I STOPPED WEARING MAKEUP FOR 2 WEEKS... & HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
This post has been a long time coming, and I've talked about it a lot. I didn't really know how to approach it, so I held-off on telling this story... But the recent post I wrote on how fashion saved my self-esteem (and the messages I got from you guys in response) convinced me that it was time to write it. So here we are... Why I stopped wearing makeup.
First, I feel like I need to set the tone about my relationship with makeup. I talked about it in my post about self-esteem linked above, but I wanna get into more details here, as this is what it's all about. I feel like the first time I put on eyeliner, I must have been about 12. Actually, scratch that. I have pictures of me at around 8 years old wearing a fiiiine line of black liner for Christmas. I remember begging my mom to have one just like her. Since Christmas and other Holidays were pretty much the only times my mom wore makeup, I probably saw my opportunity and went for it.
But I do remember precisely the first time I wore it to school. I was 12, and I wore pants on which I undid the hem, paired with a sporty dress. SO avant-garde. Most of all, I remember feeling totally badass. Dangerous, even. In today's lingo, I felt like a boss-ass bitch... But obviously that's not something I would have said at 12.
Then, over the years, my relationship with makeup changed. I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself, I know I talked about this in my post about self-esteem, but I feel like they're so closely linked, it's hard not to. I started wearing makeup not to have fun with it, but because I felt like I had to. Without it, I felt naked, vulnerable and ugly.
At 18, I was spending a lot of time in clubs, and sporting a super dark smokey eye. Like, all black. Then the smokey eye made its way out of the clubs and became my signature look. I wore it to school, work, and everywhere in between. I couldn't go buy milk at the grocery store without putting on a full face of makeup. God forbid someone actually saw my real face, right?
My makeup became not only my armour against the outside world, but also a crutch. It became the excuse I was hiding behind, because it was easier to say I loved makeup than to admit I hated my face.
As years went on, I kept wearing makeup every day, never changing it. It was the exact same routine every... single... day! And I'm not gonna lie, it was boring. Sometimes I would wake-up in the morning, dreading having to do my makeup. It was a somewhat short process, maybe 20 minutes, but after years of doing the same exact thing, it felt like a chore.
Fast forward to 2 years ago, my life was turned upside-down. Actually, I turned my life upside-down. I got out of a long-term relationship, got rid of the condo we lived in, pulled the plug on the business I had started on my own, moved back with my mom and found myself a job. Phew, right? Everything was unknown, unsure, and I was under so much stress, I thought I was gonna die. For the first time in years, I was also enjoying myself. But stress was still prevailing, and I started having hormonal acne. In my mid twenties. Talk about a downer, especially when you're starting to date again after years of being off the market. Not exactly ideal.
So I doubled down on concealer, foundation and primer, trying to make it look like I didn't have blemishes. As a result, I ended up walking through life with a cake face. NOT CUTE!
And then, I met Sasha. Apparently, cake face and blemishes weren't enough to keep him away, because we started dating super quickly. A few weeks in, he told me he actually preferred when I didn't wear makeup. He said, and I quote, You wake up beautiful, you're lucky, you don't need makeup to be beautiful. *Swoon, right? At the time, I felt like it was some kind of bullshit so I'd get ready faster - ha! But now, I finally got to a point in my life where I can believe him.
And I'm not saying I look at myself every morning thinking I'm so fucking gorgeous. Far from that. But I feel like I finally got to a point where I'm comfortable enough in my own skin to not feel the need to hide myself behind makeup.
And even though my man had a part to play in that process, by constantly telling me how beautiful he thinks I am, with or without makeup, I can't give him all the credit for where I am now - sorry Sasha! A lot of it also had to do with being based out of LA.
California is one of the sunniest places on Earth, and it's also one of the most obsessed with skincare. I've talked about this before, but since being here, I've been paying less attention to makeup and a lot more attention to how my face looks under it. Also, I feel like when it's super hot outside, wearing makeup is just less appealing. I may have gone to the beach with a full face of makeup when I was 17, but it's something I wouldnever do now. And, obviously, a lot of it had to happen within myself for me to be able to get there.
Self-confidence, no matter what the people around you are saying, has to come from within first. Then it can be boosted by the validation coming from other people. In my case, self-confidence translated into the ability to show my face in public without makeup.
It was for sure a slow build-up. First, I started by just getting coffee in the morning barefaced. Then I spent half the day at the beach and agreed to go for a beer afterwards, even though I wasn't wearing makeup. The more I did it, the more comfortable I became doing it, realizing that it didn't really change anything after all. No one looked at me weirdly, no one called me ugly... I was the only one who noticed the difference, really.
And then, something happened that made me take the conscious decision not to wear makeup anymore. At least for 2 weeks. We went to a one-day music festival DTLA. It was hot AF and the sun was blasting, hard. Since it was a special event, I obviously wanted to look good, so I put on a full face of makeup and dressed nicely. A few hours after the event started, I desperately needed to pee, so I had to use the portable washrooms, even though that has to be the one thing that grosses me out the most in this world. And in the tiny portable toilet's plastic mirror, I was horrified by my reflection.
