Why do you wear makeup?
I wear it to enhance my appearance and to feel pretty. I wear it to not look dead. Some girls wear it because it's fun, because it attracts the boys, because it plays up specific features.
I usually wear concealer, powder, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara and some eyebrow pencil. This isn't even a lot; some girls I know wear all of that plus foundation, more eyeshadow, false eyelashes, bronzer, blush, highlight and whatever else is out there to convince us that we aren't beautiful enough as-is.
There's nothing wrong with wearing makeup. Makeup can be a really fun way to express yourself, and there's no harm in wanting to look good. Lately, though, I've been trying to wear less makeup.
I'm filling in my eyebrows less, forgoing eyeshadow, minimizing eyeliner -- and, surprisingly, I'm feeling more confident than ever.
I urge all women to try to wear less makeup. It seems counterintuitive, but the days I'm the most confident in my appearance are the days I'm wearing less.
This is because I know people are looking at my face and seeing and reacting to the real me, not a super-dramatized version of me. And the closer your makeup mirrors what you really look like, the better.
1. If we are trying to combat the body ideal, we should also try to combat the makeup ideal.
There's a lot of amazing talk about trying to combat the ideal body type, so shouldn't we be trying to do the same with makeup? Women are expected to cover up pimples, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles.
What's more, men have social permission to just let all of that fly. Which is totally fine! I just want the same liberty. Sometimes, I'm too lazy to cover up my dark circles and I don't want to feel really terrible about it.
Have you ever noticed how it's not -- at all -- a big deal when a guy gets a pimple? It's less noticeable and nobody really ruminates about it, but when a girl gets one, it's the absolute end of the world.
We've never been socialized to care about whether or not men cover up; we only care if girls do. Let's even the playing field. My skin is not perfect, and bros, neither is yours; that's okay.
2. You'll spend less money.
Wearing less makeup is just practical. Women spend an exorbitant amount of money on beauty products, some of which we just throw to the side and unknowingly let them rot in the depths of our makeup drawers.
InStyle reports that women spend an average of $15,000 on cosmetic products in their lifetimes.
Imagine cutting that number in half. You could probably afford a way better apartment, live in a nicer neighborhood, go on at least two vacations, eat healthier food and generally improve your quality of life. Priorities, people.
3. Applying makeup takes up way too much time in the morning.
How much time would you be saving by not prepping your face for foundation, making sure your winged eyeliner is perfect, or scrutinizing your uneven eyebrows?
According to Allure, women spend an average of 18 minutes on their morning makeup routine.
Eighteen minutes! Imagine if that went down to five minutes! What if your makeup routine consisted of just concealer and mascara? You could sleep later.
You could have a healthy breakfast. You could feel more relaxed. You could do some damn yoga. The possibilities are endless.
4. You'll feel lighter.
On hot days, makeup feels like a wool blanket without any kind of ventilation. And when you sweat, your makeup just pours down your face, tinting your normally clear sweat to light brown or pink -- maybe even blue if your eyeshadow is adventurous that day.
When you wear less makeup, you feel cleaner. You feel lighter. You don't feel that weird layer on your face threatening to melt off in the sun or blow off in the wind. You can itch your eye or your cheek and not worry about streaking your makeup.
5. The guy you like/are hooking up with will see your natural face sooner than you think.
This is not to say that women wear makeup for the pleasure of men. But if you're dating or hooking up with a guy, a sleepover usually comes after a hook-up session, especially if it's four in the morning and your dorm or apartment is across campus or across town and you're exhausted.
If you choose to stumble home at 4 am, props to you. If, however, you'd rather navigate in the daylight, you'll end up staying over and waking up in the next morning with a face full of rubbed off concealer, removed eyebrows, and mascara and eyeliner that's been f*cked off. And your guy will probably see. Even if it's your first time hooking up.
He will see your real face. You'll be surprised to find that if he thought you were hot last night, he probably won't hate it this morning.
6. Honestly, the guy you like/are hooking up probably doesn't know the difference anyway.
People, especially men, don't really notice subtle changes in makeup routines. I enjoy asking my friends if I look any different on days where I wear less makeup, and they say they hardly even notice.
Even more hilariously, I'll ask guys the same question, and they'll respond with, "You wear makeup?" Once, I had winged eyeliner on and my boyfriend asked me if I put on extra eyelashes.
The point? Men don't notice sh*t.
7. It's better for your skin.
The Huffington Post reports that out of the 1,000 carcinogens banned in Europe, the US has only banned nine of them.
What's happened is that scientists are merely "improving" on chemicals used in beauty products by shrinking the particles down and making them stronger, allowing them the absorb into the skin easier and penetrate outside layers (that once served as a protective barrier against these toxins) more effectively.
You can get around these with real, natural beauty products, but be careful: Most beauty products that claim to be "organic," "natural" or "herbal" are anything but. A website called Skin Deep exists to help you find out whether or not a certain makeup product is safe. Definitely check it out.
8. Taking your makeup off is the biggest b*tch.
The worst part about wearing makeup is taking it off at the end of the night. Sometimes we get so lazy about taking makeup off that we actually forget to do it, which leads to acne, increased pore size, premature aging, eye irritation and styes.
There is truly nothing worse than stumbling home from a night out and going to bed, only to wake up and look like you simultaneously got punched in both eyes and a colony of vicious red bumps formed on your forehead. And this can happen after only one night sleeping in makeup. One slip-up and makeup has not only not enhanced your beauty, but it has, in fact, contributed to making you uglier.
9. It's so easy to do.
Wearing less makeup and getting people used to seeing you like that is so easy. It's like weaning someone off caffeine or social media: slow and gradual.
In high school, I used to wear bottom eyeliner and I got myself and the people around me used to seeing me without it by gradually making the line thinner and thinner until it disappeared forever. Now, I just wear eyeliner on the top.
Start by removing one piece of makeup first, like maybe your eyeshadow, and wearing your face that way for a week. A week is a decent amount of time for people to get used to what your face looks like without eyeshadow.
Then, remove another: maybe the eyebrow fill-in. Let another week go by. Soon, you'll be down to the bare minimum, and nobody will have noticed that you were doing anything.
10. Nobody looks at you as much as you look at yourself.
Finally, if you're freaking out about the prospect of wearing less makeup, know that nobody scrutinizes you as much as you scrutinize you. I repeat: Nobody scrutinizes you as much as you scrutinize you.
Nobody is paying as much attention to what you look like, to what your clothes look like, to what you're saying, to that weird pimple on your forehead, to the fact that your under-eye circles look slightly darker today. Nobody.
People are stuck in their own little worlds, worrying about all of those things about themselves. So don't worry about it.