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“Oh, I just moisturize and use a little concealer.” This is the refrain of the annoyingly even-toned skinned among us. For a long time, I too did not believe these people. I would shell out Hamiltons for Bobbi Brown Foundation and roll my eyes at those who didn’t seem to need to do much more than twist open a tiny NARS’ pot. Lies, illusions, I thought.

Now, here I am. Look at me. I am one of those people. How? While it wasn’t exactly an overnight change, I have broken the cycle of relying on foundation as the main ingredient in my routine.

Even Out

The main instigator behind my switch from foundation to just a smidge of concealer? I found skincare products that truly evened out my natural skin tone. Initially, for me, that was Peet Rivko’s Balancing Face Oil, but there’s a whole slew of others I’ve found that accomplish the same goal from more luxe lines like Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Serum to this wildly affordable serum from The Ordinary called “Buffet” for its wide array of peptides and amino acids.

Moisturize More

The true key to getting away with concealer instead of foundation is picking the right toner and moisturizer. The more hydrated your skin is, the more your concealer will blend into its natural surroundings instead of streaking. Whether you go with drugstore dependable Thayer’s Rose Toner or get fancy with Jurlique’s Activating Water Essence, toner keeps a continuous base level of hydration and helps your moisturizer really sink in. Find a product with substantial SPF if you’ve relied on a foundation with sun protection in the past. We like no-frills Avene Eau Thermale’s Hydrance SPF 25 Hydrating Cream.

Swipe Strategically

Once you’ve picked your concealer of choice (Mine switches between NARS’ Soft Matte Complete Concealerrms beauty Un Cover-Up, and Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Concealer.), apply it to these key areas--corners of the nose, chin, two stripes under the eyes, and one on the forehead.

Blend Better

A sponge can’t be beaten when it comes to really taming concealer from its thick opaque nature. Plus the extra moisture will make sure you don’t disrupt your moisturizer. If you find you still need a smidge more coverage, you can always repeat the previous step and blend again.

Glow Up

Highlighter may seem like the property of millennials, but there is truly no one it can’t help. Applying it lightly to the tip of the nose, cupid’s bow, and corners of the eyes can really light up your face and draw attention to the features you once masked in foundation.