Photo: Jamie Street on Unsplash
Makeup. It can be used as a form of self-expression and confidence, but it can also be used to hide our flaws. Its usage has the potential to make us so obsessed with putting it on that we forget who we are underneath it. As someone who’s worn makeup since she was 13 years old, I used to consider it an essential asset to my everyday routine. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized I only liked wearing a lot of makeup in order to please others; people I knew who frequently used it. So I decided to take a step back and remove the foundations and concealers that were covering up the parts of me that I thought others wouldn’t approve of.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
Your skin starts looking healthier and clearer, though it doesn’t happen overnight
As someone who recently struggled with acne, my go-to counterattack was to bury it under a slab of cosmetics. I didn’t want others to see what I saw tin he mirror on a day-to-day basis. My greatest fear was that people would gawk and mock this small blemish. To my despondent mind, these tiny clusters seemed to take up half of my face. They would always pop up around my chin and cheeks, so I made sure to put a heavy amount of concealer around those specific areas. At first, I enjoyed the idea of covering up what made me feel self-conscious. Then as I studied my my painted reflection,I felt a new kind of shame I felt like I was rejecting who I actually was. So, I started to go without the makeup and now my skin looks a lot clearer and healthier. I’m not saying that the first day you stop wearing it, you’ll wake up the next morning with clear skin. But over time - a good skincare regimen will also help - you’ll start to see a difference.
People won’t care that you’re not wearing as much makeup as before
Because the truth is, they probably weren’t noticing it in the first place. I know we get this idea in our heads that everyone is staring at and judging us. Believe me, I’ve been there. Just know that if you take the time to just look around you, you’ll notice that the people around you are too busy focusing on other things to fixate on whatever you decided to dress your face with.
You’ll have so much more confidence than before
This realization came to me slowly, but ever since I started to wear fewer cosmetics, I’ve been able to stand a little taller and put my head up a bit higher. To top it all off, the amount of compliments I get from people, whether they be friends or complete strangers, has unexpectedly increased. You start to see yourself in a new way when you no longer feel the need to impress others. And it’s a really great feeling.
You have a lot more time in your day
I developed a sort of ritual when it came to putting on my makeup. I usually did it in the morning or whenever I got to work; I’d sit at my desk and listened to music while I applied it. But it started to become so tedious when I had to worry about applying my foundation and concealer so often and precisely. Now when I go to get ready for the day, I enjoy it more now that it’s less like a chore and more of a fun activity.
However, the biggest benefit I’ve gained so far would have to be that I feel more beautiful than I ever did before. I’m not ashamed to have my flaws seen because I’ve grown comfortable enough in my own skin to know that something as small as a pimple is not worth crying over. So go a day without foundation and concealer, I promise you’ll start to see and feel a difference very soon.
Kirstie Devine is 24 years old and is working towards her MFA in creative writing at Western New England University. She is most likely writing, reading a book, at a concert, laughing, petting a dog, or eating french fries. She hopes one day to write a book and have it be in the library in her town.