Body Positivity: Pores and Pimples

This series is about body positivity. I’ve talked about changing your mindset, working out, and even failing. What I haven’t talked about are the things that happen to us without our knowledge or realization. You don’t decide to be healthier and suddenly wake up without any cravings. You don’t work out once and lose 30 pounds. You start making little changes and then one day you look in the mirror and everything you worked towards is there. I also haven’t talked about skin. Here’s my story:

In the eleventh grade, my only goal going into the school year was to do my hair and makeup every single day. I didn’t go anywhere—not to a friend’s, not to the grocery store—without a layer of foundation and five different kinds of mascara. I hated the way I looked without makeup, a direct result of the pimples and blackheads that covered my face.

This is a trend that more or less continued as I moved forward in life. Sometimes I wouldn’t do my hair but I would always make sure every “flaw” on my face was covered. I would even do my makeup for work—where I would promptly sweat it off—clogging my pores and making things worse. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin—I know a lot of people feel or felt that way. It wasn’t until now, a good eleven years after the pimples started, that I’ve begun to figure things out.

I still have acne, but after years of trials and tribulations I’ve finally found a brand and a routine that works for me. (Though don’t get me wrong, a move from Windsor to London really threw things for a loop when my previously oily skin became combination.) My skincare routine has become so ingrained in my life that I literally can’t sleep unless I’ve washed my face. I’ve figured out that face masks really aren’t a hoax. Charcoal really is one of my best friends. And you do need to moisturize every day.

I wish I could give you all advice about how to feel more comfortable with your skin. I wish I could explain how I came to a big realization that meant I didn’t need makeup. I wish I could say that I thought long and hard about my decision to stop wearing it everyday—but the truth is I didn’t. One day I just stopped. I didn’t do my makeup for work or class and then suddenly a week had passed and then a month. My skin is more or less the same—it has good weeks and bad weeks—but I’ve stopped stressing about it so much. I don’t mind going out in public without foundation and sculpted eyebrows. In fact, I love the extra time I have in the mornings and that I can really enjoy the occasions where I do do my makeup.

I’m going to be honest: I have a ridiculous amount of makeup. I’m talking know my local Sephora like the back of my hand, check the app daily, VIB Rouge member amount of makeup. I love “painting” on my face and playing with different eyeshadows. Give me a few hours to get ready and I will enjoy every minute. Makeup is fun for me now, because it isn’t a chore anymore; it isn't something I have to do.

The choice I made to stop wearing makeup wasn’t founded on anything great. There wasn’t a moment where everything clicked: it just sorta... happened. It was one of the best decisions I ever made though—everyday I gain just a little more confidence in my skin, without even realizing it.

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