i went makeup free for a week and here’s what happened…

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Over a year ago, I created a photo project about how makeup affected me from childhood to college. The project chronicled my love-hatred-and love again for makeup and all things beauty. Through the project I expressed how I makeup had destroyed my self-image, constantly causing me to feel like I needed it to be beautiful..and without it, I was not. I didn’t wear makeup my entire sophomore year, that summer, and the fall of my junior year. My skin looked great. It was clear. Free of concealer and mascara. Yet, it wasn’t until the winter break of my junior year, I realized that makeup shouldn’t shape how I feel about myself. It was the things I was telling myself, the harsh words I mumbled in my head when something went wrong, the pang of anxiety I felt when I didn’t finish something in time, the guilt of making mistakes, were the things that caused me to not have any confidence in myself. It wasn’t the makeup at all. It was me. 

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So, I began wearing makeup again. Investing in high-end products I knew wouldn’t damage my skin, and leaving behind the drugstore makeup products that just sat on my skin, and made me feel like I didn’t know what I was doing. I’d watched enough makeup tutorials in my life now to know to buy a blending brush and to use eyeshadow primer. I had tools under my belt now. Every morning until midterms, I sat at my desk in my dorm room, applying, blending, and setting, making sure I had a perfectly made face before class. I wasn’t falling back into my anti-makeup ways, but I was starting to feel a little consumed by makeup again. It started to become a task. Sitting there and just waiting for it to be over.

So, I stopped.

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The next week, week six of classes, I started practicing mindfulness. I stretched in the morning. Took longer showers. Slowly ate my breakfast instead of shoving it down while beating my face with a beauty blender. I realized that makeup was taking over most of my morning, and I was abandoning more important things, like eating or hydrating. By the end of the week, I felt refreshed. I felt like I’d regained myself.

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From this “experiment” I learned that sometimes choices become a necessity, and when they do, it’s time to stop. As the saying goes, too much of a good thing can make you sick (or maybe it’s bad. I have no clue.) I learned from not wearing makeup for seven days, I can be comfortable with my appearance with or without makeup. I can wear it or not wear it, and still have friends, my intelligence, my personality. Wiping away makeup does not make me less of a person, less pretty, or less of a woman. On the first day, I thought, “I hope [my crush] doesn’t see me because I’m not wearing makeup,” but then I was like, really Courtney? By the end of the week, I’d seen him at least three times, and each day was better than the last. So, in the end, people (particularily your crush), don’t really care if you wear makeup or not. It’s about how you present yourself, the energy you exert, your work ethic, and being kind is what matters. (I’ll start wearing makeup again this week, but if I don’t feel like it, I wont’ force myself to.)

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I actually loved writing this post. Thank you all for voting in my Twitter poll! I really appreciate hearing how open you all were open to reading this post.

Comment down below when you started wearing makeup!

stay as you are,

-helloninetyseven

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12 thoughts on “i went makeup free for a week and here’s what happened…

  1. I started wearing makeup when I was about 13 🙈 – it was only mascara and lip gloss back then. I didn’t start wearing a ton until high school. Now in college, I either wear a ton or none haha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Started wearing makeup when I was 17. I started feeling like you did after I finished undergrad, and I felt like it was hindering my spiritual growth. I stopped it for a year & it was a good/weird/hard reset. I wrote a bit about it too. I’m back to wearing makeup now, but my routine has never been complicated. I love youtube beauty tutorials but I will definitely not be contouring, applying eyeshadow, blending, baking, etc every day! It has to take 15 minutes or less!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, I went through a similar thing a couple years ago when my skin wasn’t the best (very spotty) and it was a great realisation that people don’t treat you any different for letting your spots/skin breathe its a nice feeling to not feel dependant on something. Enjoyed reading you point of view 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is such a cool concept and now I really want to try this! I started wearing makeup officially when I was in college. I never wanted to put in the time in high school, which now after reading this, I’m glad I waited for a bit to wear it regularly. Thank you for sharing this, so inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

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