The Effort of Not Wearing Makeup

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Makeup brushes are the worst. So. Much. Work.

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with a skin condition called melasma and an eye disorder called ocular rosacea. What this amounts to is having brown patches of skin, and red bloodshot eyes. It’s fair to say that 2015 has not been a great year for my face.

The melasma has meant I’ve had to coat myself in serums and sunscreen everyday, leading to vampirically pale skin. The rosacea has also meant I’ve had to stop wearing makeup altogether. Of course I can still wear lipstick, but not if I want to kiss my girlfriend often, which I do (this is another femme dilemma for another time). I’ve gone from someone who used to wear smokey eyes at breakfast, to a blankly pale-faced person.

The whole thing has been quite unsettling. But it’s also taught me a few lessons about my relationship to beauty practices.

I pretty much took my eye makeup cues from this guy

I pretty much took my eye makeup cues from this guy

On an ordinary day, I used to love wearing lashings of mascara, glittery eye shadow and My-Chemical-Romance-levels of eyeliner. Yet I remember that I used to feel so uncomfortable not wearing makeup, that even if I was at home sick I’d get up and put foundation on. I’d also start every morning so mad at the ridiculously long time it would take to put on every beauty product. I would sit at parties and look at the people who weren’t wearing makeup and think “I wish I could do that!” as if showing my un-makeup-ed face was not even an option.

When I was confronted with the new necessarily-pale-faced situation, it was quite a shock. But far from being a relief, I felt more beholden than ever – this time to creams, eyedrops and tablets used to treat my conditions – and worse, without the pleasures that makeup used to bring.

I legitimately own one of these

I legitimately own one of these

With my newly neutral face, I barely recognised myself in the mirror. It seemed like different eyes were staring back at me. Not wanting to brave the world, I was reminded of this quote from Germaine Greer: “The women who dare not go outside without their fake eyelashes are in serious psychic trouble”. I braced myself, and for the next four months went with my new look.

People started to comment on how good my skin looked, how bright, how clear. I looked more sophisticated without makeup, they said. Little did they know I was still wearing multiple layers of various serums, and that any skin brightness had been achieved through months of fierce chemical creams. I was still caught up in the desire to “look good”, just now without any of the fun.

This is what you get when you search for

This is what you get when you search for “natural beauty”

After all, my “natural” make-up free look wasn’t without a great deal of effort. Search for “natural beauty” and I’ll bet you won’t find pictures of someone with brown patches of skin and red bloodshot eyes.

I didn’t feel better without my makeup routine, I felt sad. I had lost a part of my day when I got to “get ready” and activated my persona for the world. I looked at past photos of me and longed for my old face. When I next went to see my eye doctor, the nurse commented on my file, “No mascara? Who does that doctor think he is?! Men, they just don’t understand!”

Recently, I decided to try full makeup again, just for a day. But looking in the mirror I was once again confused by the face that I saw. It made me realise that faces are subject to habit. If you wear the same makeup everyday, it just becomes the baseline.

Pretty sure I couldn't do this to my face anymore, for example

Pretty sure I couldn’t do this to my face anymore, for example

Because my face was always an eye makeup-ed one, the day that changed meant I had to adjust to a new face. But more importantly, a face I could never change or play around with.

The whole series of events has made me think that makeup for me is neither a prison nor a completely empowering practice. There are definitely social expectations that keep me tied to the beauty machine, but there are also pleasures that beauty affords that I never new I’d miss until they were gone.

My doctor now says I can wear some makeup, sometimes. But I think I’m going to try a new face…maybe one that doesn’t fall into habits quite so easily.

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278 thoughts on “The Effort of Not Wearing Makeup

  1. Maybe focusing on products that are strictly for health and comfort of your skin would help you to regain confidence in your innate worth and inner beauty, and then you could add more “cosmetic” serums (if you are on those, I don’t know your regime) as you wish when it becomes just for you!

  2. When I was in high school I used to not be able to leave the house without makeup or I would feel completely naked. Then in grade 12 I stopped wearing it every day and I found that…nobody cared! Even if I did get some “you look tired/sick!” comments (so rude), that was because people knew me with “my face on.” When I went to university people started out knowing my face exactly what it actually looks like, and my skin is better, my eyes don’t get as itchy, and I feel more confident (plus I have more time in the mornings). Ever since I only wear make-up when I WANT to and for special occasions. I find that it’s very empowering because it’s about what I want instead of what I think people expect of me!
    For your situation: you don’t owe the world “beautiful” skin, and your skin is enough the way it is. Maybe a similar approach, but centred on health, would work for you best. For instance, making your creams and serums a relaxing self-care rituals with a cup of tea because you want to take care of yourself. Because you value your body and you want to be comfortable, not because you think your skin has to look a certain way to be acceptable. This is an approach that I think works for a lot of people who have encountered issues with their weight and physique. And now that you’ve become accustomed to your “real” face, maybe this is an opportunity to find some middle ground in your beauty routine and find some skin friendly and hypoallergenic cosmetics! I think that having a middle ground that is neither “putting your face on” or bare skin will help you feel like yourself and recognize the many versions of your face that you can present to the world using make-up in order to express yourself. 🙂
    I don’t know what it’s like to have a severe skin condition, but I know what it’s like to have a chronic illness and I know it can be draining so I hope this helps. 🙂 ❤

  3. Not having a good skin is not a reason for you to be bashful.. your beautiful and unique, each and everyone of us.. just be you even you have that skin condition.. just ignore the people with low perception in life because they tend to see the outside only..for me the inner beauty is the most important, though i wear makeup..i love it, but i don’t feel like i have to wear it just to be confident..love your post! keep it coming!
    please do visit my blog to..I’m just new here 😀

  4. This was a good read, thank you 🙂 I enjoy playing around with makeup and I intend to make the beauty industry my career, however I do feel that it is important to make myself go makeup free most days so that I don’t get used to wearing it. I don’t want to be the person who can’t leave the house without something on my face. However I will contradict myself now and say that the only thing I will not leave the house without, is a layer of mascara. Whoops…

  5. This is very true of society, I personally have been through a stage where make up was a serious issue for my skin. But the benefits I now have from taking care of my skin means I am once again able to change what I see. I enjoy finally being confident not wearing make up all the time. Thank you for sharing your experience, it took me such a long time to come to terms with mine.

  6. “Faces are subject to habit” I’m happy/unhappy when I makeup, I’m happy/unhappy when I don’t. It depends on whether I’ve been using makeup or not. Amazing how habits can change the way you look at yourself.

  7. I love this, so so much. ! I just recently started wearing light makeup, not often but I do put it on sometimes if I want to, but nobody should feel the need to put on makeup, because you are already beautiful the way you are… But then again a habit is a habit..

