30 Day No Makeup Challenge
This blog will be written on a few separate days as I reflect on various stages of this challenge.
Day 1 - March 20
First things first, I love makeup. It's one of the rare things I spend quite a bit of money on, and I like to take the time to perfect my eyeshadow and eyeliner. I'm even not above getting my makeup done for special events. I think it's fun. Judge me all you want.
This all being said, I almost never go anywhere without makeup. I will run without makeup if its first thing in the morning, but otherwise, I typically have at least foundation, powder and mascara on. Between societal expectations of a twenty-something female yo-pro to be presentable and my personal enjoyment in the application process, it's always there.
As an everyday heavy makeup user (abuser?...we'll see), I'm not in love with the way I look without it on. With makeup, I feel put together, smooth-faced and beautiful. Without makeup, I personally think the bags under my eyes become ten times bigger, I look haggard and my uneven skin tone is exposed. Not to mention, I struggle hard with acne (seriously, where was this in high school...?!), so cover up is my best way to hide acne and the barrage of scarring. To top it all off, the last time I didn't wear makeup, a friend asked me if I was sick because I looked ill and tired. Nope, no thanks. Back to Sephora I went. I just don't feel comfortable in my own skin with my own, untouched face.
But, lo and behold. Here I am discussing a no makeup challenge. So, how did I get here?!
One of my friends shared that she went 15 days without makeup (with the exception of several events...like the wedding we both were at - yay!) and her skin looked wonderful, she looked glowing and everything about her looked radiant. While I scrolled past her photo, I couldn't shake the thought from my head. If she's brave enough to rock it, why can't I?
So, inspiration hit. I decided to do 30 days...as it takes at least 21 days to build a habit.
This morning, out of routine, I took my makeup bag out and had to move it aside as I remembered. Ugh. So instead, I did my hair, pulled on a pair of jeans, a blouse and booties. And I felt entirely un-ready. My face did not match the niceness of what I was wearing...and it bothered me.
All day at work, I swore people were staring at me. But, I assured myself it was fine. I just got back from sick time...so maybe people thought I was still sick.
The one perk I've found so far? No more fighting mascara off my face at night! More sleep time for me.
Day 5- March 25
After so much pressure from my mom and sister, I decided to dye my hair closer to its natural color, with some sunkissed blonder locks for the summer. I was sad about leaving my signature red, but excited for a change.
Until it happened.
As my hairdresser blew my hair dry, I fought back tears. I didn't think the color looked great on me...and I really didn't feel like myself. Not to say my hair defines who I am...but I felt ugly, plain and boring.
Staring back at my bare face...well, it didn't help and the moment I got back into my car, I burst into tears about how ugly I believed I looked. In that moment, I thought about reneging on my self-inflicted challenge. A goodnight of sleep put things into perspective and here I am, still committed.
Day 8 - March 28
I broke my streak for an important editorial meeting. It was my first time meeting my editors for a magazine I contribute to...and truth be told, I wasn't comfortable going without. Prior to this meeting, I sat in a coffee shop working. I felt productive and confident...and definitely questioned why I started this stupid challenge anyways.
Day 13 - April 2
Yesterday, I challenged my body and ran 13 miles (more on this later). Not wearing makeup was helpful this time around. No one was looking at me...and I would have easily sweat it off.
After my run, Nick and I spent most of the weekend together. We perused fun bookstores, brewery hopped, watched the sunset...and ate far too much. A few beers in, Nick and I started talking about this challenge again. He noted that while I was pretty with makeup, he thought I was beautiful without and he didn't understand why I felt so vulnerable and exposed without any makeup. I tried to explain why, but my argument fell flat against him saying beauty comes from within. Whatever. Boys don't get it, but it did boost my confidence a little. Simultaneously, it made me mad because why was I putting my confidence in a man's opinion?
Day 15 - April 4
Today, I interviewed the owner of a makeup line who was the top exec at Estee Lauder. She was talking about girls who don't wear much makeup or prefer the natural look, as she nodded to me. It wasn't said in a negative way, but it was the first obvious time someone called out the fact that I wasn't wearing a touch of makeup, and I felt uncomfortable. Were people noticing the last two weeks and just not saying anything out of politeness?
Day 29 - April 19
I have kind of fallen off the face of the earth the last few weeks with updating my "journal" of sorts on this challenge. I was actually reminded by a calendar update that my last day of this no makeup challenge is tomorrow.
The last two weeks have been up and down with regards to this challenge. Some days I felt okay - I felt confident. On mornings after I worked out, my face was glowing and I felt fine rocking no concealer. But on days I needed to dress up or meet new people, I became entirely cognizant and self-aware of my bare skin. I wasn't becoming as brave or bold as I thought this would make me.
The best part that I've found so far, though? I have been saving so much time getting ready in the morning.
Day 31 - April 21
Today is the first day in the last 31 that I have put on makeup (with the exception of the editorial meeting). I woke up with full intentions to put on a full face of makeup and take my time. Instead, I took more time curling my hair and threw on just a little bit of foundation and mascara. And, I felt fine...and still feel fine.
Not a single person has made a comment to me about my shift back to makeup today. That's the thing - no one notices (or tells you, I suppose). My whole idea of people judging me was completely shattered. All the judgment and the critique of my appearance came from within. I was saying meaner things the entire month than anyone would have ever said to me. Why is my negative self-talk so bad in certain arenas of my life?!
Anyways, while I can't say that I'm going to stay away from makeup forever, I am moving forward planning to use less when I'm outside of work. But, for work...well, I haven't transformed to be that comfortable with myself yet if I'm being completely honest. We're all works in progress, right?
How can you challenge yourself to move beyond your comfort zone?