My foundation had litteraly melted off my face, leaving a patchy, disgusting mess behind. Oh, and it had also creased in every single tiny line and pore, making me look like an 800 years old country road. My eyeliner was nowhere near my eyeballs anymore... More like caked-up under them, in a look that would have made any member of the Adams family envy my dead person "glow". My eyeshadow was all runny too, and most of it was to be found creased up somewhere. I swear, I didn't even wanna get out of the nasty portable toilet I was so embarrassed.
Then and there, I decided I needed a break from makeup. You see, I was already at a point where I felt confident enough to be comfortable spending a day at the pool, barefaced, and actually feeling like I looked good... Which is more than a hundred light years away from anything I could have felt a few years ago, even with the best makeup on Earth. So it was kind of easy for me to feel like I would have looked better with no makeup than what I saw in the mirror, in that disgusting litter box for humans.
Rather than looking like the girl who tried so hard to look good and failed miserably, I decided I'd rather look like the confident girl who doesn't need makeup to be pretty. The girl who's effortlessly chic in simple clothes, no makeup and a topknot bun.
And just like that, I did it. I wanted to try not to wear any makeup for 2 weeks. No matter if we went shopping, to a bar, to a music event... I just decided I was gonna go wearing no makeup at all.
At first, it was a little uncomfortable, I'm not gonna lie. No matter how much self-confidence I have, I'm someone who likes to look decent. I also put a lot of pressure on myself, and won't hesitate to pick myself apart in front of the mirror if there's the tiniest thing I don't like about the way I look that day.
But wearing no makeup taught me one thing: I'm actually the only one who does that. I mean, sure, there will always be haters who will take pleasure in telling you you're ugly on social media, no matter what you look like. It happens to every celebrity out there, to bloggers, to high school girls... It happens to everyone. Because that's the thing about beauty, it's SO subjective (and some people are assholes, big deal!). One man's trash, you know? But when you go out somewhere outside of social media, most people couldn't give a flying rat's ass what you look like.
In the real world, people are way too self-absorbed and busy with their conversations to worry about wether or not a perfect stranger is wearing makeup or not.
Before the 2 weeks ended, I was hooked. I went to restaurants and bars without wearing makeup. I posted videos of myself on my stories wearing no makeup... And that's something I would have NEVER done before. Are these videos the moments I look my best? Hell no! In most of them, the lighting is so bad, Kate Moss would look like shit - and I think Kate Moss is gorgeous. But whatever. Who caaaaares?
Not me. Not anymore. I know what I look like IRL, I know when I'm having a good day or a bad day. I know my worth. And I know that my man finds me beautiful. It's all that matters to me, really. Because I know that looks aren't the only thing in life. And for the first time ever, I actually feel good in my own skin. Most people told me that would happen in my 30's, so I feel like I'm a few years in advance here.
Now, I'd rather spend my money on skincare and getting my brows done rather than buying super expensive makeup. I extended my 2 weeks to an undetermined period of time, possibly forever. Except now I don't force myself not to wear makeup. I just do what I feel like. I feel like the forced break actually forced me to realize that wearing makeup should be fun and empowering. Not an obligation so you can feel decent-looking.
Only now do I realize that the beauty industry is paying millions of dollars and trying really hard to convince women that they're ugly. Because it's super lucrative for them. If every woman thinks she's ugly without makeup, the big cosmetics companies sell way more foundation and mascara and bronzer and whatnot. And the worst part is, they're doing an incredibly good job!
Since my 2 weeks ended, I wear makeup when I really feel like it. I wear it for photoshoots, obviously, because zero makeup is just NOT flattering in pictures. I wear makeup if we go out somewhere, and I'm actually happy to put it on. And sometimes, I'll wear a bit of makeup to go to the grocery store, just because I feel like it.
Not wearing makeup for 2 weeks really changed my relationship with makeup. It made me realize that makeup doesn't make you beautiful. It's an accessory, and it's fun, and yes, it can be empowering and make you feel sexy or cute. Like a hat or pretty lingerie. But once you take it off, it stops there. You're still beautiful, you're still worthy, you're still exactly the same. And trust me, if I can say that, you can say that. Everyone can say that. You've read my story you know where I come from and how much I used to hate my looks (and if you read this post about my journey with self-esteem, you know it even better).
I'm really hoping that this post will encourage other women and girls to do the same, and ditch their makeup for a while. Even if just to see. I guarantee it will make a huge difference... I'm certainly SO glad I did it, I feel like it was the last stone that was needed in building my self-confidence back up. Makeup or no makeup, I feel like a new person. And it feels so, so, SO good.
How about you guys? Would you stop wearing makeup for 2 weeks? Did you ever try it? I would loooove to hear your stories. You can always leave me a comment below, or find me on Instagram @thehungarianbrunette.
Love, Jenny xx