I fell in love with makeup around the time of middle school. Growing up, I would ask for $50 mascaras from Yves Saint Laurent for Christmas, spend my gift cards on Mac foundations, and was a dedicated follower of makeup tutorials and reviews on Youtube. As a dancer and figure skater, makeup was introduced to me at a young age, but I wasn’t really allowed to wear it on a daily basis until I got to high school. I loved playing around with different eyeshadow colors and learning about the beauty industry. At one point in time, I even had a metal trunk to store all of my products in, and would bring the entire thing if we were leaving the house for a night (excessive, but true!).
So why have I stopped wearing makeup for the past year? Here are 5 of the main reasons:
As a senior in college, where I majored in environmental science, I wrote a sociology paper on fast fashion. I have always been a big-picture thinker, but delving into the topic in such a detailed manner really got me thinking about where the things I used in my daily life came from. I had already become more and more conscious about where my food came from, as well as my clothing, but what about the other products that I used every day? Most makeup, from foundations to mascaras, actually contain a whole slew of harmful ingredients. Not only did I not want to be purchasing and slathering these on my face every day, but I also started to wonder what kind of impacts these toxins had on the people who created them, the environment where they were disposed, and the animals they were (potentially) tested on.
Our skin is our largest organ. It absorbs what we put on it, and therefore any toxins from makeup could potentially be absorbed into our blood stream. I used to apply foundations at least once- sometimes twice, or even three times- a day. This means I was exposing my face to harmful products multiple times a day, which was not the best way to treat my body if I wanted it to be healthy. I also never had the best skin. It was never the worst either, but I would typically have some sort of blemish on any given day and maybe some dry patches as well. I finally realized that by covering these up with more pore-clogging concealers and foundations, I was only making the problems worse.
Makeup takes up a lot of time. I actually used to really enjoy this time, where I could think about the day and spend those few moments “taking care of myself”(or was I really doing that by rubbing harmful ingredients all over my skin?). Not wearing makeup allows for more time to do real pampering, like wearing a natural face mask, meditating, or even getting a few extra minutes of sleep.
I no longer spend hundreds of dollars a year on makeup. Which means I have more money for whatever else I want- travel, school, food, etc.
This is the main reason why I stopped wearing makeup on a daily basis. I’m not 100% against makeup, because I know how much fun it can be. I think it’s wonderful that such a creative past time can enhance a person’s confidence or add flair to a performance. What I don’t agree with is how our society views the relationship between women and girls and makeup. I know that at one point in my life, I was incredibly dependent on makeup and felt like I couldn’t leave the house without it because I wasn’t pretty enough. My confidence wasn’t enhanced by makeup, it relied on makeup. I don’t think that is healthy for anyone. However, I think this was reinforced by the way our society views makeup. I think a lot of people will judge a woman for not wearing makeup and think that she is being lazy and didn’t care to put any effort in, when in reality, they have no idea why she decided not to wear it on any given day. Our society puts so much value on appearances that people might even treat a woman with makeup nicer than a woman without makeup simply because they look different. I know that makeup isn’t at fault here, that it’s people who need to change their perspective, but I choose to lead by example on this one and fight the stereotype that a successful woman “needs” to wear makeup.
So, does this mean I will never wear makeup again? Of course not. I am always interested in makeup brands that choose more natural, healthy ingredients and may decide to wear it again in the future. However, I refuse to accept the judgement that goes along with it. People can judge me all they want for my bare face, it’s their own problem! They are the ones who are choosing to have a negative perspective. For now, I have accepted how I look with no makeup on my face, and feel great for doing it. I’ve also chosen to nourish my skin and fix issues at the root of the problem, rather than covering them up with unhealthy products. Hopefully more people will begin to realize that every face is beautiful, with or without makeup, and that success shouldn’t be judged by a person’s appearance.
Peace, love, & a happy weekend,