How often do you go without makeup? I mean, sure, we all sit around and Netflix sans product, but what about actually going out in public without it? How often do you do that? Well, I didn’t wear makeup for two weeks, and you know what — it wasn’t half bad. I’ll be honest (because I mean, why not? I’m already stripping down to a bare face for you guys), when I first signed up for going makeup-free, I had mixed emotions about it. I had no problem going out in public without it a little more than I’m used to, but I thought, “Two weeks? That seems like a long time.”
What if for some reason I wanted to wear makeup in the two-week time frame? Well, the simple answer was, I wasn’t going to let myself. No matter how much I wanted to. Since I do like to wear makeup from time to time, this was probably a good test for myself. What would it be like to go makeup-free more often? Why do I prefer to wear makeup most of the time when I go out in public anyway?
As you can see, I definitely had some self-exploration to do. And now that I’m all done with this fresh-faced experiment, I can honestly say that we should all devote some more time to thinking about and evaluating our beauty habits every so often. So, here's what happened when I went makeup-free!
Day 1: A Fresh Start
Since I wasn’t going to be putting any products on my face for two whole weeks, I decided to really focus on skincare, which is something I should definitely do more often. I started out the experiment getting my face good and clean with a Glossier face mask, while rocking some fabulous leopard pajamas, as you can see.
Let’s talk about my typical makeup habits, now, shall we? I do like to cover any blemishes and/or dark circles with concealer and powder, just to make sure I have an even complexion. I will also put on mascara and sweep some brow product on, but that’s pretty much it for my daily look.
Depending on if I’m getting really dressed up or not, I may also do my eyes and lips, but that’s not a necessity for me. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself any kind of expert in applying makeup. I don’t know how to contour properly (who does?), and overall, I keep things pretty simple.
Day 2: Going Out In Public
Today I ventured out of my house without makeup for the first time during the trial period. I went to Starbucks to get some work done, and no one said a word about the fact that I wasn’t wearing makeup. I’m sure people hardly even noticed. As I typed away and sipped on my Latte Macchiato I thought to myself, “This isn’t so bad.”
In the picture taken before I left for Starbucks, you may notice my freckles, the bump I have on my forehead as well as two small scars near my mouth. The freckles and the bump I can’t explain — skin, right? But, the scars have a story.
When I was eight, I was attacked by a dog while in a gas station, of all places. I didn’t know it at the time, but the dog was actually kept at the shop at night, as a form of security. He was a former police dog and was trained to attack. For some reason, he decided to go after me, and I’ve had to live with the scars ever since. I did have the option of getting plastic surgery (and technically still do, I suppose), but I chose to try and accept my scars rather than cover them up. They are a part of me now, for better or for worse.
The "accepting" process was easier said than done, of course, but honestly, I hardly even notice the marks the dog left behind anymore. Plus, I feel like my scars make me unique and remind me of what I can overcome, as cliché as that sounds.
Day 3: Fresh Faced Friday
On the third day of this experiment, I happened to be attending a birthday party for my boyfriend’s mom. This was the true test — how would I feel going to an intimate gathering (with some people I knew and some I didn’t) without makeup on?
To tell you the truth, I was kind of nervous about it. I mean, most of these people were used to seeing me with my face done up, so I worried they might comment on the fact that I was going bare-faced. Nothing was said about lack of product (whether they noticed or not), and the evening went great. That got me thinking about why I had been so nervous in the first place, and here's the conclusion I came to: I feel more comfortable with makeup on. I feel pretty and confident when I wear it. That’s not to say that I don’t feel like myself without it, but I’ll admit, I do enjoy wearing it.
I don’t feel pressured to wear makeup because “that’s what women do” or anything like that. I just happen to like how it plays up my facial features, and I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with that.
Day 4: Relaxed Saturday
I spent my Saturday working and relaxing. I did make time for a quick home workout (because who has time to go to the gym, am I right?). It was nice exercising without makeup, but that’s what I prefer anyways, because who cares what they look like at the gym?
It’s so much better for your skin to go makeup-free for a sweat sesh, so if you don’t do this already — I highly recommend it.
