Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 143: Mirror-less AND Makeup-Free Monday

I'm writing this post on Sunday night, as I plan ahead for tomorrow (Monday).  After going back and forth for several weeks, I've decided it's time to give "Makeup Free Mondays" a try.

I first learned about Makeup Free Mondays from the website The Beauty Bean.  The founder of this very cool body-positive beauty website, Alexis Wolfer, has been promoting Makeup Free Mondays as a way to encourage women to feel comfortable in their own skin, and to stop seeing makeup as a requirement.  These things, I can definitely get behind in theory, but are harder in practice!  Though she is certainly not anti-makeup full stop, Wolfer describes intentionally going without makeup as "liberating, inspiring, and, needless to say, timesaving."  She also admits that it's a bit intimidating... which is the primary emotion I'm feeling right now.

This is one of the only photos I have of me without makeup.
Being intimidated to go without makeup may seem really weird, since I can't see myself anyway.  Still, I'm kind of freaked out about it.  See... even though I've dramatically cut back on my everyday makeup since beginning this project, I've rarely gone without it entirely, even when camping!  I'm realizing now that makeup has been a security blanket for me, and probably has been since my days of having "bad skin" when I would have sooner left the house without brushing my teeth than without applying foundation, concealer, etc..  This became an ingrained habit, even after my skin became "good" (thank you, Accutane!).

I feel more confident when wearing makeup... I think I look more polished, prettier.  And so... despite cutting back quite a bit for this project, makeup has remained part of my routine even after I stopped looking at myself in the mirror.  I've even felt pride in my mirror-free makeup application skills.  The most frequent question people - especially my female students, for some reason - ask me upon hearing about the project is "How do you do your makeup?  It looks so good!" This makes me feel nice. It also encourages me to keep wearing makeup.  That is, until tomorrow!

Instead of foundation+blush+eyeshadow+mascara, tomorrow I'll be wearing sunscreen+chapstick.  I'll be giving two lectures, and will be spending time with a much-admired guest speaker (Lisa Wade, sociologist and co-founder of Sociological Images).  It will be a very public, and (in my opinion) a fairly important day.  So I'm scared.  To be honest, leaving the house without any makeup scares me more than my earlier fears leaving the house with poorly applied makeup!  But I think it will be okay...

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.  What do you think??  Have you ever tried this.  Would you?  Do you wear makeup every day, or only for special occasions?

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  1. You can do it!!! I don't wear make up that often, I seem to go through stages of enjoying wearing make up and stages of enjoying not. At the moment I'm enjoying not wearing make up. To be honest most of the time I don't even think about it and when I do I feel quite proud. I only just realised it's not something many adult women go without. That's not to say I don't enjoy wearing make up and it's also not to say I don't have days where I feel as though I need it to give me that extra boost of confidence. Anyway what I meant to say is it can feel weird at first and you might feel a little embarassed or 'ugly' but once you get used to it it can feel really great and nowadays it often makes me feel more confident than when I do wear make up. So anyway good on you :)

  2. I think I'm going at this a different way round to you. After spending my entire life (I'm 33) with no self confidence at all, it never once even occured to me to wear make-up, it was something that only the 'pretty' girls wore. In fact the day before my wedding it occured to me that maybe I should wear something to try and make myself look a little prettier on my big day. I went into Boots and asked the lady on the counter to help me. I bought neutral eye-shadow and lip gloss and that was what I wore to get married. I felt beautiful for the first time ever. Now I wear a little make-up every day and feel almost 'normal', in fact sometimes I feel a lot better about myself. Last month I discovered eyeliner pencil and love the way it accentuates my eyes! I feel like I'm finally going through my teenage years in my 30s. I'm not ready to go without again yet. I'm slowly starting to accept and like myself... and one day would hope to be at the stage where I feel pretty enough to go without. But I'm not there yet. I really admire your project and have been reading avidly, thank you for sharing your experiences
    Kathryn x

  3. Frankie B - Thanks for your encouragement! Having just completed my Makeup Free Monday and I have to say that I'm mostly at the "feels weird at first" and "feel a little embarrassed or 'ugly'" stage, but I'm trying to be optimistic, since nothing BAD actually happened (i.e., most of this was probably in my head). Also great to hear that going without makeup can lead to feeling more excited about days with makeup, since it's "special" instead of required.

  4. Kathryn, what an awesome story. I love how wearing a bit of makeup marked such a special day in your life, and I'm glad it helped you feel special and beautiful. It makes me sad that you thought only "pretty girls" wear makeup because I like to think of makeup as one way we girls can express ourselves, whether it to look pretty or to look dramatic, etc. (obviously it's more complicated than that, with the whole "wear makeup to hide your flaws" attitude from the beauty industry, but still...). It seems like you've taken on that spirit, by finding products and colors that draw attention to your eyes, etc. Keep at it and have fun! Keep growing. I'm enjoying your story vicariously since my own makeup experimenting is at a bit of a standstill!

  5. Hm, I wonder if a student would dare comment on a lack of makeup.

  6. I didn't even notice that you weren't wearing make-up! :)

  7. Terri - good point! There's definitely a power issue here.. I doubt any of them would feel comfortable letting me know if I looked less put-together than usual. Interestingly, SEVERAL of them complimented me today (I wore makeup, and - gasp! - a dress). I'm not going to read too much into it!

