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Consider this my second installment in my self-love journey to better skin. During my monthly moon cycle, I always notice that my complexion gets weirdly good, and is super-clear. I'm talking so clear that my usual foundation or tinted moisturizer isn't even needed, realistically speaking, but I usually ended up using it anyway for the sake of familiarity. After those 5 to 7 days, my skin would return to its normal, acne-prone state—or anyway, I'd find a clogged pore or ten to jab at and get my complexion all irritated—but since kicking that habit to the curb, breakouts have been far fewer, and the ones that do pop up tend to heal a little faster. I started wearing a more sheer concealer-powder combo in lieu of foundation altogether this time around, and wondered, would my skin react any differently if I kept the momentum going?

I realize this isn't a ground-breaking revelation for other people. After all, this is the routine my friend Erin has been practicing as long as she's been wearing makeup. Facebook commenters who are fiercely of the minimal to no makeup mindset will cry out that they've been doing this for years and that I'm reporting on a non-trend, but when you've been coating your skin in some variation of an all-over base, ranging from foundation to BB cream, on the daily for over a decade, shedding that extra layer can feel like a massive change.

Each day, following my moisturizer and sunscreen, I'd apply concealer under my eyes, a little on my nose, and anywhere else an unsightly dot would pop up. A thin layer of powder helped to even everything out, and if I was feeling it, I'd add a swipe of highlighter on my cheekbones. Not long into the new routine, those aforementioned dots started to become less and less, as I expected. Foundation can clog your pores, and although I have a pretty strict nighttime skincare routine, it can still get trapped in there. I was still wearing makeup, but my skin at least had some breathing room Even better, the timeframe of my morning sessions in front of the mirror were vastly reduced. Next to the clearer skin, I was just happy I could sleep in an extra ten minutes.

I'm pretty far from having my Alicia Keys moment, and honestly, I'm totally fine with that—I adore makeup and am a firm believer that it is an art form, but for a while there, I was lost in the heavy foundations and multi-tonal cream contouring palettes. I'm sticking with the new lineup, though I'm not exposed enough to claim I feel totally liberated as those abiding to the #nomakeupmovement would, and I'm not knocking foundation forever. After all, some special occasions still call for the full Kardashian, especially if photobooths are involved.