A year ago, I quit wearing makeup.
Not because of an environmental reasons.
Not out of laziness, or the lack of need to wear makeup.
Not even to try and save money.
I stopped wearing makeup because I wanted to.
Fresh off of losing my job, I was, for lack of a better word, wallowing. Wallowing in self-pity, the fact that I would turn 25 that year, and trying to figure out what the heck to do with my job, and I realized how blessed I really was.
For the first time in years, I didn’t have to go to school, I didn’t have to go to work, I just had to get up each morning, put one foot in front of the other, and be a good mother. I felt a crazy sense of freedom in my newfound simple life. It wasn’t the life I wanted….I’d never planned on having kids, but then a month out of college, 3 weeks into my new job as an accountant I found out I was pregnant.
That surprise baby rocked my world.
Once wanting to be working, achieving, climbing the corporate ladder, I found myself riddled with “mommy guilt” day in and day out, and although I loved my job, I knew I was missing precious time with my daughter.
The mom life was never a priority.
But priorities have a way of changing.
And a year ago, when the mom life was forced upon me once again when I lost my job, I was actually relieved.
Relieved to know that I had a backup plan, relieved to know that I wouldn’t miss a minute of my daughter’s life. Relieved that I was going to be ok.
And that relief extended to knowing that I could handle anything life threw my way.
So I stopped wearing makeup because I was tired of others defining who and what I was. I was tired of being judged by what I looked like, and having my worth determined by everyone around me.
I just wanted to be me.
But in getting rid of the makeup habit, I discovered some really awesome things about forgoing makeup every day.
My Skin Is Healthier Without Makeup
I’ve had acne since 3rd grade. Coincidentally, that’s when I also got my period, so suffice to say I’ve been a loner basically all my life.
It wan’t cool then, but it’s fine now.
Today, at 25, I STILL have acne. Not as bad, but it’s definitely still there, and I can tell when its flaring up because of hormones, and when its just being my normal, horrible, adult acne.
Until I went to college, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup. Like, any at all, so I couldn’t blame my acne on the makeup. But in college, I started wearing makeup to cover my blemishes, hiding like so many other women do, and I still had bad skin.
But now, a year without makeup later, my skin is healthier and better than ever!
My acne still flares up a few days before my period, and depending up on the severity might still be there by the time my next period rolls around, but I can honestly say that most of the time I have no new breakouts other than right before my period.
At 25, this is the first time in my life that I can say this. Do you have any idea how amazing that is??
My Morning Routine Is Extremely Short
A by-product of this no makeup thing is that it takes me approximately 2 1/2 minutes to get ready in the morning. A quick brush through my hair, dry shampoo if it needs it, and a bit of lotion on my face. Deodorant and brushed teeth and I’m ready to go for the day. As a work at home mom with a 2-year old, the time that I save means more time for myself before the little crazy one wakes up and takes over what I’m doing that day.
It also helps me put my morning routine on autopilot, freeing up brain power for more important thing.
And the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Makeup-Free is Very Freeing. Brave, Actually.
No more 20-minute makeup refresh before leaving the house. I said goodbye to that particular routine a year ago and haven’t looked back.
It’s not about him, but the hubs doesn’t miss the makeup routine either. He’s always told me that I’m more beautiful without makeup, and and never believed him until now.
Taking off the makeup – permanently – has been unbelievably freeing. I’ve felt empowered to be who I truly am instead of always being careful, pretending, censoring my words. I’m unafraid to ask for what I deserve, or even what I want, and rather than being afraid to venture out on my own, I’ve been going out on a limb, taking leaps of faith that I never would before, like starting my own business.
I Want To Set The Right Example
A few months before I stopped wearing makeup, I was putting it on and my daughter happened to wander in and ask me what I was doing. Do you know what I told her?
“Mommy is putting on makeup to make her pretty.”
In that moment, I realized how wrong nearly everything about that statement was, but in the rush to get off to work, I didn’t have time to overthink it.
But for the next few months, she continued to watch me while I put on makeup, progressively wanting to put on more and more of her own makeup. First, she just wanted to hold a makeup brush, then she started using it to pretend to put on makeup, and by the time I stopped wearing makeup, she wanted to hold onto an old foundation compact and pretend to put the foundation on the brush and then onto her face.
Those small actions of a little girl imitating her mommy can seem so harmless, cute even, but the actions that they lead to have longer-term consequences.
There is nothing inherently wrong with makeup, but becoming a slave to it, refusing to leave the house without it on, an using it as a shield, so you don’t have to show your true self to the people around you is a problem.
As women, we’re inundated with messages about our appearance. From the perfect bodies, the perfect face, and even the perfect clothes, we’re taught that the more we conform to what we’re supposed to look like, the more successful we’ll be, the more friends we’ll have, and the more money we’ll make.
And in all reality, that is true.
If you don’t look professional, how likely are you to land a job?
If you’re obese, what are the chances of being looked on as lazy?
And if your clothes aren’t up to par, how seriously to you think you’ll be taken?
In a world that is constantly changing – both for the better and for the worse – I want to raise a daughter who feels brave enough to be herself. One who knows that she may, indeed, be judged for her choices, but who faces those fears head, continues to be herself, and who has no qualms about proving the haters wrong.
I want to raise a strong daughter, one who feels free to put on makeup when it suits her, but who feels equally free to leave it off as well.
I want to raise a daughter who knows her own value, not because others validate her, but because of her inner strength and confidence.
Makeup still has a place in my life, such as in family pictures, but rather than using it to hide who I am, I use it to bring out my best qualities. I’m not photogenic, but photos are incredibly important to me.
I’m not anti-makeup, but I am anti-makeup every single day.
Have you every considered going makeup-free?
P.S. Want to win a copy of Marriage & Money or my Just Breathe T-shirt? Share this post on social media for a chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosures for more information