  8. Lisa - THANKS for mentioning that. Once again, evidence that a lot of my appearance assumptions are mostly in my head. :)

  9. I only were makeup for special events, and some times I forget to put it on for them. lol I figure God gave me this face and the man I have loved for more then 30 yrs married me with this face (no makeup on my wedding day)so it must be an ok face.

  10. I very rarely wear makeup. I did in my teens (wouldn't leave my bedroom without it) and one day when I was about 18, I guess I just got lazy and didn't wear it, and I have rarely worn it since. I'm 32 and in the last few years have decided I would like to be able to wear it again, but I wouldn't know how to anymore, lol

  11. I almost never wear makeup. When I was a teen/early 20s felt like it was too much of a hassle and I didn't want to be "one of those high-maintainance girls." My boyfriend (whom I eventually married at 26) also hated makeup as something fake and pretentious. So, for my wedding, I wore a bit of mascara and cherry chapstick. It wasn't until I entered my 30s, that I realized that makeup (like a business suit or a briefcase instead of a backpack) was part of a professional image. I still seldom wore makeup, but I would break it out for business meetings etc. Now, I'm turning 40 next week and the older I get the more I realize the make-up can be fun. But just like a costume, it isn't the real me and isn't for everyday. I admire women who look put together, but I also am happy that I don't have to worry about re-applying, smeared lipstick, mascara rubbed into raccoon eyes, foundation melting etc. But, it does set me apart from my peers. There is a certain distain for those of us who "don't make an effort."

  12. For me, well I'm a little like everyone here. I grew up with good parts to a puzzle, but low self esteem to follow through. I've always been shy about my body. I developed a little earlier than most girls. Basic hygenie was taught in my a degree. I've been embarrassed my entire life about my body, and a few other things that I struggled with. During H.S. when everyone was into makeup, I wasn't. I had friends who helped me put it on for special occasions, and that was it. I was too busy, too lazy, to into things that got me dirty, to make it a part of my regular routine. When I hit college, make-up on Friday nights, when I would go out dancing with my friends, became a must. Somewhere in my 20's, I dated a few guys (a lot actually). The guys that I would consider to be "the good guys", preferred me with out make up. They thought it was more me, and that was better. Their greatest suggestion: Wear contacts, they make you're eyes pop, and make you look incredible. These same friends/ex-boyfriends, helped me not be so embarrassed with my body and my looks, pointing out that my curves were great, but just part of the entire package. It even took one guy, to physically prove I was beautiful. I tested his theory. His theory was correct. After that, I was no longer allowed to deny that I was beautiful...Oh, and this happened a few years after we had dated, and been broken up. These days, I'm 32, been married about a year. My husband thinks I look beautiful with out make up, but thinks I'm hot, sexy, and gorgeous when I do. So, most of the time, I go with out. But for those special dates, moments with my hubby, the make-up comes out, as a special treat to him, and a special reminder to me that I can wear make-up every day and look incredibly beautiful every day, but if I did, be prepared for other women hating me for how great I look. ;)

  13. I'm finding as I get older (57 and menopausal) that makeup doesn't go on as well as it used to. Something about all those creases. ;-)

    Since my makeup style was always pretty natural anyway (if you can tell it's makeup it's too much makeup), I've drifted into a less-makeup phase that's easier but leaves me feeling a bit plain. (If I think about it, which I usually don't.)

    I've almost completely stopped wearing mascara, since it always ends up in the creases below my eyes. I do like a bit of liner and neutral eye shadow because my eyes can look like a Raggedy Ann's without some definition. Also, my eyebrows, which I never did anything with, now "require" a bit of pencil to be visible.

    I don't know whether it's apathy, laziness, or being comfortable in my own skin, but "doing my face" is definitely less interesting to me than it was a couple years ago.

    Fortunately my husband's eyesight is going at the same rate as my beauty fades! ;-)

  14. I normally don't wear make up because I feel like it sweats off my face. I now work in a department store so I do wear make up to work and also when I go to church, a date night or any other special occasion. It's nice to wear and fun to play with but it's definitely not a habit or a requirement. Make up just isn't for me.

  15. You look great without makeup!

  16. Not wearing any make up is something I'm learning slowly.
    Until about a year ago I even put make up on to go to the emergency room in hospital when I was in tremendous pain, can you imagine?
    But now, I sometimes go to local stores without make up, I went to the gym a couple of times with a clean, make-up free face (much better, no racoon eyes from sweating!), so I'm learning.
    I also reduced the amount of make up I put on. I don't get embarrassed by only some eyeliner and mascara and lipgloss (for me that was almost like nog make up).
    I love make up. I do look fine without it I think, but I just like being creative with it.
    And it does give something extra, it's a habit.

    It's like when I'm half way to work in the car and realise I forgot to put in my earrings or something.
    It feels akward, I kinda feel nude,... Until last year I would have gone back to get them, even if that meant being late at work.
    Now, I'm getting better at it. You know, when one of my close collegeaus said (after working together for 7 monhts!!!) 'hey, you have a nose piercing?!', I was like...'okay, people obviously don't even notice the make up, the accessories, ... that much' :)

  17. I wear a full face of makeup EVERY day, even if I'm not leaving the house. I can't go without it. It would be like going without clothes. The only time I don't have makeup on is when I'm sleeping or sick, or maybe if I'm going to the beach/pool (even in the latter case, I'd still put on some minimal product, like a lip/cheek tint and waterproof mascara.)