In high school, there was no way that anyone was going to get me out of the house if I hadn’t put on AT LEAST my mascara and foundation.
I was so terrified of being seen au naturale that I would wear my makeup overnight at sleepovers; something which ultimately led to many breakouts.
Upon starting college, however, I learned that putting on a full face of makeup every morning when you share a bathroom with five other girls isn’t always feasible. I was soon reluctantly forced to get over my fear of being seen makeup-free by the outside world.
At the beginning stages of this transition, I was extremely self-conscious every time I wasn’t wearing makeup in public. I would purposely avoid guys that I liked if I happened to cross paths with them on my way to class, and was paranoid that everyone was now wondering what had happened to my face.
But I soon discovered that wearing no makeup in public wasn’t the life-shattering experience that I thought it would be. I learned that giving my face a chance to breathe was actually making me look better overall.
Here are 8 reasons why going makeup free shouldn’t be your worst nightmare:
1. For the most part, people really don’t care what you look like.
When contemplating the decision to go makeup free, one thing holding me back personally was that I feared people might judge me for the imperfections that I was no longer covering up. But what I came to realize was that people really don’t care whether or not you have a zit on your forehead; they’re too busy stressing about their own physical insecurities. Even if someone does judge you because of how you look without makeup, it most likely means that this person is very superficial and therefore not worth impressing.
2. Spending less money on makeup means you can spend more money on skincare.
Instead of spending 40+ dollars at Sephora for a liquid foundation that will most likely clog your pores and lead to future breakouts, you could put that money towards a high-end face cream that will improve your skin’s natural appearance. When I started investing in good skincare products rather than buying the cheapest ones that I could find at Target, my skin became a lot softer and brighter, which made me feel more comfortable about not wearing foundation.
A good skincare routine, complete with a cleanser, moisturizer, and (most importantly) SUNSCREEN will go a long way in helping you heal your skin from makeup damage and protecting it from the harmful toxins in our polluted environment.
3. You’ll have extra time on your hands.
No joke: In high school, I used to spend a WHOLE HOUR in the morning attempting to apply my makeup “to perfection” before school. Instead of spending these hours getting some much needed slumber or catching up on overdue homework, I would glare at myself in the mirror, incessantly trying and failing to cover up what in my eyes I saw as ENORMOUS red pimples all over my face (an extreme exaggeration on my part). Thinking back to it now, I realize what a big waste of time my quest for unachievable perfection really was. Now that I’m comfortable being seen by others without makeup, I no longer stress about having to wake up before everyone else in order to “put my face on” in the morning.
4. You will most likely experience fewer breakouts.
Even now I notice that after a day or two of wearing makeup, more blemishes appear on my skin than when I go au naturale. This is one of the perks of going makeup-free and giving your skin a chance to breathe: you will experience less breakouts. Using daily cover up such as foundation or concealer can clog pores and lead to breakouts, especially for those who have naturally oily skin. Yes, there are non-comedogenic makeup products that are technically formulated in a ways that shouldn’t cause breakouts, but let’s face it: The less you fuss with your face, the less likely you will be to unintentionally transfer bacteria and dirt to your skin that can lead to skin problems.
5. No more worrying about runny mascara/foundation in the heat or at the gym.
No longer will you have to worry about looking like a racoon after sweating, whether it be due to a rigorous gym sesh or a hot summer’s day. When going to work or class, you won’t have to calculate extra time to stop in the bathroom before meeting others in order to make sure that you’re makeup hasn’t smudged. The great thing about going makeup-less is that you can generally expect to look the same at the end of your day as you did at the beginning.
You won’t have to deal with that moment that everyone experiences at least once when wearing makeup: when you look in the mirror during a bathroom break and realize that you’ve just led a presentation all while sporting lipstick stains on your teeth (and of course no one told you!).
6. You weed out the ones who don’t like you for you.
If a guy (or girl) that you are interested in doesn’t like you without makeup, do you really want to be with this person? I have learned that seeking out the attention of those who are not interested in our real selves is a real waste of time. If someone is only attracted to you when you have “your face on,” they are not an ideal partner. It’s a lot better to find this out before beginning a relationship; so exposing your makeup-free self to potential romances upon first meeting them is a great way to weed out those who are superficial enough to recoil at the first hint of a pimple. If our partners aren’t willing to be with us when we’re looking like a mess, then they don’t deserve us at our best!
7. Less mascara means longer lashes.
When I stopped wearing mascara every day, a crazy thing started to happen: my eyelashes actually GOT LONGER for the first time! This shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise, since I no longer smothered my lashes with heavy clumps of mascara on a daily basis or aggressively rubbed makeup remover on them every night to take it all off. I realized that the less mascara I wore, the less I felt like I needed it because my eyelashes were starting to look better naturally than they had before.
Pro Tip: coating your eyelashes with vaseline overnight can protect them from breaking and help them grow faster.
8. Going makeup-free will become a habit.
When I transitioned to wearing less makeup every day, it started to become a habit. It no longer felt weird to go about my day without spending time putting on mascara and foundation in the morning. Nowadays, wearing no makeup has become such a habit that I have grown to hate the feeling of it on my skin when I do decide to wear it. If I decide to wear makeup for a specific occasion, I always make a point to take it all off as soon as the event is over. Going makeup-free is such a normality now that I have become exceptionally bad at putting it on: I legitimately cannot apply mascara without ending up with black splotches all over my face.
Moral of the story:
if you genuinely enjoy wearing makeup every day, then by all means: go for it!
But if you wear it (like I did) because you feel like you need it to cover up imperfections, I urge you to test yourself and try going makeup-free at least one or two days a week. I am 99 percent sure that you will realize that not wearing makeup in public is a lot less terrifying than you think it is, and that most people won’t even care or notice a difference.