"If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty which is, who cares?"
Today was the second day of me going to school with something I hadn't thought I'd leave the house with ever; a face with no makeup on.
Before someone reads that sentence and goes all judgemental on me, I'd just like to give a few disclaimers before going into this post any further. 1) By no means am I trying to place myself in a level higher above anyone who does wear makeup, nor am I trying to "humble-brag" about choosing to go barefaced. This is just me speaking about something I tried doing, and ended up loving. 2) I still very much enjoy makeup, and don't plan on totally turning away from it obviously.
The story starts on Wednesday. I'm in my exam week, during which my school would start at 10 AM instead of 8. This gives me more time to amp up my studying with the few extra hours in the morning. Normally I'd have breakfast, study, shower, then study some more until about 15 minutes before I had to leave. Then, I'd use those 15 minutes to do my face. (Not that I normally go to school with a face full of makeup, but I do draw my brows in and still use concealer and powder most of the time.)
Yesterday I was sitting with my textbook and when my alarm came on, (signalling it was time to get up, do my makeup, and leave), I glanced at myself in the mirror and started to despise the fact that I had to do it.
Technically, I only had to be in school for the two-hour exam then go back home, so I simply thought a significant effort of properly retouching my face to look good that day wasn't worth it. I continued to examine my face and a thought hit me; something I didn't think I'd ever consider.
Maybe I should just leave it this way, and by "it" I meant my face.
Good Lord, did I just think that? Why would I do that? Walking towards the dressing table, then again looking at my face, this time closer, I suddenly realised that it wasn't such a bad idea. Why not do that? So that was it. Long story short, I moisturised, grabbed my backpack, and left the house. Naked face and all.
My exam-week-stress-induced acne was showing, my dark circles were legit, all my blemishes were on full display. I'd opted for contacts instead of glasses, my face looked a little more tired than usual, so basically I wasn't looking my best. And I loved every minute of it.
Surely enough, my friends did seem quite surprised, and some asked me why the sudden change in my look. That was a good question, though. Why the change?
- It was, in fact, better for my skin. Many articles tell you that going barefaced can allow your skin to "breathe", and at first I thought they were exaggerating but now it makes a lot of sense. I was giving room for my skin to just glow and be ~*refreshed*~. Such an ~*awakeNing~*. ~Namaste~.
- Going #NoMakeup this week was the most freeing decision I've ever made. It was that feeling of not worrying about what was on your face. Yeah, I didn't look great, but I was fine with it. No more making sure to not rub my eyes too hard, no more going to the bathroom to check if my concealer left any lines. I, literally, had nothing to hide.
- It felt like a huge leap forward in terms of my self esteem, and confidence in how I look. I'd grown so accustomed to always leaving the house with some makeup on (a little "retouching" done) that I'd completely forgotten how to feel okay without it. I remember looking at myself in the face that morning, and starting to question why I ever felt like it was something I had to alter on a daily basis, just so I can feel better about myself. This was the first time I'd gone to school barefaced since the beginning of when I learned how to do my own makeup, and it resulted in this crazy thought process. As if my friends would alienate me if I looked a bit under-maintenance one day. That didn't happen, but I'm pretty sure they thought I looked ridiculous. I still don't care.
All in all, I'm glad I decided to go barefaced this week. In all seriousness, I managed to tackle the small fear I had of leaving the house looking like how I do with no makeup. Makeup was kind of this shield I'd applied daily in order to feel good about myself, so it felt extremely liberating to feel good without it. As women, in a society that's constantly trying to turn you into dolls, it's cool to kind of break that status quo that you've set for yourself and decide to be authentic instead. Give the concealer a day off, and yourself a little love. I totally encourage you to try this if you haven't already.
Partly, I'd also like to acknowledge the whole #NoMakeup movement in the internet, which I think have started escalating around the time Alicia Keys started doing it. Mind you, I may not have the stunning facial features of one Alicia Keys, but I do feel that this has taught me a lot to embrace whatever flaw I have, and to be genuinely comfortable in my own skin.
Thus ends the lengthy post I have for you today. I'm happy I wrote this and hope it inspired you in a way or two. What do you think about going makeup-free? Have you done it before? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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