Considering I own such a lot of make up and talk so passionately about the subject, people are always surprised at how infrequently I wear it. There is something ever so liberating about going bare faced, and here's why.
As a teenager I definitely felt self conscious and wore make up to improve the way I look but I'd say that it was as much of a social norm habit. It wouldn't occur to me NOT to wear make up. And I wore a lot of it. I was your quintessential bleach blonde extensions, orange bodied, too much bronzer teenager.
When I was 19 I met an Australian guy and decided to move to Perth with him. I would straighten my hair every day, wear my extensions and go around wearing my normal face of make up (foundation, concealer, bronzer, blusher, eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss). However, I started to notice that none of my new female friends did the same. Don't get me wrong, they were highly glamorous, the girls in Perth had an effortless beauty; beach chic in every sense of the word. Day to day, they wore little to no make up.
Initially I would feel panicked if we went to the beach bare faced, but gradually moved to the pub as the day went on.. I'd find myself in a bar wearing flip flops and a beach dress with tangled sea salt hair and not a scrap of make up. It went against everything I knew.
A year later and I was wandering around the grocery store wearing a Bintang grubby men's vest, board shorts, no shoes on my feet and absolutely no make up. And I felt more confident, attractive and desirable than ever before. I'd go on a night out wearing tennis pumps and no make up. I felt free. I felt like I had tapped into this secret and being beautiful wasn't about how much effort you put in, it was feeling confident in my own skin. I can't lie, the tan helped a lot!
I used to read these interview with overtly sexy female celebrities, all claiming that they felt most attractive when in their joggers, lounging around the house without make up. I scoffed "bah! you can't fool me, vain beautiful liar". Until I experienced this 'enlightenment'.
I came home to England and my friends didn't get it. I actually started to feel that make up was a big deception. That by wearing it, I was lying to the world about how I really look. One of my friends told me I was being rude by going out without make up!
Then I got acne....
I no longer felt this smug confidence about my bare face. I felt ugly. I didn't just 'feel ugly'. I had an absolute conviction that I WAS ugly. Acne is a fail safe way of making anyone feel really low and insecure.
No longer was I not wearing make up because I felt satisfied with my naturality, I became afraid of wearing make up. I didn't want to do anything to my skin that might make it worse. Even though I probably needed it (the acne was quite 'in your face' and the treatments only enhanced the redness), I shunned any make up. Even eye make up was a no no.. I didn't want people to wonder why, if I was wearing some make up, was I not covering my offensive face.
Having acne and not wearing make up wasn't 'difficult' because I felt like I didn't have the option to wear it anyway. I did feel like it affected how people perceived me, but in retrospect, I think it was a change in my own attitude which caused that.
My skin has been clear for about a year now and my relationship with make up has changed again. I'm not afraid of make up, and I don't feel like a liar and a fake when I do wear it. When I do wear make up, I look at it like art. I can change my face with the use of a few powders, like temporary plastic surgery! However I still feel more than comfortable going out bare faced, I don't cringe and avoid people I know... I'm not ashamed of how I really look!
I think that in the end, we are all born with these faces. Girls are lucky, we have so many different makeup products to choose from that we have the freedom to improve the way that we look. But looks aren't everything. If we can't accept our young faces without make up, how will we deal when wrinkles inevitably mark the laughter and anguish of our past as we age?
If I put a full face of make up on every day, I'd spend more than 1 week per year doing my make up... That's 1.5 years in a life time of just applying make up. Life is short, I have better things to spend my time doing than putting make up on my face and worrying about how everyone else perceives me. Having the freedom to choose to go without make up is a real treat.
|Showing make up free pictures of me to the world doesn't daunt me any more|
I challenge you to go to work/college/school/university for 1 day without make up, please let me know in the comments section how it made you feel! Please feedback how you feel about going without make up!