Beauty & Shopping, Skincare, Spa Treats

The Challenge I Did Not Want To Do – Deborah Tan

Founder Deborah Tan is usually game for most things but when she was given a foundation-free challenge to do, she was not the happiest person in the room. Here’s her account on how she survived it. 

1. Sunscreen 2. CC cream 3. Liquid foundation 4. Powder 5. Shading powder 6. Blusher

How much makeup do you put on your face every day just to look like you? For me, I don’t leave the house until I’ve got on all 6 layers! Just imagine the amount of time I spend in front of the mirror every day! Could I imagine going out without foundation? Hell, no.

So when a challenge to go foundation-free for 2 weeks was issued to us by the folks at Porcelain, The Face Spa (PFS), I became the unwilling volunteer.  No one else on the Material World team wears as much base makeup as I do so it wouldn’t be much of a “challenge” for them to go foundation-free. Needless to say, I took it on with the enthusiasm of a primary six kid going for his PSLE.

Confident that their facials will change complexions for the better, the people at PFS want their customers to ditch their foundations and concealers and BB creams, and use just sunscreen and prickly heat powder as their base makeup. ARE THEY CRAZY?!?!? Then my therapist told me that no one is allowed to wear foundation while they are working for PFS … yes … that was when I decided that they must all be mad.

In order to “prepare” me for the challenge, I had to go for a series of facials at PFS over a three-week period.

Having sworn off extractions – in fact, most facials – some 10 years ago, I have to admit that I went for my PSF facials with a fair bit of trepidation. I was really not looking forward to the angry red bumps and the raw-looking skin that I get whenever I went for a facial with extraction.

The extraction that came with my second facial – the Quintessential – took close to an hour to complete. I know there are women who get a kick out of having their pores squeezed and cleaned out but I am not one of them. I couldn’t be happier when the process was over.

The next few days after the facial were a torture. I endured the recovering scabs and had to hold myself back from slathering concealer all over my face whenever I went out. My skin needed time to recover from the facial but patience was not a virtue of mine. I really didn’t think I could survive on just sunscreen and powder …

Week 1, Day 2: Looking defeated

Looking tired and definitely missing my makeup ...

Looking tired and definitely missing my makeup …

Hello! Does anyone notice just how tired and “old” I look without the makeup? Vanessa tells me my skin actually looks fine. The redness has subsided and the scabs aren’t so obvious. But I can’t help but feel a bit “under made up”.

Week 1, Day 4: Trying to put on a brave face

Trying to put my brave face forward ...

Trying to put my brave face forward …

Taken just before our bootcamp. The redness is not crazy but it’s there on the cheeks and on the chin … if you look carefully.

Week 2, Day 1: Chinese New Year  


Luckily … red was a good colour for Chinese New Year

I don’t know what on earth possessed me to make the Chinese New Year week part of the two-week challenge. No makeup, just sunscreen, blusher, eyebrow powder and eyeliner. I am beginning to miss how my liquid foundation controls the reddish undertone of my skin. My face flushes up waaaaay too easily!

Week 2, Day 4: Challenge coming to an end

ffphoto 4

Taken in bright daylight …

Taken just before I head out to Lili’s place for CNY karaoke. Despite the flushing, my skin does appear to be finer and “cleaner”.

Cons of going foundation-free
I’m not going to say I found the entire experience enjoyable. I found myself extremely conscious about my bare skin. Whenever I was driving, I would look at my reflection in the rearview mirror and groan at how “unrefined” my skin looked. Without foundation, I found that my makeup needed retouching more often too. My blush didn’t look as vibrant as it would had been with foundation. There were days when my boyfriend would asked, “What happened? Your skin looks blotchy.”

Pros of going foundation-free
The one thing I appreciated most about going foundation-free was how I didn’t have to spend so much time removing my makeup at the end of the day. I found I was able to stumble out of bed much later because I didn’t have to worry about setting aside time to do my makeup.

I guess the point of this entire exercise is to show that the facials by Porcelain, The Face Spa can help you get skin you won’t mind showing sans foundation. Admittedly, I did not suffer from any confidence crisis, but I still felt my makeup could look more “polished” if I had used a BB cream or a foundation as a base.

photo 5

How I look with foundation, CC cream and the works!

The facials by Porcelain, The Face Spa are thorough so if you are looking for something that clears your skin of oil clogs and blackheads, you won’t be disappointed by the detailed job the therapists do.

The two-week foundation-free challenge was suggested by Porcelain, The Face Spa, and the facials were given free-of-charge to Material World. This writer did not receive any monetary remuneration. The post was not vetted by the spa. You may read our advertising policy here.

[If you like this story, you’ll love …]

1. [Material World x Porcelain, The Face Spa] Freezing Time With Cryotherapy

2. [Material World x Porcelain, The Face Spa] How I Achieved Beautiful Skin