Honesty is important to me. I try to be as honest as possible with other people and with myself (which is trickier). Like so many of my fellow-females (wait, is that an oxymoron?), I started using makeup as a young teenager. I used it to “hide” my acne (hahahaha!). (Also, I’m really feeling the parentheses today.) I continued to use it into my early adulthood, wasting money and precious time to make myself look different. I’ve never been a spend-hours-on-your-face-and-hair type. I always liked a natural look and I had fun with makeup, but that stuff can be insidious. Marketing makes a big impression on young people. Marketing, culture, and eventually habit brought me to a place where I didn’t feel comfortable without makeup and indeed I felt that it improved my appearance. Over the last ten years, I’ve used less and less and often go entirely without it. I feel GREAT about that. My hair has started to gray, too. I refuse to dye it. This isn’t a judgmental, finger-wagging kind of post; it’s just that this all feels incredibly liberating and so, for all you ladies who are on the fence, I want to share a few of my feelings about going the natural route:
- It’s honest. This is the face I was given. It has melasma and sometimes acne, despite that I’m in my thirties. It has a few wrinkles. I can’t say that I look at those things and feel a rush of love and joy, but I’m learning to appreciate them because they’re real. I do still try to address them in healthy and natural ways, but in the meantime, they are what they are.
- This is the big one: I have daughters. I want to be real and unaffected for my girls in the hope that they will incorporate that honesty in all kinds of ways. My mother certainly did that for me. I know they will probably go through a makeup-crazy stage. As a mother, though, it kills me that they could spend years doing something that they think will make them feel better about themselves but which actually could be a detriment to their self-confidence when they present their real, beautiful faces to the world. I want them to love themselves, cliche as that might sound. At the same time, most of us need to get outside of ourselves a bit. Narcissism is not cool. When you make a decision not to make yourself up, you have to hold your head high and decide that it’s really none of your business what anyone else thinks about the way you look. Everyone knows the pat adages about “inner-beauty” but I pray that my children will understand in a real way that physical beauty should not be confused with personal worth; not for themselves and not for anyone else. Also, we people can be layered and dishonest and you can’t always take us at face-value (I can’t resist the urge to point out my super-witty puns, here) and I NEVER want them to have to worry about that with me.
- It feels healthier. I try to use simple and natural products, as many of you probably do. I don’t like putting things on my face or body that have a list of unpronounceable ingredients as long as my arm.
- It suits my minimalist (lazy) leanings. I like to keep things simple. Just makes me happier.
- One last consideration for anyone considering ditching their makeup routine: it will probably improve your skin and/or hair health, which means you get all the benefits of makeup and hair crap without actually buying or using any of that stuff! It’s a mad world ;).
And here I am – makeup free. Not gonna lie, though – this is flattering light!