Saturday, 12 November 2016

Giving Up Make Up


As a twenty-year-old girl, makeup is something that has become pure habit in my daily routine. Part of getting ready for class, dinner, brunch, parties or just about everywhere except for the gym and bed has involved some degree of help from concealer and mascara in the very least.

However, a few weeks ago, as my skin flared up rather badly, I decided to try and detox my face, let it breathe and watch what happened.

Now, as far as makeup goes, even when I am wearing some form of coverage, I don't wear a whole lot. Concealer, foundation or tinted moisturizer, mascara - maybe some bronzer if it's nighttime. That's about it, i'll hardly ever wear eyeliner, and I don't know that I've ever really applied any eyeshadow or crazy lip colors unless they've been part of a costume.

Nonetheless, the task of not putting anything on my face was frightening - this requires confidence from the best of us, especially when our skin is mid-breakout. And it was hard - it was challenging in a number of ways.

I felt vulnerable, and more than that, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was convinced - despite knowing that it was irrational - that every single person that saw me was thinking about how bad my skin was. Yet, the sad thing was that despite my knowing that this was irrational, it was actually only irrational to a degree - sitting in classes beside other girls who were looking as flawless as every other day almost did create an immediate contrast between me and the girl next to me, so greatly so that I was sure even the kindest person who wouldn't be looking for flaws in me would have them shoved in her face.

Perhaps I was right - perhaps that's exactly what was going on. But perhaps not - we'll never know.

For around two weeks straight I avoided makeup altogether, applying mascara just twice for outings and dinners with friends. And whilst it was challenging each and every day, it was also the best thing I could've done - not for my skin, but for me.

Without makeup as a shield and generator of self-confidence, I was forced to find confidence in myself - in who I am as a person. I was forced into trusting that good, kind-hearted people wouldn't care what I looked like, and that these were the only people I wanted to attract throughout my life.

I was forced to realize that I had, without knowing it, become dependent upon feeling good in how I look, and that the tiny moment of applying concealer and mascara each morning was not nearly as small as i'd assumed - it was huge. It changed me far more than I'd care to admit, even now.

Yet it was through being forced into acknowledging these realities; avoiding bathroom mirrors during classes purely so that I wouldn't let my mood be affected multiple times a day, was one thing - but getting to a point where I could look in the mirror without feeling sad - a point where I could be happy with my natural state - that was the real triumph.

Because I am - I am happy with me, no makeup, nothing needed.

This isn't because I have perfect skin or amazing features or won the genetic lottery - it's simply because I trained myself into loving my own beauty.

I will wear makeup - I have. When I go out, or simply on the rare day that I decide I want to wear something just because, I do. And it's not a big deal either way. The only difference - yet, a massive difference, is that now I truly wear makeup for me, rather than simply telling myself that I did.

I want to challenge every single one of you to go a week without makeup - no matter what events or excuses many pop up. Go out - go out without makeup. Even those of you who don't think you need to do this, because you're not reliant upon makeup for confidence - prove it. I think you'll surprise yourself, in all the best and most necessary ways.

You've got nothing to lose, but you have a whole lot of internal, authentic love to gain.
Go for it, and don't look back!

Love,
Annabel





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