#52-58. A Week Without Makeup.

Day Two, feeling all fresh faced.
Day Two, feeling all fresh faced.

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.

DAY ONE:

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.

Day One, complete with damp hair!
Day One, complete with damp hair!
Better take care of this bare nekkid skin!
Better take care of this bare nekkid skin!

DAY TWO:

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.

A little more confident on Day Two.
A little more confident on Day Two.
Day Two… at a really fancy party at the Graves Hotel with my pal Allison.
Day Two… at a really fancy party at the Graves Hotel with my pal Allison.

DAY THREE:

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.

Day Three… Josh and I saw my uncle Pat play the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. I think he had on enough makeup for the three of us. 
Day Three… Josh and I saw my uncle Pat play the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. I think he had on enough makeup for the three of us.

DAY FOUR:

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.

DAY FIVE:

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.

Day four… hanging out with my guy who is ALSO not wearing makeup.
Day four… hanging out with my guy who is ALSO not wearing makeup.
Day Five… at a metal concert with my friend Travis. More on that later!
Day Five… at a metal concert with my friend Travis. More on that later!

DAY SIX:

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.

DAY SEVEN:

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 six… heading to the gym, who cares how I look.
Day six… heading to the gym, who cares how I look.
Last Day... I could get used to this!
Last Day… I could get used to this!

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.

My new normal… mascara and a little bronzer. 
My new normal… mascara and a little bronzer.

Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates.

I completely respect your privacy.

You might also like

Comments (5)

  • Maggie Stack 4 years ago Reply

    Let’s do this! #NoMakeupMonday ! I’m in.

  • Caran Mollner 4 years ago Reply

    You’re a brave woman Molly…but even braver for posting a picture of you wearing a face mask!!! I love your blog posts and have read every one and look forward to them every day! Caran Mollner

  • Whitey Mogren 4 years ago Reply

    Hey Molly, I was so interested in your new little hair tint at the Wizzard so Oz that I neglected to see that you weren’t sporting makeup. I really thought you looked a special kind of fresh but I think I mistakenly attributed it to your hair. Great topic here. I have often wondered how the whole "women only" makeup thing got started.
    Love your blogs and can’t wait to get you out ice fishing this winter. I know we should be able to create two or three "Hey Elanors"!
    Your loving uncle,… Whitey

  • Gretchen Sta nford 4 years ago Reply

    Hello Molly –

    Samira shared your blog with me and I LOVE it! I just listed it on my blog, Resume RANTS. I also shared on my Resume RANTS Facebook page. Looking forward to sharing your journey!

    Gretchen Stanford

  • Kirk 4 years ago Reply

    Your grandma Stromberg always said when I was young (like you are now) you don’t need make up.. I never believed her, but I get it now!! You are gorgeous without make up. Why bother with it day to day? You just proved that! Just moisturize & use sun screen (which I never did!) Enjoy!!!!!
    You are as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside!!!!

Leave a Reply