Makeup Education & Tips

Unveiling the Secrets of a No Foundation Makeup Look

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no foundation makeup look

Hello, beauty enthusiasts! Welcome back to another episode of the “Be Your Own Makeup Artistpodcast. In case you didn’t know, I’m Natalie Setareh, an award-winning makeup artist turned makeup educator and author.

If you’re new here, please know that I’m a makeup teacher. I produce inclusive, brand-agnostic content to help you be more confident and empowered with your use of makeup. The free (and ad-free) content I produce for you is only possible through your investments in my programs, digital guides, books, etc. With that being said, if you want to really learn how to wear makeup, I highly recommend signing up for my course Learn Makeup in 5 Days as well as investing in my book, Be Your Own Makeup Artist. They are two solid resources that will teach you everything you need to know (and skip everything you don’t need to know) as a makeup beginner.


In this episode, we’re delving into the fascinating world of a no foundation makeup look. It’s a topic that resonates with many makeup enthusiasts, and we’ll explore how you can achieve a flawless makeup look without the use of traditional foundation.

Listen to this episode: Apple | Google | Other

Your Skin Is Foundation (When You Skip It)

Before we delve deeper into the captivating world of the no foundation makeup look, it’s crucial to recognize the diverse nature of everyone’s skin, each with its unique characteristics ranging from oily to dry. We all contend with individual concerns such as dark spots, dark circles, and fine lines, making our skin care journey a truly personalized experience. The key to a successful makeup routine lies in tailoring it to the specific needs of your skin.

For personalized guidance on identifying your skin type, be sure to check out my free skin type guide >

Whether you find yourself navigating the challenges of mature skin, managing oily patches, or addressing dry areas, the transformative power of the right skincare products and a carefully crafted makeup routine cannot be overstated.

When you choose to skip foundation, you’re essentially embracing and celebrating your natural skin. There’s no shame in this decision; in fact, it’s an empowering choice to let your skin’s inherent beauty shine through. To achieve this radiant, no foundation look, it’s essential to focus on your skincare routine and understand how to prep your skin effectively.

If you’re on the lookout for unbiased product recommendations, explore my skincare and skin prep shopping guide available in my shop. It’s a curated selection to enhance your routine and elevate your makeup experience >

Get Your Skincare Routine In Order

In order to let your natural skin shine, your skincare routine becomes your greatest ally. Begin by thoroughly cleansing your face to remove any impurities or makeup residues. This sets the stage for the application of skincare products that cater to your skin’s specific needs—whether it’s providing hydration for dry patches, addressing dark spots, or soothing mature skin with nourishing ingredients.

My Thoughts On Foundation

Before we dive in, I want to share my personal take on foundation, its utility, and why some of us opt to skip it.

First of all, foundation is a versatile ally in any makeup application.

Foundation is a product that can work wonders in enhancing our complexion and creating a polished look. The range of foundations out there allows us to tailor our makeup to our individual style, whether it’s a sheer barely-there coverage or a full glam look. Unfortunately, foundation gets a bad rap because it’s often used incorrectly or in abundance (hello YouTube tutorials).

Empowering Choices: Why Skip Foundation?

Now, here’s the interesting part – skipping foundation. I firmly believe that makeup should be about personal empowerment and comfort. If you’re considering a foundation-free look, it’s crucial to understand why. Is it a preference for a natural look, a desire to skip the maintenance, or something else entirely? Knowing your motivations empowers you to make confident decisions about your makeup routine.

Most Common Reasons People Skip Foundation

1. Mismatched Color

One prevalent reason for wanting to skip foundation is the frustration of dealing with an incorrect color match. Discovering the perfect shade is an art, and I’ve shared insightful tips on finding your ideal match in this post here.

2. Formulation Misalignment

Another stumbling block is using a foundation not formulated to your skin type. Again and as previously mentioned, understanding your skin type becomes pivotal in navigating this challenge. It’s all about choosing a formulation that complements your unique skin characteristics. Determine your skin type here >

3. Personal Preferences Matter

The world of foundations is vast, and personal preferences play a significant role. Are you looking for a full-coverage foundation or a cc cream with sheer coverage? Or something in between? In my book and online course, I delve into the nuances of finding formulations aligned with individual tastes. Empowering you to make choices that resonate with your preferences is a core focus of my teachings.

