The day I discovered I didn’t need to wear makeup to feel pretty was a turning point in my life. I suppose for some it may feel like no big deal at all. For me, I can only describe it as completely freeing. And ironically, left me feeling prettier.
It all started with me having sessions with my therapist about boosting my self esteem. Yes, I see a therapist and am not in the least ashamed. Wanting to improve yourself is a good thing. As I was saying; my self esteem has never been on the high side, quite the opposite really. Lately I’ve been trying very hard to like myself more and it’s a work in progress.
At some point my therapist brought up an observation that she’s never seen me come in without makeup. I immediately explained that I wear it every day. That I had been wearing it practically every day for at least a decade or more. And why was that? I didn’t feel pretty without it. It was no big deal. Just eye makeup.
Over the next few days, out of pure curiosity, I observed other women to see if they also wore makeup. The moms at school drop off, women of all ages at the grocery store, basically any and every woman I saw. I discovered two surprising facts. First, I’d say at least 80% of all the women I saw did not have makeup on. And second, I realized it wasn’t something I noticed before then, one way or the other.
For some reason I had been under the impression that most women wore makeup daily. And I guess it surprised me to see that most didn’t feel the need. What surprised me more was that it wasn’t something I ever noticed before. And the fact that I didn’t notice made me realize that most other people also probably didn’t notice. To break that down further; I wasn’t under the microscope I thought I was. This was a huge deal for me.
It was in that moment I decided to try it out for myself. The next day I left putting on makeup out of my morning routine. It felt strange. It even gave me anxiety. When I looked at myself in the mirror all ready to go, sans makeup, I looked so odd. Almost naked. I realized I also felt naked.
However, after dropping my daughter at school and actual people seeing me, the world didn’t end. It spun the same as it always did. No one pointed and laughed or seemed to notice any change. More interesting still, my husband didn’t say anything to me about the lack of makeup.
I decided to go another day without it, and then another. I liked how much less time I needed to get ready. I liked that I didn’t HAVE to put it on. I realized my rigid routine wasn’t engraved in stone. I was the only one forcing me to do it. I was the only one making me think I had to; me.
After about a week I absolutely loved not wearing makeup. I felt free from the feeling of needing it. Free from the routine. Free to rub my friggen eye any time I had a damn itch. I looked in the mirror and saw me. The real me. I realized the makeup actually fueled the thought that I wasn’t pretty without it.
The longer I went without it, the more clear it became that I looked fine without it. In fact, I started to actually like the way I looked. It was after finding I felt truly comfortable without it that I decided to tell my husband of my discovery. He hadn’t even noticed I stopped wearing makeup. Not over the whole week. After 7 years together with my makeup eyes. That sealed the deal for me.
Now I’m not saying I will never wear it again, or that it’s bad to use it. What is bad is thinking you NEED to use it. Letting it define you. Feeling like your face doesn’t deserve to see the light of day without it. We are all beautiful women. We don’t need makeup to tell us that. And it’s that understanding that is truly a gift.