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???
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. 🥰