I think makeup is a beautiful and creative means of self-expression for women, men, artists, whoever. Although I've never been an expert by any means, I often used to wear makeup to work on a daily basis. I most definitely always wore it on weekends.
My go-to products were usually concealer, bronzer, mascara, blush and some sort of lipstick. Sometimes the lipstick was bold, and at other times, it was more natural.
Like I said, it was far from complicated: My daily routine lasted no more than 10 minutes at most.
One day, I had this crazy thought: How about I challenge myself to break the routine and stop wearing makeup all together? This meant no makeup at work, on the weekends, with friends, anything.
It seemed easy enough. Although there were moments when I felt truly tempted to simply “fix” and cover one blemish or another, I stuck with it. There were changes that happened that I never could have predicted. Not only were they positive, but I'm also happy to say that more often than not, I choose to skip makeup altogether now.
1. I started investing more in my skin and routine.
Before, I spent more time addressing the “effect” than I spent actually looking into the “cause.” I simply covered the blemish instead of worrying about preventing it.
I didn't necessarily have a “skin care regimen.” I washed my face and moisturized when I remembered to. I spent under $10 (and 10 minutes) on my entire skin care routine. I just merely hoped for the best.
But something clicked one day: Skin is the largest and most exposed organ on our bodies. If I want my skin to stay healthy and strong way past my 20s, I should probably start treating it well. As a result of giving up wearing makeup, I upped my skin care game.
2. I smiled more.
You know those days when you wake up, look in the mirror and say, “This is it, world. This is what I'm working with today. Take it or leave it.” Yeah, I said that a few times.
But I added this at the end: “The least I can do is smile.” Everyone looks better when he or she smiles. Science fact: Smiling is contagious and spreads rainbows and unicorns throughout the land.
No, my skin isn't perfect. Yes, I'm running on five hours of sleep. But take a look at my pearly whites. There's always a silver lining, people.
3. I started drinking more water.
I know, I know: What does that have to do with not wearing makeup? Once I saw my skin bare and exposed, I was better able to see exactly what it needed and what I was missing.
Man, was I thirsty. I figured it was a free and simple way to improve my overall health. The results were almost immediate.
4. I became less critical of myself.
You know those super powerful mirrors that are meant to help you be precise when you apply makeup? They usually just make you want to count your pores.
Yeah, those aren't really necessary when your routine consists of washing, toning and moisturizing. I stepped back from the mirror and started to look at the whole picture, instead of isolating certain parts of my face. I stopped picking out the things that weren't “perfect.”
It was such a liberating experience. It boosted my confidence. I'm much less stressed in general. I also now have the time to remember to take my daily vitamin because I'm not chasing stray eyebrow hairs.
5. I dropped the filters.
It feels like cheating. Since I'm spending time, effort and (naturally) money on my skin, it feels strange to then add a filter onto my photos. I especially hate the ones that change your face so much, you don't even look like yourself anymore.
Don't get me wrong; I love a good filter just as much as the next person. But recently, I've been much more inclined to take this "au naturel" thing to the next level.
This whole idea of “Here I am: Take it or leave it” is more refreshing and enticing than I ever could have imagined. I also spend less time arbitrarily wandering to the restroom to make sure my face hasn't slid off. I don't dread the rain, humidity or sweat. I'm officially convert.
I'm reminded every day that I'm enough just as I am. Although enhancing and accenting my features is both fun and intriguing, it's far from necessary.
One consequence of eliminating makeup from my daily life is now, I look inward instead of outward. I take care of my body from a holistic perspective, instead of a cosmetic or superficial one.
I'm happy. Happiness, self-love and confidence are the best accessories one could ever don.