History :: I started wearing face powder when I was in sixth grade by (well-meaning) suggestion. I'm assuming that my acne started then. As the years went on, I wore heavier foundation under that powder along with blush, lipstick, mascara + eyeshadow...every day. Big hair + nail polish was part of the look of the day as well. I started to be afraid of swimming with friends (we lived in a town on the shores of Lake Michigan), for fear of being caught without my "face" + hairstyle. I received the (unwelcomed) nickname of "glamour girl" at my hospital job as a teenager. All the while, I dreamed of having clear enough skin + thick enough hair to just leave all of the makeup + hairspray behind.
Baseball cap ponytails were a favorite hairstyle during my sleep deprived college days. I stopped wearing lipstick when I couldn't resist kissing my babies all the time + didn't want to leave my lips all over them. I stopped wearing eye make-up quite so much when I started wearing glasses. I feel like the glasses add some definition there + sometimes feel like my mascara-ed lashes look a little odd magnified behind glasses. As my skin cleared, I wore less + less make-up.
Less waste :: Zero-waste makeup options do exist, but can be quite pricey + involve packages in the mail (which are not without waste + transport impacts). As I move toward zero-waste, I realize that one of the best ways to reduce my waste is simply to use fewer products where possible. Last summer, while I had my summer glow + as I did my zero-waste check-in...I realized that I was hardly wearing make-up at all. I decided to just put it away + see how it went. I kept my blush, eye shadow + mascara...just not in the top drawer. I haven't really looked back. Most days, I just apply some face cream (in the cold months) + lip balm...done.
Acclimating :: I found that there was a bit of an adjustment to "seeing" + accepting myself without (or even with less) makeup. When we see a friend that we are used to seeing only with makeup...without makeup...we notice. The same goes for when we see someone who usually doesn't wear much makeup...and seeing them fully made up. We just notice. It's mostly about being used to a look. I'm now used to seeing myself without makeup...and I'm good with it, because it is me. :) Today, my most likely (but not at all usual) additions would be a little bronzy blush + a little brownish eye-shadow. (I tried bulk cocoa + cinnamon, but neither seemed to show up at all.)
Eye training :: Another help for me is admiring confident, intelligent, beautiful, inspiring, talented, empowering women who (at least sometimes) embrace the natural look. I've always been most attracted to this look + tried to emulate it with make-up too. As I peel away another layer, I especially notice photos of beauties without eye make-up. I love a good smokey eye, but there is also so much beauty, confidence, acceptance, generosity + joy that shines through a bare face. :) I am so grateful to all of these women for sharing theirs with me. I came across these beautiful words...and since I had just written this...reading it brought tears: "It feels good to truly love yourself the way you are. Where you are. As you are." Thank you, LaTonya. I'm trying to let that sink down deep.
Values :: What do I want to communicate with my appearance? What do I really want to do? I'd like to communicate that I am approachable, kind, compassionate, loving, friendly, down-to-earth, + yes, have a sense of my own style. I'd like to be ready for a walk or a picnic or a smooch or a squeeze or a laugh so hard + long that it makes tears stream. Not saying that any of this can't be done while wearing make-up...just that none of them are make-up dependent. :)
We women are unique beauties + every freckle, scar, + wrinkle is part of that. We are our own + each other's harshest critics, but we can choose to celebrate one another (+ our own skin too) instead. Wear makeup, if you like. Don't, if you don't want to. We all deserve to feel good in our skin.
Loads of love to all of you beautiful friends,