The No-Foundation Base Routine

I'm not usually one to hop on YouTube trends, but lately I've seen a spike in "no foundation" look tutorials, and color me intrigued. I'd love to not use foundation. Since my skin's been sort of behaving lately, I've given it a go and have fallen in love with the result. It's not exactly easier than wearing foundation, but it looks a whole lot fresher - perfect for these hot summer days.

On a day to day basis, I normally forget primer, but for a no-foundation look I want my skin to look as perfected as possible before putting any kind of coverage on. My go-to has been the Cover FX Calming Primer - my main issue with my skin is redness, and this soothes my skin and calms any redness right down. It also helps to hydrate and plump the skin, making the following products go on much more smoothly.

If I'm skipping out on foundation, I usually go for a mix of two concealers. I start with the Milk Makeup Flex Concealer on areas where I need the most coverage - this is under my eyes, on and around my nose, and on some spots/marks on my chin. Once that is all blended out (always with a Beautyblender), I assess the situation and go in with the Glossier Stretch Concealer over larger areas of redness if necessary. Every once in awhile only my left cheek will be super flushed and red for no reason, so a teeny bit of the Stretch Concealer bopped on with that same Beautyblender does the trick. I use to be a concealer hoarder, but now that I've discovered how much my skin loves these two beauties, I don't think I'll be straying any time soon.

I use a no-foundation look as opportunity to really amp up my cheek products to help disguise that I'm not wearing foundation. I use a little more bronzer than usual, striping the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer on my cheekbones, temples, nose, and jaw and blending with a Real Techniques Sculpting Brush. This blends out super easily and leaves a really natural bronze look to the skin. Once bronzer is done, I like to dab a little bit of the Glossier Cloud Paint* in either Puff or Beam or the Nudestix Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm* in Rebel or Haven closer to the apples of my cheeks to add a little flush and glow. Speaking of glow, I still pile on the highlighter no matter what - I've updated my usual "Glossier Haloscope in Quartz everyday" look to a "Quartz everywhere and then Nudestix Illumi-Naughty on the highest points of my cheekbones" situation. I can't choose a favorite, so why not just use both, right? This combination looks extra glossy and glowy together.

To finish it off, and make sure the concealer stays put all day, my new favorite finisher is the Glossier Wowder.* It just launched yesterday, and I'm already in love - it sets makeup and mattifies unwanted shine without totally getting rid of the glow I've worked so hard to achieve here. I use it strategically only where I get a little oily and where my concealer wears off the most - under my eyes, around my nose, on my forehead, and on my chin and jawline. So far so good, my makeup has been lasting throughout the day!

Have you tried a no-foundation look? What are your favorite products for it? 

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information. This post contains affiliate links.

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Glossier Wowder is Here!

It's not powder, it's Wowder.

If there was one product I never really got on with, it was powder. The ones I tried were always too mattifying and chalky on my skin, so I eventually just stopped including powder as a step in my daily makeup routine. I'm all about the glowy skin look, but there's a fine line between dewy and greasy, and I've been crossing that line a few too many times this summer. Leave it to Glossier to introduce a product that changes everything.

Glossier Wowder, out now, is a super finely-milled, weightless powder that turns all your expectations of powder on their head. It comes in three adaptable shades to avoid that stark white flashback look, and it truly looks like nothing on the skin. It softly mattifies and blurs pores, but doesn't cake up or leave the skin looking flat. Dewy is still (and always) in - now you can just be strategic with it. 

My first impression of Wowder is that it's going to be a game-changer for me. As I said, I never really used powder much, but this is one I can get on board with. Just a soft dusting over my T-Zone instantly blurred out my pores like nothing I've ever seen, and it gave my skin a velvety look. It mopped up the grease without diminishing overall glow, so it's definitely going to be dry skin friendly. I'll check back in with if it extends the life of my makeup, but as of now I'm totally impressed.

Glossier Wowder is $22 US/$27 CAD, and it can be bought with or without the Wowder Brush - super soft and designed to be the perfect shape to buff over large areas of the face and also to fit into smaller spaces like under the eyes, this is a winner, too. The Brush is $20 US/$25 CAD, and the pair can be bought together for $35 US/$45 CAD - saving you $7 in either currency. As always, you can use my Glossier Rep link for 20% off your first order, and you can get free shipping on 2+ items - so getting the Wowder and the Brush will get you there already.

