It didn’t start out as a plan, but more of an inconvenience. I was dog sitting a puppy who couldn’t be left alone for even a couple minutes and I was putting on makeup with him on a leash and knew this couldn’t work, so I decided I would put my makeup away and be “au naturel” for the week. I’m always finding daily or monthly challenges for myself to do but this one, made up on the spot, was unexpectedly just what I needed. As a makeup artist I realize writing about this does not help my business but I don’t care, I needed to get this out.
I know a lot of people claim they have no makeup on but will still draw on eyebrows and put on mascara but when I say I went bare, I was completely bare, I didn’t even have moisturizer on. The first day was by far the weirdest for me and most eye opening. I avoided looking in the mirror, I wore sunglasses and a ball cap and kept a low profile. When I did look in the mirror at the end of the day (which I forced myself to do) and by look in the mirror I mean take a good long, hard look at what was staring back at me, I didn’t even recognize myself! I saw so many freckles and blotches, misplaced hairs and wrinkles which I always knew were there but never acknowledged. I saw lines, spots, rough patches, peach fuzz, I saw it all. I didn’t know what was more surprising; that I never took time to really look at myself or that I was so ashamed of what I looked like without makeup. The next thing I did was the hardest but what made the rest of the week so beneficial for me. I went from forehead to chin and thanked God for every single thing I could see and forced myself to get used to seeing this side of me. If you’re not used to wearing makeup I realize this sounds so ridiculous and you’ve probably been rolling your eyes since reading the title of this post, but if makeup is a big part of your daily routine, and for so many people it is, then I know you feel me. I know so many girls (myself included) who won’t leave the house without a “face on”. This made me ask myself what I was covering up, why I couldn’t be myself, and why I let myself hide under a mask. I felt more comfortable around others by hiding my imperfections. I don’t have the ability to make this arm thinner in one snap or to make my legs longer or to make my feet fit into smaller shoes but with makeup I have the ability to mask the things I don’t want to world to see and to enhance the things I want to be seen.
Makeup is a quick fix and makes me feel 100% more confident, which is the reason I became a makeup artist in the first place. Primarily I loved the creativity behind it, but I also love making people see their beauty enhanced and making people feel empowered and confident. What I realized by day 4 of my impromptu “no makeup for a week” challenge, was that I was able to feel those things without makeup as well. If anything, by not wearing makeup I was forced to amp up my confidence and rely more on my self love to get past my insecurities. I had to tell myself every morning that this is what I wanted people to see, what I wanted to be seen as, a confident woman who didn’t need makeup to feel beautiful. I was forced to put my “best face forward” which in this case was my real face, bare to the world!
It was an interesting experiment in itself as I ran into a couple friends during the week and none of them recognized me until I made the first move. My makeup had made me a different person that my own friends didn’t recognize me without it! By day 7 I became so accustomed to being myself that I continued into the next week. I can’t believe I firstly would admit to all this and secondly that I am honestly 100% okay with going out in public with no makeup on! It’s refreshing and rejuvenating in a way that can only be experienced if you try this for yourself! Did this experience convince me to throw away all my makeup and never wear it again? No, I still love the art and creativity of makeup and enhancing the things I find beautiful BUT I will not feel the need to wear it, I will not feel like a slave to it. Not to mention, MAC cut me off from my beloved discount program 🙂
I found new confidence in being authentically me and feel completely comfortable being able to leave my house with no potions or lotions to hide behind and I might finally be on time for things!
**I still LOVE makeup, I just don’t NEED it and am still available for all your makeup needs and requests :)**
4 responses to “My Breakup With Makeup”
Alli, this is so awesome. I had a similar “forced off of makeup” experience when I hiked the PCT in 2014. I literally remember putting mascara on the morning of our flight to San Diego, then putting it away in my mom’s bathroom, and boarding that plane. That was it. Bye-bye. For 4.5 months of hiking, I had no moisturizer, mascara, and sometimes I didn’t even have a razor. My only topical anything was sunscreen. At first, it was hard. I felt pasty-white, and so unfeminine, and really self-conscious. Then I hiked. I got lean. I got really brown. I got freckles. My hair got bleached from the relentless sun. I wouldn’t shower for (sometimes) over a week. It was so liberating, but I came to the same conclusions as you – I like makeup, but I sure don’t need it.
I love all the naturally beautiful things that happened! The freckles, the sun, I LOVE IT!
A few years ago (probably 6 or 7 now) a friend challenged me to a no makeup may. For the entire month. I always wore makeup. Even when I wasn’t planning on leaving the house (what if someone came to the door?!). The first two days weren’t bad because I wasn’t seeing anyone I knew. Going to the grocery store with strangers didn’t phase me. But then I had to go to choir. Where people knew me. And it was the hardest thing. But it was fine. No one even looked at me funny or commented or anything. I realized my friends like me for ME not because my face looked pretty.🙈 I mentioned this to my hair stylist and she said, “what does that say about what you thought of your friends. Did you really think they were that shallow?” No I didn’t if I really thought about it. But it was a deeply internalized lie that I kept falling for each day.
I still wear make up. For choir concerts and probably about once a month for me. It feels weird when I do now. A heavy feeling on my face. I’ve now reached the point where I’m even comfortable having my picture taken with a bare face. That one took a while. I’ve even posted ones online that you can see a pimple or whatever. But doing all this was the most freeing thing I’ve ever done. It’s been amazing.
I totally agree! I still love putting on makeup the odd time but feels good to not be a slave to it! I love this and so glad you were able to feel comfortable and realize how great your friends are 🙂