What Going Makeup-Free Taught Me…

It was a little over a year ago that I decided to challenge myself to do the impossible: to go without makeup.

Ever since I started wearing makeup, I had never gone a day without it. In fact, it began to turn into an addiction, where I couldn’t even fathom the idea of going out into the world without makeup on. Without it, I felt exposed and not pretty enough. I never let anyone see my bare, makeup-free face; the thought alone would make me go into a panic.

I remember talking to a friend about my need for makeup one day. As we were talking about it, I remember saying that I would rather go outside and have people find me wearing the most ridiculous outfit or see my hair in a mess than go without makeup. But after the conversation, it made me think about my use of makeup and why I was so concerned with the idea of having people see my bare face. Was I that insecure about my looks, my face?

So as I was getting ready to start my last year of college, I decided to make the leap and go makeup-less permanently. After all, I was starting a new school year with new people, and was meeting my new staff as a Resident Advisor. Suffice to say, there was a lot of new people in my life, and what better way to start out my new challenge and journey than with a group of people that wouldn’t know me any other way than without a plain face?

On my very first day without makeup, I felt so insecure. As people were talking to me, I was consumed by thoughts of ‘Are they looking at me? Like really looking at me? What if they think I’m not pretty? What do they see? All the little imperfections everywhere? The uneven skin, the overly red cheeks, the small blemishes?’. I was finding it hard to look into other people’s eyes with the thought of me being makeup-free.

After the first day, I had felt so exposed to the world, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to bear it. As I woke up the next day, I reached for my makeup, unable to do it again; not wanting to face the world with my bare face. But I forced myself to put down the makeup and not wear it for yet another day. And then I forced myself to do it again the next day. And the next day. And the day after that.

As the days went by, I became more comfortable with being makeup-free; and before you knew it, I actually felt confident with my appearance and without makeup. In fact, I was able to get to the point where I didn’t really want to wear makeup anymore. I actually felt more comfortable without it.

Even when my mother would ask me why I wasn’t wearing makeup, I would tell her that I enjoyed not having makeup on and felt confident enough to go without it. After all, it was the real me, and if I appreciated me just the way I was, then others could too.

Ever since then, I rarely wear makeup, and prefer to be without it. If I ever wear it, it’s only for very specific instances, and I usually can’t wait to remove it.

In my year long adventure of breaking the makeup habit, I have found that it doesn’t really matter what others think of my appearance. Moreover, I shouldn’t have to fear people seeing the true and real me. I only need to focus on me, not what others think beautiful is. Being makeup-free made me feel free.

It’s not to say that makeup is bad thing. What matters most is that you do what makes you comfortable and confident. Don’t cater to what others think; do it for yourself. Because you are worth it. And remember…you are beautiful no matter what.

Emily Veith

Emily has her bachelor's degree in Political Science, and has always believed in helping and serving others. She wants to make the world a better place, and aspires to be a politician someday to do just that. She is an old soul who loves Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Glenn Miller. When she isn't writing about imperative news- and political-related, she can be found attempting new recipes, playing her guitar or reading a good mystery book.

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