Glossier Wowder was sent to me to try before launch, and I have you to thank for that - every time you order through my link, it brings me closer to being able to try their newest products before they launch to report back to you. All opinions are my own, as always. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

Three Masks My Skin Is Loving

One of my favorite ways to wind down after a long day or week is by using a face mask. It just adds an extra bit of luxury to my normal skincare routine, and reaching for a beautifully-packaged mask at the end of the night is just really soothing to me. They're definitely a part of my self-care routine - I have a bunch that I love and reach for all the time, but lately these three have been particularly heavily used.

The Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask is definitely the most hyped-up of the three I'm mentioning - it keeps selling out on Glow Recipe and Sephora. It's definitely worth jumping on a few wait lists though if it's out of stock. It's a lightweight, jelly-textured mask that smells just like watermelon and works to exfoliate and brighten the skin overnight using AHAs and hydrate with watermelon extract and hyaluronic acid. It sinks into the skin without being sticky, so it won't smear all over your pillow. My skin is a little too dry to use this on its own overnight, but I still see great results with an extra moisturizer on top. I always wake up with smooth, glowing skin the morning after applying this.

My go-to for a cleansing mask lately has been the Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Mask.* This reminds me of the Glossier Mega Greens mask actually - it feels like it's replenishing the skin of lost nutrients while also cleansing. Despite containing clay, it doesn't dry down completely and crack, so it doesn't suck all the moisture out of the skin. I find these kinds of clay masks work best on my skin. It's perfect after a long summer day to leave the skin nourished, soothed, and purified.

Whenever I've needed an extra dose of moisture, I've been grabbing the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Hydro Sleep Mask* as the last step of my skincare routine. It has a lightweight gel-cream formula that, again, won't transfer to your pillow overnight. It gradually sinks in, giving long-lasting moisture. Because of the gel texture, it's also incredibly cooling, making it perfect for hot summer nights. My skin is always so plumped up and hydrated the morning after applying this mask - makeup applies like a dream! It essentially works as a barrier to lock in moisture and nutrients while you sleep, ensuring all the lovely skincare you've applied before bed gets driven into the skin instead of evaporating. It's one to try for sure no matter what your skin type.

What are your favorite face masks?

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information. This post contains affiliate links.

On Falling Back in Love with Eyeshadow

Just when I thought my makeup couldn't get any more minimal on an everyday basis, I've gone and fallen back in love with wearing eyeshadow - multiple shades from palettes, actually. I've still been having issues when wearing my contacts for too long, and I've found eyeshadow adds some much-needed definition to my eyes. My prescription is so strong that my glasses make my eyes look super tiny, so I much prefer wearing them with a bit of extra eye makeup.

The palette that brought about this resurgence of love for eyeshadow is aptly named - the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette (review). This was massively hyped when it came out last year, and for good reason. Anastasia has my favorite eyeshadow formula - they absolutely do not budge or fade throughout the day, and though they're powdery in the pan, they blend beautifully. I love the shade range in the Modern Renaissance Palette, as I'm quite drawn to more pink tones.

Another I've been dipping into a lot lately, as it's quite convenient for on-the-go, is the bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 8.0 Palette in The Bare Neutrals. I had never used bareMinerals's eyeshadows before getting this palette, and they're quite lovely. They're not as intensely pigmented as ABH, but the end result is softer, and it's more foolproof. I definitely think this was a conscious choice given bareMinerals's penchant for more natural/minimal makeup. There are four variations of this palette, and they're all beautiful.

Another great pick for travel/on-the-go are the NARS Duo Eyeshadows. I have the Kalahari duo, and it's the perfect pair of rosy brown shades. These are my favorite kinds of colors for my eyeshadow, so this one's a no-brainer for me. The formula is lovely and pigmented, and it's easy to create a wash of shimmer or a more built-up look.

Speaking of shimmer, my number one favorite just has to be the Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Nude Dip. This is the most chic example of shimmer I've ever used - it makes the eyelids look dewy, without, of course, having any sort of grease. The shadows are soft and velvety and impart a beautiful subtle look to the eyes. This is always my go-to for special occasions. 

