Here's What Happened When I Went a Week Without Wearing Makeup

Before you read any further, I'm just going to get it out of the way that this post will not be like every click-bait article ever written, where I tell you that my skin is flawless, the sun never stops shining, and that I saved a total of three weeks’ worth of time not doing my makeup every morning. I'm also not going to tell you that my face felt naked, and that it was uncomfortable and I'm never going to go to CVS without makeup on ever again, not even when I'm sick. I'm definitely not going to tell you to wear makeup every day, or to not wear it at all. Because quite frankly, the articles where girls tell you about what it was like going a week without a bra or underwear or shaving your armpits are not only unnecessary, but kind of a nuisance. So, if you're looking for validation from a twenty something columnist with honey blonde highlights and cute ankle booties in every color, please click out of this window and look elsewhere. Or take a pee/snack break and come back later to find something that tickles your fancy. 

I started wearing makeup when I was in sixth grade. At first it was blush and tinted lip balm, then I got extra frisky and added mascara and eyeliner wings to the mix. By eighth grade, I was wearing a full face of makeup every day, and I was obsessed with it as a craft, watching YouTube tutorials day and night and experimenting with glitter lipsticks and hair dye chalk. It was a whole other level of ridiculous, but necessary ridiculousness might I add. I cringe at the memory of putting jewels in the corner of my eyes that matched my eye shadow, and the way I colored my eyebrows in with eyeliner in my dyed-black hair days. However, each of these faux pas were not only important because they allowed me to explore what I like and don’t like, but they made me happy in the moment, which makes the gaudiness irrelevant.

As I've gotten older I've gotten busier, and with that more fatigued, so putting makeup on doesn't seem as necessary anymore. Aside from that, while my thirteen-year-old-self viewed the green eye shadow and goopy Great Lash mascara as a way to preen for the opposite sex, I have gradually moved out of that mindset, and instead view doing my makeup as a treat for special occasions. My beauty routine is cyclical, and completely dependent on how I’m feeling in the moment, not what I think other people will like.

The thing I'm trying to say is, the validation I get for wearing makeup doesn't come from the people that see me in the makeup, it comes from me, the person who takes the time to put it on or not put it on.

As humans, our reward for existing is that we get our own vessel, to do whatever we please with. However, this is a very overwhelming reward, because knowing we can do anything we want with ourselves is confusing and scary and causes us to constantly question if we're messing up. So, when we have someone telling us how to wear our faces or how to not wear our faces, we take the bait and follow the instruction of the people that are telling us 'hey, wearing or not wearing makeup worked for me, you need to do it too!'

I try my best to follow the philosophy of live and let live (unless you're doing something like skinning your blind date and wearing their calf muscles as a shawl), because at the end of the day, who am I to tell someone what to do with their bodies or their minds? And for the columnists at whatever teeny bopper magazine telling you that the best moisturizer is a seventy dollar bottle of greasy serum, or that rinsing your hair with Coca Cola makes it textured and full, what makes them so credible either? Their fancy degree in communications from Purdue? Or their Facebook profile picture that depicts them slurping on a latte, looking up awe-stricken at some random abandoned factory?   

In the media anymore, you're damned if you do, but damned if you don't. We're all trying to look like those same columnists that are telling us how to dictate our lives and our bodies. But why? It's time that we stop looking to someone else for insight on how to live our lives, and take a nod from the mirror, asking ourselves for validation, not someone else.