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  9. The natural look fits every woman – no matter if young or old. I don’t understand especially young girls who cover up their face with tons of makeup and stick artificial lashes to their own beautiful ones. My blog also promotes this natural look, because every woman is beautiful just the way she is! I
    Loved this post

  10. Pingback: All of you women are already created by God…therefore beautiful……you don’t need that image designed by the Egyptians.  The Effort of Not Wearing Makeup | Unchain The Tree

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  12. Thanks so much for sharing this.
    I perfectly know how you felt. I never putted make up on, and then in high school they kinda brainwashed me, made me feel creepy without make up. I putted so many chemicals on my face i could barely touch it because it was so damaged. I had to stop and it was horrible in the beginnng. But that’s so awesome when you start to realize how much beauty you were hiding under so much make up. Now if I wear some, i’ts just vegan and just blush and little eyeshadow.
    I suggest you to try Biofficina toscana’s sensitive skin serum. Makes wounders.
    xxx

    (yep, my English is sooo bad. Italian’s not Always do it better xD)

  13. This reminds me of me when I go out and decide to try the smokey eye look… Take ages to make it perfect, then take it off because it’s just not “me”. Thanks for sharing this interesting journey! 🙂

  14. One day, I’ll get to being okay with not wearing make up outside my house. SO far the few times i’ve tried have earned me earnest comments about how tired I look or whether I’m sick. Not exactly encouraging, lol.

    Glad you can wear make up again. Now you can choose if you want to, rather than having it dictated to you. 🙂

  15. I used to never leave the house without makeup. Eventually, my sister made me go without it for a month, and my skin, and confidence greatly improved. I still wear a little, but at least now I feel confident enough to not wear it sometimes. It’s hard though, when you get dirty looks because you don’t look ‘perfect’. I don’t have perfect skin, and society judges me for it. I loved this post, it was very truthful, and inspirational.

  16. I work in skincare, and I have never heard of not being able to wear makeup to over melasma? Is it because of the ocular rosacea? There are some mineral lines that can be used right over professional treatments such as chemical peels and laser. Some off the top of my head are Jane Iredale, Oxygenetix, and Glominerals. Oxygenetix is commonly used post procedure for laser treatment whereas we use GloMinerals after chemical exfoliation treatments at the facility I work for. Also, I think light skin is oh so beautiful! Skin lighteners are not supposed to make you any lighter than you should be when all of the unwanted pigment is taken away.

  17. Well said! I have super sensitive skin now, so make up is not in my usual routine anymore. It was an ordeal to get accustomed to seeing myself in the mirror without truly recognizing who was staring back at me. Like you said, there is an adjustment period. I tend to think back to when I first started playing with makeup. Was there an adjustment period to recognizing who I was in the mirror with makeup as there was with no make up?

  18. I wear makeup vey rarely. I can’t see how it can be good for our largest organ, our skin, and that is my habit. As I age, Ive become more conscious about the fact my looks aren’t what they used to be, but I forget on a day to day basis and act as I always have, and Im accepted by my younger, beautiful friends as if I still looked as I did. So glad they love me for who I am (coz my looks are not improving!). P.s. Really liked your piece.

  19. Love this post! I try to go without wearing makeup, because I hate the feeling of it on my face, but I will admit it’s hard do. It’s the general consensus that make up= “beauty”, and without it you’re not beautiful. As a woman who works around “beautiful” women, it’s hard to keep standing on your own and embracing you’re natural beauty. We as women need to have more self confidence and embrace our natural beauty!

  20. Thanks for sharing your inspiring words!! All we have is ourselves, so we must learn to love that face we see every day in the mirror ❤ Love your blog xx

  21. … Sounds like we’ve been having a similar year. My first brush with makeup-less reality came with my diagnosis of corneal ectasia brought on by LASIK surgery I shouldn’t have had 14 years ago! Up until December 2014 – I wouldn’t have dreamed of leaving my house – not even for the mail, without my “face” on. Now my burning post Cornea Collagen Cross Linking Eyes both cN’t tolerate one iota of cosmetic. I felt initially naked – so vulnerable but then strangely got used to it and my new face became somehow ok about two months in. Loved your piece – great read. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I’ve had melasma for years but have always worn makeup. The switch to high spf sunscreen and hats when out have helped to fade it away but I wouldn’t dream of going without makeup to work. When I had eye surgery earlier this year I only made up one eye (the non surgical one)! All in all though I wear minimal amounts anyway so I guess I’m not the norm. 🙂

  23. For what it’s worth, as you age you won’t care a bit about makeup. In my youth I wouldn’t think of going outside without being made up – presentable. Over a certain age, it is such work to even think about wearing makeup. Then you find it is quite freeing.

  24. I’ve recently discovered I have melasma too. Just when I was on holiday, so that I came home with a peculiar patchy neck, chest and face. I think I will have to avoid the sun like the plague , if I want the brown patches to fade to any sort of normality. Difficult to hide my neck in make up, although I can disguise my face. One thing I’ve discovered as I’ve grown older though is that less is definitley more. I still like and enjoy make up. I sometimes wear more for a more glamorous occasion, but suddenly it doesn’t define me any more. I feel so much more free to enjoy life fully, without stressing about my appearance. People really don’t notice our “flaws” ( if that is what they are! ) when we are relaxed and fun to be with. Like Hafeeza, I suffered for years with acne, and still get the odd adult spot. But it forced me to take better care of my skin, and although affected my confidence badly, I am at last comfortable in my

  25. An honest and thoughtful read. I appreciate your willingness to engage in self-awareness about how make-up does or does not influence your own self-image. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  26. Takes a lot of courage, especially when skin conditions like so shatter your self-esteem. I’ve never had perfect skin. Like every other teenager, I also experienced my fair share of acne – Surprisingly as I came to the end of my teenage years -.-. But what can one do?
    I’ve never been put into the habit of wearing make up by my mother – Only on occasions, and to this day I have religiously stuck by it (I am 21 now).
    I KNOW I need make up, but simplicity is key.
    After reading this, it just amazes me how all of a sudden something so routine has to be put to a stop and its out of your control. However, hats off to you for your strength, perseverance and also helping many other work on their self-esteem, including myself!
    As for the internet’s definition of ‘natural beauty’, that’s pretty much any celebrity with porcelain-like, mannequinn-looking, flawless skin. But at the end of day, they are pampered regularly. Therefore, we on the other hand, aren’t doing too bad at all. No lady needs layers of make up to look beautiful. And sometimes, you end up having to go through a little bit of suffering to realise that. Good on you girl.
    Ps, I too am a lipstick lover!

