Eleven days into my senior year, I decided to try something new. Usually that involves some active effort: purchasing supplies, acquiring a skill set and/or participating in an activity. But this something new was different: it was about restraint and inactivity, it was a brave act of doing nothing at all. I was going to skip my daily makeup routine. To be more specific, I decided to go makeup-free every Monday, both on campus and online at my blog.
It wasn’t that I disliked what had turned into a daily makeup regimen. Au contraire–I loved it. I adored staring into my reflection, my lips parted into an oval, one eye closed, my elbow bent at a forty-five degree angle with a mascara wand poised between my fingers. A swipe of hot pink or cool purple lipstick helped me feel fierce. A perfectly applied line across my eyelid made me feel like I had my life together. (Author’s note: As if.) A dusting of coral blush lit up my face and brightened my mood.
My problem with makeup was that I had stopped liking how I looked and felt without it. My journey with makeup has already been documented in my post about deciding to participate in Makeup Free Mondays, but let’s just say that it started as a pure pleasure and morphed into a habit that I felt I wasn’t allowed to quit. I embarked on Makeup Free Mondays in an effort to reclaim my face so that makeup wear could feel like a true choice again. I wanted to fall back in love with my bare skin, so that a day without makeup didn’t feel like a small failure in the art of femininity. Going without makeup not only gave me more confidence about rocking a bare face, it also brought the joy of novelty back into selecting sparkly eye shadows during the rest of week, feelings I sometimes missed when daily makeup wear turned into an obligation.