If I had to choose one palette to use for the rest of my life though, I'd probably pick the Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette (review). I love that there's a mix of shimmers and mattes and warm and cool tones. It's probably one of the most versatile neutral palettes in my collection. I love the formula in the Tartelette palettes - they're buttery smooth and pigmented. They don't exactly blend themselves, but it's still easy to create a beautiful look for an eyeshadow-novice like me.

What are your favorite eyeshadow palettes? I'm tempted to get the new ABH Subculture palette, what are your thoughts?

The Daily Sunscreen Roundup

I've been promising this post all summer long, and it's finally here. I definitely didn't use sunscreen as much as I should have been up until earlier this year. I'm cringing at all the times I'd be riding home in the car on a hot summer day, no sun protection, and arrive home red-faced with a few extra freckles. Now, of course, I know that the sun can cause damage through car windows and also clouds, so I'm making an effort to use some sort of sunscreen every day. A few family members have had skin cancer scares in the past few years, and as one of the palest of the Dadmun clan, it's time to suit up and protect myself.

Let's talk types of sunscreen for a minute - there are physical sunscreens, and there are chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens contain minerals like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide that form a literal screen on the skin that block, reflect, and scatter harmful UV rays to keep them from penetrating the skin and causing damage. This is why they typically leave some kind of white cast - that's what they're pretty much supposed to do. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, contain organic (as in carbon-based) compounds like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, and octisalate. Rather than blocking the UV radiation altogether, they work by causing a chemical reaction in the skin that changes the harmful radiation into heat that then gets released from the skin. 

There's much debate over which type is better, but in general, physical sunscreens are typically better for sensitive skin, but are usually thicker and less pleasant to wear daily under makeup. They can also leave whitecasts that make them harder to use for those with deeper skintones. Chemical sunscreens may irritate sensitive skin (especially as the SPF goes up), but they are usually more lightweight and more comfortable for daily use. It all boils down to your preferences and whether or not your skin is sensitive. Since this is a beauty blog, I've also gone through and found the sunscreens in my collection I've been using the most this summer.

The Glossier Invisible Shield SPF 35* will always have a special place in my heart because it was the one that actually made me get into the habit of wearing sunscreen everyday. It's a chemical sunscreen, using avobenzone, homosalate, and octisalate. It's so lightweight and sinks into the skin like nothing - it doesn't interfere with makeup or feel heavy and greasy on the skin. It's completely clear, so it will work on any skintone without leaving any kind of whitecast. I've gotten my family and Brett hooked on this - in fact, Brett told me to add that he uses this every day as he drives around in his police cruiser, and he's never gotten burned when he's out in the sun directing traffic for work.

Another favorite this summer has been the Farmacy Green Screen with SPF 30.* This is a physical formula, using both Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. It's still quite lightweight and doesn't feel chalky or thick at all on the skin. It's non-greasy and smooth under makeup, and it doesn't pill. If you are sensitive to chemical sunscreens, then this is the one I'd definitely recommend you go for.

I've also been trying out the BeautyRx Solar Defense Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50* this summer, and it's a new go-to for sure. It feels more moisturizing on the skin than the previous two, leaving a dewy, but not greasy finish. It leaves no whitecast and feels lightweight on the skin, despite the high SPF. I love that it has a higher SPF, so it's the one I reach for when I know I'll be out in the sun. This contains both physical and chemical sunscreens - Zinc Oxide and Octinoxate. Sensitivities aside, many dermatologists have suggested a formula with both kinds of sunscreens is best, as it's got the broad-spectrum protection of the physical and the lightweight, easily-spreadable properties of the chemical. 

When I'm on the go, I always make sure I have the Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 on hand. I always had issues with reapplying sunscreen throughout the day, and this makes it easy. It's a chemical sunscreen, using avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, and octinoxate. It does have an alcohol base, so I restrict my use to only if I'm out when I need to reapply sunscreen. It doesn't make my skin tight or dry it out, and it controls any extra shine nicely. I kept this in my beach bag while I was on vacation, and by the end of the week everyone was using this to top up on their sunscreen.

