When I was in high school, junior year I think, I looked in the mirror and asked myself WHY I was wearing makeup every day. I hated putting it on, hated how my skin felt while it was on, and hated having to take off. So I stopped (except for really special occasions), and here’s what I discovered.
1. It’s much faster.
My morning routine takes about 5 minutes instead of 30. Pee, brush teeth, wash face, contacts, GO. There are almost never jazz hands, however. It’s 6 a.m. for pete’s sake.
2. It’s cheaper.
Over the years, I’ve saved hundreds — maybe thousands — of dollars on not buying makeup and its related accessories. Money I could then spend on things and experiences that brought me joy, instead of a morning chore.
3. It’s less-zitty.
I have naturally oily skin, which means I’m already prone to shininess and blemishes — two things makeup only makes worse. “Zinc oxide, dimethicone and propylene are several ingredients commonly found in makeup. These ingredients can create a thin build up on the skin. The oils and sweat can become trapped under the build up and cause pimples,” reported CBS.
4. It’s freeing.
I don’t have to “put my face on.” I have nothing to fear if someone drops by unannounced. I don’t have to constantly freshen up my makeup, worry that there might be lipstick on my teeth, or hold back tears because they’ll smudge my mascara.
5. It’s healthier.
Most makeup, especially the cheaper end stuff, contains toxic substances we probably shouldn’t be slathering on our body’s most porous organ. “Some makeup ingredients such as fragrances and preservatives trigger allergic reactions, including contact dermatitis. Preservatives in makeup include parabens, which have been detected in cancer cells. Also look out for formaldehyde — mostly known for preserving corpses, it can irritate your eyes and skin,” reports LiveStrong.
6. It’s rebellious.
You know what sucks? Doing things because they’re expected of you. Not wearing makeup is a really easy way to stand out, be different, and let your light shine. I’m living proof that it’s still possible to make friends, date, and embark on a career, all without makeup on.
7. It’s a confidence booster.
When I stopped wearing daily makeup, I stopped feeling like I was wearing a mask. I show the real me to the world every day, with the knowledge that they see me the same way I see me. And you know what? Almost no one noticed, and absolutely no one complained.
8. It makes special occasions even more special.
I won’t lie and say that I’ve never touched makeup since high school. I’ve been known to bust out the mascara and blush every so often. But when I do, it’s for a truly special occasion, and instead of being a chore, it’s a festive, unique ritual that amps up the excitement.
9. It’s a celebration of me.
Many people use makeup to “cover” or “fix” things they see as physical flaws. When you don’t wear makeup every day, it’s a big step toward making peace with yourself, and celebrating the beautiful characteristics that have been there all along. Sure, it made me feel vulnerable at first, but eventually I realized that any judgment or shame was actually coming from me, and not from others.
And when when I’m at peace, living in the moment instead of worried about how others perceive the gussied up face I’ve put on, it’s easier to focus on the experiences and people that really matter. And that’s what makes me happiest.