  27. I’ve had to go through similar after being diagnosed with eczema at age 33. Luckily it didn’t affect my whole face just my eyes but having worn mascara whenever outside the house for as long as I can remember, it was hard to go to work with no eye makeup. Thankfully it’s dormant at the moment but I still have to be so careful. It certainly changed my outlook and I feel free knowing nothing changes just because I don’t have mascara on (oh I’m very blonde and you can’t really see my naked eyelashes)

  28. I was freed from the make-up addiction when I went to live in Europe. The girls there weren’t wearing anything (but MAYBE lipstick) on their faces and they looked good. I came back to the states with a naked face and have very rarely looked back.

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  30. I was just like you — I always loved putting on make-up. I loved the process and I loved the outcome. I could not imagine myself going out without it, because it was like a hobby for me. Then eye got problems with my eye and for half year I couldn’t use make-up. And now when I can. I feel to lazy for it. I don’t need it that much anymore. Yes, for special occasions, or when I meet up with people I don’t truly trust — I do put some make-up on. It’s like my protection. Year ago if someone would tell me I would become like this — I would never believe it…

  31. I used to feel so ashamed of body for several years even more so back then as opposed to now. I commend women who aren’t ashamed to show off their natural beauty. Thank you for writing this thought-provoking post! Feel free to check out my site. ensuredforsuccess.com.

  32. This is so inspiring. Being as though I have gotten better about not wearing makeup to cover myself up as much as possible, this helped me see that everyone is in fact beautiful. What do you think about wearing makeup while working out?

  33. I’ve been gradually trying to reduce the amount of make up I wear, and it’s really hard to do once you see yourself each day with it on. It really is like adjusting to a whole new face. It was really interesting to read your post and know that this is something we all feel, and especially regarding ‘natural beauty’.

  34. I used to wear a LOT of makeup in my first year of college, but I kind of stopped because I started running in the morning (so no time) and I realized that when people got used to seeing me “dolled up” I started looking ill and haggard if I so much as skipped eyeliner one day.

  35. I am 59 years old. I do not wear make up except for lipstick. No one ever can guess my age. I feel make up is a crunch that many women feel they must from an early age usually middle school. I am black. In our culture few women wear makeup unless they do for work. Young women in middle school and high school usually do not bother with it. I love the freedom and the luxury of not having to put out so much money to support the habit. Black women spend their money on their hair instead. With relaxers, weaves, braids etc-who has money for make up. 😏

  36. I am also trying to become more confident with showing my bare face to the world- which is very challenging at times. I find it particularly difficult to not wear makeup at work, as I am one of the younger members of my office. Not wearing makeup makes me feel particularly child-like and “undone”. So I feel your struggle, very compelling read!

  37. My effort of wearing makeup is like so natural I wake up In the morning and I’m like okay not that much makeup but I put mascara lip gloss eye liner and a natural eyeshadow

  38. So coincidental! Just yesterday I was putting lipgloss on my young niece. Her father was very upset when he saw her tinted mouth. And I similarly was faced with the dilemma of what makes a “good face” for a women or even any person trying makeup for the first time. Makeup is neither empowerment nor deterrent, makeup is fun, sans-makeup is fun, like clothes, it doesn’t actually matter what you wear but why you wear it.And I think, as you pointed out in your article, that these are all personal questions we must face individually. Well done!

  39. My mother has malasma and I have battled with acne for a few years now, I absolutely love this article because now that I’m pregnant I realised just how exhausting it is putting makeup on all the time just to feel pretty.. I’m really learning how to just embrace my flaws; maybe slap a bit of mascara on and call it good 🙂

  40. Thanks for posting this. I feel like its a daily struggle for me when it comes to makeup. I usually wish I could be one of those girls who looks amazing without makeup but my genetics and acne scoff at that idea. I like how you talk about the balance of how makeup can affect you.

  41. What a grt post – I use to wear makeup each day when I was younger, have found the confidence to not bother so much now. It’s that old but true saying “less is more” as for none at all, what a world to live in. Less pressure, less attitudes and happier women 🙂

  42. In my opinion, makeup is art. If you chose to wear it on a daily basis thats your choice. If you dong wear it at all thats your choice. If you ever get to the point wear you look in the mirror and feel sick at the sight of your face without makeup on, go on a makeup diet. Ive done this and ive got a whole new pattern. I used to have black eyeliner everyday and pink lipstick. Now for weekdays i only wear foundation and a bit of mascara and on the weekends i dont wear any. If theres a social event i will go all out on make, contouring- the lot, but im not ashamed of my face without makeup like i used to be because i have grown to like it. i take care of my skin better knowing that somedays im going to have to look at my self without makeup on and it really has helped my skin and gave me a huge confidence boost x

  43. This is very empowering because I feel the same way! I absolutely do not like the way my face looks without makeup, because I have so many scars, but I’ve been trying to go all natural and it feels like a different person. I am sure you are absolutely beautiful and you should not feel this way! We really are our own worst critic. I don’t believe you are any less beautiful without makeup, but it’s like you said, it is all in what you’re used too. I’m sure as time goes on, we will both feel confident in our own natural skin! 🙂

  44. I try sometimes to go without makeup. After decades with acne I find it terribly difficult. The only person I’m completely okay not wearing makeup around is my husband. Maybe that should be a new goal — to get to a makeup free state and feel comfortable with it. Or at least notice that everyone who loves you still loves you, scars and all…

  45. I understand your predicament so completely. I am someone who started wearing glasses at an early age, and then when I was finally old enough to wear lenses I felt as though I looked like the walking dead. There started the need for eye liner and mascara. And now its progressed to a whole regime of foundation and eye make-up and whatnot. My family hates it. They keep telling me I put on such heavy layers of make-up for even simple things like getting bread or grocery shopping, and that they can never tell when I am actually dressed up. So I trued going without. But I would feel so naked, and simply so self concious that in the middle of the day I would go to the bathroom and apply make-up. its simply become a defence mechanism. I just don’t feel good enough without. yes those are self esteem issues talking, and try as I might I can’t get over them. it has become my crutch. I look at my friends who come with washed faces and envy their confidence. Maybe someday.

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  47. I can relate to when you say after going without makeup and then wearing it, your look was unrecognizable. I have periods where I go without and then try wearing makeup again and I am like ok this is weird!

  48. Glad that i found your post!! It’s brilliant! I used to be a girl who can’t leave the house with my fake lashes but after few experiences it make me hunting for natural beauty. And yet your post did give me some courage to live and love my natural beauty 😉

  49. Really insightful read. I do make-up for myself just as I go out completely product-free some days, and it’s quite interesting to see how the outside world reacts and perceives those choices.

  50. i remember when i had a skin condition and i had to also stop wearing make up and i legit wore glasses that werent even prescribed to hide it. i felt so uncomfortable…Real inspiration

  51. Makeup looks good on some people but sometimes its just too much and it looks super fake. I don’t know how to do makeup nor wear much of it. Just eyeliner does it for me and special occasions I use red lipstick. ☺

  52. Reblogged this on spawnmom and commented:
    I loved this blog. It made me think of myself. I haven’t worn makeup since giving birth… I barely have time to shower. So I’ve gone a month without makeup because I have no time. Because I don’t know if it will give my human an allergic reaction. Because I want to kiss him without leaving red lipstick marks all over.