One of the first physical formulas I started trying a few years ago was the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. Before then, all physical sunscreens I had tried were way too thick and chalky and left a blue cast on my already super pale skin. This one is lightweight out of the bottle, and while it feels a little thick when rubbing it into the skin, it settles down and just feels like a moisturizer. It's super nourishing on the skin, since it contains Argan Oil, and the high SPF is a plus. 

My skin has the tendency to get very hot and red in the sun, so a favorite this summer has been the Klairs Mid-day Blue Sun Lotion SPF 40. The blue color comes from Guaiazulene, which helps to soothe the skin and calm redness. This feels cooling and refreshing on application, and the blue tone helps to correct redness. It absorbs into the skin and doesn't leave any tint on the skin, and it sets down to a velvety matte finish. I'm amazed a physical sunscreen feels as lightweight as this.

I usually use separate moisturizers and sunscreens, but when I'm in a rush I grab the Purlisse Blue Lotus Essential Daily Moisturizer SPF 30.* It's a chemical sunscreen, with avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, and oxybenzone. The original Blue Lotus moisturizer is one of my favorites for everyday, and this version with added SPF is just as nice. It's lightweight yet very hydrating and leaves the skin plump and dewy. This never leaves the skin feeling greasy or tacky, and makeup applies perfectly over the top.  

I'm a lip balm fiend, having multiple in every bag, so I know the importance of one with SPF. I've recently received the Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30,* and it's the most convenient thing ever. It feels just as lovely on the lips as the original Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments, but it's slightly more solid, so it won't melt in your beach bag like the originals would. It uses chemical sunscreens avobenzone, octinoxate, and octisalate. It's also great because it can be used anywhere on the face and also on the eye area - sometimes I'm wary of applying sunscreen close to my eyes, but the stick packaging makes it super easy. I haven't experienced it running into my eyes if I'm sweating, either, since it's a waterproof formula.

Congratulations if you got this far - let me know your sunscreen recommendations in the comments! I'm always looking to try new ones.

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

Lightweight Oils for Daytime

I've always been into the glowy skin look, but for some reason it's taken me until now to really start using facial oils during the day. Despite having dry skin and working in a *very* dry environment, I was still worried they would make me feel too greasy throughout the day. I've been rotating through a few lightweight oils that sink into the skin quickly and work well underneath makeup.

Indie Lee Squalene Facial Oil | This one has been a favorite for awhile. Squalene is becoming a super "trendy" ingredient (more on that in a minute) in skincare, but for good reason. It's a lightweight oil that mimics the skin's natural oils, so it helps to balance the skin. This makes it perfect for daytime, as it won't make you overly oily. This is my go-to when my skin is feeling sensitive and stressed as well - it feels super gentle, and the simple formula takes care of irritation.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil | Another single-ingredient love of mine is the Marula Oil from Drunk Elephant. It feels extremely nourishing and yet is super lightweight and sinks into the skin with no greasiness. It feels plumping and hydrating and leaves the skin feeling incredibly smooth. It's really helped bring down my redness as well, making it perfect for more minimal makeup days.

Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil | I told you we'd get back to squalene. This is like a beefed-up version of the Indie Lee - one to go for if you're after serious glow. This one contains added Vitamin C to brighten the skin over time. Like the Indie Lee Squalene Oil, this is also super lightweight and sinks into the skin easily and quickly without any added grease. I go for this one after late nights when I wake up with extra dullness.

Sunday Riley Juno Facial Oil | I've mentioned this one a lot lately, but it's a standout favorite for sure. This gives the skin a seriously dewy glow (still without leaning on the greasy side) and keeps it feeling nourished all day long. This is the one I go to if I want to be sure my foundation won't cling, as it eliminates any and all dry spots on my skin. It's pricey, but such a beautiful oil.

MUN Skincare Aknari Brightening Youth Serum | Although this is technically a serum, it's a mixture of prickly pear seed oil, argan oil, and rose flower essential oil that brighten and moisturize the skin. This keeps my skin glowing all day and gives a beautiful lit-from-within glow when I've been using it consistently. This one seems to leave my skin the smoothest and is my favorite to use under makeup.

Do you use facial oils during the day, or just at night? What are your favorites?