I Have Chronic Acne, but This Foundation Always Gets Me Compliments

“Your skin looks incredible” is not something I’m used to hearing. Thanks to over a decade of acne, my skin is almost always covered in mix of active pimples and red scars. After a truly horrible skin year, I’m in a solidly OK place with it now—my biggest concern is fading hyperpigmentation—but incredible is certainly a stretch. 

The Kevyn Aucoin Etherealist Foundation changed that. I tried it on a whim, after re-immersing myself in the late makeup artist’s iconic book, Face Forward (shout out to my uncle who gifted me this book in middle school and made me fall in love with beauty in the first place).

After test-driving the foundation on a few distanced-drinks excursions and collecting complements from friends, I knew it was good stuff. But what really solidified it as a game-changer for me was that every time I had a Zoom meeting with a makeup artist, brand founder, or even dermatologist (perk of the job), they told me how amazing my skin looked. Sure, my webcam is grainy as hell, but if the top people in beauty are telling me my skin looks good, I’ve got to be doing something right. 

First and foremost, the name of the foundation is what appealed to me—who doesn’t want to look ethereal?—and it totally lived up to it. The brand’s description as a “lightweight, medium-coverage, moisture-packed foundation for a natural, luminous, airbrushed appearance,” also hooked me. 

I am notoriously picky about foundation, and generally have to make a Sophie’s choice between something glowy but too sheer, or something with more coverage that can get cakey. The Kevyn Aucoin Etherealist Foundation solves all my problems. It offers solid medium coverage—on Zoom days one layer is enough, for IRL outings I add a little extra concealer on zits and scars—but has a lightweight finish that feels like wearing nothing. 

The one area where I disagree with the brand’s description is the moisturizing part. It has an incredible luminous finish, but since the formula is so thin, I don’t find that it adds any moisture or slickness. In fact, I find that it can veer a little dry on my combination skin, so I like to pair it with a heavier moisturizer or a hydrating primer (my new obsession is Peach & Lily Skin Shield Blurring Primer). 

Although the formula isn’t dewy, it has the most stunning luminosity about it. It makes me look like I sleep for 10 hours a night, eat a serving of leafy greens every day, and have all my bills on auto-pay. It truly makes me look airbrushed, and even though it doesn’t cover every single pimple or mark, it blurs everything out in such a pretty way that it doesn’t even matter. I’ve already turned my bestie and my sister on to it, and they’re equally as obsessed. 

At $58 a bottle, it’s not cheap. But honestly, the thrill of being told my skin looks great—something I never thought was possible—is worth any cost to me. 

Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Foundation

Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.

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