Preparing for the No-Makeup Challenge

Sunday, Sept. 8Image

Okay, I’m gearing up for this challenge, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the guts to do it fully. Yes, I’ve gone a day here or a day there sans makeup (like when I was in the hospital having a baby, or when I’ve been struck down with the flu), but there really haven’t been all that many times when I’ve braved the great big world looking like…well, me!

I love makeup, I do! I love how it makes me look and feel. But sometimes I feel so trapped by this routine, and this way of thinking. That, without my makeup, I look horrible. That, without makeup, people won’t like me. Without makeup, I feel too self-conscious. But, with two daughters, I want to show them (and myself) that as much as I love my makeup, I don’t actually need it to feel beautiful.

This is not going to be easy. I may cry. I may not leave my house. Where I used to walk my kids to their classrooms and enjoy the chit chat of fellow moms, I may just drop them off at the curb and drive home in my large sunglasses and baseball cap and hide out with my 8 month old daughter inside all day. But, the fun part will be to see how I feel when faced with this challenge, and if anything changes over the course of the month.

Yes, I’m going to go a full month with no makeup! Well, that’s the plan, at least. I will try not to chicken out.

What else brought this on? Well, like many families, our income is a bit of a rollercoaster. Some months I’m out getting my hair done, and buying new clothes, buying new pots and pans, living carefree. Other months, I’m making my family hate pasta because that’s all I’ve cooked all week. Going to the store to just buy milk. Seriously. Just milk. Not milk plus a hundred other things we “need”. So, as my department store makeup supply is running low, and it’s too painful to go shell out the cash that it would take to re-up on everything I “need”, I’ve decided to take a little break from it.

What do I need? Well, there’s the face wash that removes the makeup ($19.50), the toner to remove anything the wash leaves behind ($22.50), the face lotion ($25), the face serum that is supposed to smooth out complexion ($76), eyeliner ($16), mascara ($16)…yea that’s about it for now. Wait, I’ve been out of eye cream ($50) for months too! And yes, not all of this is “makeup” persay, it’s “skincare”, but still, you get the drift. This doesn’t include the makeup I haven’t run out of: concealer/foundation ($33), powder ($23), face wash that you use after you use the face wash that takes off the makeup ($16.50), eyeshadow ($20), and blush ($21). And the brand I buy isn’t expensive by department store standards, but still, I’d be looking at roughly…$175 for the stuff I need now, and $338.50 (not including tax).

Um, that’s kind of a lot, isn’t it? So, today is the last day that I will look “decent”, according to my own standards, and those which I feel society has programmed me to believe in by watching shows like TLC’s What Not to Wear and the other make-over shows out there that convince us that our worth lies in how we look.

I am in no way saying I will never wear make-up ever again, or that every woman who chooses to wear makeup should feel ashamed of herself, or that women who choose not to wear makeup should be hiding out under big sunglasses and hats. But this is an experiment for myself that I wanted to share with whoever cares to read along. What do I hope to accomplish by doing this? Well, saving money for one, and more importantly, I would like to see if my perspective on beauty (first and foremost my own) changes as I get used to looking at myself without the layers of makeup (my security blanket) and even when this is over and I go back to my old self, wearing makeup daily whether or not I leave the house, I would like to be more accepting of myself sans makeup and not feel afraid to let myself be seen au natural, instead of letting that idea invoke a sense of fear and panic inside.

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