For some, I realize this may be a frightening experience. If you told me in 9th grade to go to school without some ounce of coverup on, I would've cried. I find that most women (me included) at one some point in time will become dependent on makeup. Where do we create this attachment? Maybe it's our constant use of social media, comparison, social status, a personal trauma, lack of confidence, perfectionism, or the fear of being vulnerable. Others find it as an art in their work, a way of making women feel beautiful. We will all have differing causes regarding our use of make-up, but one thing I know to be true - it has become society's obsession to hold women at high standards, rather than embrace our individuality. We find ourselves lost in a sea of people who look exactly the same.
When I started practicing yoga seriously, I noticed myself naturally wanting to shed away all the excess in my life. The things outside myself that I thought made me happy were just things I held onto out of fear of being seen. In truth, no ounce of makeup could ever bring me internal happiness as much as I thought it could. I gained a more loving view of myself and started not wearing makeup in yoga class, on the street, in the store. A lot of that time at the beginning was spent in shame. If I'm honest, I was not confident in my own skin as a young girl. I was the one in high school terrified if I was caught without a dash of makeup. I was seriously lacking in the self love department, worrying if people thought I was ugly in my natural state. I never felt enough. Running away from taking pictures that I know will be posted to social media, avoiding intimate gatherings if I didn't have makeup. As I grew older, I slowly grew to notice from observation that society paints women in the work place who don't wear makeup as "sloppy, plain, disheveled, not trying, unpolished, weak, powerless, unprofessional." This leads me to this question: are we being defined by our look or our work? In no way am I anti-makeup. I wear a nice blush every now and again, I apply a light amount of mascara and a little powder during the days when I need a little lift. The tough question is the WHY. What is the intention behind it? What are the negative affects on our mind, our body, our soul? You can be the ultimate bad ass woman without an ounce of makeup on, and still be professional.
So why live this way? This is not to force you to follow my path - this is to remind you that I love you for you, with or without makeup. I want to inspire all women to feel good, to feel free, and to know that your worth is not based on what others may say. We should be empowering one another.
I asked myself these questions during the process:
Is this to impress others?
The answer was yes. It left me feeling like I couldn't keep up with society. I felt like it was my obligation as a young woman, in order to be taken seriously in any profession. I felt like I needed to look "put together" for anyone and everyone. If I didn't wear makeup, I was seen as weak, broken, powerless, or disheveled. This created a vicious cycle of self-destructive thoughts. Rarely was I wearing makeup out of personal enjoyment. It was for approval.
Does this help my body?
Nope. It actually caused me to break out. It dried out my skin and clogged my pores. It made me more self conscious. Mind you - I was wearing "organic" brands that claimed to be healthy, and they did nothing for me.
Does this help show my true self?
Not at all. I constantly felt like a different person when I chained myself to wearing makeup everyday. I worried more about conforming to others, rather than celebrating my most natural true self. I didn't know why I was doing it, I just knew I had too. Like it was wired into my being. The truth is, it wasn't me.
* The most vital piece of advice I can give is this: when I do wear makeup, it's for my own personal enjoyment, and no one else's. It became more of a fun process, rather than a chore or an upkeep. I also found that in the past, my makeup products were detrimental to the environment, my health, and animals. And make no mistake - nothing in my eyes should ever be misused or hurt in the name of makeup. I researched vegan, plant based makeups and became more conscious with what I put on and in my body. *
How to start embracing a lifestyle aside from makeup:
- Start by applying less primer, concealer, foundation. Stick with a loose powder foundation. That way, you slowly become more and more self confident. You wont even notice.
- When you run out of the makeup you have, rather than buy more, instead buy something that will help your skin feel good (face mask, serum, cleanser, facial, score.)
- Look up make up free looks on youtube to help with the transition!
- Replace the time you spend in the morning applying makeup with a self-care routine (mediation for 10 minutes, quick workout, making yourself a nutrient dense breakfast, bubble bath, skin care, esstienal oils.)
- Start to take a look at your diet rather than the makeup you're wearing. Eating a well rounded diet can help create a healthier complexion.
- Start surrounding yourself with people who love you for you.
- If you aren't ready for a Monday thru Friday cleanse, practice this ritual on the weekend.
- Let your husband/best friend/boyfriend/mom know that you're making this decision for yourself, and ask if they can help offer their support during the journey.
- Invest in companies that are environmentally conscious. Use clean ingredients made from fruits, veggies, or natural oils (no palm oil.)
Building self confidence in your own skin:
- Look at yourself for 5 minutes once a week in the mirror. This has to be the most powerful, yet vulnerable thing you can do to build self love. Immediately, you might notice yourself nit picking all your so called "flaws." I struggled with this exercise for a long time, but now I look at myself in a more loving way, embracing my freckles, creases, and blue eyes. I connect to my true self on a deeper level.
- Smile, smile, smile. Your most unique attribute is your gorgeous smile. "When a smile flashes across your face; dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released into your bloodstream, making not only your body relax but also work to lower your heart rate and blood pressure."
- Tell yourself one thing each day that you love about yourself.
- Next time the critic, perfectionist, or negative nancy starts shouting, focus your energy on your breath. This will bring you to the present moment and calm your mind and body.
Inhale 1 2 3 4. Exhale 1 2 3 4.
- Gratitude - be grateful for all that you are. The quirks and magic that only you can bring to this world.
BENEFITS OF GOING MAKEUP FREE:
- more time
- saves money
- appreciate yourself in your rawest form
- less environmental impact (plastic, toxins, animal cruelty)
- healthier skin
- better connection with yourself
- less stress
- less acne
I find more and more, women are embracing their true selves. But to getting to a point where you feel confident takes some time, filled with a lot of self love and honoring your body. So ladies: UNITE! #nomakeupmovement is taking off, so snap a picture of yourself and share your story. Let your inner self shine through. Encourage one another, whether you wear makeup or not.
Repeat these lines to yourself
I am enough
I am powerful
I am me