For many women, myself once included, makeup is an everyday essential that we apply before even leaving the house every morning.
It’s been so ingrained in us by society that we must wear cosmetics that we rarely stop and wonder whether this morning ritual is truly necessary – or ponder its effects on our self-image and the health of our skin.
I’ll never forget the days not so long ago when I looked in the mirror only to be frustrated by the seemingly unending “imperfections” on my skin.
In an attempt to cover them, I would apply way too much concealer (and often of the wrong shade – yikes!) and end up irritating my sensitive skin even more.
And so began an endless cycle of pimples and the incessant application of makeup to cover them.
Since I was never able to completely conceal what I deemed to be ugly imperfections, I wasn’t comfortable being within a few feet of others because I feared they’d notice that my skin wasn’t clear.
So, makeup actually weakened my self-confidence because I didn’t feel comfortable going out in public without it!
Today, my perception of myself – not to mention the overall health of my skin – has completely changed. Here are just a few of the benefits I experienced when I stopped wearing makeup.
I know this may sound surprising, but it’s true. Before I took a break from makeup, I didn’t fully realize how absolutely dependent I was on it.
When, on rare occasions, I had to leave the house with a “bare” face, I felt ashamed of my appearance and was always afraid that people would find me unattractive.
Unfortunately, this translated into poor self-assurance.
But when I found the courage to address my fear and go out in public without makeup, I was able to better appreciate my natural face and understand that I could be beautiful and confident by simply being myself – no expensive concealer required.
One of the biggest changes I noticed when I stopped wearing makeup was that my skin became healthier.
The acne that had caused me so much frustration began to disappear, and for the first time, I was able to understand what was irritating my skin and take care of it in ways that allowed it to be healthy.
Instead of covering blemishes, I began to address the reasons why I had them in the first place, which made a world of difference.
As anyone who regularly uses cosmetics knows, makeup comes with an often hefty price tag, and applying and removing it takes time.
When I stopped using a lot of different products on my face in the morning, I no longer felt obligated to keep my makeup bag well-stocked, and I also didn’t feel the need to get up an hour before leaving the house to ensure that I would have enough time to cover my blemishes.
That time has freed me to focus on more important things and has allowed me to be a healthier, more confident person.
So, what prompted me to forgo makeup in the first place? I think the one thing that influenced me the most was going back to my family’s native France for a month.
Why? Because it confirmed what I already knew – that other French women generally looked put together and confident but wore little to no makeup whatsoever.
I realized that if some of the most admired and beautiful women in the world could go without makeup, so could I.
But do I still wear makeup?
Yes, sometimes. But I don’t see it in the same light as I once did. Instead of regarding makeup as an absolute necessity that I can’t feel confident without, I now think of it as a completely optional way to enhance certain features, if I feel like it.
The cosmetics industry has been feeding women lies about how we’re supposed to look, and it’s high time that stopped.
Here’s the truth: Confidence and beauty aren’t found in cosmetics bottles.
They come from within, which means that – whether we choose to wear makeup or not – we can decide for ourselves what kind of person we want to be and work toward being that person every day.
Going makeup-free changed my perception of myself, boosted my self-esteem, helped clear my skin, and gave me a new appreciation for my natural features.
In short, it changed my life – and I know it can change yours, too.
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