Day 5: Game Day
By the fifth day, this started feeling like less of a foreign concept to me. I also started to appreciate how little the people around me seemed to care. My boyfriend was happy about how much more quickly I got ready. He snagged the above photo of me while we worked at a coffee shop. I think it’s important to note that my boyfriend makes me feel beautiful with or without makeup, and we should all surround ourselves with people like that, whether we’re doing a no-makeup experiment or not!
Friends came over to watch the game later, and while I could care less about football, my boyfriend likes watching it. I was happy to hang out by the snacks and drinks and just enjoy visiting with friends. I realized that this was an important part of this experiment too — really noticing who makes me feel special when I'm totally bare-faced. Makeup or no, it’s nice to surround yourself with the people you care about and who care about you. That’s as big a part as feeling good about yourself as anything else, if you ask me.
Day 6: Bachelor Monday
I’m a huge fan of The Bachelor, so there’s no place I’d be on a Monday night besides curled up on the couch in front of the television. I take my "rest, relax and watch The Bachelor" time very seriously, so I geared up for three hours of “quality” reality TV by wearing my robe, pouring myself a glass of wine and rocking a fresh face.
This is an activity that I would normally do without makeup, and I think it’s important to have a few of those types of things in your life (no matter how much of a beauty product fanatic you are). I definitely enjoying my time without makeup, whether working out or watching TV in my comfy robe and PJs, even in my normal life, and I always like to designate times where I completely let my guard down.
Day 7: Pampering With Lush
Since I’m big into pampering myself in ways that don’t involve makeup lately, I took a trip to Lush Cosmetics to stock up on some skincare and hair products. I love the R&B Hair Moisturizer to use when I get out of the shower or any other time I’m styling my hair, really. And the brand has amazing face masks, so I went in to see what they’d recommend for my skin.
It was actually really nice to shop for beauty products without makeup on because the sales associates were really able to help me find something that worked with my skin type because they could see what I looked like bare-faced. The woman helping me even complimented my complexion, which makes a girl feel good, you know?
She recommended the Rosy Cheeks face mask for me. It has calamine powder and rose petals in it that are meant to soothe the skin and reduce any redness. Plus, it smells amazing. So, in the game of shopping for facial products with makeup vs. shopping for facial products without makeup, the score is 0-1.
Day 8: Working Girl
I wanted to take a quick work selfie on this day to give you a glimpse into what my day-to-day life is like. I spend a lot of time writing, and I’m so thankful to get to do what I love everyday. Writing is a great way to push you out of your comfort zone. For example, I would never have tried the whole two weeks makeup-free thing without my job, and it allowed me to explore myself in different ways than I would have otherwise.
Whether you’re a blogger for a living or not, keeping a diary or trying to write about how you see yourself is a great way to help you build confidence and deal with issues that you don’t want to talk to other people about.
If anyone is thinking of trying a no-makeup experiment for themselves, I recommend jotting down little notes about how you’re feeling each day to really get the most out of the process. It definitely helped me.
Day 9: Coffee Date
When your boyfriend’s a grad student, you make your way on to campus from time to time to see him in between classes, and that’s exactly what I did on day nine of this experiment. We met up to get a bite to eat, and then I stayed and had some coffee to get a little work done while he went to class. Another day, another coffee shop. Life of a writer, you know?
I must admit, I started feeling pretty comfortable without makeup by this time. I know nine days isn’t like a lifetime or anything, but I had gotten more and more used to not taking the time to put on makeup before going out, and when I did go out sans products, I didn't really think about the fact that I was going au naturel the way I did in the beginning.
Day 10: Glossier Day
When your Glossier package arrives but you know you can’t wear any type of makeup, you tell yourself, “This isn’t makeup. This, this is skincare.” All except for that perfecting skin tint, that is. I left that out of my routine until the end of the experiment, but everything else I dug right into!
Naturally, I took some time to try out Glossier’s new facial cleanser, along with spritzing the rosewater spray on after. It’s refreshing to use, and it’s good for your skin, so these are bound to be my new favorite additions to my mirror shelving unit.
