No Makeup for 40 Days (Including My Sorority Formal!)

Every year when Lent comes around, I struggle to think of what to give up. Usually I do something food related, like going vegan, but that is honestly not that hard for me nowadays. I decided something that would be really challenging was to give up makeup. Yes, I know some of you are cringing thinking how this is possible and some of you are thinking I’m a wimp. I knew that this would be super hard for me, but I was ready for the challenge. After all, the point of Lent is giving up something to better yourself for God. But if I was going to do this, then it was going to be on my own terms, meaning that I could make the exception of my senior sorority formal and that curling my eyelashes didn’t count as makeup. Then my friend, accountability partner, and sorority sister, Elena, decided to partake in this challenge with me. She decided to make it even harder to where we weren’t going to wear it to formal, AND I couldn’t even curl my eyelashes! Oof! This was going to be fun!

I was frustrated, but she was right. What was the point of doing something that was supposed to be hard and then making my own rules for it? I knew this would be rough, but I was ready to see how it changed my view of my appearance.

Starting out, not going to lie, I felt really insecure! I was hard core breaking out, and I was not at all confident. Plus, my friend barely wears any makeup, has great skin, and always looks beautiful. It was honestly really difficult for me to feel like this was an even challenge for both of us. However, the good thing about going through this with a partner was that when I was struggling with it, she was content and ready to encourage, and when she was struggling, I felt confident enough to build her back up. It was a great way to facilitate a deep friendship because we had to be honest with how we were feeling in order to actually help each other.

Photo courtesy of Raphael Lovaski

As the weeks went on, I became so much more confident. I go to the gym three days a week at 6:15 a.m., so getting ready for my morning classes was heavily simplified. I would just shower, change clothes, and go about my day (sometimes skipping the shower part, oops!). I also have gotten so used to seeing myself without makeup that I almost think I look prettier without it. You know those days when you try so hard on your makeup, but you just feel like something is off? I hated when that would happen. It’s so nice to know that I look decent everyday no matter what. This has also helped simplify my nightly routine. I would wear waterproof mascara everyday, so as you can imagine, that was a PAIN to take off. It would take me so long to get off all my makeup and wash my face. I would also have to buy makeup wipes and eye makeup remover so often it was ridiculous! Now I save time and money, plus my skin looks so much better since I’m not caking it with thick foundation everyday!

Though it got easier after the first few weeks, a difficult day for us both was our sorority formal. Of course, everyone has their makeup done like they are a YouTube makeup guru, and my bare face and under eye bags were as good as it was going to get. I also decided to take a date to my formal, and not going to lie, I felt so insecure. I didn’t know him before, it was just a friend of a friend that I had been randomly assigned. I couldn’t help but feel like he wished he was with one of my friends instead because they looked prettier. Although, I know in my head, dudes don’t even know when a girl is wearing makeup or not. After getting over that, I realized that not wearing makeup was so freeing. I didn’t have to worry about whether or not my foundation was ruined from sweating or my mascara was smudged like a racoon under my eyes. I knew that my face still looked like how it had looked when I arrived. That gave me more confidence that I didn’t have to constantly be checking my appearance in a mirror. Plus, I’m pretty sure no one even noticed that we weren’t wearing makeup. Elena and I both got so many compliments of how nice we looked. It also helped that we were both wearing jumpsuits, so I think people were more looking at our outfits (and our dance moves) than our faces!

Photo courtesy of Becca Tapert

Now that I’m in the final stretch of this challenge (four days to go!), I can honestly say that I will wear way less makeup from now on. I feel so pretty and confident without makeup because that is just my face, so I should be pretty content with it. I’m honestly really proud of myself and my friend for sticking it out throughout all 40 days with no slip-ups. This has been so great for my confidence knowing that I don’t have to wear makeup to things I used to wear it to like at church, to presentations, or around guys. I will, however, keep curling my eyelashes on the daily! Some things never change!