  53. That’s a good experience. I respect your point of view but I believe you can not generalize. You are right by saying sometimes we do not recognize ourselves with such quantity of makeup, but, as women, it is good to be reinforce, sometimes, our beauty, being charming and feeling a little better, for example. My point is: everything with order/ balance. 😉

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  55. I’ve lived my life without makeup at all. I dabbled when I was a young girl but never felt comfortable with it. I am a stickler for not liking lipstick upon my glass/cup or on the food I ate. So if I ever did wear it I was always washing it off before eating or drinking. So I gave up. That was back in the early 90’s. Now I still don’t wear though I have times where I wish I could have been like every other lady. Because they all look beautiful and I don’t.
    I hope that you are able to find the happy medium that allows you the pleasure of wearing makeup as well as not affecting your skin condition.

  56. Reevaluating your relationship with makeup in the first place…very cool… not everyone gets to that point and they wear it without question. But if makeup is an option, then it confounds how we decide to define ourselves publicly. Who am I? How does the presence of, or lack of, makeup define me as a human and communicate that definition to others? Great post 🙂

  57. Its been 2 years since I didnt wear make-up either. First few days I felt my skin was horrible without make-up because of spots and blemish caused by make-up. But I realised make-up just makes it worst so I just tried to push myself not to wear make-up, and let my skin have a break and treatment 🙂 After a month, I got used to with not wearing make up and my skin was getting brighter. And my friend also said I looked better without make-up. Its natural look. So now I only wear lipstick. I feel good and dont need to feel lazy again every time when you have to remove make up and take extra care of your skin.

  58. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, i don’t enjoy either using make up or cosmetic lotions nor do i enjoy seeing people with it covering their faces. A lot of people don’t need all of that powder on their face.

  59. I think that every single person is beautiful with & without makeup, as much as i love wearing makeup, i also love to not wear it, everyone has natural beauty, and im sure that you look lovely!

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  61. Great article, I have been going through a similar situation with my hair after being diagnosed with Lichen Planopilaris. It’s a funny feeling not to recognize your reflection…or to become familiar with a new one.

  62. Reblogged this on exposique and commented:
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience of being forced to not wear makeup by your doctor. Sometimes situations like these happen for a reason that we may not discover by ourselves until after the effect it has on us. I also googled the keywords “natural beauty” like you did. I saw green plants, a sunset, tall trees, edited head shots of white women, a black woman with light brown skin and a clear complexion. Not one picture displayed the beauty of a disastrous storm nor an oversized-pore, messy-eyebrowed, chapped-lip beauty queen. I appreciate the way you discussed how you were not able to recognize yourself in the mirror without makeup. Not being a heavy makeup wearer myself, I realized that I have the same feeling when I DO wear a full face of makeup. It’s like I have a mini adrenaline rush. I feel “so beautiful” at the moment, and sometimes catch myself thinking, “What if I looked like this everyday?”. But in reality, we need to feel the same way when we are in our natural state and not allow the media’s standards to linger in our subconscious minds. During those four months you had without makeup, you stated how you received compliments on how you looked. It’s funny how others around us can easily see the beauty we don’t see in ourselves at times. But at the end of the day, our own sight of our bodies and spirits will be the only vision that matters. Thank you again for this inspiration.

    ~ xgrcx

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  64. I totally understand you.
    I am a makeup artist & blogger. Been practicing for over 2 years, and in the first year I swear I couldn’t step out 1km without full face makeup on. I’m 21 & I naturally look older than my age …with makeup on I look 5 yrs older but I didn’t care cos I thought makeup was everything.
    It took a heart-to-heart with my mother to realize what I was doing to myself.
    too much of everything is detrimental.
    I decided to abandon makeup (on myself) for 2 weeks…everyone started loving my “new” look…I started feeling good about my skin then I went ahead to go 6 months devoid of any type of cosmetics.
    Now, I can confidently step out with makeup & not feel less of myself. I only apply makeup for occasions/blogposts.
    Even though makeup is like crack, You will be fine.
    You’re perfect in your imperfections.
    Keep at it. 💋💋💋

  65. As much as possible I don’t really wear make up if not needed that’s why some people call me old woman (you know those who doesn’t wear make up or don’t know how to put it). But actually this is whats bothering me once I put make up and this post really makes me happy because I now I know my choice is right.

  66. I used to be the same way!!! I could not go to the store without a drop of makeup. I felt so insecure, it was bad. I had broken out in huge under the skin pimples. But when I moved in with my girlfriend, she helped me stop putting on make up. She helped me build my confidence and now I only wear it to work. It’s a powerful thing to break threw the stereotype of being a pretty women.

  67. I bet you are just as beautiful without your make-up on! I had a skin problem and irritation underneath my eyes. I loved coating my mascara on and when I had to stop wearing it for the infection to heal it, I felt a bit lost and didn’t hardly recognise myself! the less time I wore make up I felt more comfortable in my skin, it sounds brilliant that you are starting to as well. More women need to not be so self conscious and embrace their natural beauty 🙂 great article!

  68. Your new face is reflecting the “battle scars” of the media’s lies about what beauty is. It will not only take some physical healing, but some soul healing as well, to no longer feel “confused” by the face you see and instead feel empowered. Overcoming the standards of society is quite challenging, yet it can be invigorating and enlightening once we stand strong.

  69. Well , having a nice skin.. isnt just about the products… you shoudl have enough of sleep, drinking alot of water, eat fruit and vegetables… and do some exercises.. and thats not all…. you shoudl have good skincare routine… when you wear makeup you shoudl make sure you got all of your face… i can talk about this in day… thats are just a few tips……

  70. I used to never wear makeup.

    The bare minerals makeup is wonderful.
    It never broke me out at all nor did it ever feel like I was hiding my real face!

    Bare faces are beautiful!
    I’m so sorry that you are having trouble with this disorder. Not wearing it is tough!
    I’ve been through both. :/

  71. Being from the male side of the tracks, I have wondered what this compulsion is to cover you face (other than the attraction factor) Your post has given me an excellent inside look at my perspective on the subject.

  72. I am more of a tomboy myself. So I only wear make up on occasions. Holiday parties, interviews, weddings, ect. But when I read your post it inspired me to push myself to see the Beaty in myself without make up at all. Everyday I try to wear at least mascara and my eyes have been bothered ever since. So now I am just going to stick to lotion to smooth my skin and go on with my day. I am sorry for what you go through but it has helped me in so many ways than one.

