Alyssa Tria
Alyssa Tria

I Gave Matte Foundation A Try, and Loved it

I’ve been been #TeamDewy for a long time. Every year I’ve found new ways to update my foundation routine to achieve a camera-ready glow, and I’ve always preferred dewy skin over matte because you don’t need a filter to blur out the cakiness of layers of powder. In my eyes, dewy skin meant no filter needed. But that all changed after I met the self-proclaimed selfie queen Julie Vu. I’ve been following the makeup vlogger on YouTube and Instagram ever since she came out as a transgender woman, and she’s always been #TeamMatte. So of course I had to find out her selfie secret.

Have you ever worn green shadow? 🎄

A photo posted by Julie Vu 👸🏻 (@missjulievu) on

“I actually don’t use any filters! No Photoshop, filters, or deforming my face; I just use my phone or a high-quality camera to shoot my videos, and really good lighting. My makeup is my Photoshop,” says Vu.

I was immediately interested in finding out all about Vu’s #TeamMatte foundation routine.


Here’s what I learned:

  1. She doesn’t use moisturizer.“It sounds horrible, but I actually don’t use moisturizer, just a super moisturizing primer. I just think it’s too much on the skin, especially if you’re going to apply a layer of primer right after. It makes the skin oilier.”
  1. She uses concealer before primer.“I like to apply concealer first. I like using the NYX HD Concealer right under my eyes, and I sometimes use it as a highlighter on my cheekbones before baking my face.”
  2. She loves full coverage.“There’s no point in wearing foundation if it isn’t full coverage. I love, love, love full coverage, and it has to be mattifying!”
  3. She finishes with powder.“After primer, concealer and foundation, I finish the look with some powder. That’s more for an everyday look, though. If I’m going for a more dramatic look, I bake my highlight with setting powder.”

Sounds pretty easy, right? So I tried it. Here’s what I used:


Primer: Smashbox Photo Hydrating Photo Finish Primer
This works just as well as the raved-about original Smashbox Finish Foundation Primer, except it works as two-in-one primer and moisturizing gel. It’s super hydrating and preps the skin to be a smooth canvas.


Concealer: NYX HD Photogenic Concealer
Vu likes it, so I had to try it too! I was pleasantly surprised with this concealer, which goes on smoothly without cakiness. It’s comparable to my favourite NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.

Foundation: Benefit Big Easy
This foundation is said to be a liquid to powder formula, It goes on smoothly, feels comfortable on the face and sets to a nice satin finish. Although it has light to medium coverage, it’s buildable, so I kept adding it with a blending sponge until I achieved full coverage.


Powders: Essence All About Matt! Fixing Compact Powder and Rodial Baking Powder
After the foundation, I applied more of the concealer under my eyes and on my cheekbones and set it with Rodial Baking Powder. While I let the concealer bake, I  patted Essence All About Matt! Fixing Compact Powder on my forehead and nose.


I love this foundation look. It’s sleeker than my usual dewy skin and perfect for an evening winter look. I guess you could say it’s a tie between #TeamDewy and #TeamMatte. My foundation game always wins.