Makeup is a beautiful thing because it provides an entirely unique experience to whoever is wearing it. Before we get started, please know: this post isn’t about trashing the cosmetic industry or about trying to challenge society’s expectations of beauty. I’m not taking a specific stance on makeup or the people who do or don’t wear it. I decided to do the no-makeup experiment just to see how it would make me feel.
Summer always makes me feel light and happy, so I decided to do the no-makeup challenge in July for this reason. I don’t wear a lot of makeup on a day-to-day basis, especially in the summer. If I’m headed to the office, I usually conceal my under-eyes, brush on some powder and blush, slap on mascara and call it a day. When I’m feeling fancy (AKA, going to the bar or on a date), I’ll add foundation, some contour, and (poorly drawn) liquid eyeliner. There are times when makeup just isn’t a priority for me, like if I’ve done yoga and have to be on time for a morning meeting, or if I’ve overslept. I have no problem heading out for the day with wet hair and a bare face.
Knowing in advance that I would put the mascara wand down for five days straight however, scared me a little more than I expected. So, I didn’t wear any makeup for an entire work week, and this is what happened:
Day One was a Wednesday. I woke up feeling pretty damn confident. I washed my face, used some SPF moisturizer and brushed my unruly eyebrows into place, because it’s still possible to beautify without wearing makeup, right?! I did my hair, got dressed and headed out the door. I felt really good at work and kind of forgot I wasn’t wearing any makeup. Overall, I had a great day and even attended a work event that night feeling very confident about myself.
Things changed on Day Two. Since I had a few drinks the night before, I woke up less-than-impressed with my appearance. I looked puffy and had dark circles under my eyes. Again, I washed my face and brushed my eyebrows. I definitely was not feeling good as I hopped on the streetcar. Perhaps it was just because I lacked confidence, but I felt that everyone at work could sense my discomfort with my appearance. I felt less powerful. In fact I felt ugly.
By Day Three I was pretty much done caring about how I looked because, hello, it was a Friday! It’s pretty impossible not to feel awesome on a Friday. Again, I washed my face, brushed my brows and headed out for the day. I met up with a girlfriend after work, and she told me my eyes looked bright and beautiful!
What’s better than a Saturday without makeup? A Saturday without makeup spent at the beach! I don’t wear much makeup on weekends anyway, and this day I went to the beach with my roommates. I worked on my tan and enjoyed every pure moment of the sun touching my bare face. I felt breezy, free and fresh all day long.
On Day Five, I had Sunday dinner with my sister. This type of event is usually the type of thing I’m late to because I’ve spent too much on my makeup and often end up missing the train, but today I made it on time with a bare, sun-kissed face. I had officially done it: five full days without makeup.
This challenge taught me that I’m really the only one who cares about whether or not I wear makeup. I realized that it’s entirely up to me to decide when I will wear makeup and when I won’t. It also reinforced something that I should definitely pay more attention to. I have lots of great qualities that are present regardless of whether or not I wear makeup. Sure, my eyelashes might not look as long, but I’m still funny as hell and filled with empathy. If that’s the first thing I remind myself of when I look in the mirror, then I’m a happy woman. I now feel powerful and liberated – when I wear makeup and when I don’t.
That being said, on Day Six, I put on a full face of makeup a la Kim Kardashian and felt like an absolute queen! Yas!
How do you feel about not wearing makeup? Let us know in the comments!