  73. I have also a skn condition called periodal dermatitis and i had throw away all my everyday makeup because the consist chemicals which are not natural. now im waiting to use new products which are natural . but belive me its terrible when ur skin is dry and you cant but anything on it because it will make things worse. And face skin near the mouth and nose all red and broken dry. I have never used much make up but not use any pigmention cream or concealer is making me mad….

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  75. I had a clear skin during my school.Out of fantasy i started wearing make up.But it ended with little pigmentation in my face.Now after 6 years i stopped wearing makeups.Now i only use kajal(for eyes) and lipbalm.Now my blocked pores opened up and i am getting my clear skin back.

  76. I can relate (although not to the same extent, of course). I have eczema surrounding my eyes, meaning that I look like I’ve been crying. I can’t cover it up with concealer because it highlights the flakiness, sigh.
    Anyway, I don’t know much about ocular Roscrea or melasma but hopefully it will get better soon!

  77. Beautiful post..and I read the full piece bu Germaine Greer and it was absolutely uplifting. Most of my teenage life I didn’t even know what makeup was buh then once I turned 18 I suddenly realised a lot of flaws in me and I couldn’t leave the house without trying to correct them. But then the thing was whenever I was told I looked pretty I always felt like a fraud and had nightmares that one day I would be found out. Would I love to leave the house confidently with nothing but my clothes on? Absolutely! Buh unfortunately that is a luxury I cannot afford. Is it just me or do you also feel the Internet and social media has attributed greatly to this?

  78. Sorry to read of your misfortune in the skin department. I have Rosacea, so I guess it’s good I was never big on make-up to begin with. I’d like to be able to full-face for certain occasions, but it’s just not worth the suffering after.

  79. I’m so glad you posted this. I just started wearing makeup and I never imagined I would go through this weird limbo of feeling superficial for wearing makeup, but then feel dull and invisible of I don’t. “Natural beauty” is a term that has been rearticulated over and over again and many of us don’t really know what it means anymore. Amazing post!

  80. I am really young (not saying my age for obvious reasons) and some of my friends wear make-up to school on a regular basis. Which we should not be doing! I’m starting to get teased for not wearing make up. And this is what i tell people who tease about not wearing make-up… i say “You know what? You have to get up half an hour earlier then me in the morning, do do your hair, and make up, BUT I CAN SLEEP IN!'” and i walk away

  81. I just stumbled upon this through Freshly Pressed. But I must say, this post is so incredibly perceptive! How we see ourselves, how the world sees us, how we think they see us are such vastly different things.

  82. i hope things get better with your condition! Yeah makeup is a weird thing…i go through phases of loving it and phases of really not caring. Loooove the guy’s eyeliner, looks so badass

  83. You just read my mail.
    I currently have a “situation” of bumpy, red, peeling skin under my nose…and not too long ago a bout with episcluritis. I have yet to smother the bugger with foundation because I’m so insecure (It doesn’t look better/camouflaged…It just looks like red, bumpy, peeling skin with foundation on it) . I appreciate what you write. I hope I can muster the courage to do without…I have the gut feeling that is when it’s going to get better.

      • Thank you 🙂 I’m going make up less and have been using natural remedies like coconut oil, frankincense and witch hazel. It seems to be getting better. Also, I am cleaning up my nutrition. You are right…a trip to the dermatologist is in order. Thank you for your concern and advise.

  84. This is a really interesting post! I had to stop wearing my contact lenses about eight months ago because I had become allergic to them, and I found it SO TOUGH to wear my glasses to begin with! From a vision point of view, I didn’t feel like I could see as clearly or as well as I do with my lenses (true, because the glasses limit my field of vision). But from a style point of view – oh dear! I have a super-strong prescription, so my eyes look much smaller when I put my glasses on, and I really did feel very unlovely.

    But… I got used to it. And I bought some really stylish glasses, which has helped me feel better about myself. And you’re right, once you recognise the person in the mirror as your default ‘you’, then you feel much better. It’s the change that is tricky!

  85. It would be hard to imagine going out into the world without makeup for me. I am very fair with colorless eyebrows and lashes, so I feel naked without at least eye makeup. And the few times I’ve had conjunctivitis, again no eye makeup, and the glasses had to be worn in lieu of contacts. To me, the makeup feels like my daily armor. I’m sure your experience has given you a new perspective on the whole making up routine.

  86. I hardly wear makeup, and if I did I feel like a really different person. Also girls tend to be more confident while wearing makeup, but it’s totally the opposite. I keep wondering if my kool just drop, or try really hard not to rub my eyes. I don’t like to make me up.

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  88. I’ve been wondering how many people felt like guving up on makeup and how they feel..and thank God I found this post!! truly..reflections of my mind,when I have trouble thinking the To Do or Not to do Makeup…I am applying cream for pigmentation on my doctors advise and stopped applying anything apart from moisturier when I step out for office or casual do’s…the only thing I do is a Kohl/eye liner and a dab of lip balm.. I feel good,Im leaning on this side, but I wonder how others feel….not that I recieved any bad reviews!!! great post!!

  89. I can definitely relate to this article (which I must say, is very well written). While I don’t have a serious skin condition that requires me to abstain from wearing makeup, I tend to get flaky patches of skin on and around my eyes, making it difficult to put on my preferred cat-eye eyeliner. When I was in my teens, I’d never leave the house without makeup. Now, my weekends are virtually makeup free (except for a layer of foundation) and it feels awesome! I applaud you for letting your “new face” shine through and hope you continue to feel more confident in your natural beauty! Best wishes with your health and keep writing!

  90. I never had an issue with make-up nor any desire to use it – always went for the natural look. Uhmmm… wait, I’m a man. If I want to look a few years younger, I just shave.

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  93. I really struggle to go without makeup too, it makes me feel very down…so I feel your pain! But as you say, this is a great opportunity for you to try a new, more natural look which I’m sure you look gorgeous in 🙂

  94. I have relied on makeup since I was 13 and now I’m on my way to be 18 and though I have learned so much abt beauty, makeup is still a huge part of of my daily routine when getting to go out. I don’t know whether sometimes it insecurity or habit, maybe that I feel comfortable not exposing my ‘true face’ cause it makes me vulnerable. Everyone has their own definition of beauty (sometimes we need to get past are assumptions) in order to see that.

  95. It’s really hard to have skin issues on your face – I’m sorry you’re having to deal with that. You’ve done an amazing job though of putting across the feeling that comes along with this situation.

    A few years ago a condition that I had always had on my scalp spread down onto my face and it really sucks. To have a painful and obvious rash or just gross thick cream (that certainly doesn’t smell as lovely and comforting as makeup can) on your face really brings a feeling of lack of control. I don’t actually usually wear makeup myself, but when things flare up it means I don’t have the choice any more, and somehow that really sucks, even when I know I wouldn’t have worn any anyway.

    I wish you the best of luck in getting closer to feeling ownership over your reflection – I think it’s a journey we all have to go on at one point or another.

