When I was studying at university, I never wore makeup. Well that’s a lie… I wore make up on days I had lectures which was twice a week. My skin felt a-ma-zing. In January I started full time work and I am out and about most weekends so I cake it on every single day. Over four months has passed and I haven’t given my skin a break. I realised that there has probably only been a handful of days that I haven’t worn makeup this year and this is probably the reason my skin has been left suffering in silence for a while. The worst part is that I have eczema and my skin goes dry and red, which is really hard to cover up with makeup. It can also be aggravated by applying makeup. It’s an endless cycle.
I then realised that I needed to give my skin a break. But the thought of that made me feel sick. Why would I want anyone to see my bare face like this? Why would I want to wear no makeup when I could look much better with it on? Why am I so unattractive without makeup on? Why do I feel like I am so unattractive without makeup on?
Back in uni I didn’t care about my makeup-less skin. I had too many things to be worrying about, deadlines that were much more important. And now I do care. I am ashamed of my bare face. It really comes down to this question: why do I feel so unattractive without makeup? And you probably know what’s coming next… the unreal expectation of how women should look is sprawled about in the media, reminding us that we will never be ‘perfect’. This issue has always been present and the rise of social media has only made it all worse; Girls we can relate to are shown to us every day on Instagram with perfect skin, perfect hair and perfect smiles. Filters, photo editing apps and Photoshop are readily available for people to use. When I post a selfie on Instagram nobody sees the 15 other attempts that are left chilling in my camera roll, never to be used because I feel like I don’t look good enough.
But this is me. The real me is the me without makeup. That is what I look like and I shouldn’t feel ashamed. Of course I look like myself when I am wearing makeup too, and I would never suggest that people don’t look like themselves when wearing makeup, or shouldn’t wear it. But if I want to give my skin a breather, why should I feel like I can’t? A gal should be able to do what she wants with her face and still feel fabulous!
I look back to how I was in my final year of uni and the don’t give a f**k attitude I had about life. One time, my hair was so frazzled from bleach I slathered my hair in conditioner and sat in the library with it all over my head, looking like the biggest freak. I just think… what has happened to me?
So I’ve started a new thing – makeup free Monday. Every Monday for the past few weeks I have completely ditched the concealer and eyeshadow and left my skin free to breathe. And it feels GREAT. The first time I did it I was so scared, but ever since I’ve been completely fine and I can feel my confidence growing because of it. My skin feels so so good already and that’s only from giving my skin a break once a week. I’m hoping to extend it to a few days a week!
If you don’t feel like wearing makeup don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. If you feel like wearing makeup then do that too! We shouldn’t let the unrealistic ideal of beauty we have thrown at us every day rule our lives and make us feel sad about the way we look. We are all beautiful in our own way and we should celebrate that.
Hope you have a lovely day!