Foundation has got to be one of our biggest beauty kit must-haves, but it doesn’t mean that we need to apply a full face of it everyday.

Last week, I had a bad flare up, which meant red, angry and blotchy skin (oily and dry all at the same time, ugh.) Foundation only made it look worse.

What I found worked best for me in that situation, was the selective application of base makeup and the use of multi-purpose skincare to cut down the amount of product I was putting on my face. This actually worked better on my sensitive skin and no one could tell that I was hiding angry skin “underneath”.

Here’s how you can look good without having to cover your face in foundation.

The easiest way to cut down on the amount of makeup you’re wearing is to apply a sunscreen that doubles as a base and a colour corrector. It will help to blur imperfections and brighten the skin. Some also dry to a smooth matte finish, so you don’t have to worry about oily sunscreen-shine, especially if you tend to wear primer everyday.

One I find that boasts superb oil control and lasting power is Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution SPF50/PA++++, which comes in three shades. Opt for the pink if you want a subtle brightening effect, but I chose blue to colour correct acne scarring and other dark spots.

As with all colour correctors, be careful of the amount you apply. I managed to get away using a 50 cent coin size of the blue shade, but anymore would have turned my complexion grey.

Use a full coverage foundation, but only apply it where you need it. Usually, it’s more than enough to apply it on the under eye area, around the nose and on dark spots. You’ll look instantly brighter.

Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick works perfectly for this – it’s creamy and non-drying, giving you maximum coverage without the cakey finish.

Turn it into a BB cream by mixing your foundation, highlighter and moisturiser. It should follow the ratio of 2:1:2. This will help to sheer out the formula so it’ll feel a lot lighter on the skin.

Want radiant K-Idol skin? Choose a pink based highlighter like Benefit’s High Beam. If the sun-kissed look is what you’re going for, opt for a gold highlighter instead, like Benefit’s Sun Beam ‒ perfect beach holiday makeup!

Now follow #4’s application method for maximum glow.

This is a K-Beauty trick I swear by. Locate these 4 spots on your face ‒ the centre of your forehead, the highest point of your cheeks and the chin. See the diamond? Apply your foundation mixture within this portion, and keep it sheer. This will instantly brighten your complexion and give more “volume” to the centre of your face. A slimmer face without the bronzer? Yes, please!

Only apply powder to the T-zone and spots to “set” the foundation in these areas. You don’t want a complexion that is too matte, or your features will look flat.

You can even skip the powder if you find the right sunscreen that effectively controls sebum production.

Try these tricks whenever you feel that your skin needs a little time to “breathe”, or if you’re just out running a few errands over the weekend. It won’t take longer than 10 minutes to do your makeup, too!

Photography: Vernon Wong; Art direction: Eugene Quek and Sabrina Tiong; Hair and makeup: Rina Sim using Dior (9762 6084); Model: Sherena Ng / Basic Models

Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution SPF50/PA++++, $74, is available at all Clarins counters. For more information, visit and follow Clarins on Facebook and Instagram.

Bobbi Brown Skin Stick Foundation, $68, is available at the Bobbi Brown store at ION Orchard and TANGS Orchard. For more information, visit and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Benefit High Beam and Sun Beam, $42 each, is available at all Benefit counters and Sephora stores. For more information, visit and follow Benefit Cosmetics Singapore on Facebook and Instagram.

Visit and follow Sephora Singapore on Facebook.