  96. it’s so sad/infuriating. I (a male) get to walk around with my real face and not a care in the world. but a woman in America without makeup is essentially considered “indecent exposure.”

  97. Well,I actually loves wearing make-up. But I really believe in natural beauty and that everyone is special and beautiful in their own way, so now I’ll try to wear less make-up!
    just a natural look or no make-up can really show your beauty

  98. I don’t always feel as pretty without make up but I’ve learned to like it because most of the time being a new mom I just don’t have time to put it on!

  99. I hate the whole touting of a ‘natural beauty no make-up’ look as the best way to be ‘real’ or truly you. Makeup is fun, and freeing, and I completely feel your pain without it. You’re a brave and amazing person to follow those doctors orders. I especially loved the part where you put makeup back on and still didn’t recognize yourself! It truly is a baseline habit. Thanks for this!

  100. I find the older I get, the less I give a shit. For work, yes I will still wear make up. And still go heavy on the eyes (because it’s my best feature and well, fuck, I’m vain). But my off days? Game over. Nada, zilch, nothing. I guess it helps that my husband doesn’t care. He loves me no matter what. 🙂

  101. I don’t even know how to wear make up past mascara and lipstick. Part of me is glad that I never learned. Seems complicated.

  102. I rarely ever wear makeup. I do when I go out on the town but that’s rare. But this says a lot. I’m not hit on a lot, I think it’s really because I don’t wear makeup for two reasons 1) I look about 10 years young than I am. I think when I wear makeup, I look older. 2) I was born with a birth defect and I still have that scar from my nose to my lip (cleft lip & palate). As much as we don’t want to say people are judgmental…well people are judgmental. Otherwise I don’t think this topic would even be considered. I do think one’s health is more important than trying to impress someone. And well, if it’s an inner issue-makeup will not, in the long run, help the self-esteem.

    Having said that-I watch some tv. Lately I’ve enjoyed and had much relief in TLC’s Leah Remini’s It’s All Relative. I honestly think Remini’s probably a beautiful lady but I also notice on EVERY episode she has to have makeup on and no one can touch her hair (case in point, when they were talking about their nanny’s battle with cancer).

    At the end of the day, there are a lot of things that we use as crutches. For some it’s makeup. For others it’s cellphone attached to their ear or fingers. For others it’s needing to drink. For others it’s merely needing to be alone (or the opposite and needing to be with someone). If we take away those things that we use as crutches-at first we will be uncomfortable. But in the long run, we will find away to be okay.

  103. Personally I’m comfortable with my face whichever way– with make-up, without make-up, whatever. I’m fine.
    I do feel odd without the mascara and eye shadow, but I survive 😉

    Regular body cream with sunscreen works too. No excessive polishing (but I’d love to try that).

  104. That was a great blog on the social pressure & getting accustomed to something different. I had a friend with allergy scars on her face and she would dread wind & sun, till one day she just accepted it. Its great to be comfortable with oneself.

  105. I too wear usually no makeup and if I do it’s eyeliner and nothing else. My husband loves it and prefers no makeup to any at all which makes it easier for me to not care either lol natural beauty is the best kind of beauty.

  106. I have to admit, there have been times when I would see friends who had just washed their faces or taken their makeup off, and I could barely recognize them! I was so used to seeing them wearing makeup that they looked unfamiliar without it. Doesn’t this kind of defeat the purpose of makeup? I mean, the purpose for me is to look nice, kind of dressed up, when I spend extra time applying my makeup. But if I spend every morning applying a full face of skin and eye makeup, I have nothing to show off on special occasions.

  107. When I started wearing makeup I got so paranoid. I could not live without a bit of BB cream or setting powder. I got addicted but I have know stopped wearing it as much and just use a bit of cream or sun serum.

  108. People who love you don’t mind your flaws. Try to stay without makeup at least when you’re at your home. If you start putting makeup again on a regular basis, you will be soon addicted.

  109. Make up is so bad for your complexion and widens your pores. I wear make up when I think about it or when I’m doing a presentation.
    It was interesting I was listening to CBC about how the female Inmates get them makeup from. It was quite interesting. But nevertheless we as women are affected by beauty and makeup. Marilyn French research cosmetics is a multi billion business.
    Good luck with no makeup. Me I am trying not to buy clothes for a year!

  110. I absolutely agree, makeup seems to start out as a kind of rite of passage. It seems fun when we’re 13 and our moms don’t allow us to wear makeup, but when we’re 20 and we feel like makeup is a kind of requirement for civilized society, it becomes oppressive, and we wish we could go back to 13 when no one expected us to wear makeup 🙂

  111. I can understand you completely. I never wore makeup in the first place. To me i just thought makeup in general was useless and a was tree of money for me. I never new what shade or how to put it on because i was never taught. Even so my skin produces too much oil, so i would have to watch for certain ingredients in makeup anyways. Lets just say my face isnt cheap. Cystic acne is a hard thing to beat. I had it under control and gone, then it I broke out again.

    I am more comfortable without makeup than with it. Which makes up for some self esteem that the cystic acne takes from me. I bet you are beautiful without makeup. Compliment yourself once a day, look at yourself in the mirror and smile at yourself. Because you have a beauty no one else can have. YOU!

  112. I don’t get the point of wearing make-up either. Sometimes it is empowering, other times it feels as if I’m lying to everyone by beautifying my face. An awsum post! Plz check out my blog too!

  113. It’s good that you can go out without makeup at least. I feel like I have to wear it. I have patchy brown spots so my face looks unattractive given that we live in a society where women are expected to look like a picture. I get so sick of it though. Show off your natural beauty as much as possible.

  114. I’ve never been a make-up person, but I have family in the same boat you were in. She never leaves the house without make-up. I tried to encourage her that everyone is beautiful in their own way without the mask make-up provides. I hope you find your happiness my friend and realize God made you special, your story is inspiring! I plan to show it to others and hopefully your adventure can help many others!

  115. It made me realise that faces are subject to habit. If you wear the same makeup everyday, it just becomes the baseline.

    If one adds a person’s hair style and length, bangs or no bangs, side part or middle part, it adds a whole new dimension to the baseline, the “default” face. I’ve never liked wearing make-up, especially powder, foundation, and blush. I only did it for dance recitals. I used to wear eye-liner until an eyelid became irritated and I had to stop—and then I didn’t start again.

    I do love, however, the transformative aspects of make-up. Being able to look like someone completely different with the right application of color theory and balancing shadow and light can be mind-boggling.

  116. Oh Ghosh, that’s bad.. I can imagine how you feel going out without any make up on. I myself am sooo used to my eye liner and lipstick. When I don’t have them on, I get the “Are you unwell” question..

  117. You’ve really hit a chord here. Thanks for being so bravely vulnerable–I can see I’m not alone in drawing comfort and courage from your experience. Because of the culture we live in, all us women have fraught, complicated relationships to makeup and our own bare skin. Thanks for showing us there’s a way to negotiate, and maybe even find some peace, with both.

