why i don't wear makeup

Warning - this is going to be a bit of a rant...

via weheartit

I haven't worn makeup much at all in the past year. In fact, I can only remember wearing it on two or three occasions. People think this is odd. I get comments, whenever it comes up in conversation. And whoever I'm talking to will share it with their friend next to them - "Oh, Karen, Maria here doesn't wear makeup. Isn't that great? Wish I could do that". People tend to think I do it (or don't do it, rather) because I think I can get away with it. Which is not at all true. I go without makeup because I don't like what makeup does to people.

Putting aside the risks involved with routinely caking your face in toxins, the thing I really don't get about wearing makeup is this - since when was my face not good enough to show to the world? At what point, between childhood and adulthood, did it become socially unacceptable for me to just rock up as is? My face. As is. My face.

Men do it all the time. Children do it all the time. But women? Hilary Clinton does a speech sans makeup and it makes it as a news story. No bull.

We send girls to school in the hope they may become empowered women who live a meaningful life. We preach acceptance, self esteem, self love, yet we push them out the school gate with a makeup bag in tote, with a note attached reading 'wear this because you don't look good enough as you are'.

Yes, even ancient Egyptians wore cosmetics, but they did it regardless of gender and for reasons very different to those applied today. Apart from believing eye makeup could ward off infections, they also believed cosmetics had magical powers. I've known women who wouldn't go to the local milk bar without "putting their face on". This is what saddens me. There are women out there who don't believe they should be seen as they really are, because they believe 'as they really are' isn't good enough. Which really is a deeply saddening thing.

I won't lie - it took me a while to get used to my face without makeup. At first, I hated looking in the mirror. Until I decided I was being ridiculous and that my face is my face. "So here it is folks. Here it is." That said, I still have days, when the bags under my eyes are particularly enormous, or blemishes have had a party on my chin, when I question if my sans makeup routine is getting a little old. Until I remember what makeup does to people.

Okay, rant over. I promise I won't rant again.

Tell me though, do you wear makeup everyday? What would it take for you to stop?


33 comments:

  1. I only wear makeup for special occasions, I don't wear it because I hate the feel on it on my skin, I hate feeling like I am wearing a mask and I feel more self conciouse because I am worrying about if it's smudges or rubbed off or run.

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  2. I didn't wear makeup for YEARS. In fact, I didn't even wear it to my own wedding. That, I would do differently. But overall, I grew up in a home where it was discouraged until you were older, so it was never an issue for me. But then, when I was on my own, I didn't know how to wear it because I had never been taught. I would wear it off and on, but I always felt like a clown when I did wear it. A few people have tried to teach me over the years, but it wasn't until last year that I started wearing it every day. For me, it IS a self esteem issue. But until last year, I was largely over weight. After loosing 70+ pounds, I wanted to look my best in every way so I started wearing makeup. But I'm not religious about it. I wear it to work and on dates with the hubs. I don't hurry and slather it on if I have to go to the store cause I just ran out of milk. I also ONLY wear eye makeup. No lipstick and no foundation. And I don't check myself in the mirror all day long. I used to work with a gal that had to check her makeup just after drinking water. Ya, not that seroius about it. I know its a self esteem thing for me, but I think it just helps me more appreciate all the weight loss I achieved.

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  3. I stopped wearing makeup regularly just this year and it was a big transition for me. I now only wear it on very special occassions, but even some nights when I go out, I feel like some outfits call for LESS makeup ha. I have struggled with self esteem problems for years and still do, but I think toning down the makeup is helping me accept myself for who I am. Also, I love not spending so much money on the really expensive toxin-free makeup ha not wearing it so much has saved me heaps of money. I do get comments from the girls at work because they all wear heavy makeup, but I have learned to just smile and brush it off :)

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  4. Much like Savannah, my mother only wore makeup on special occassions and it was discouraged until you were older. I can't even remember very many of my high school peers wearing much either. I started dabbling a bit when I was 19, but just the mascara and eye shadow mainly, with some powder for the face. I'd also always been concerned about clogging my pores with the stuff and letting my skin breath.

    I still hold the same attitude towards make-up. It shouldn't be encouraged in young girls for many of the reasons you mentioned Maria, and I'm ever so glad that most primary schools that I've worked at, have a policy against or frown very heavily upon young girls who show up at school with the stuff on their faces.

