The Viral Supergoop! CC Cream Has Completely Replaced My Foundation

 Naomi Amissah seen wearing black sunglasses, gold earrings and necklace, black cropped shirt, black structured leather shopper bag, on August 25, 2023 in Hamburg, Germany.
Naomi Amissah seen wearing black sunglasses, gold earrings and necklace, black cropped shirt, black structured leather shopper bag, on August 25, 2023 in Hamburg, Germany.

In a perfect world, I wouldn't ever use foundation. While the makeup staple certainly has benefits, I'm trying to embrace my natural skin, let my freckles and beauty marks shine through, and complete my routine in under five minutes. With that in mind, I've mastered a no-foundation makeup look with an assortment of tinted SPFs, cream blushes and bronzers. "There are days when you just don’t want to wear a full face of foundation," agrees celebrity makeup artist Samantha Lau, adding that skipping foundation doesn't necessarily mean being bare-faced.

Unsure how to leave the foundation behind? It's a lot easier than you think. To complete a full face, you'll need a tinted base and an easy-to-apply blush or bronzer. Here, I've selected my favorite products for a natural beauty look and am sharing the application tips and tricks for an easy (quick!) beat.

The No-Foundation Makeup Look

On a no-foundation day, you can, of course, go completely bare-faced or opt for a more lightweight product with minimal coverage. Lau likes wearing "lightweight and hydrating" products with multiple functions (think a light tint or SPF). Tinted sunscreens, tinted moisturizers, CC creams, and BB creams are some of the most popular options.

While a base is optional, you'll likely want to add in some additional complexion products to add warmth or brightness. "I like to warm up the face with a cream bronzer and some rosy blush to add some life to the skin," Lau says. If you're trying to stay away from cream makeup altogether, you can also opt for lightweight powder formulas, which are my personal favorite.

Then it's entirely up to you if you want to apply mascara, a brow product, or one of the best lipsticks.

The Best Foundation Alternatives

Makeup Revolution bright light face glow
Makeup Revolution bright light face glow

Makeup Revolution Bright Light Face Glow Highlighter

For a product with multiple functions, take Lau's advice and add this glowing foundation alternative to your routine. "It serves as a primer, illuminates your face by giving a light coverage and glow, and lastly, you can mix it with your existing foundation when you want a little more coverage," she says. It also has added skincare benefits, so it feels lightweight and hydrating.”

Pros: Expert-approved; lightweight; glowy finish

Cons: Limited shade range

Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Bb Tinted Moisturizer Spf 20 (1.7 Fl. Oz.)
Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Bb Tinted Moisturizer Spf 20 (1.7 Fl. Oz.)

Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Bb Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

With a lightweight finish and coverage, this is a great option for the summer months when it's too humid for a thick foundation. It also contains vitamin A, vitamin E, and SPF 20, so it works to brighten my complexion in the long term while giving me a more even finish for the day. I genuinely feel like my skin looks better over time when I use it regularly.

Pros: Lightweight; editor-approved; contains SPF; hydrating

Cons: Not the highest protection of SPF (dermatologists recommend at least SPF 30)

Supergoop!® Cc Screen 100 Mineral Cc Cream Spf 50 1.6 Fl. Oz. (various Shades)
Supergoop!® Cc Screen 100 Mineral Cc Cream Spf 50 1.6 Fl. Oz. (various Shades)

Supergoop! Cc Screen 100 Mineral Cc Cream SPF 50

Sunscreen should always be part of your skincare routine—wearing it regularly reduces your risk of developing skin cancer—so why not opt for a tinted version that provides a little lightweight coverage? This sunscreen from Supergoop has a subtle tint that gives skin an even finish while protecting skin from UV rays (it has SPF 50!).

Pros: Buildable; lightweight; high SPF level

Cons: Limited shade range

The Best Natural-Looking Bronzers and Blushes

Rare Beauty bronzer stick
Rare Beauty bronzer stick

Rare Beauty Warm Wishes Effortless Bronzer Sticks

This cream bronzer from Selena Gomez's makeup brand has viral status for a reason. It's buildable, lightweight, and easy to spread (one reviewer compared its consistency to butter), perfect for users who want a natural effect. You can even use it as eyeshadow if you're trying to minimize the products included in your routine.

Pros: Vegan; lightweight; natural finish; blendable; smooth formula

Cons: None

Nudestix Nudies Matte and Glow Core All Over Face Blush Colour 6g (various Shades)
Nudestix Nudies Matte and Glow Core All Over Face Blush Colour 6g (various Shades)

Nudestix Nudies Matte and Glow Core All Over Face Blush Colour

This rosy cream blush from Nudestix is popular among reviewers for its dewy, 'clean girl' finish. It comes in two colors, but my favorite is this rosy shade that gives skin a rosy, tan warmth. Formulated with ceramides, it's also great for your long-term skin health. A bonus: It never breaks me out.

Pros: Editor-approved; easy to apply; dewy, natural finish; hydrating

Cons: Some users prefer a matte finish

Colorescience Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Color Balm Spf 50 Collection - Blush/berry/bronze
Colorescience Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Color Balm Spf 50 Collection - Blush/berry/bronze

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Color Balm SPF 50 Collection

These balms work as a blush, eyeshadow, or lip balm—providing an extra sun protection boost. They come in a pack of three shades—blush, berry, and bronze—and feel more like skincare than makeup. Their shades are subtle and easy to apply on the go for a naturally sun-kissed look.

Pros: Comes in a pack of three; feels like skincare; SPF 50; easy to apply

Cons: Expensive

NARS Blush in Orgasm
NARS Blush in Orgasm

NARS Blush

It's hard to talk about powder blush without mentioning Orgasm from NARS, which is beloved by customers across the spectrum of skin tones and undertones. The brand recently upgraded its formula that offers a colorpay off for 16 hours. It's highly buildable, too, allowing me to go for a subtle look during the day and a more colorful one at night.

Pros: Popular; highly pigmented; editor-approved; award-winning

Cons: Not all customers like the shimmery finish

The No-Makeup Skincare Routine

If you want your skin to appear clearer even without the aid of makeup, having a solid skincare routine is key. Look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid to improve skin elasticity and diminish hyperpigmentation. We also like Erno Laszlo's Hydra-Therapy Refresh Infusion, for a quick blast of rosa canina and caffeine to soften skin.

Meanwhile, if you have acne, look for skin saviors like salicylic acid (my skin always clears up when I use a salicylic acid cleanser) or niacinamide, which reduces the appearance of pores. Retinols are also excellent for everything from acne to hyperpigmentation to fine lines, with some of the best retinol creams out there eliciting results in just a few weeks.

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