  118. I had a friend in college who was literally the same way and would even wear sunglasses to hide her face if she didn’t put makeup on that day. I’m glad you’re able to see yourself in a new light and that you’re trying to like the new face that you see 🙂

  119. I haven’t worn a full face of makeup in over a year. I can’t even begin to describe how my confidence has changed-it’s through the roof!!! Now whenever I get compliments, I know it’s because of my natural beauty and not the layer I covered my insecurities with!

  120. I’m glad that finally you realized everyone is beautiful whether with make up or not and if make up shows how beautiful skin you have ..then your face with no make up on shows how beautiful you really are :))

  121. It’s not something I’m proud of , but I to am over concerned with looking good . I’ve had acne for years and can’t possibly imagine going out in public with out my usual 1 hour session of applying makeup! I think us girlies have to try to embrace our natural looks and stop being so concerned about how we look and what other people think about is. I think you’re really brave for sharing your story, after reading this I’m definitely going to make an effort to try and over come my need to wear so much makeup.

    • And it’s amazing that once we stop trying so hard to apply makeup and look perfect, we start to feel more beautiful than when we were so careful about those kinds of things!

      • Well I hope that happens for me ! I would love to embrace and love my spots, maybe I will eventually ☺️

  122. But makeup are products of the patriarchy designed for the sole purpose to achieve a certain and desired look that… blah, blah, blah.

    Sometimes, people just want to look good, whatever that means for them. Sorry to hear about your condition, but you’ve made it work. Silver lining, you can achieve that vampire look without all that face paint.

  123. Super interesting post! I have a friend for example, whom I´ve never ever seen without her make up (very heavy eye make up). And I sometimes wonder, if I would even recognize her without it! I think, perhaps not, and that kind of makes me sad:(

  124. Interesting thing, makeup.

    I quickly think I couldn`t do it either (wearing none), but on closer examination I find that this isn`t true. I live and work in a city. I often get extremely positive feedback on my dress sense in particular, and by this, I feel I`m pressurised to keep up with my own image – no downdressing and no-makeup for me.

    When I go home, it`s however exactly the opposite. I grew up in a very rural area where lots of people are hard working farmers, and you can count yourself lucky to have one unisex hairdresser in your village – decent fashion stores and beauticians, are a long car drive away. Women buy their makeup in the supermarket, don`t care about bushy eye brows and can`t make time to have their hair re-dyed every 6 weeks. Their hands look like working hands. And when I go there to visit, I find myself dressing down: jeans and t-shirt, small makeup to cover my less than perfect skin and a little bit of lipstick, but I certainly don`t make up my hair or manicure my hands and feet, for I know that who does is considered too full of themselves.

    It`s totally about social expectations and keeping up appearance.

    On holiday I can do no makeup. I wear my bare minerals foundation because it`s my sunscreen and a bit of lipstick (lipstick is a must!!), but I`m grateful that I can save myself 5 minutes by not doing my eyes because I wear sunglasses most of the time anyway and am unlikely to run into someone I know and who may think or even say “Gosh, I saw her with no makeup!!”

  125. One day I went to uni with absolutely no make up on, and everyone went on about how I looked sick and questioned why I looked “plain”. This got me wondering if me looking natural ment I wasn’t beautiful.
    You are brave and strong, and for you to write about this; I respect you a lot

  126. I am one of those that hardly put on makeup, not for any particular reason but because I am soo lazy I find it much of a bother even if im going to work. I only wear makeup for events and mostly just powder, lipstick, line my eyebrows and in those special instances, eyeshadow; and on amazing days which is usually when my girlfriends are around, eye liner.
    And I must confess that I envy ladies who have this perfect made up face very early in the morning ‘cos they seem like superman in comparison to my lazy ass

  127. I think it depends pretty much of the way you feel with and without makeup.
    For example, I don’t wear makeup because I can’t reconize myself after. I just feel so weird,cuz it’s not me that person from the mirror.
    Also, I’m feeling so unique in the way that I look, with all the scars,bad skin condition, pimples.it’s just me. But if I wear makeup I look like everyone else who also wears it. Masara, foundation, eyeliner,lipstick and so on. We are the same. And I think we all look so beautiful in our own way. That’s why we all were not born the same.
    We all make the mistake to look in the mirror and to see just pimples or an old scar on our forehad or other ‘bad things’. But what we don’t see is how beautiful our eyes are, how pretty our lips are. Our nose, our face. It’s our. It’s who we actually are. We should love ourselves. We should love this beautiful face. Because we are so unique and different and I believe that’s what beauty really me

  128. It’s funny how people perceive things like when I was younger I never had the confidence to wear makeup because I though people would laugh and make fun of me for trying to look pretty. Congrats though stay proud x

  129. I love and hate makeup. I love it because of the fun things I can do with it. (I know how to do stage and fantasy makeup as well as regular beauty makeup.) Though I hate it because of the amount of time and money it consumes. I hardly ever wear makeup. I do however religiously wear eyeliner. As a child I developed a horrible habit of pulling out my eyelashes and eyebrows. I broke the eyebrow habit, but the eyelash habit comes and goes. The result is that I have little to no lashes. I don’t bother with fake ones, so my alternative is eyeliner. Most people don’t know that I don’t have lashes unless I say something because it’s a very odd thing to be without or even to notice. (If you think about it, you really only notice them when they’re heavily mascara’d/false, or if someone has gorgeously long ones.) If I was told that I couldn’t wear eyeliner I would probably be devastated. I’ve left the house without it before and I’m comfortable around my family and closest of friends without it, but I get the feeling people are looking at me weirdly without it. I’ve been asked if I’m sick or if everything is ok because people can’t tell what is off, but they know something is. I embrace the fact that I don’t wear makeup, my skin is healthy and, aside from breakouts, beautiful. I encourage others to embrace it as well. It saves time, money, and it makes your skin so much more healthy. It also is very freeing to just be the way you were naturally made to be.

  130. Elegant in style I must admit.
    Keep Going dear..
    It reiterates my ideology..
    Handsome is who handsome does and we shouldnt hide ourselves in falsities ..
    Have a genuine smile 🙂

  131. The simplicity of the title of your post belies the sheer mental trauma that a person truly addicted to makeup goes through. I had been that person for many many years. The duality of physical appearance mentioned by you resonated with what I felt during those trying times. The face I was comfortable showing to the world was hidden behind layers of foundation, cover sticks, compact powder and eye makeup. Sans all that left me feeling vulnerable and emotionally naked, so to speak. Having been diagnosed with acute acné rosea coupled with hormonal imbalance wrecked havoc on my face. It was the makeup causing the breakouts so I was advised to let it go. I hid behind my long hair for months until I slowly started accepting and ultimately loving my face. I started eating right and today I have beautiful skin. Yes, I still love to ‘dress it up’ and I do so occasionally but now I have no compunctions going without either. I have literally found myself under the facade of makeup. I’m happy that you did too 🙂

  132. I really liked your post. Thank you. I struggle with my hair getting thin and it’s been years of it always on my mind and seeing other people with a fuller head of hair and feeling sad/envious. Thanks for being so brave to share about your story!

