Today is the first day of my challenge to go without wearing makeup for a week. Why, you may very well ask? Well, it’s certainly not for lolz.
But “why?” is certainly the question I was asking myself this morning as I faced my pale, wan face in the mirror before walking out the door, feeling strangely naked. I’m an Australian! I need bronzer!
The truth is, although I don’t wear a lot of makeup every day, I do always wear some. And I love makeup. I read makeup blogs. I turn to the beauty pages first in a magazine. I occasionally freelance as a makeup artist as well, so yeah, I’m pretty into it. I spend quite a lot of money on makeup and skincare, and will often just buy myself a lipstick as a treat, or go for a “quick shop to Boots”, which ends up in an armload of makeup swag. But more importantly than the amount of money I spend on makeup, is the fact that I am pretty sure I rely on it for self-esteem. I always feel more confident when I wear makeup, and I definitely would normally never dream of going out on date or to church without some makeup on.
So when a few of us on the threads team challenged ourselves to break cycles of consumption and live a little more consciously this week, I knew this was something I had to do. Whether it’s Amaris’ daily uniform for a week (yes, more on this later in the week), or Chine’s becoming vegetarian for a week, we’re all re-evaluating our daily lifestyle choices, and trying to do things differently for a while. It’s all part of our focus on ethical choices and minimalism this January, and I’m actually quite thrilled to be part of it.
Until Monday morning, that is.
Monday morning, even when you work for threads, is always a shock to the system. Particularly in January. Particularly when part of your ‘armour’ for the day is missing. I half-expected people to flinch in dismay when I got into the office, but so far people have been positive and polite, if they’ve noticed at all. (I’m not sure what I was actually expecting – mass rioting, perhaps?) Maybe this will be ok, after all.
Nothing crazy to report today, except that I keep feeling like I have to apologise for my appearance/explain about the experiment every time I catch up with someone new. That’s kind of weird, isn’t it? Need to stop doing this, as it’s MY FACE for goodness’ sake.
Getting ready in the morning, which is always quite speedy for me anyway, takes almost zero time now. I mean, I’m practically going backwards in time by not applying makeup. I think I may be onto something here…
So, last night I went shopping on Oxford Street. To be honest, I haven’t been exactly hiding my bare face away, but I haven’t been going out that much either, so I figured why not go to one of the busiest streets in London, and blend my pale, lipstick-less face amongst the hordes of fashionable teenagers that congregate there?
Actually again, no one really seemed to notice or care – in fact, this is probably the perfect place to be invisible – although I’m sure that the retail staff were less friendly than usual – or is this just my imagination?. I definitely felt a little bit scruffy in comparison to all the bright shininess of the stores, and I mostly avoided the mirrors, which made trying on clothes a little problematic. But all in all, each morning I’m getting more used to seeing my face looking a little more pale, a little less ‘done.’ Which is a good thing, because I’m going to go out on a date tonight, to a crowded restaurant, with my fiancé. *grit teeth emoji*
Ok, so last night went totally fine. I won’t say it was fun to be out without makeup on a date, but you know, it didn’t kill me. I’ve noticed that I definitely make more of an effort with my clothes and hair (i.e. I now brush it), since starting the ‘no makeup’ challenge, and tonight was no exception. It did feel weird to be dressed up but have a bare face, but most of the time, I’m now forgetting about it, and just getting on with life, which is the point, I guess. The one other really great thing to come out of all of this, is the realisation that my fiancé genuinely doesn’t care when I’m not wearing makeup; a fact I already knew but hadn’t really appreciated. I’ve had my fair share of insecurities around my looks, partially due to ex-boyfriends, so the fact that I’m with someone who genuinely appreciates and loves the way I look is something that I never want to take for granted. Ahhh sorry to get a bit soppy, but there it is!
After the shopping and the date, everything else was a breeze. I was out a lot of the weekend and caught up with a lot of people, but most of the time didn’t even remember I wasn’t wearing makeup. I can’t say that I never thought about my looks or makeup during the challenge, or completely broke my slight makeup addiction (I started stockpiling moisturisers instead), but I think makeup in the morning will now be a choice, rather than a compulsion, which is really important to me. I got a little bored by the end, and looked forward to being able to deliberate over lipstick colour again, but overall, it was a really positive experience.
Also, I’ve been starting to think about how to streamline the products I have, as I’ve realised that even when I’m wearing makeup, I’m using so few of the products I actually have, on a regular basis. Anyone want some donations?