makeup brushes and cases

Maybe I Just Won’t Wear Makeup

It’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve worn makeup – well, full-face foundation anyway.

I gave it up for two reasons: number one, I have been having a lot of trouble with breakouts, the small kind that are just all over your face. And I had been wondering if makeup buildup was causing me to breakout. Number two, I had a difficult day or two and just decided that I didn’t care enough to do my makeup.

I’m honestly not sure if I’m on the path to simply accepting and loving my true self more, or if I’m spiraling down into an “I-don’t-care-about-anything-anymore” pit. Maybe a little bit of both.

I would love to be beautiful enough to go makeup free all the time. I don’t really think I am. But I also don’t think makeup makes me that much prettier, so it seems like wasted energy. Just from an efficiency perspective, it makes more sense to give it up altogether!

That first day of zero makeup was a Monday, and I went to work wondering if anyone would say that I looked tired, or ask if I was sick (you know how that happens…) But nobody said anything. Later in the week I met up with a friend for coffee, had dinner with a group of friends, and even went to Sunday morning church, all without wearing makeup – and still nobody said a word.

So there are two possibilities: either I don’t look that much different with or without makeup (I didn’t wear heavy makeup anyway) or I looked so bad that people thought it would be rude to say anything. Part of me is dying to know the answer, but part of me thinks it is better if I don’t. I’m doing this for myself, and that should be all that matters.

For anyone who has ever struggled with acne or skin problems, going without makeup is kind of a big deal. Speaking from my own experience, I kind of always get it in my head that my skin looks “bad.” Even when my skin is relatively clear, all it takes is one little pimple to trigger a big emotional response from me and make me want to cover my face with a paper bag.

I went online and read about people who had given up makeup, and how (supposedly) after weeks and months went by, their skin just glowed! (I’m skeptical, but like the idea obviously.)

So I know it’s only been (almost) three weeks, but you may wonder how my skin is doing. Well, those little breakouts all over my face (especially my forehead) are getting better. And all I’ve been doing is washing my face once or twice a day, maybe occasionally using a moisturizer or serum. So I think those breakout perhaps really had been caused by makeup. I still get what I think are hormonal breakouts, or even breakouts related to eating too much sugar or dairy (acne triggers for me), but I am interested to see what would happen if I just continued to not wear makeup.

In the last few years, another thing I gave up spending so much time on was my hair. I used to blow dry my hair after every wash, and then sometimes flat iron or curl it. I used to think it would never look good air-dried. But one day I decided to just stop heat-treating my hair because I felt like it was really damaging it. And I think my hair looks okay – not terrible – but good enough. And now that I’ve gotten back that extra 15 or 20 minutes of my morning, it’s hard to go back to spending that much time on my hair. I prefer eating a leisurely breakfast these days. The other day I actually did blow dry my hair, and someone complimented me on it, asking if I had gotten a haircut, to which I replied, “no I just actually styled it today.”

So now I wonder if in addition to giving up heat styling my hair, am I also giving up makeup? And does this make me frumpy and embarrassing to be around? Occasionally I worry that the way I look could be off-putting to others, or even just unprofessional. I’d like to think not, but even if it does, I’m not sure I care enough anymore to do anything about it. (Is this a healthy attitude? I’m still trying to decide…)

I have a great friend and mentor, a woman in her 60’s, who never wears makeup, and dresses very simply. And I think she exudes confidence and grace. She is one who is not afraid to go against the grain, and I’ve always admired that about her. I’d like to think I’m on the path to something similar: embracing the beauty standards that feel right for me and not feeling pressured by society to look a certain way.

For any of my readers who are embracing their natural beauty, what has worked for you? Any must-have products or tips for me?

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