Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “I just need to put on some mascara before I go to the store”? I sure have. But what if we didn’t? Well, let me tell you something: I have quit wearing makeup and IT FEELS GREAT.
In the past, I’ve been a sporadic makeup wearer at best. I remember my first makeup experience. Picture Day, 7th grade year. My first middle school picture day, and I was feeling good with my baby blue eyeshadow. While waiting for our turn to take pictures, all the girls would go back and forth to the bathroom mirror to check their hair and reapply lip gloss and whatnot. I kept reapplying a little more blue eyeshadow every time. I have laughed at that picture for years.
Here’s my question though: Why do we, as women, often feel like we have to have makeup on to look “done” or “ready”?
We each have an individual face that we feel a need to cover up to fit a societal standard. Does my husband ever feel like he needs to cover up tired circles? Or a blemish? Or turn his eyelids a different color? Or that his eyelashes aren’t voluminous enough? No, he does not. And why not? Because no one goes around telling guys that they have to have makeup on to be the best version of themselves! I could probably go on about this for a while, but just imagine: What if we felt truly confident in our own skin, woke up, showered, and walked out the door every day face bared to the world? Doesn’t it sound awesome? What if makeup was just a fun choice and there was no pressure to wear it? I had a boss several years ago who told my naturally pretty and younger co-worker that she had better wear makeup every day if she wanted to keep her job. It’s moments like that that blow my mind, and honestly make me want to do the exact opposite.
Now onto some of the practical benefits of not wearing makeup:
When COVID-19 first hit, our university office was pretty quiet for several months. I also noticed that on a Zoom meeting, you really couldn’t tell who was and was not wearing makeup, so I didn’t bother. Then I realized how freeing it felt to not worry about makeup every day. When students returned to our college campus for fall, I thought I would go a little longer without makeup. This was a pretty weird feeling, working in a professional office environment with nothing but some coverup under my eyes, but as the days went on, I grew more comfortable with it.
It saves me time in the morning and by the end of the day I’m not trying to wipe away smudgy eyeliner or mascara that has melted under my eyes in the Tennessee heat. I also had noticed, as I turned 30 this year, that makeup was starting to “settle” into the fine lines I was starting to accumulate. Without makeup, you really don’t even see them anymore. My face also feels cleaner at the end of the day since there really isn’t much to remove. And I don’t have to explain to my two-year-old son what Mommy is putting on her face. He would always ask, and I had a hard time coming up with an answer. I want him to grow up with the idea that a woman can be beautiful just the way he is. My husband has told me often enough that I look just as beautiful without makeup that I finally believe him when he says it, and hopefully our son will be a lot like his daddy.
So ladies, if you love makeup, that’s great! Keep rocking it — you look amazing! But if you’re wondering what it would feel like to go without, I encourage you to try it! Start small, go to the store without your mascara. Whether your eyelashes are blond or black or somewhere in between. And encourage one another to feel comfortable in their own skin, no matter who they are.