sleep as I could, which made them less noticeable to me.

I’ve definitely changed my approach to skin care—I’m way more appreciative of each step and have been keeping up with my routine consistently, rather than skipping through the steps that I felt wasn’t necessary. I also noticed how dramatic of an impact what I ate and how much I slept had on my skin. On the last day of the challenge I broke out a bunch because I had eaten loads of cake and ice cream the day before!
I’ll definitely skip foundation from time to time moving forward. It was a huge time saver, and made the morning really easy! I also thought my skin looked and felt nicer at the end of the day, versus its usual tacky and gross feel when I wear makeup.
Here are the products Margaret used: Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity, Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser, Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner, eNature Birch Juice Essence, Neogen Bio-Peel Lemon, Skin RX Re-Balance Moisturizer, Klairs Blue SPF, Erborian Ginseng eye cream, CosRx Triple C Lightning Liquid.
Bottom line:
The “foundation free” challenge isn’t about looking flawless. Rather, it’s about embracing your natural skin and taking care of it. While I don’t know if I will quit cold turkey, I definitely have started rethinking the amount of foundation I put on my face and have embraced a more natural look.

+ Are you ready to take up the challenge? Try going “foundation free” and be sure to post your selfies and your experience in the comments!

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