  133. As someone who has ocular rosacea and erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (say that three times fast), I wish people knew (without me having to tell them) that it’s okay to not comment on my red eyes or my red face. I own mirrors. I know what I look like.

  134. When my daughter was extremely colicky, I didn’t have time to put on makeup (or shower most days) and I went over 6 months without getting a haircut (I have really fine hair so long hair looks pretty terrible on me). I actually worried that my husband would leave me and felt like I was a bad wife for being so unkempt. He never expects me to wear makeup, dress up or look a certain way and actually has said he thinks I’m beautiful without makeup many a time, but I felt like somehow I was “being a bad wife,” by not keeping myself together (even though I was spending every hour of every day trying to take care of our daughter and try to get her to stop crying). The pressure and guilt I felt from society to wear makeup was ridiculous. Here I had just created human life and was now solely focused on sustaining that life and I was worried in my head about the fact that I looked like a mess. 5.5 months of not wearing makeup and my skin actually cleared. I started to not hate my ever-present freckles. Like you said, I got used to the new normal. For the first time in my life, I thought, “Well, I don’t look fantastic, but I don’t look like the crypt keeper either.” I wish women could feel like their natural face was beautiful, but it’s going to take a long time for society to come around I think, unfortunately. There are so few pictures of women without makeup on (there are plenty of women wearing just enough makeup that it looks “natural”). I’m sorry you had to go through this rough time with your conditions, but I’m really glad that it’s treatable, though it sounds like with some effort. In the end, our health is what really matters. I’m glad you’re starting to love and accept this new normal of yours and I wish you all the best. Thanks for writing this. Great post!

  135. Best of luck. Um…I have various blog posts where I’m not wearing makeup at all. Sure, I probably could look better but my health is more important to me long term. I haven’t worn eye-makeup, not even eyeliner nor mascara for past 35 years. My eyes felt “heavy” and tired when I wore mascara. So I gave up pretty quickly.

  136. I’d love for one day out of the year every woman wouldn’t wear make up and we could all see how people look. Then we’d realize that all of us have flaws in our face -acne, brown spots, redness, etc. – and we’d realize that these flaws we are a part of us that help enhance our beauty because we have the bravery to show these “imperfections” off to others.

  137. I can get pretty consumed in makeup too, so I can relate! Whenever I realize I am thinking I can’t go somewhere without a full face of makeup it’s time to take a step a back and re prioritize. Thanks for your honesty!

  138. I am one that refuses makeup. Reason is because I cannot stand the oiliness of my face with makeup on. I am pale, thin eyelashes, thick eyebrows (I do pluck them and have no freaky face hair). I’ve been told I look sick, given up and plain. And I just don’t care. If someone judges me based on my looks, then they can kick rocks. Not someone off value that I want in my life.

  139. Makeup is a fickle friend. I go through phases where I can’t be bothered to do anything more than wash my face and brush my teeth. This look, while less than glamorous, becomes my normal. Then, I dare to get ‘dolled up’ one night and remember how much fun it can be to spruce up. I applaud your courage to get real with your relationship with your natural look. I’m 100% certain that you are more beautiful than you allow yourself to be.

    • Agreed! I recenly gave up on the make up for several reasons and it was hell getting used to my “new” looked (oddly enough the one we’re born with …). Now when I get dolled up I feel like my minimalist eyes is clown make up … and then I see myself in photos and I don’t even look like the same person. It’s amazing what a difference it makes – neither good, nor bad. Just different.

  140. There was a time when I did not wear any makeup, just a cream. And then I started using bb creams, and foundations. I will be honest – I have a hard time stepping out of the house now without makeup, as I look like ‘just out of the bed’ or thats how I feel.

  141. I feel the same way about hair.

    I have thick, luscious, golden blonde, salon-worthy, naturally wavy hair. Or I did. I got sick of men talking to my tits and my hair and ignoring what I was actually saying. Cutting off the hair was a lot easier than cutting off anything else, so I took the plunge and went from Barbie to Sharon Stone in one fell swoop.

    I gotta tell ya, nothing winnows out the friends from the fools faster than dramatically changing one’s look. I got remonstrated and insulted by all the ones who had been secretly bookmarking me in their spank bank. The rest, the decent dudes, found stuff to love about the new me.

    The true friends didn’t notice I had changed at all. They just love to hear what I have to say.

    Don’t let anyone talk to your mascara, not even you.

  142. It’s amazing how beauty products and materialistic goods make up our identity. And then to think about how we identify ourselves and who we are inside and how we hope/want/wish others see us on the outside. I’m glad that you are redefining yourself as a result of your diagnosis. I hope that you are able to cater to your beauty and health. I enjoyed your post!

  143. This is a truly inspirational post that I really enjoyed reading, I thoroughly admire your change of heart in trying a ‘new face’, I would call it courage, but to embrace natural beauty ought not to be labelled as courage but as the norm, it is the culture that we live in which encourages us to aspire and conform to such unrealistic projections of ‘beauty’ that is abnormal! Whilst make-up is not by any stretch a total prison in it’s ability to foster self confidence and empowerment I do also agree however, and I couldn’t find myself in a more thorough agreement with your conclusion that make-up is subjective, and it’s existence is due to a sometimes uncomfortable juxtaposition, of corrupted culture, and individual desire.

  144. I absolutely relate. I’ve had acne since age 12 and have been wearing makeup ever since. It’s tricky to walk the line between feeling good about myself when I put on some BB cream and mascara and feeling like when I don’t do that bare minimum that it means I’ve “given up.” I still wear makeup to work every day because I like the way I look with it on, I don’t know if I’ll ever accept that my skin has flaws and that it’s not shameful to show them.

  145. Yep yep yep. People talk about achieving that “natural beauty look,” and then either don’t realize or ignore that an actual no-makeup look doesn’t look nearly as flawless as they imagine!

    • “…either don’t realize or ignore that an actual no-makeup look doesn’t look nearly as flawless as they imagine!”
      Wait! There is another possibility…perhaps, they don’t care what other people think or have to say about their faces.
      And since nobody actually knows how close to “flawless” they “imagine” their own faces to be, who are WE to say that they don’t look exactly how they perceive themselves?
      OH THE HORROR in the possibility that they imagine themselves to be walking around at their personal worst, realizing that make-up would improve their looks, and still choose to go about their day sans make-up…all while not giving a shit what people think.

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