About two years ago, when I was travelling during my gap year, I decided to go 100% makeup free. At the time, I had several reasons for doing this. Firstly, I wanted to better the condition of my skin. I never wore much makeup, but I got into the habit of wearing foundation daily, which I felt worsened my skin health. I wanted to see if not wearing makeup would help in improving my skin. Secondly, I also wanted to better my self-confidence. I realised that I had gotten to the point where I felt uncomfortable leaving the house without makeup. I was so used to covering up my skin imperfections that I felt like they were something to be ashamed of. I wanted to let go of this notion, and decided to do so by banning myself from wearing makeup. And lastly, it was also a choice out of convenience. At the time, I was living and travelling in South-Eat Asia. The weather was hot and humid, so any makeup you would wear would melt off pretty quickly. Especially in combination with sunscreen and a lot of water sports, makeup just didn’t fit into my life at that point in time.
So did it work? I would say for the large part it definitely did. My skin got a little better, although I must be honest and say that I didn’t see massive improvements. My skin has never been horrible, but I feel like I do always have a spot somewhere on my face. Hormones have a big impact on my skin so once a month I do still break out. However, I would say the biggest change came in my attitude: I just don’t care anymore. Forcing myself to stop wearing makeup had such a positive impact on my confidence and self-esteem. I now don’t look at myself any differently, any less worthy, if I have some spots on my face. As cheesy as it sounds, I realised that there’s a lot more to my than the condition of my skin. Now when I break out, I treat my skin with kindness. I make sure to wash it properly, let it air and to not touch it too much. Most importantly, I just go about my day without any make up, not caring who sees my spots.
Fast-forward 2 years, and I would say I am now 90% makeup-free. Why not 100%? Because one thing I realised during these 2 years is that I do sometimes enjoy wearing a little bit of makeup. Because I got rid of my “makeup is essential in daily life” mind set, I discovered the fun elements of makeup again. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do anything special when it comes to makeup. I have three products that I use on occasion; mascara, lipstick and concealer. I enjoy wearing mascara and lipstick on special occasions. Like when I go out for a friend’s birthday or to wear to a special family meal. Wearing a little bit of makeup to such events makes it feel extra special, and I enjoy wearing it. I use my concealer once every few weeks, when I have a spot that is so big and obvious, I am inclined to cover it up. I mention this because whilst I try to be as careless as possible when it comes to makeup and my skin imperfections, I definitely still have times where I feel the need to cover up my spots. I am happy that this only happens very occasionally, which is why I allow myself a little bit of concealer at those times.
I didn’t write this blog post to convince you to stop wearing makeup. There are many people out there who love makeup and genuinely enjoy applying and wearing it, and I think that’s great! Personally, I never enjoyed wearing makeup and instead only wore it because I felt like I had to. If you can relate to that, I would encourage you to try going without makeup for a little while. I know it can be daunting, but it can have some amazing results, both physically and mentally. For me the experience has been liberating and I hope that if you try it, it has the same effect on you.