    Another 2 great reasons to only wear it occassionally - you feel that much extra special when you DO wear it, and it saves a ton of money!

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  5. This post is fantastic, I was wondering if I was the only person who doesn't wear make-up! About 3 years ago I developed health problems and had to totally change my lifestyle and diet. I stopped wearing make-up because I hate the way it feels on my face, and like you, I don't believe that women should feel the need to change their appearance everyday. I have clear skin and prefer how I look without it. I only wear it to special occasions, and then it's only a little eye make-up, I don't own foundation or bronzer. I tend to think most people look better without it now, and I try to reassure my friends who feel like they need to wear it whenever they're in public, that they in fact, look great naturally.

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  6. Hear hear! I only wear makeup one or two days a week. Only a few years ago I'd routinely put makeup on each and every day without thinking there was an alternative. So wrong!

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  7. I actually look quite ill and miserable (partly due to my deep eye sockets and dark circles - and of course because of my underweight)- unfortunately it is my experience that this doesn't stir compassion or gentle consideration at all - quite the opposite!!! So I'm one of the girls who dare not step outside without putting teir mask on (and perfectionistically so!. I really feel much more comfortable and secure with it - and not as easily embarrassed - than without. Actually it can even have the effect that I FEEL healthier when I LOOK healthier! Despite knowing that it's only Makeup!! It is really amazing how you can alter your face with makeup - I really enjoy to play with it and try different effects etc. - but I also do thoroughly enjoy every rare occasion OUTSIDE the city where I need not care AT ALL ... !!!

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  8. Thanks for all your comments, all terrific ones. I don't so much have a problem with using a little natural eyeliner to highlight eye shape, for instance, I just hate the thought of feeling like you need to cover your face with makeup to look good - natural beauty is about feeling beautiful from within, it's a whole different mindset I think. P.S I'm still working on it myself!

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  9. Hardly ever wear make up. If I think i look tired I might put some mascara on but mainly it's just me and my bare face and I have no problem with that!!

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  10. Such an interesting post :) I have actually just had about 3 years off make up. At first it was because, as a student, I couldn't afford decent stuff, and then it became a principle thing. However, as my self esteem plummeted over the years, and I actually dreaded looking in the mirror, I've somewhat changed my perspective on things. I now wear subtle make up daily, for myself. I feel genuinely better about myself when I do, and it makes me a more confident person, rightly or wrongly. My fiancée would prefer if I didn't wear any, but as I said, it's for me. I'm happy with my decision at the moment, but things may change in the future! My next challenge is deciding what to do about my increasingly greying hair - I'm only 26! To dye or not to dye?!

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    1. Ah, the hair dye question... I'm not sure what I'll do when I get to that point either!

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    2. There are some really lovely colours available with henna & natural herbs, mixed together. I find henna to be a good natural hair conditioner. When I dye my hair with it, which is only 3 - 4 times a year, it feels moisturised & looks glossy. I go for a colour that is not to dissimilar to my own so I don't have to rush to re-colour as soon as I get some re growth. At some point I see myself stopping this & going with my natural hair colour. I'm lazy when it comes to hair, makeup & all things that require making myself up.

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  11. I've never been a big wearer of make up but in the last 6 months or so I've basically stopped wearing it - and love it! Definitely relate to being able to show my "true" face, and my boyfriend LOVES it when I don't wear any make up.

    What's more, I often get commented on how "fresh-faced" I look!My skin is certainly thanking me for not piling it with toxins :)

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    1. Mine too Zoe, my skin has been the best it's been since I was 12!

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  12. Actually I LOVE make-up! I'm not a very artistic person, but I love the creative challenge of doing my make-up to match an outfit or simply to change the way I look. I find it immensely satisfying. I'd be interested to know from people who don't wear it every day if they feel they're treated as less of a professional at work? I know a friend who hates make-up and who now wears it every day for work - she said she did feel she was treated more seriously with it on, even though she works in a creative profession. (But yes, I hate what it does to my skin - I just went travelling for six months make-up-free and my skin was MUCH better.)

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    1. Hi Hannah, I've never felt I've been treated differently at work because I go without makeup. Others working for more corporate organisations may have had a different experience though...

