7 steps to achieve flawless skin without an ounce of makeup

This top trend at Paris Fashion Week will inspire you to take a break from foundation

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / October 03 2023

Foundation, as its name suggests, is the bedrock of all our makeup routines. It’s what we reach for to even out our skin tone and hide imperfections for that elusive flawless skin look. But if the recent Spring/Summer 2019 runways at Paris Fashion Week are anything to go by, we’ll be benching our foundations and opting for clean, makeup-free skin as we head towards the warmer months. The problem with this increasingly popular makeup (or lack thereof) trend is that very few of us have skin as flawless and poreless as the models who graced the Paris runways, which begs the question: How do you get great skin using skin care alone?

Here, we run you through the crucial steps for a flawless complexion, without a slick of makeup.


Cleanse properly

“Thoroughly cleansed skin acts as the perfect base for active and results-driven eye creams, serums and moisturisers to penetrate the skin and do their job more effectively,” explains top Sydney facialist, Jocelyn Petroni. She adds, “Until you’ve cleansed your skin, nothing will penetrate the dirt, makeup and excess oil sitting on your skin”.

Furthermore, if your cleansing technique isn’t quite up to scratch, surface oil and other impurities can be pushed down into the skin, causing congestion, clogged pores and breakouts. The trick is to double cleanse your face every night and set aside a good minute or two to deeply massage your cleanser into skin to thoroughly remove any grime sitting on the surface.

Try: Sukin Rosehip Nourishing Cream Cleanser

Sukin Rosehip Nourishing Cream Cleanser


Exfoliate regularly

If enlarged pores and lacklustre skin are stopping you from achieving your #skingoals, it’s about time you upped the ante on your exfoliation step. Exfoliation is vital for improving the texture of your skin. Formulas packed with alpha and beta hydroxy acids – namely glycolic acid and salicylic acid – loosen the bonds that hold pore-clogging, dull-looking dead skin onto the surface of your face. By removing those dead skin cells, you’ll reveal brighter, fresher and healthier skin underneath.

Try: hop & cotton Smooth Operator

hop & cotton Smooth Operator


Reach for products formulated with vitamin C

Want brighter, tighter and overall better-looking skin? There’s an ingredient for that: vitamin C. The powerhouse antioxidant helps reduce skin inflammation and pigmentation, as well as protect against free radical damage and pollution that can impede your skin’s natural radiance. 

Try: Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster

Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster


Drench your skin in moisture

Hydration is the key to any winning skin care routine, as plump, moisturised skin not only feels healthier, but it looks it, too. Maintaining your skin’s essential moisture levels can also help preserve your skin’s elasticity, effectively slowing the onset of wrinkles and fine lines.  

Try: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream


Don’t be afraid of facial oils

In addition to adding much-needed moisture back into skin, facial oils can create a coveted ethereal glow. For those who steer clear of oils for the fear they’ll leave your complexion looking decidedly greasy, try simply dabbing your chosen oil onto the high points of your face for a strobed effect. 

Try: Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil

Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil


Never forget your SPF

We can’t stress the importance of sunscreen enough. It protects you from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays and is basically the number one anti-ageing product you could ever use. While you won’t notice immediate benefits from your sunscreen, we guarantee it’s working hard to prevent wrinkles, dark spots and sagging skin from forming. 

Try: Elizabeth Arden Prevage® City Smart with Sunscreens Hydrating Shield

Elizabeth Arden Prevage® City Smart with Sunscreens Hydrating Shield


Neutralise imperfections

One of the main reasons we love foundation is because of its ability to correct redness, sallow skin and dark circles. If you suffer from any of these, but want to go makeup-free, then it’s time you became acquainted with colour correctors. Rather than covering skin issues with flesh-toned pigments, colour correctors effectively cancel out skin discolouration with contrasting shades: Green tones neutralise redness, lavender and blue tones liven up sallow skin, and peachy orange tones can be used to counteract dark circles.

For a more extensive guide on colour correcting, check out the best formulas for every skin issue.

Try: Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

On the hunt for more beauty tips and tricks? Then check out seven surprising reasons you keep getting pimples and discover what you need to know to get rid of back acne.


Do you love going makeup-free? Share with us the products you use to brighten your skin in the comments below.

Main image credit: @rosiehw

Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.