Make Up – Wear or not to wear
A few weeks ago, I decided to stop wearing makeup for awhile. If I were being partially honest I would say this decision was based on the hot weather and humidity, which caused any makeup I applied to promptly slide off my face in an unsightly Maybelline mudslide.
I thought my makeup hiatus would last a few days, but I ended up enjoying the barefaced lifestyle so much that I didn’t open my makeup bag for two full weeks. This might not seem like a long time, but I’ve worn makeup almost every day for many, many years. A makeup-free vacation, weekend, or random weekday wasn’t uncommon for me, but to give it up for 14 days in a row for no particular reason was definitely a major adjustment. I learned some things about makeup, and about myself, in the process…
“Getting ready” time is important, even if it doesn’t involve makeup. When I took makeup out of my “getting ready” equation, I discovered I could be out the door in about 10 minutes (get dressed, de-frizz hair, locate keys — Boom! Done!). But one thing I realized during my makeup hiatus was that even though it was nice to streamline my routine, I actually missed the chunk of time I spent in front of the mirror. Leisurely applying my powder and mascara allowed me ample time to wake up, have a few solo dance parties, and mentally steel myself for the day. Now I know that even if I’m not wearing makeup, I still prefer to give myself a generous chunk of morning prep time.
Skincare is more important than makeup. Before my makeup hiatus, I put minimal energy into taking care of my skin and maximum energy into covering up any skin issues that arose from my negligence. Going without makeup made me want to switch up my priorities. The more TLC I give to my skin, the less makeup I want/need to wear.
Removing eye makeup is a pain in the ass. When I wore makeup daily, spending a few minutes every night removing said makeup was just a given. No matter how tired I was, I knew I’d have to prop myself up in front of a mirror and wipe away my eyeliner and mascara — and I couldn’t rush it too much either, because hello, eyelashes are fragile. You know what’s awesome? Just being able to splash your face with water and go to bed. I could really get used to that. In fact, I kind of did get used to it during my makeup hiatus, and now taking it off seems even more annoying/time-consuming than usual.
I love the feeling of the sun on my bare face. This wasn’t a huge epiphany, because I don’t wear makeup on beachy vacations, but it was so nice to feel the sun on my face while doing everyday things like running errands or taking walks through my neighborhood. (Oh, and just in case my dermatologist is reading this, of course I was still wearing sunscreen!)
There are two very different reasons I wear makeup. One reason is rooted in self-expression. I might have the urge to play with a fun eye shadow color or wake up feeling kind of vampy and want deep red lips to match my mood. The second reason is rooted in insecurity and the belief that I don’t look good enough without makeup. The two weeks I spent not wearing any makeup really highlighted the difference between these two motivators for me. There were days that I felt like wearing makeup because I wanted to define my eyes for a night out or just really missed my hot pink lip gloss, and there were other days when I wanted to wear makeup . Ideally, I’d like my daily makeup habits to be motivated by creativity and expression rather than fear and self-doubt. It’s a challenge, but I think I’m on the right track.
Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.