How Giving Up Makeup Made Me Embrace The Beauty I Didn't Know I Had

by Jennifer Everett

I think we need to fall in love with our bare faces again. Kylie Jenner's lip kit sells out in hours, and we constantly see before and after makeup applications that completely change someone's face.

Why do we so easily forget about the beautiful, bare-faced Instagram photos like those from Bella Hadid? She looks beautiful without an ounce of makeup on, and so do you. You've just forgotten how beautiful you are, too.

Winged eyeliner was one thing, but contouring is completely changing our faces. In seconds, we can have defined cheekbones and the flat foreheads we have always wanted. By using a combination of liners and primers, we can enhance the size and plumpness of our lips.

We can add lashes so that we have Bambi eyes. We become extreme, cartoon versions of ourselves. Women and young girls are getting into the habit of changing their faces on a daily basis, so when will plastic surgery become the logical answer?

More and more, we are becoming uncomfortable with spending a day without makeup on our faces. Even if we're having coffee with friends, we have to be ready to take Instagram photos.

Are you running out for groceries? You have to be ready to run into someone you know, or a cute someone who you want to know. Even on the days we dedicate to staying in our living rooms with comfy sweatpants and Netflix, we have the urge to wear nearly a full face of makeup.

We have lost the capability to love our own skin. It's not even just our skin: It our mothers' cheekbones, our fathers' noses and our grandmothers' eyes (and so on). Our faces reveal our history, and that makes us truly unique.

More and more, we see celebrity doppelgangers on Instagram. The truth is, they're not people who look like those celebrities; they are just people who do their makeup in the same way.

All these realizations led me to end my relationship with makeup. I quit cold turkey last August. Believe me, it wasn't easy in the beginning.

I would stare at the blackheads on my nose and the dark circles under my eyes. They made me want to avoid everyone. However, I was determined to get over the obsession of covering up these imperfections, so I washed my face and faced the world.

Because I was no longer covering my skin with concealer, I learned to listen to it and give it the treatments it needed. Cleansing masks and moisturizers became my best friends, and they gave my skin a glow I used to think could only be obtained by the products in my makeup bag.

I even stopped plucking my eyebrows for four months, and let them grow into their natural shape again. I realized I had naturally long eyelashes. I fell back in love with my face.

Six months later, I still feel the same way. Taking care of my skin has become a huge priority for me, and I spend very little money on makeup. I still keep powder, mascara and some shades of lipstick to mix with my chapstick. But I never do a “full face” anymore.

You know what? I don't really want to, either.

When I pass people on the street, I know they are seeing the real me. I don't have to hide my bare face from my boyfriend after I've washed it. I never have to excuse myself from dinner or drinks to check my makeup in the bathroom.

Stripping away the makeup and owning my face again has given me a new sense of freedom. I hope other women will try it with me.