Navigating these hurdles opens up a world of possibilities in the makeup realm. By addressing color mismatches, aligning with your skin type, and tuning into your personal preferences, you can confidently embrace or skip foundation based on what feels right for you. Beauty is about choices that empower and enhance your natural radiance!

Normally, if you are wearing the right match, that’s formulated for your skin type, that has your coverage preference — you won’t think of foundation as a heavy, uncomfortable makeup product. It’ll be one of you heavy lifters you won’t want to skip.

When To Skip Foundation?

There’s a beauty in going foundation-free, and I appreciate the simplicity and ease it brings. I skip foundations on the weekends when I’m hanging around the house or have no big social plans. I tend to also skip foundation in the summer because of the heat and opt for a more straightforward approach.

Here’s a demo of my summer look (aka a no foundation look) in case you’re interested!

Cream complexion products become my go-to, adding that touch of freshness without the weight of foundation.

Ultimately, the decision to wear or skip foundation should align with your personal preferences. While I cherish the benefits of a foundation, I equally celebrate the freedom to go without. It’s all about what makes you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin. So, whether you’re reaching for that foundation bottle or embracing a no-foundation look, remember, that beauty is about what feels right for you.

​No Foundation Makeup Tips

Concealer Only

On days I want to skip foundation (normally because of a time crunch or the weather it too hot/humid), I’ll skip foundation and use a few dots of strategically placed concealer. Of course, because you don’t want the concealer to settle into your fine line and wrinkles (if applicable), you’ll want to set that with a translucent setting powder. Not setting your concealer leaves you open to smudging and settling.

Cream Blush and Bronzer

I love a good cream blush and bronzer. Senna Cosmetics makes my favorites! You might not want to wear foundation but you can really freshen your complexion with a pop of easily bendable cream blush on the apples of the cheeks. If you don’t know where to apply blush for your face shape, I have a great chart in my book that makes blush foolproof!

Cream blushes and bronzers are essential players in no foundation makeup. Of course, that is depending on your personal preferences and comfort level.

Cream blushes and bronzers are versatile products that effortlessly infuse life into your complexion, providing a radiant, just-off-the-beach glow.

The lightweight, blendable nature of cream blushes aligns seamlessly with the relaxed vibes of a foundation-free makeup routine. Bronzers give you that sun-kissed look without the harmful UVA rays. And no, not all bronzers are orange or brown. You’ll need to find your skin tone, undertone, and find a bronzer 2-3 shades deeper in your skin tone & undertone profile. If you need help with bronzers, book a product consult here.

Why Creams Over Powders?

Unlike powders, creams beautifully meld with your bare skin, avoiding any cakey or heavy appearance. This aspect is particularly advantageous when you’re skipping foundation but still aiming for a flawless, barely-there makeup look. It’s hard to achieve a barely-there look with a powder.

Focusing on Eyes and Lips

While a no foundation look emphasizes a minimal approach, don’t forget about your eyes and lips. A little bit of eye makeup, perhaps a neutral eye shadow, can enhance your overall appearance. Neutral in makeup color theory is a color that doesn’t run warm or cool, think of a grayish brown.

Finish off with lip balm or tinted lipgloss for a polished, yet natural, look.


I’m a huge fan of natural brows and your natural brow shape. I have a page dedicated to the best brow shapes according to your face shape (spoiler alert, it’s likely to brow shape you were born with!) Nonetheless, when you’re skipping foundation, a good brow combing job and pigment (if needed) can create a clean and natural look.

Here’s a demo of me doing this with. my favorite clear brow gel.

Amp Up Your Mascara

For me, I feel naked without mascara when I’m facing the public world! I love the way mascara makes me feel a million times more confident than without it and I especially love how it makes my hazel eyes pop. You may not love nor need mascara like me but I won’t skip mascara on no foundation days.




In conclusion, achieving a no foundation makeup look is not about skipping essential steps but rather about choosing the best products for your skin type. From the initial skin prep to the final setting spray, each step contributes to a natural, radiant appearance. Remember, makeup is a tool to enhance your beauty, and a minimal look can often make a lasting impact.


Thank you for joining us on this exploration of a no foundation makeup look. If you enjoyed this episode and found the tips helpful, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends or on social media. Stay tuned for more pro tips, essential steps, and beauty insights on our next episodes. Until then, keep rocking your unique makeup style, and have a fabulous day!

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Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.

kevyn aucoin