After seeing a blog post about a woman who challenged herself to go a week without makeup it really made me think. I am not the type of woman who takes hours to do her makeup in the morning. In fact my makeup routine consists of tinted moisturizer, the occasional mousse concealer and/or bronzer, my favorite blush, and mascara. Never have I ever been good at eye shadow, eye liner, layers and layers of foundation, or whatever contouring is. I don’t understand shades and shading and proper things for skin undertones or eye colors. I honestly don’t even understand colors in general for that matter. Like what in gods name is periwinkle?! But I digress… I decided that this concept intrigued me enough that I had to try it myself. Since I am an overachiever and into self-challenges aaaaannnddd since I figured my makeup routine isn’t nearly the same as many women’s I would push myself to go TWO weeks, 14 straight days, without wearing a drop of makeup. This is what I learned…
I woke up on the first day ready to tackle this challenge and hopeful that I wouldn’t be all that hard… Unfortunately I was wrong. I showered and went upstairs only to look in the mirror 9458237x more than the average morning. I got dressed and somehow felt undressed for work. I left the house feeling unprofessional at best. Like as if not wearing makeup would complete destroy my abilities, professionalism, and respect when I got to the nervous. I was NOT feeling this. I wasn’t picking apart all my flaws… yet… but I was certainly insecure. The day was much harder than a typical day at the office. I definitely didn’t feel like myself and I was not excited for the next 13 days to come.
Fast forward to day seven…
I began my little journey on a Thursday. Typically, I go makeup less over the weekend unless I am going out somewhere Saturday. So days 3 and 4 weren’t tooooooo bad. Day 2 was just as much of a struggle as the first day and unfortunately it didn’t get much better throughout the first week. I spent most of the first week picking myself apart. Every time I looked in the mirror I felt defeated; as though I looked absurdly tired or sick or just awful. I realized it was going to take a lot of self-love to get me through the next week.
Day seven was also when I decided to take a deeper look at my skin, which is the problem behind why my non-makeup wearing self struggled with feeling beautiful and wonderful. For the first week of this challenge I used the face wash I had been using, which is one I switched to from a face wash I actually really liked because it was recommended by someone. I decided for the second week that I would purchase my old favorite along with face wipes that I would carry in my gym bag for post-CrossFit. You see bad skin runs in my family, thanks a lot dad haha, so skin care is something I know I have the pleasure of having to be extra conscious of. Rather than covering up the acne and flaws, I was now forced to really attack them head on or be faced with them daily… literally.
By now I had gotten to a point of self-acceptance. I knew my flaws and I was ready to work through them and love them and accept them as me. Somehow not wearing makeup when I was at home and around my parents and siblings and even my boyfriend was like second nature. I didn’t think twice about it and I felt fine. They loved me for me and they accepted my flaws and loved my flaws… and honestly told me repeatedly that they didn’t notice any of the things I kept pointing out (though they were probably just being nice). Yet, it was the going out in public around people I didn’t know and who didn’t matter and whom I would probably never see again that drove me insane. Makes total sense -_- I was determined to work through this over the next 3 days and made it a point to be in public as much as possible and allow the world to see me for who I was. ALSO, by today I had noticed a difference in my skin. I had begun using my own oil scrub in addition to the Olay Total 7 scrub that I had decided to go back to using on day 8. I ditched my Say Yes to Tomatoes and I returned to the land of Olay. It was making a difference. But the biggest difference I saw was due to using my oil scrub at night. The invigorating and moisturizing and healing combination of the olive oil, coconut oil, epsom salt, and lemon was something my skin just adored and it made me, both in a mental placebo way and an actual physical change way, better. I was gonna get through this challenge with progress wasn’t I?
Ending this challenge I realized just how big of an impact makeup makes on women and their perception of themselves. Throughout the entire two weeks, not once did anyone comment on my appearance in a negative way. Not once did anyone else mention that I looked tired or sick. Not once did someone respond to me differently than they normally do. I wasn’t criticized at work for not looking professional. I wasn’t disrespected or bypassed. No one looked at me with judgment or disgust. Everything was status quo. The ONLY person that noticed I wasn’t wearing makeup and that my “flaws” were showing was me. Ladies, our perception of ourselves with makeup versus ourselves without makeup is something only we notice.
(me with makeup – compared to 2 previous no makeup pictures)
Wearing makeup doesn’t make us any better or worse at our jobs, in our relationships, at the gym. It doesn’t bring us any closer to that new PR on a lift or make us run faster. It doesn’t make us any more or less funny (unless you’re a professional clown lol), loving, caring, responsible. It doesn’t increase our IQ. It honestly doesn’t even make people like or respect us any more or less.
Everything in our lives is about our attitude, personality, and the way we conduct ourselves. The problem, or the benefit, is that the way we conduct ourselves stems directly from the way we feel about ourselves. (aka our self-esteem and confidence) Women allow ourselves to use makeup as a way to cover up our flaws physically in hopes that it covers those flaws emotionally or mentally. Makeup makes us more confident and therefore we believe we need it to be good at our lives. When in fact, the person you are behind that makeup is much more important. Women need to allow ourselves to feel confident and strong and BEAUTIFUL without makeup… And the world will be in big trouble 😉