Friday, August 1, 2014

No-Makeup Month

July turned out to be a No-Makeup month by accident.

I’d heard about other people doing No-Makeup months for a variety of reasons; to improve their skin, to experience the social impacts, or lack therof, to save money, to improve self-confidence etc. Me, I love makeup. Both everyday makeup and fantasy creations. It’s a paint, and skin is a pallet for me, and I’ve never felt particularly addicted or bound to it. I simply enjoy it.

There’s a social hostility between women on the subject of makeup. Some people feel that makeup is a man’s tool to control women. Others feel that it’s a societal tool to ensure conformity to conventional standards of beauty. Some feel liberated when they ‘buck the system’ and go au naturel. Colbie Caillet has a beautiful new song and video about loving yourself without all the makeup and styling.

Like I said, I didn’t wear makeup in July, and it started out as an accident, and then became something I wanted to finish. I’ll caveat this by saying that yes, I did wear lipstick and lipstain because well, I don’t really own any clear ones. Accident, you say? How so? Let me tell you.

The month started off with a heat wave. I don’t wear makeup in a heat wave because frankly, I don’t see the point of spending an hour painting my face to have it all sweat off by lunch. Nope. Then, I took a multi-day camping trip; no makeup, after which I spent a Sunday doing a friend’s makeup. After which, I promptly left my makeup in the car, then in the living room, and it never made it back into my bedroom until the day I needed to pack it to go do another makeup session for another friend.

It was somewhere in the middle of all of that when I realized I hadn’t worn any makeup in a few weeks, and I might as well just carry it through the end of the month.

And, I’ll be honest, I really enjoyed the extra 45 minutes of sleep I was getting every morning. Sleep is amazing. I’m am so sorry for the awful things I said about naptime when I was a kid.

What lessons did I learn?

1)     My skin didn’t really change in any way, which speaks highly of the makeup I’d been using. But I’m pretty cautious about what I put on my skin, and if I start to breakout or get redness or blackheads, I stop right away. I DID, however, notice that I felt drier, which I’m going to chalk up to the fact that in addition to no makeup, I also wasn’t applying my daily primer/moisturizer. I could have made a better choice there.

2)    Interestingly, my social world didn’t notice when I stopped with makeup. Yes, the first couple of days I was asked ‘are you alright? You look a bit pale’, but those comments faded quickly. No one commented that I wasn’t wearing makeup (but then, I do work with a lot of guys), but I did receive a lovely compliment regarding ‘I love your au naturel look today!’ towards the end of the month.

3)    Even my basic makeup routine takes up quite a bit of time in the morning. Anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the day. That’s about 5 hours a week doing makeup.

4)    Though I’m comfortable without it, I still prefer wearing makeup.

So what happens now that we’re in August? Well, it’s August 1st, and I don’t have makeup on. Tomorrow, we’ll see. 

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