I decided a long time ago that I wanted makeup to be an outlet for me to explore my creativity and to experiment with looks that I would typically shy away from. Recently, however, I was feeling more like I “needed” to wear makeup rather than wanted to. I consider myself to be a confident woman, but I hit a point where I felt like I was hiding behind my makeup rather than just enjoying it.
So I decided to go a week without to remind myself that I can.
A week might seem like a pretty short period of time to some of you, but for me, it seemed like ages. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I left the house without a stitch of makeup on—even my “no makeup days” consisted of at least five makeup products—so the first day was really rough for me. I found myself spending quite a bit of time in front of the mirror, examining all the things that were "wrong" with my face and freaking out about what people would say or think.
After the first couple of days, though, it occurred to me that not a single person had brought it up; in fact, I actually brought it up, sheepishly explaining to a couple of friends that I was going a week without makeup to write a piece for xoVain.
When I got home on the second day, I thought, Why am I so worried about what people might say? And I realized that maybe I was less comfortable in my own skin than I realized.
I spent some time that night looking in the mirror and letting the thoughts about my face sans makeup float around for a bit, and it hit me. What would it feel like to say to or think those things about my best friends, my sister, or my mother? I’ve never looked at a woman close to me in my life and thought, Wow, she looks really bad, or, Gosh, look at those dark circles. And anytime they’ve had harsh words for their appearance I’ve been quick to tell them they’re crazy. When I look at them, all I see is beauty, so why look at myself differently?
That little moment of perspective was a turning point for me in my week. I started looking at my face as I would look at the faces of my friends and liking what I saw. By the end of the week I was definitely ready to dive back into my makeup goodies, but I’m happy to report that it was because I missed playing around with them rather than because I felt like I needed to cover up my face. My short time away from makeup made me realize that I’m fine without it.
I don’t think I’m moving any mountains with this little “experiment,” but I’m glad I did it. A week away from the makeup table gave me an appreciation for the way I was created and I genuinely feel beautiful.
- Could you give up makeup for a week?
- How do you remind yourself of your own beauty?