One night, a few weeks ago, I stayed up way past my bedtime binge-watching The Good Place (Netflix, if you see this we’re ready for 3rd season already!). Needless to say, the next morning I was not ready to wake up when my alarm went off. Late nights have never treated me well, I feel out of sorts the next day if I don’t get an adequate amount of sleep. Some people are able to get by on 4 hours of sleep and function at a normal pace. I am most definitely not one of those people.
Every morning when I wake up, before I start getting ready I have a cup of coffee and check my phone to catch up on current events. That’s my pre-morning preparation break and it’s mandatory if you expect me to function at work for the day.
So that particular morning I was not up for moving. I had my coffee and sat there thinking “nope, not in the mood today.” That was the morning I made the decision to skip out on my usual makeup routine and sit back with an extra cup of java.
The following day I woke up feeling extra hungry. I mean I could have eaten an entire order of pizza and garlic bread to myself style hungry. So that day I decided to skip out on my makeup routine and make myself a big hearty breakfast instead. I sat down, ate my breakfast and caught up on some reading. It felt really good to do that and not feel rushed. This is when I came up with an idea. I decided at that moment I was going to do a 2 Week No Makeup Challenge.
Yes, that’s right. Two whole weeks- no mascara, no highlighter and NO…no purple lipstick. Oh the horror! I can picture Kylie Jenner going into cardiac arrest at the idea of this challenge.
The rules of this challenge are simple. I go bare face everyday and jot down how this experiment affects my lifestyle.
You might be wondering why I decided to do this challenge. I love cosmetics, there’s something about that black line across my eyelid and the extra shimmer on my cheekbones that makes me feel glamorous. I know it’s the obvious Basic Betty’s resoning, but I feel good when I look good.
I really wanted to get down to the bottom of why I thought that way though. To be fair I am beyond bored of “pretty” being the first word that comes to mind when someone is thinking of something positive to say about me. If you really think about it a face is just something you are born with, it’s not something you have achieved. I would much rather be known for who I am than what I look like. Intelligent, witty, creative, kind…these are just some of the words I find more important to be known as than “looking good”.
My First Thoughts on the Challenge
Honestly I didn’t think I would last. I really hate my natural eyebrows (or lack of them) and thought nobody would recognize me without them coloured in. My skin is flawed and blotchy so I wasn’t sure if this was how I wanted to present myself to the world. In all fairness I usually only left the house makeup free if I were sick or incredibly late. My bare face was usually a sign to people that I wasn’t ready for what the day was about to throw my way.
Makeup vs No Makeup
One thing I definitely did not do was take many pictures. I am not much of a photographer. I tend to live in the moment and forget to capture it. I felt like maybe I took less pictures with a bare face because I put no effort into it. When I wear makeup I usually spend a good 30-45 minutes on my routine. That right there is probably why I took more pictures, because why put in all that work if I can’t show the face off. (Yes, I cringed at how shallow that sounded in case you were wondering. I had to be honest though.) Here are a couple pictures just to show you the difference.
In this picture I am full face with my signature purple lipstick.
Here I am makeup free, looking a little paler but spending some quality time with my cuddle buddy.
How Did This Challenge Affect:
While doing this challenge I originally expected that I would feel very insecure about myself. The results ended up being the opposite. I had extra time every morning before work. I felt less rushed which ultimately put me in a better mood for the rest of the day.
I work in an office so it is important that I come to work prepared and presentable. If you are wondering how this experiment affected my job let me tell you this, it didn’t. Literally nobody that I worked with noticed or cared. Turns out that I was the only person who cared if I left the house with or without makeup on. Not a single person treated me any differently than they did when I wear makeup. Despite not wearing my usual look, I still felt confident with in my performance at work. I always thought looking my best and feeling confident went together but this experiment proved I was wrong on that theory. I didn’t feel any hesitation on presenting an idea or meeting new clients.
Here’s a shocker. It didn’t! It didn’t phase my partner at all. It could be because he’s more into me than my face. Simple as that.
This was honestly the best thing I could have done for my skin. I have dry skin and am prone to breakouts. Since I didn’t have a face full of product to clean off everyday I was actually able to cut down on the amount of products I was using to keep my skin fresh. Since it got to the point where I wasn’t using cleanser as frequently my skin was naturally softer and smoother. Even though they make plenty of products to clean the makeup off off your skin doesn’t mean that it is good for your skin to be using them frequently. I think my pores really appreciated the break, it didn’t take long for my blackheads and breakouts to clear up. My skin isn’t perfect but it does feel a million times better. When the challenge was done and I did put on makeup again my face was so much smoother and brighter so the makeup ended up looking 10 times better than it normally did. It encouraged me to take makeup free days more frequently.
What I Learned
Cosmetics can be a lot of fun. Getting dolled up and looking like a movie star can actually feel pretty amazing. What isn’t amazing is being hesitant to be seen without a face full of product. If you are feeling insecure to ever be seen without any makeup on it’s time to sit back and really think about why.
Striving to be the most attractive person in the room is pointless. At the end of the day people will remember who was the funniest, the bravest, the kindest. They remember who had something interesting to say and who was there for them when they needed a shoulder to cry on. Nobody remembers who was the best looking. So if I run into an old acquaintance while I am out running errands there’s no need to hide my undone face in shame. No makeup doesn’t mean not put together, it means too busy enjoying life to care!
I will still continue to wear makeup but I no longer feel like I rely on it to express myself. Being confident in my own skin will continue to be my number 1 priority.