I challenged myself to go bare-faced for a week

For around the past five years, I’ve not left my house without some form of makeup on my face. It started with just some mascara; then it became mascara with a little eyebrow makeup. As the years passed, I added eyeliner, concealer and eyeshadow to the routine. And as time has passed and I’ve added to my morning routine, I’ve become more and more unwilling to be seen without my makeup on. I feel bare without it. To some extent, it’s become a sort of safety blanket that I take out with me. So I challenged myself to go a week living as usual with one important exclusion – my makeup.

The first two days were over the weekend which meant I was inside all day, both days. With the exception of a quick visit to the grocery store, I didn’t leave my room. So while I didn’t really worry about other people seeing me without makeup, I definitely felt different. My makeup is the first thing I do in the morning when I get up. When I excluded it from my morning routine, the first two days felt like they never really started. I had this feeling that I hadn’t gotten ready yet even though I was dressed and out of bed.

The next few days were where this experiment was really going to kick in. I had several classes over the weekdays that meant a large number of people who normally see me with makeup would see me without it. I was expecting people to take notice; perhaps not with a huge reaction, but maybe mention the fact that I wasn’t wearing any. But no one said anything, which made it a lot easier to be comfortable without any on.

The first thing I noticed about going makeup-less was how I was both acutely aware and unaware of it at the same time. I was aware in the sense that I knew I could touch my face or rub my eyes without worrying, but I was unaware of it in terms of insecurity. My biggest worry going in was that I would feel immensely insecure without my makeup. But going through the week, unless I saw my reflection I didn’t pay it any attention.

Would I continue to live on like this without makeup? Probably not. While I wasn’t truly bothered, I didn’t feel at my best. I felt lazy and like I hadn’t gotten ready for the day without going through my morning makeup routine. And while it felt odd to return to putting makeup on, it was somewhat a relief.

But on the other hand, I’m not opposed to going makeup-less again. It saves me time in the morning and gives my skin a nice break from pore-clogging products. All in all, I think it’s a great challenge if you’re someone like me who’s worn makeup every day for years. So I pass the challenge on to you: can you go a week without makeup?

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