It was nice giving myself a reprieve from makeup and some time to just really focus on my skin. It's something I want to take more time to do once I can apply makeup again, too. Kendall Jenner just recently opened up about how she focuses on skincare rather than other steps in the beauty process, and how it only takes her 10 minutes to get ready in the morning. Now, we can’t all be KJ, but I must be on to something here!
This extra time to care for my face was definitely the greatest thing to come out of this experiment so far, and it changed my beauty routine for the better because honestly, I should have been doing this all along.
Day 11: Dinner Out
Another public outing further pushed me to get comfortable without makeup. Honestly, I know it’s not the makeup that makes me feel good, but the way makeup changes my state of mind. When I wear it, I feel great, and now, I need to make sure I get used to feeling great with or without the makeup, because that’s the way we should all feel.
Nearly two weeks in, I figured out what the trick is — you have to carry yourself as if you’re wearing makeup even when you aren't. For me at least, it’s not how people treat me when I don’t wear makeup that makes me feel uncomfortable, it’s how I feel. And while it takes a little time, I think if you’re used to wearing product and then switch, you can eventually begin to feel just as good about yourself without it as you do with it.
Day 12: Facetime
I spent the twelfth day of this experiment relaxing and talking with my sister. Because we live in different states, it’s important for us to still talk constantly, so we see a lot of each other on screens, either through Skype or Facetime. I feel completely comfortable not wearing makeup around my family, and as I touched on earlier, it’s important to surround yourself with those who love and care for you no matter what. That rule applies whether you’re wearing makeup or not. Those are the people who will make doing an experiment of this kind much easier to get through. It’s important to know that you have people who love you and see you for your greatest attributes (besides how killer you are at that winged liner).
Day 13: Car Selfie
I took a quick car selfie to show off my fresh face on day 13 of the experiment. I spent the day running errands, which included donating a pair of shoes I wasn’t planning on wearing anymore. This experiment definitely made me consider what I could do to help other people, because it reminded me of a very important lesson: beauty is so much more than skin deep.
Day 14: Woke Up Like This
I thought it would be fitting to take yet another selfie for the last day of the experiment. I woke up and took this photo first thing. A new day and a fresh face. This day started out the same as the rest of the days in the experiment. I didn’t apply makeup, just had a good face wash to get me going. The only difference was, I knew this was the last day I'd be obligated not to put on any products. I was pretty excited to have that choice once again. I know that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t wear makeup or if I do. It’s completely up to me and what makes me feel comfortable.
I’ll still wear makeup from time to time, but it’s been nice to get way more comfortable doing things without makeup than I ever was before. Because a fresh face is just as good as a made-up face, any day of the week.
Day 15: Makeup
Here's a shot of me before applying makeup.
And here I am after.
As I put on makeup for the first time in 14 whole days, what stood out the me the most were my brows and lashes. They are more prominent with makeup on, and I like the way they look. My application this day consisted of: concealer, powder, mascara, brow pomade and rose colored lipstick. It was kind of weird seeing myself all done up because I had gotten so used to seeing myself without anything on, but I liked seeing a little more color on my face!
This experiment helped me embrace my natural self. The writing and the photographs were a huge part of the process. If you're thinking of trying this for yourself, I would definitely take selfies or have someone photograph you as well as write how you're feeling. I promise it'll boost your confidence and greatly help you the way it did me.
I learned that it's important to set aside time to really treat your skin because wearing makeup can really do a number on it. It's also great to make time for activities that you do without product such as hanging with friends, spending time with family, watching The Bachelor or shopping for skincare items. Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel special and giving yourself a break to just be you (without the extra step of makeup) can really feel good every once in a while.
The most valuable thing that I got out of this experiment by far is to always carry yourself with confidence. The only person who cares that you're not wearing makeup is you, so just go on and get over it, already. Because it really isn't a big deal at all.
Experiment or no, makeup or no, always remember this:
It's a note that was left for me in the shower, and it's something that I had to remember throughout the past two weeks. We all need to remind ourselves how loved we are from time to time, and maybe that will help us love ourselves all the more, because we're all beautiful just the way we are!
Images: Dario Ortega/Bustle (10); Augusta Statz/Bustle (7)