I’m not a big makeup person, but the last time I left the house without a little mascara and blush was maybe 5th grade.
I feel naked without something to make my eyes pop. As for the blush, let’s just say any woman who’s braved a Minnesota fall/winter understands that sometimes your pasty-white cheeks need a pinch of something (and I’m not just talking about your butt). Last week, I decided to ditch my cosmetics for a full week.
Spoiler alert: the world did not end.
I kicked off this week-long challenge on a day I had to speak to a room full of strangers at Studio/E. Awesome. I figured that at least no one would have met me before, so I’d just look normal to them. Still, I felt the need to announce, “I’m not wearing makeup!” to the group, which was totally unnecessary. I knew one person there and she told me that she couldn’t even tell.
Throughout the rest of my day, not one person (including my guy and my best friends) mentioned it.
I decided to apply a face mask that night. Fact: you’re more inclined to take care of your skin if you normally wear makeup and suddenly stop.
I spoke at Studio/E again. This time, I didn’t mention the no makeup thing.
That night, I went to Cosmos Restaurant‘s 10th birthday party with my friend, Allison. It’s a scene-y restaurant at a swank hotel downtown Minneapolis, so I knew it would be a posh sort of deal. Folks dressed to the nines, foie gras lollipops and even an ice sculpture… and you know that stuff isn’t cheap! Within three minutes, I saw five news anchors, the Twin Cities equivalent to the Beckhams, my editor at Delta Sky, and like five other people I sorta work with. EEK!
Luckily the lights were dim and people were drinking. I admit to completely over-compensating by trying to be very smiley and awake looking. I think it worked.
Started getting real cocky with my morning prep time. Got up at 7am, knowing I needed to be out the door at 7:30. Pssht, no makeup = no problem. Worked out, went to the office, hit up a low-key board meeting for Canine Inspired Change, then saw my uncle Pat and my cousin Maggie in Ashland Productions’ Wizard of OZ. It was awesome.
Cleaned the house, caught up on work. Ate a romantic dinner with my Beyonce, then we went bowling. Starting to get used to how this new face looks when I see my reflection.
Got ready for work in two seconds, just like a dude.
That night, I went to a concert (Lamb of God…read: a thrash metal band). In this setting, I think makeup would be superfluous. Just by virtue of being a female, I was looking a whole lot better than 97 percent of the people there. One drunk man with three teeth asked me if I was single.
Worked out, watched a football game in a bar with friends. Completely forgot that I wasn’t wearing makeup; looking in the mirror and not seeing black eyelashes was barely weird anymore.
After work, I met up with some friends to discuss wedding plans. My friend, Marge, asked if my Hey Eleanor challenge that day was not wearing mascara. Seven days in until someone even mentioned my lack of makeup! Amazed.
DAY EIGHT (BACK TO NORMAL):
After my morning shower, I blasted my bangs with the blow drier. Next, I would normally apply tinted moisturizer, followed by powder, then bronzer and a little blush. A swipe of eye shadow, a curl of the eyelashes and a twirl of the mascara wand & viola! But after a week without makeup, I only wanted mascara and bronzer.
It felt good.
Throughout the week, I heard a few things over and over– mostly from women: “You don’t even need makeup.” “Of course you can go without makeup, your skin is so nice.” “You look pretty without makeup.”
First of all, thank you; you all made me feel like a million bucks! But almost every woman who complimented said something along the lines of, “I could never do that.” These were legit, naturally beautiful women!
Their words bugged me. I’m no Marla Hooch, but I always believed makeup made me look better. To some extent, I think it does. But it doesn’t have quite the impact I thought. In fact, I looked more refreshed after a few days sans my Bobbi Brown (cause let’s be honest, how often do you fall asleep without really scrubbing your face? Raccoon eyes are my regular eyes). I was still taken seriously at work, my friends barely noticed, my fiance still loved me and life was good.
I’m never swearing off makeup for keeps. I love getting dolled up. But I know my world will not crumble if I head to the grocery store or a party or a meeting without it. I want to encourage my fellow females to just try going one day without the face paint. I think you’ll be surprised at the reactions, or lack thereof.