In the last eight years, I can count how many times I've worn foundation. It's one. I've worn foundation exactly one time and it was because I was getting married. Foundation is my least favorite beauty product ever — even though it was once crucial to my makeup routine.
I spent my high school and college years meticulously painting on foundation every morning in a futile attempt to conceal breakouts, but it only exacerbated the problem: My skin felt heavy. Suffocated. It would flake in some spots and cake in others. The high points of my face (forehead and cheekbones), without fail, would beam shine — and not the cute kind — by noon. And these formulas smelled either chemical-y or overly fragrant, a scent that I couldn't escape, that lingered, that trailed me and my every move. I looked forward to taking off my makeup at the end of each day the same way others looked forward to taking off their bras.
One day, I had had enough. I swore off foundation altogether, opting instead for a more low-maintenance approach: concealer for undereye circles and zits, a sweep of translucent powder over the entire face, and that's it. And so when I was tasked to try a new foundation, I was more than a little trepidatious.
I had heard of Urban Decay's Stay Naked liquid foundation, which has garnered a loyal fan base since its launch in July, and any misgivings I had vanished with the first dab. I used a wet makeup sponge, blotted on the foundation (one pump was sufficient enough to cover my entire face) and marveled at how it melted into my skin, leaving behind a surprisingly sheer, soft real-skin matte finish that offered 24-hour coverage...how? I'm not sure. I was lucky, too, to have guessed my shade correctly (despite having been overwhelmed by the extensive 50-shade range). But I'm also told there's a shade finder that matches you with your foundation shade based on a series of questions about your skin tones.
It held up for the entire day (and even after attending a work event at night): It didn't freak out my pores, it mattified my complexion, it doesn't have a smell, and it's so light I had forgotten I was wearing foundation. It's my skin, but better.
"You're wearing foundation?!" a coworker asked. "Should I be wearing this foundation?" Yes, yes you should.