Can we all agree that makeup is gross? Nobody I know actually likes the feeling of gunk on their face and their eye lashes, so why do we do it anyways?
It’s kind of a crazy concept…feeling the need to cover up imperfections due to insecurity within ourselves, and also due to the expectations of others in our society.
This summer, I actually didn’t wear makeup for a solid week.
Sounds really lame, “a solid week”…LOL.
But, it felt amazing, and I totally didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Here’s the thing though: I was on vacation when I took my makeup break, and as soon as I got home and was seeing people I knew on a daily basis, I felt the need to cover up blemishes and discolourations on my face.
Before I knew it, September came around. This meant I had to start school again. I was now a full time student, working over 30 hours a week, trying to manage my mental illnesses, as well as volunteering for multiple causes.
Can we say E X H A U S T I N G?!
Very quickly, the word “drained” became my middle name. Result? I wanted to sleep as much as I could. This meant skipping the whole “makeup” thing every morning, just to get that extra 15 minutes in my bed. It was like a chain effect to be honest…
Tired AF –> Sleep Forever And Ever –> Skip Makeup Routine –> Not Wear Makeup All Day
This was totally unlike me though, because I get super red around my nose, have sporadic acne, dark circles under my eyes no matter how much I sleep (I feel like this is a European olive skin thing?!), veiny eyelids, and feel like I have a puffy face until I put on some concealer. I’ve been so self-conscious of these five things specifically ever since I hit puberty when I was 11. I’ve always taken the time, NO MATTER WHAT, to cover up these imperfections.
Result from using makeup daily? People called me pretty.
So here’s the thing, to whoever is reading this, I TOO HAVE BEEN SELF CONSCIOUS ABOUT NOT WEARING MAKEUP, YET I AM STILL TRYING IT ANYWAYS. I simply had to prioritize other things before makeup in my life (i.e. Sleep – sleep is life) so I wouldn’t get overly run down by lack of sleep.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I never wear makeup anymore (I totally do), it’s just that now I don’t feel pressured to wear makeup every single waking hour. I choose when I wear it, how I wear it and who I wear it around. This has been LIFE CHANGING.
And do you want to know what the weird thing is? I actually don’t even hate it. It’s actually weirdly comfortable being in my own, raw skin. I really love rubbing my eyes without worrying about makeup all over the place! And the best part? When I get compliments on being pretty, they feel SO MUCH BETTER when I’m in my own true skin. I can’t even explain to you the feeling when someone compliments me and I’m not wearing makeup…it makes me so proud of myself for being real.
On the other hand, I can understand why people feel intimidated by going makeup-less. It’s scary that there IS a possibility someone will make a not-so-nice comment to you about your appearance. So I’ve come up with a small list of ways to slowly get yourself to a makeup free life:
- Work with your strengths, rather than criticize your weaknesses.
Some people have great eyebrows, some don’t. Others love their hair, others don’t. The thing is EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. Find what makes YOU feel confident and focus on that. For me, I like my eyebrows and my lips, so I moisturize my lips constantly to make sure they’re looking their best, and also make sure to trim my eyebrows to feel confident WITHOUT filling them in!
- MARIO. BADESCU.
Seriously…thank you Mario for your skin care products! I have the drying lotion, which I put on at night on pimples, and in the morning I wake up and they’re vanished! I also make sure to keep my face hydrated (so my skin stays happy), and use Badescu’s Rose Water Spray to do so. It’s great for summer when your face is drying out due to the intense sun, but it’s also good for cold winters because it helps you from getting dry and flakey skin.
- Choose outfits confidently.
Wearing a great outfit ALWAYS helps me to feel good in my own skin, whether I wear makeup or not. There are soooooo many ways to feel beautiful, makeup isn’t the only way! Sometimes throwing on a pair of new shoes can do the trick.
- Take the time to care for/do your hair.
I find that since hair is right beside your face, it truly pulls together or rips apart a “look”. Taking the time to make your hair feel pretty can help to bring out the beauty in your makeup-less face. Hair treatments can also help you to make your hair feel full and hydrated, which makes a world of a difference when you’re makeup free!
- Surround yourself with people who empower you.
To be honest, being surrounded by supportive and successful people can change your life. People who support decisions you make and cheer you on throughout the way and the kinds of people you want to keep in your life. Keep them close 😉
I spoke to my friend and fellow self care advocate, Shelby Bolitsky, and this is what she had to say about makeup:
Figure out what makes you feel good.
I’ve struggled with acne since I was 9. At 12, I started using oral contraceptive in the form of the combination pill in hopes it would help with my acne. And it did. In no means was my skin clear, but it was definitely better than it could have been, and it helped me feel more confident. I however found myself wearing a full face of makeup every single day, from 12 years old on, every single time I left the house. For me, the combination pill plus a full face of makeup was the secret formula to having confidence in public.
At almost 21, my body was no longer reacting positively to the combination pill and I had to switch to the progestin-only pill. This switch – going off one form that I had been on for almost 9 years, and starting a completely different form – caused my skin to break out worse than it ever had, on my face and all over my entire body. It was an absolute nightmare for me. It was difficult to even apply a full face of makeup because it would only irritate my skin more, and my confidence was absolutely shot.
I realized I needed to figure out what makes me feel good – and that it didn’t necessarily need to be a magic pill or a full face of makeup. I discovered Lush, and found out that their cleansers, toners and moisturizers work better for me than any brand I’ve ever used before. I’ve fallen in love with their face masks and use them once a week. The products make me feel good (and smell good), and most importantly, they make me feel confident.
I’ve changed my outlook on confidence and realized it has nothing to do with how I look or how clear my skin is, but how I feel. By no means am I currently at a point where I feel confident leaving the house with zero makeup on, but I find more often than not I leave the house confidently, realizing I only have concealer on.
I also have a friend who was once a fashion model, and this is her stance on wearing makeup:
Guest contribution by Kate Moore, retired fashion model and Oreo cookie enthusiast.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
This is easier said than done, trust me.
Being in the fashion industry, it was all too easy to look at the beautiful women around me and think less of my own attributions. There was a time when an international agent told me I should stay out of the sun, then maybe my horrible freckles would go away. It wasn’t until I quit modelling that I realized each of our own individual markings contributed to our beauty – and that nobody should be able to take that away from us.
However, even though I had physically left the industry, I couldn’t avoid it. It was all around me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. So, I did what I thought I couldn’t: I unfollowed people and took a break from social media.
Do I want the best for the models I met over the years? Of course. But until I was ready, I allowed myself to stay distant from the industry they were in. An industry that had hurt me. It’s possible to support people in your life while still looking after yourself.
I took the time to fall in love with myself again. Once I had, I was able to see my worth as it is – not my worth compared to someone else’s.
And there you have it – the story of another woman who couldn’t see her own value. I hope by sharing this you realize that you are not alone, that we are all beautiful, even if we doubt ourselves sometimes.
Here are two quotes that have helped me recognize and remember my own beauty. I don’t know the authors; if you do, please share them.
“Another woman’s beauty is not the absence of your own.”
“Just because you don’t look like somebody you think is attractive doesn’t mean you aren’t attractive. Flowers are pretty but so are Christmas lights, and they look nothing alike.”