A beauty geek’s account on what happens when she sheds makeup one day at a time
If there is one thing about myself that I could learn to unlearn, it would be leaving the house without makeup. When I was younger, in my preteen stages, I had no clue about makeup. Eyeliners even terrified meBut when my family and I moved to Canada, seeing that makeup was a norm, I eventually tried it out and I have since experimented with makeup. Honestly it is a habit of mine that takes up majority of my time when getting ready, and one my parents don’t really like (they think I go overboard at times). Bear in mind I was 14 when I started experimenting with makeup and now that I’m 22, I find it so hard to leave the house without anything on. So when this experiment came into mind, I knew I would hate and love it at the same time. I decided to take away one or more makeup products from my daily makeup routine every day for five days, I just didn’t want to quit makeup cold turkey. And I must tell you, something so simple to others was a rollercoaster for me. But I faced this no makeup challenge head on.
Makeup used: Primer, foundation, concealer, cream eyeshadows, powder eyeshadow, liquid eyeliner, bronzer, highlighter, blush, eyebrow gel, eyebrow pencil, mascara, translucent powder, liquid lipstick.
Day 1 for me was full on-glam. I wanted to stuff my face with all the products I would use in a normal basis but a little bit more amped up. Writing it out and realizing I had to use 14 makeup products shocked me.
But honestly I liked the way I was prepped up. I felt confident, and I could ease through the day knowing I looked fine. I even got a compliment from a workmate about the dark lipcolor I had and we ended up having a conversation on good makeup products and stores. Small kind words like that would really make my day.
I felt more decently presented when facing personalities we had to shoot that day because something about a full face makeup made it seem like I really prepared for the day. At the end of the day, the work I put on my face was noticed and appreciated. I was happy.
Makeup used: Primer, foundation, concealer, cream eyeshadows, powder eyeshadow, liquid liner, mascara, blush, eyebrow gel, translucent powder, liquid lipstick (of a lighter shade)
Day 2 was my comfort zone: this is my daily makeup routine going out and going to work. I eliminated the bronzer, highlighter, eyebrow pencil (so that my eyebrows don’t look so lined), and opted for a more natural shade of liquid lipstick. Honestly there weren’t any comments about my look that day, I wasn’t surprised because this is my daily routine. I simply eased through the day, and ironically I still had quite a weight of makeup products on me.
Makeup used: Primer, foundation, powder eyeshadow, liquid liner, eyebrow gel, mascara, translucent powder
A handful of makeup products left me feeling naked. Having no lipstick was actually not a fuss for me, but toning down the eyeshadow and taking out the concealer made me very insecure. I have always felt that my skin and eyes are probably my best features and I loved accentuating my eyes with eyeshadows.
So having no eyeshadow on or even a sheer smokey eye felt odd. Removing the concealer from my eyebags also added more insecurity, I felt like the fine lines and puffiness were just more highlighted. I’d often catch myself checking my face in the mirror, even though there isn’t anything much to check because I have minimal makeup on. I honestly didn’t like the day, and the insecurity did somewhat affect the flow of my day. Because I felt less confident, I was more irritable and had less patience with things. I had a very “let’s just get this over with” attitude. It seems quite shallow when I look back at it now, but at the same time I had to take precaution because something so minor to others took a big toll on me.
Makeup used: Primer, foundation, eyebrow gel, translucent powder
I literally had no eye makeup on for Day 4, but ultimately I tried to approach the day in a different mindset compared to the day before.
Instead of feasting over the fact that my overall look just seemed incomplete and raw, I simply decided to try and push away any insecure thoughts. I started to notice throughout the day, it was the mindset that affected me more than the look. Gaby, my co-beauty writer, did mention that I looked a lot cleaner and fresher when she noticed I didn’t have heavy eye makeup on.
Don’t get me wrong, I was very well aware about how little makeup I had on. I practically just had foundation and my eyebrows done. But I felt more at ease because I approached situations in a much happier and lighter attitude. I can definitely say that I was calmer and more relaxed compared to the day before. But I have to admit that every once in a while, I’d glance at the mirror and be conscious of my lack of makeup.
Makeup used: Foundation, translucent powder
Something that stood out for Day 5 was my mom and boyfriend’s comments. My mom said I looked so much younger without makeup. My mom always encouraged me not to be dependent on makeup, and at the rare times we go out that she sees me without or little of it, she really lets me know how much she likes it.
It seems quite shallow to say but I realized one of the reasons I veer away from being makeup-free is because I feared people would find a feature to make fun of.
It was weird how I felt so uneasy in my own true skin, when ages ago, I was carefree without makeup. What really helped, though, was the fact that when it boils down to it, nobody made a nasty comment. In fact, I’m not sure anyone really did give a pressing importance to it.
There was no dramatic change in treatment of my peers and colleagues, just a change of treatment towards myself. When my boyfriend picked me up from work, he was very happy to see me without makeup. He doesn’t dislike me wearing makeup but he always reminds me that even without it, I looked beautiful to him. And as cheesy as that statement was, I believe a young lady needs that kind of appreciation every once in a while, whether it’s from a boyfriend or anybody else. And the most ironic thing is, I was so happy about people noticing and appreciating my look when I worked on a full glam makeup. But people can just as much appreciate and notice you, even with a bare face.
So, the results of my experiment?
Would I continue on wearing no makeup? Maybe not for now, I could opt for less and maybe eventually learn to embrace my own true skin.
It’s not an easy transition, having makeup on a regular basis is like a routine, you have to get used to a new one to maintain it with ease. But throughout the course of the five challenging days, I realized makeup isn’t necessarily bad, it’s only bad when you crave it for attention and approval. Makeup can be a form of expression and craft, it can be a mutual feature between a group of friends that they enjoy or something you do to appreciate yourself. But just as lightly and positively as I looked towards makeup, I also want to learn to incorporate that sporting a no makeup face isn’t bad either. We were born bare, and that feature is something we all have in common. I want to learn to get rid of my insecurities about having no makeup, to trust that sometimes the way we see things and the course of the day solely rely on our personal preference, opinion and outlook. The biggest person that can affect you will not be the people who will comment or compliment you, it is yourself.