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  13. I admire you! I so wish I could be confident enough to go without makeup every day. Maybe one day I will. Unfortunately thanks to my genetics I always have dark circles under my eyes, which are usually always paired with extra baggage due to being a shift worker with messed up sleeping patterns! Even WITH makeup on I still rarely feel good about how I look, it's pretty sad really. Hopefully my changing of job situations in the near future will mean I'll get a lot more sleep and feel a little more confident to go fresh faced :)

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    1. Thank you. I do have to reiterate how uncomfortable I felt without makeup when I first ditched it... I hated hated looking in the mirror! But the longer I went without makeup, the better my skin condition got. And the more I liked my face without it.

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  14. Love this post Maria. I don't wear make-up either except for very rare occasions then its usually mascara, eyeliner and sometimes lipstick. I will admit to having a nail polish fetish though I try to stick to less toxic brands. I also wasn't allowed to wear makeup until I was older and by then I had no idea about how to go about it. Plus I live in the tropics so nothing seems to stay where you put it :) Does make you question why you bother at that point. I do get pleasure from seeing myself done up but it makes me uncomfortable too for exactly the reasons Maria said- what's wrong with me the rest of the time and why is this more acceptable. And why are we all seemingly struggling with self-esteem issues. We should be embracing how special we are.

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  15. RMS Beauty organic make up and KORA organics foundation! =)

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  16. I dont wear makeup.. sometimes when I go out but even then I am not wearing it then. I am thinking about some mascara but I really dont care about wearing it. Guys dont care. they really dont and if you dont look healthy makeup isnt going to cover this up. we waste so much money on makeup and getting made up for men and other women. I was in a wedding and the bridesmom asked if I was wearing makeup and I told her no and you could just see the disbelief in her face. I dont care. We are beautiful and no one needs make to feel that way. Dont buy into the brain washing.. all the covers all that its been photoshopped.... being confident, powerfull that is what makes someone attractive not the crap you cover your face with.

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  17. I loved this post!! I have never worn makeup a day in my life because a) it takes a ridiculous amount of time to do so, b) the thought of having my pores clogged with crap on a regular basis grosses me out, and c) God created my face exactly the way it was meant to be - why paint over a work of art?
    I wish more women would realize their faces are already beautiful works of art... they don't need to "cover up" or "enhance" anything. Confidence and beauty comes from the inside out!!

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  18. I am 15. I used to wear a ton of makeup (and not to mention extensions). so much powder and eyeliner and mascara and lipstick and eyeshadows, and a gillion tracks.
    But I saw what it did to me. To everyone else, I literally was not truly myself. What they thought was the real me, was all a mask. I looked so different without makeup that i was scared to let my family see me.I hated my true self, but at the same time i also hated the fact that i had to TRY to be what everyone else thought was really me.
    So one day, i quit.
    I thought; Why isn't my true self good enough?. It is. anyone who thinks they or i need to put makeup on to be good enough is jacked in the head. I feel like makeup is a lie.

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    1. Beautiful Anon, thanks for being so true.

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  20. This is truly amazing! I started to not wear makeup at the beginning of October 2012; which was around the time I decided to hang up my MUA hat. I made this choice because I noticed the havoc makeup was doing to my skin. The first few weeks were very tough. I cried just looking in the mirror at what my face had become. There were so many weak moments where I just wanted to say "The hell with it! I'm going to put on makeup to cover my ugly face." But after a good cry, I remembered why I did not want to wear makeup anymore.

    I did extensive research into the ingredients that we put on our skin. It is all garbage. Since when did our faces become a trash can?

    It is truly scary that the market for makeup is getting younger and younger. I am fearful for our future. We need to get past what the media says we need to look like and start taking care of our skin, our bodies and our minds. We don't need to put on any makeup to "feel beautiful." What we need to do is accept who we are as is and live in the moment. Learn to appreciate the beauty that you have right now. Learn to take care of yourself the right way; eat right, exercise and READ.

    My skin today is in much better shape because I do not wear makeup, drink as much water as I can and eat right. It has made a huge difference. I urge women, especially young girls, to stop punishing yourselves for the way you look and love yourself. You don't need makeup to be beautiful. YOU ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!

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    1. That is awesome Maria, truly truly awesome.

