I stopped wearing makeup a few years ago and love that decision.
I mostly wore it to cover blemishes and hide the puffiness under my eyes, but that’s about it. My eyelids were always too greasy for eyeshadow (yes, even with primer), I never owned bronzer, and was wholly uninterested in contouring…so I wan’t a heavy makeup wearer in the first place but I was a daily user.
This post goes deeper into my fresh-faced decision in case you are curious or thinking about simplifying your daily routine too. I write about what I specifically did, why, how it has affected me, and how I plan to move forward.
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So I already said that I wasn’t a heavy makeup user. I spent my entire makeup-wearing life searching for my holy grail concealer & foundation combo…and never found it. Let’s say from age 17 to 34 I searched and tried countless products. I often need different shades for summer and winter; not a foreign concept, but too fussy for me so I erred on the side of lighter (weight, not color) year-round products.
When I decided to walk away from makeup I was using (in order of application)
- Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (custard)
- It Cosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder (medium – soft beige)
- MAC pressed blush (dame)
- red or raspberry lip color
- no mascara
- no eyeliner (the visible black winged eyeliner was tattooed in 2011)
Every time that my concealer or foundation didn’t match I thought about not wearing makeup. Every time I got sweaty concealer in my eyes, I wanted to throw it all away. But the real catalyst was being pregnant with Baby Jupiter. The decision was partially to reduce the number of chemicals on my skin, and also because Alabama in the summer is hot and humid. And I was already big and sweaty. No amount of makeup made me feel good, so I stopped wearing the stuff and decided to let the general public deal with it (and surprise – nobody cared!).
When you’re pregnant and Googling everything it’s easy to become horrified that American cosmetics companies are allowed to use a huge range of questionable ingredients in their products, then we absorb those products into our spongy organ (skin). European standards are more strict and significantly less carcinogenic, and Sephora is well known for making some of these products available to American consumers. Not EVERYTHING they carry in American stores conform to EU standards, but they have a hell of a lot more clean products than any other specialty shop (especially those with brick and mortar stores around the world).
So I decided to double down on skincare, and only wear makeup for special occasions. By this point I was already well acquainted with various skincare regimens like the multi-layer K Beauty rituals, sheet masks, clay-based multi masking, plus always seeking quality antioxidants, healthy fats, using red light therapy, and sleeping by a humidifier. My new goal was to have my skin be so perfect that I didn’t even need makeup.
Part of meeting that goal has been my specific focus on skincare, but also making peace with the knowledge that my under eyes will always be a little puffy. I’ve tried to change that part of my face for years, and even found a product that really did tighten up my under eye bags – but I don’t have the dedication to apply such a product every day. I made that peace when I saw that Baby Jupiter already has the same little mini bags. They’re not good or bad, they’re just facts of our faces. Once I stopped obsessing over them, I honestly think they lightened up.
The one product that made a difference is available at Sephora; Dr. Brandt eye de-puffing gel.
Also, being over 30, I decided that it was time to start using heavier moisturizers at night – so I did. Slowly my complexion evened out without using any brighteners. I do still wear sunscreen, but it’s a sheer liquid that melts in, not a makeup-like powder.
These are my favorite daily sunscreens; Neutrogena spf35 and Biore (Japanese formula, spf50+).
So here’s a quick recap if you’re thinking about walking away from makeup:
- I only walked away from three products (concealer, foundation, blush) but I still enjoy a little lip color. Nobody said you have to go 100 percent cold turkey.
- I definitely felt naked at first, I even thought about tinted sunscreen, but instead got outside and maybe got a little natural color that boosted my confidence.
- Shifting my focus to higher quality products had the added benefit of keeping my skin clear (probably because it’s not irritated daily with odd chemicals).
- Most nights I just use a cleansing wipe, then apply some eye serum and all over face cream.
- Some afternoons (especially in the winter) I make time to wash my face with real soap, then take a hydrating nap wearing a sheet mask.
- I like to use different moisturizers because I like variety, and I think my skin gets bored otherwise. Right now I am loving Pacifica Beauty’s Coconut Probiotic Water Rehab Cream.
So in the end my one choice to stop wearing makeup has provided a clearer canvas and a greater skincare budget so I can focus on quality. My face is smoother, my complexion is even, and I don’t break out like I used to – it’s a positive feedback loop! If I knew that not wearing makeup had so many benefits I would have stopped trying to find my holy grail products in my 20s.
Next time that we have a special occasion (the kind where I rent a ballgown), I can either make a real MUA appointment or get samples from Sephora so I have just enough fresh concealer for one night.
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