By Anastasia Burton
Make-up is beautiful and fun but can also be time–consuming and unhealthy for your skin, and your self-esteem, if worn every day. For the past week, I have refused to wear make-up as a challenge, to see how my skin would react to being bare. I must say, it was hard to say “no” to doing a fun eye look, and it was terribly tempting to hide my imperfections with some foundation and concealer, but I stayed strong. This is how seven days with my naked skin impacted on my life.
Day 1: I woke up early, the way I usually do, to give myself time to do my make-up and grab something to eat. That morning, I went over to my make-up desk and remembered my experiment. This made me a bit scared. I looked into the mirror and saw my hideous black under–eye bags and my red blotchy skin, plus a bright red pimple on my chin, before realizing that I would not be able to hide those imperfections. This made a slight dent in my self-esteem throughout the day; I found myself avoiding mirrors and I wanted to stay away from Snapchat. By the end of the day, I felt glad to finally be home to be ugly in peace.
Day 2: I decided to sleep–in a little longer since I no longer needed time for make-up (I was also afraid of the black under–eye). I found myself having more time to eat my breakfast without rushing out the door. I still felt an itch to hide my skin imperfections, and of course the anxiety was still there. But despite this, the day went smoothly; I enjoyed the fact that I could rub my nose and not rub off half of my make-up. I also enjoyed rubbing my eye and not having sparkles and mascara smudged all over my face.
Day 3: My skin looked healthier. The pimple cleared up on its own and my skin didn’t look as blotchy as usual. I felt fresh. I felt comfortable with just moisturizer on my face for the day, but I was still slightly concerned when I met with my boyfriend, in case he found me less attractive without make-up. I had a long day, with lectures that started at 9am and finished at 6pm, so I was just as happy that I could skip the make-up removing process before I went to bed.
Day 4: I enjoyed my extra hour of sleep with the absence of make-up application. I was less hungry throughout the day because I had enough time for a proper breakfast. My skin felt lighter and softer. I wasn’t worried as much about what other people thought of my appearance, however, I still felt like I was not at my best. Going make-up free also restricted me from socializing and going out.
Day 5: I was feeling completely normal. I felt accepting when I looked in the mirror and enjoyed my skin care routine, which now took less time and made my skin feel fresher. My friends and my partner had commented that I looked very cute without make-up and that I didn’t really need it. As basic as those compliments sounded, they did help me feel more confident in my naked skin.
Day 6: I finally plucked up the courage to go on a night out with no make-up on! It felt great to not worry about smudged lipstick and leaving lipstick marks everywhere. It felt nice to be able to go straight to bed after a long night without worrying about skin care before bed.
Day 7: I felt a sort of aversion to make-up. I still loved it, and was excited to play with my eyeshadow again, but I didn’t feel like I needed to do that to feel pretty. I went to work without make-up and went to all my meetings make-up free. My skin did improve, with most of my breakouts clearing up, and my face feeling more moisturized and freer. I felt more confident and beautiful naturally, rather than with artificial products packed on my face. I enjoyed the extra time of sleep and the earlier bedtime. I enjoyed laying on my partner’s chest and not leaving a big make-up print on his hoodie. I enjoyed giving people hugs without leaving highlight sparkles everywhere!
Overall, this was a challenging week, where I was faced with my own imperfections and learned how to embrace them. I learned how dependent I felt on make-up and that I really didn’t need it to feel prettier. I enjoyed all the spare time I had and the lack of wipes in my bin. Overall, it was a growing experience, and after that week, I find myself still avoiding make-up!