In work the past few days discussions have been going the way of serious make-up chats. A colleague of mine is quite the cosmetic queen. She knows everything, has ALL (ALLLLLLLLLLL) the kit and has even taken a super serious course in it. I, on the other hand, change mascara every year (more like 2) and barely have the energy to put on a full face in the morning, honestly we should all be lucky I remember to brush my teeth! It got me thinking of something I did last year, just on a whim… And I always meant to talk about it.
I do enjoy doing my make up, I love how it makes me look and feel and of course I like to treat myself to little purchase every now and then but sometimes I feel like I have to wear make up, not just that I want to wear it. That when I don’t wear it I look tired. Or that I’m not fully “work-appropriate” without a slick of mascara, that I’m not finished. Or that a “no make up” is seen as something one does on resting/chill day. These thoughts are obviously silly but it did get me thinking about how engrained make-up has become in my daily life.
So that’s why summer last year “obviously when I had built up a less than Irish glow” I decided to not wear n0 make-up for a month. Yes, a whole month. I know there are two types of people. Some who right now are yelling “Nooooooope!” as the read this and others (like me) who think “Pfft! That’s a piece of cake! Sure I barely wear make upas it is.”
I wanted to see two things…
Firstly, would anyone actually notice that I’m not wearing any make up (believe me, I have friends who are that forward). Would people comment on my appearance, did I look tired, pale, over-worked etc. And secondly, I wanted to see if I could be truly comfortable in my own skin. If I could love my face; moles, freckles, wandering eyebrow hair and all! Acceptance of yourself is important and honestly a struggle for me but I sort of like my face (hence all the selfies) so I thought it would be just fine!
And honestly, it was.
No one! And I mean no one noticed I hadn’t worn any make up. Even when I mentioned it to my friends/ work colleagues. They were surprised, they assumed they would notice. Which of course made me feel great, like I had a super duper face! And for the most part I honestly loved not wearing make-up. I loved having those extra 10 minutes in bed, I loved being able to rub my eyes and not look like a panda, I LOVED not having to wipe it off before going to bed, or having to touch it up or have it rub off onto my clothes. There was this beautiful sense of freedom… Until…
Until I went of for drinks. This was a whole other ball game. Suddenly I felt naked! That I no longer looked my best without “putting my face on.” People would certainly notice if I had no make up on at night, people would judge. I felt lazy and unkempt. Even my outfits looked odd without make up! I felt wretched and so unprepared for what was just drinks my now husband and our buddy. To cheer myself up I took a selfie, posted it up on Instagram and instantly my sister was gushing over me. That was all the encouragement I needed. I was just insecure. I had gone to work without my make-up done hundreds of times but this was new. Something I had never attempted. A scenario where I have always felt make-up was necessary. And again, no one looked at me weird, nothing was said (other than compliments). I had a great night, I even enjoyed two more nights out that month sans make-up. I was beginning to get used to the whole thing.
What did I learn? Well, that I don’t really hate my face and that I can “get away” without wearing make up pretty much all the time. I should only have to wear make up when I want to… I shouldn’t feel pressured by society to cover my face if I actually don’t want to. There are women who simply love the slap and enjoy the whole process and have a foundation for every second of the week because they live and breathe beauty. Some women see it as a shield to get then through their day. Their make up is on and nothing can stop them.
And some girls are like me and can’t be bothered half the time and that’s alright to.
Wear make-up or don’t wear make-up. It’s only ever for you…