I posted this poll on my story this past week and got a ton of incredible responses about going makeup-free more and more. And not just going makeup free, but feeling confident while doing so. As you can see from the poll, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I was a late bloomer and only started wearing makeup to school my junior year I think. We had gone on a journalism conference trip and one of my friends made me sit in the bathroom while she did my makeup “tastefully.” Up until that point, I had only done makeup appointments before school dances and had never really felt like myself with a ton of makeup. But seeing what my friend did, made me realize that I could wear makeup and just enhance how I looked. And then there was no turning back. Once people saw what I could look like with a little mascara, eyeliner, coverup, and brow powder… how could I let them just see me now???


MAKEUP FREE confidence

With the pandemic and being home for (omg) nearly a year. And wearing masks while out…. I gradually slowed down my makeup use. I ditched foundation first, opting for tinted moisturizer or tinted sunscreen. Definitely gave up lipstick unless I was shooting blog photos. Then I gave up eyeliner. I was still holding onto mascara and my beloved brow gel. And after a while, I just didn’t find it worth it anymore.

It absolutely started as a “what’s the point.” Who am I seeing, who am I trying to impress. If I’m wearing a mask anyway why does it matter.

But then I swear the craziest thing happened…. I realized how free I felt without makeup on. I didn’t feel like I needed it to feel beautiful or pretty or attractive. Maybe it’s that I care less about what other people think in general? I definitely feel attractive (in my own terms, which I guess all that really matters) without makeup. I feel fantastic with it on, but there is a sense of power in feeling fully confident without it too.

Over the years I have worked on feeling confident with who I am as a person and I don’t think I realized that while I liked who I was becoming (and embraced myself for who I am and who I’m not), I still had work to do with the person I saw in the mirror.

I know Instagram is a large part of job, but I feel like it can be such a toxic place for beauty.

I’m not against people choosing to do cosmetic procedures and I don’t even think they have to disclose if they don’t want to, but there does seem to be this mentality that “well, everyone does it.” Even though I know it’s not actually the case, it can feel like everyone uses self-tanner. Everyone is getting lip fillers. Everyone gets Botox. And everyone uses Facetune on photos. Everyone adds a filter to their Stories to smooth their skin, make their nose a little thinner, their jaw lines a little more defined.

I had a little taste of this when I tried eyelash extensions. And I LOVED them. I thought I looked so much better, objectively. But they made me feel insecure about other things. I could feel the slippery slope pulling me down…. well if I just did a little filler on my upper lip I think I’d look better. I wonder if I could do cool sculpting for my neck/jawline to make it look a little tighter. There are some fine lines popping up on my forehead and around my eyes that I could just… take care of with some Botox.

I didn’t love thinking like that.

Fast forward to right now and… I really like who I see in the mirror. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of imperfections. It’s just that they don’t bother me like they used to. I like feeling like I can do an Instagram story and not think twice about posting without makeup or a filter. Feels good to be here. 🥰

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Thank you for writing about things for people to think about and not just items to purchase. The blog world feels like a constant product push, leaving people feeling as though they need to buy things all of the time. (I’ve frequently been guilty of this! 🙂 It is so refreshing to have a place to go to read about ideas, books, feelings. Your variety and thoughtfulness really makes a difference to people! Thanks for your great work


Yeah I slowly stopped wearing any makeup since working from home. And now I’m not sure I can go back. I feel pretty confident makeupless and don’t want to ruin that. Hopefully I can still feel this confident when we go back to office because I’m saving so much time not worrying about how my makeup looks in the morning.


Love love love this post. I work with a clean room environment that requires no make up so I’m always used to forgoing it in 80% of my life but leaving it off for the other 20% has had me feeling like this too.

Coralys Melendez

I really love this. As for myself I do not wear much makeup. And since the pandemic is rarely there. Like you said what’s the point when I have to wear a mask to go out and no one sees me at home.


Love that you posted this! I always wore makeup at work pre-COVID because I was trying to seem more professional and put-together. For the past year, I’ve only worn a small amount of makeup when I’m on-camera for work. My coworkers have seen me without makeup for a year now–who am I trying to impress? It doesn’t attribute to my professionalism–my work ethic speaks for itself.


Yep, honestly my makeup wearing has gone exponentially downhill since high school 😂 at my job last year sometimes I would just wear under eye concealer and curl my lashes because the thought of taking off mascara at night was too much, lol. I think once things get more back to normal I’m going to throw out all my makeup (I don’t have much tbh) since it’s probably expired by now and treat myself to some new stuff by ILIA. But for now will be going makeup free. Yesterday I actually wore undereye concealer which I haven’t worn in months and I was like wow I look so different.

Ashley F

Growing up, I had terrible acne and started wearing foundation very young to cover up my skin. As the years went on, I could not imagine showing my bare face in public. I remember being really sick and needing to get medicine and felt obligated to put on makeup before going to the pharmacy. The past year has definitely been hard but I have learned that I do not need to hear make up every single day. In fact, I have only worn it a handful of time in the last year. None of my fears of being make up free came true. I can look at my bare face and love what I see.


This is so funny, spending so much time staring at my face on zoom calls at first made me way MORE self conscious. I got my eyebrows micro bladed when it felt safe (this summer when cases were way down in my area) and the MUA said demand had exploded due to zoom calls.

That being said, I had also been long day dreaming of a little filler and Botox and now it feels silly and I’m glad I never did it.

I also found myself feeling some imposter syndrome and for some reason a bold red lip has helped so much. I feel like a confident bad ass and look a little older too.

Overall, I think I’m more comfortable without some things (concealer) wanting more of others (why do my eyebrows suddenly matter so much??) and just having fun with others, like the lipstick.


SAME. Although, a weird thing has happened now (like you, nearly a year in!) I’m having more fun wearing makeup when I do choose to wear it. I guess it feels more like a “want to” than a “have to.”


Hi Carly,
I honestly think less is more. I’ve always been one to believe makeup should enhanced one’s natural beauty.

Lenne Zulkiflly

I barely need anything heavy on the face when I’m going out. I guess I’m so used to staying at home with a naked face. I love seeing my skin, it feels like I’m allowing them to have plenty of time to breathe. My skin has been amazing since lockdown started and I’m so grateful for that. Thanks for your thoughts in this. That’s great of you to think like this. It brings positive vibes to me! xx


I felt the slippery slope of if I do this then all do that (this being brow microblading and that being lip fillers).

I didn’t like that feeling at all so turned completely from it. I cancelled the microblading appt and didn’t look back, instead choosing to embrace my face the way it is.


Yes Yes Yes! I agree with you completely. Firstly, I cannot but say that you just have a wonderful look and you are very beautiful without makeup! It’s cool that you are open about it, because now there really is a problem that people are afraid to go without makeup! It’s okay though! And I think during the quarantine we all got so out of the habit of her that soon it will be normal not to paint in order to go for a walk! And that’s cool! I think that our skin will only thank us!