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  21. I Used to put alot of makeup on for school because i wasnt very confident.I thought if i put makeup on i would feel more confident in myself i did but i didnt like the feel of the makeup on my face my face became itchy from all the harmful chemiclas in the makeup so oneday i had enough of wearing it.So i thought why should i hide under makeup when i can show my true beauty my real self.It feels so good not wearing makeup and i notice now i dont dont get alot of pimples anymore.Society is so stuffed up these days they try to get across wearing makeup is beautiful than wearing no makeup but it isnt true.I wish everybody could just stop wearing makeup and show their real beauty

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  22. I stopped wearing makeup early 2012. I will never wear again. I do use powders once a while. and i think sunscreen is okay. moisturisers are compulsory, of course.

    But chemical makeups, not any more. I use rosehip seed oil, sea buckthorn or other natural oils as moisturizers.

    Sometimes , I add few drops of essential oils that are very good for the skin e.g lavender, 2 drops lemon in an ounce of my rosehip seed oil

    I have an almost flawless skin now. my dark patches are going, my facial lines are almost gone. This took about a year and half but I am very pleased.

    I dont use mascara, no eyeliner, no lipstick, no blush or eye shadows. Nothing to change my look. I am black and live in Nigeria

    Just a clear skin.

    Even ladies with acne prone skin can do this. it just take a study of your skin, your body , embracing your self and loving what God gave you.

    the celebrities and hollywood stars are lying to us, making us hate ourselves and spend a lot of our money while hating ourselves.

    I refuse to hate myself. I was determined to embrace myself though it was tough. I practically struggled with looking at myself in the mirror for weeks and weeks. I was like a stranger to myself.

    But now, I love it. and there is no going back. My self confidence is restored. And i want to encourage others.


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    1. Thank you so much for this encouraging comment! And yes God says we are beautiful in His eyes, we are perfectly wonderfully made :)

      Lots of love from NL

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  23. For me, makeup is fun and a way to express myself. If it looks or feels like a mask, you're doing it wrong or using the wrong products for your skin! My eyes are my best feature, so I love to emphasize them with contrasting eyeshadow. But on my face, I only wear light, moisturizing products like jojoba oil, BB cream and liquid highlighter and blush. I never wear foundation or powder - those products DO make me look and feel like I'm wearing a mask.

    I'm grateful my mom took me to the Clinique counter when I was 14, so I learned how to properly apply makeup from a young age. The purpose of makeup is to enhance your beauty, not detract from it.

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  24. Hi! I agree with you - I think that double standard is annoying...and hurtful to us women...If men are allowed to be natural, why shouldnt we? I love my natural face regardless of what others may say. I live in a small country in eastern europe and this is one of the worst countries to live in when it comes to gender, racial and all other equalities...Here the majority of men seem to like only made-up women and we natural ladies are considered to be "gross, ugly, not caring enough."...It is unfortunate...I even had some assholes (usu men) harassing me for my makeupless look, telling and writing me online, how "ugly I am, etc.." Then when my sister posted my made-up photo on facebook (of course without my consent), the very same assholes started to write me that with makeup, Im beautiful and they would want me, whereas without it they consider me ugly...that was one of the most humiliating experiences regarding to comments on my appearance...I cant understand how one can consider it normal to tell a person: "Girl, you are so ugly without makeup, but you can be something and admirable with some cake on your face."...This exactly happened to me. If someone wants to wear makeup (regardless of gender), its ok to allow him/her. But if someone doesnt want to wear makeup, it should be a personal choice. There shouldnt be any pressure to wear some. Kisses

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  25. Hi. Im natural lady, too. I dont see a problem with any rant btw, Im not that type of person. Btw I agree that wearing or not wearing makeup should be a personal choice. There surely are things with which Im not satisfied on myself, like e. g. I like sweets and therefore sometimes I put on weight..but when it comes to my natural face, I really like it much. I cant stand a society where someone would like to dictate all women to wear makeup. I even had some really ugly or plain average men telling me how ugly I am and that I need not only reduce my weight, but also wear makeup. I dont like to call someone ugly, but if they call me ugly or unattractive first, I think its quite normal I also express my opinion about them:) And btw then they are surprised how I dare to say they are ugly lol:D When its just a defensive tactic on my side. I think we women should not be pressured to wear makeup if we dont want. And if you like yourself and consider yourself beautiful without makeup, then you are lucky like me. Cause I know a lot of women who feel only confident while wearing makeup, but without makeup, they are like scared little girls. We ladies who love our natural face are a lot luckier than those who feel the need to wear makeup and conform to the mainstream and stupid mens wishes.:)

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