Recently I’ve had many discussions on the concepts of girlhood and womanhood. Besides looking at theoretical differences between the two stages of development, a recurring discussion point is makeup, jewellery and clothing. It also occurred to me that I had not gone one day without wearing makeup in a while. If you haven’t read any of my previous works, then you should know that I rarely wore makeup until the end of my first year at university, and even in second year I rarely showed up with full glam on my face (let alone on a daily basis). But I have somehow managed to find myself transforming from needing a little concealer here and there to needing contour, winged eyeliner and a blinding highlight. Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to wear makeup, especially full glam, but had I crossed the line to needing it?
I had crossed the line and I only discovered this because I decided to investigate: I had to go a week without wearing full glam. It sounds ridiculous but it’s true, after I took off all of that makeup and couldn’t cover anything I deemed to be an imperfection, I started to freak out. It was simple, I was so used to the face-tuned and filtered version of myself, that I forgot to love what was really there. And I love what is really there, only outside of the beauty world and social media realm though. I’ve personally grown accustomed to always having my hair styled, my jewellery covering my skin and full glam from the moment after I rise to the moment before I sleep. There are benefits to baring it all every once in a while, because makeup, jewellery, clothes and our hair should not feel like a task, but a choice that should be enjoyed.
But, what did I actually learn from simply a week without makeup?
I think the most important thing is that no one really cared. Of course, there were questions, that revolved around why I did not have glitter or crystals plastered over my eyes or why there wasn’t an exaggerated form of eyeliner on my lids paired by a ridiculously bold lip colour. It also enabled me to not care about what people thought again. At the end of the day, who cares whether I have covered that one tiny blemish and the dark circles I wake up with regardless of how much I’ve slept? It felt good to be free again.
Your girl showed up to places on time, as she saved time, which is a monumental achievement these days. I could actually eat breakfast instead of finding that one perfect mascara for the day, because I needed to look more alert. Even when I have eight hours of sleep, as I would still be worried that people thought I looked tired. Another great thing about this saving time, I could fling myself into bed at the end of the night, and pass out without having to remove my makeup. Yes, I skipped my nighttime skincare routine, but I was feeling wild on this no makeup week.
My skin could finally breathe, too. Some days I would spend an hour painting my face and fluffing my hair, only to end up cleaning or running errands. My pores were grateful for the chance to breathe. There were fewer breakouts and my skin was visibly less irritated, provided that it was not being beaten with beauty sponges and my eyes were not being blended to death with ten different brushes.
The stress was gone. Yes, there was the stress of what people would think about my dark spots or that bald spot in my eyebrow that will never grow hair. However, after the first two days, the stress was virtually gone. I didn’t have to do check-ups to wipe excess oil from my t-zone or the smudges from my eyeliner and mascara. Nor did I have to worry about carrying half of my makeup collection in case disaster struck.
I love wearing makeup. But not when it became a mundane yet insidious task I had to complete every morning to make myself feel normal and perfectly edited. As much as I love to create new looks on my face at all times, I encourage everyone to bare it all for a period of time, be it a week, a month or even a year. Anyone can benefit from remembering how comfortable we should feel in our own skin and that our natural selves are perfect. Even after finishing my week of baring it all, I continued to not wear it, because I loved the way I looked with or without makeup. I’ve bared it all, can you?