Going Makeup-Free is my Act of Self Love

I started wearing makeup when I was thirteen years old; it was a powder foundation which, looking back, was completely the wrong undertone (there’s no pictures I made sure of it). It’s no coincidence that I started wearing foundation around the same time my acne started to pop up. Instead of trying to fix my pimples with visits to the dermatologist or really fixing the problems in my skincare routine, I covered them with a layer of foundation.

It became a vicious cycle: I got a pimple, I covered a pimple which then caused even more of them to pop up. Like many of you, I didn’t want anyone to see the pimples and the dark marks that stayed around long after the pimples were gone. I remember being around fifteen and refusing to leave my house because I couldn’t find my makeup bag. Yeah, it got that bad. As my teenage years went on, and while I was still apprehensive to go out with at least concealer on, I've realized it's no longer the huge deal that I thought it out to be in my early teens. I continually covered my imperfections, hating them as social media would show me pictures of celebrities with the most beautiful skin money can buy.

Image via Instagram: @bellahadid

By the time 2017 came to an end, I was tired—tired of waking up every morning and being ashamed of the dark marks on my skin, tired of the hate I would feel every night when I would wipe my makeup off. So I decided to do something I’ve been scared to do for so long: I got rid of it all. Well, most of it. I didn’t want to make this seem like a punishment I was giving myself, instead I wanted this to be a time in which I embraced my natural skin so I allowed myself to pick one product that wasn’t foundation or concealer to wear. If you have read my previous articles, you might see my love for brow products which is why I choose Glossier’s Boy Brow as the one product I had to have on my face.

Image via Instagram: @hillaryduff

And so that became my plan, each month I would re-evaluate and decide if I wanted to continue or if I wanted to go back to wearing a full face of makeup. In that time, I did everything I could in order to pamper my skin: I would stick to my skincare routine (the whole nine yards from cleanser to toner to serum to moisturizer) and explore different face masks (both homemade and store-bought). As January came to an end, I noticed a difference in how I would react to my appearance. I’m not saying that I completely love my skin now, that’s a process that will obviously take more than a month, but now I find myself not fixating or obsessing on the imperfections.

This whole process is not me hating on makeup. I love makeup, and I see it as a beautiful way of self-expression. So to all of you who go out every morning with makeup that slays for days, I'm proud of you. But to those that feel that it’s time to stop hating the imperfections we all have, I want to tell you not to be afraid and to embrace the things that make us original and beautifully flawed.