The Less Makeup Challenge
As a preteen, I could not wait to wear makeup.
I wasn't even thirteen yet, but I asked my parents for years, "When can I wear makeup?" They told me not yet, they told me to wait until I was older. Finally, when I was about thirteen years old, I started wearing makeup and never looked back.
It started small - lip gloss and mascara. Soon I was wearing eye shadow and eyeliner. I never wore a lot of makeup, and I didn't even start wearing foundation until I was almost twenty. Still, I hated leaving the house without makeup. It became something that was more than just a part of my routine. I was embarrassed to be seen without makeup. Even after becoming a mom, I let my hair and my eyebrows go crazy for a few months, but I rarely left the house without makeup.
Then I saw a picture of Alicia Keys.
I never knew who she was. I had heard of her, and I had listened to some of her songs on the radio but I never pay much attention to celebrities. I remember hearing about Alicia's decision to stop wearing makeup, and I thought it was great. Then, almost a whole year after she was in the news for her initial decision to stop wearing makeup, I saw a picture of her with the cast of The Voice, and she stood out to me.
She was the most beautiful person in that picture.
I was completely floored by her stunning beauty. Her skin looked beautiful and clean. Her face wasn't covered in glitter and makeup. Her joy shined brightly in her eyes and smile.
Makeup started to change for me after I saw that picture. I started to feel a little ridiculous every time I put on full makeup. I began putting on less makeup every day. Coincidentally, I needed to replace my foundation and eyeliner, but instead I decided to stop wearing it. I decided that if Alicia Keys didn't need to wear makeup, then I didn't either.
I was okay with only wearing eye shadow and mascara for a couple months. Some days were difficult, but other days I just didn't feel like me. Finally, I had a rough morning and felt icky. I thought I looked ugly and tired. I cried and felt sorry myself. That afternoon, I bought some new makeup. I felt like me again.
When I originally wrote this post, I ended it with something like, "I don't need makeup to feel beautiful, blah blah blah." I imagined myself months later with clear, glowing skin and confidence to match.
After actually trying to wear less makeup, however, I have come to a different conclusion.
If makeup helps you feel beautiful, wear it. If it doesn't, don't wear it. Do what makes you happy and what makes you feel like you. I am going to try to do the same, and for me that means wearing pretty makeup.