AN EXPOSE ON LIVING WITHOUT MAKEUP
In sixth grade, I started experimenting with makeup. More accurately, I began caking my face with makeup—really, really bad makeup. I had fun trying new eyeshadows and liners, shopping for new lipsticks and attempting to perfect concealer and foundation.
For six years, I thought that I needed to wear makeup to feel and look pretty, and I wanted to hide all of the flaws I saw whenever I looked in the mirror. Growing up with chronic acne, the more foundation, the better. What was worse was that I rarely took my makeup off. My skin was so unhealthy and I didn’t want to see it, even at home. Of course, this only caused my skin to worsen.
While studying in the Canary Islands during my senior year of high school, I wore makeup less and less, until I wasn’t wearing it at all. Going to school there everyday, I witnessed so many girls without makeup, and they looked beautiful,fresh, happy and healthy—and I slowly stopped feeling the need to powder my face before leaving the house.The longer I went without makeup, the healthier my skin felt, and the more I noticed a natural glow to my face. I had never imagined going a day without makeup until I saw things from a new perspective.
Allowing my skin to breathe was the best thing I decided to do, and once I got a taste of what it felt like exposing myself free of any makeup, I became more confident and proud of my natural beauty.
As I entered college and started actively dating, I still steered clear of makeup—mainly because I just wanted to roll out of bed as late as possible and head to class without getting ready. But in doing so, I became comfortable going on dates and meeting men with a clean face and my natural glow. The longer this went on, the more I realized that I truly didn’t need makeup in my life. More and more men commented on my face and skin looking healthy and beautiful, and I was always getting comments on how soft my cheeks felt. I never could have dreamed that this was possible years before.
It has been six years since I regularly wore makeup, and I will fully admit that my skin isn’t always flawless. In fact, it nearly never is. But what the past six years have taught me is that everyone gets blemishes and it’s common to have slight discoloration, but that doesn’t mean you’re any less beautiful. It wasn’t until I stepped outside of my comfort zone and removed the mask I had been wearing everyday that I was able to recognize this.
As tempting as it can be to cover a pimple with concealer or hide the dark circles under my eyes, I reserve makeup for special occasions: job interviews, formal events or fancy dates. And now, I make sure the makeup comes off before my head hits the pillow. Ultimately I learned from my mistakes. I learned from my embarrassment of my face and skin, and I was able to fully embrace my natural glow—the one I had witnessed on so many girls during my time in Spain.
In order to keep my skin healthy, I limit the skincare products I use on my face and the amount I use them. Other than washing my face, I occasionally use natural face masks. My favorite is this Aztec Clay Mask. When my skin feels dry, I use moisturizer, but otherwise I embrace the natural and clean sensation of not layering my skin with different products. I also love to use this witch hazel toner by Bioré, and when I have any major breakouts, I use a little bit of this oil- free acne spot treatment by Clean and Clear.
My advice to anyone considering going makeup free is give it a try for a week. Then, make it two weeks, and so on. It is a leap of faith to say the least, but ultimately is a truly gratifying experience. Being makeup free has given me more confidence, allowed my skin and scars to heal, and showed me how rewarding, and beautiful life can be without hiding my natural face from the world.