Until somewhat recently, I’ve always worn makeup. Like many girls, I started in my teens and never looked back. Why wouldn’t I wear makeup? It’s what the grown-ups do, right?
As I got older, I learned that less is more, but I continued to put on makeup to go to work, go out (even if just to the grocery store :-)) and practically every other life situation. Very, very faintly, somewhere in the background, I heard men saying that they like when women don’t wear makeup. Ha, I thought. That’s just because they haven’t seen us first thing in the morning. And everybody knows that after a certain age, women don’t primp to impress men. They do it to impress other women.
Though never a heavy user, I nonetheless felt naked and unkempt if I left the house without any makeup whatsoever. I felt like everyone was looking at me thinking how ugly I looked (I’ve thought that plenty even while wearing makeup, but that’s a story for another day). I felt self-conscious. I felt judged, mostly by myself as it turns out. Putting on makeup to me meant a woman cared about her appearance and took the time to make it a priority. The alternative was obviously a lazy slob who couldn’t take even 5 minutes to powder her shiny nose.
Everything changed after the birth of my son in the Fall of 2011. I suddenly had no time and no perceived need for makeup. With a newborn, especially one like mine, you don’t leave the house much.
At first, I thought I’ll go back to my old makeup routine eventually. And I still did it occasionally. A wedding. A job interview. The seven months that I went back to full-time work. But then something started to happen.
The more I saw myself without makeup, the more I realized I actually liked how I looked. So I stopped putting on anything to leave the house, not even concealer or powder which is makeup that is somewhat undetectable as such.
It felt kind of exhilarating. Freed from the fear that people were staring at me and thinking I looked terrible, I felt so much more comfortable in my own skin. It radiated to other things too, like body image. No one loves their body after having a baby and I still want to make changes for my health, but I’ve accepted myself for now and it feels fantastic.
I’m hardly the first to the no makeup party of course. The image atop this post is from a Twitter account promoting natural beauty and the #nomakeup hashtag on Twitter is always fairly active.
So I decided recently to ask women on my new favorite online place, ADN, for pictures of them without any makeup. I was surprised at how many readily shared them and I want to share them here so that we can all see what true, unadulterated beauty looks like. Some of these came from Twitter as well and you’ll find a link to the lady’s ADN or Twitter profile next to each photo.
Please enjoy and if you’re a woman who always, always wears makeup, I’m not judging you. You should do whatever you like to feel beautiful. But maybe you could try this sometime.
Jessica, wife of Jeff
And finally me.
I hope this helps give some of you the courage to try going without makeup. And if you do, I hope you’ll find it as liberating as I have.