My boyfriend recently pointed out to me how dangerous it can be to encourage women to look outside themselves for their own beauty. To normalise the act of covering up, with makeup, how our faces look. To subtly acquiesce and collude with the brutal “beauty” industry by preying on and amplifying (perhaps even creating new) insecurities about how we, as women, look and present ourselves to the world. (topic for another day: the fallacy of “looking presentable”)
While I will never be fully able to condemn the glory of a magnificent winged liner, I can totally appreciate his point. As a beauty blogger, I try to remain conscious of the messages I send to other women (and men) about what is normal and acceptable, what is desirable or attractive. The expectation that all women should aspire to look a specific way, using whatever means necessary, is not something that I subscribe to.
As for me, I do not wear makeup every day. I believe that it is neither necessary nor always appropriate (wearing makeup out for a run? come on!)
This is a personal decision, I am in no way opposed to anyone wearing makeup as often as they like.
My no-makeup days are not in angry protest at the unfair and malicious twisting of “standards of beauty” created by a multi-billion-dollar unfeeling industry. Usually, it’s because I don’t even think about it! I didn’t always feel this way, but I’ve grown comfortable enough in my own skin to actually enjoy the way my face looks with no makeup on. It’s no big deal to me not to wear makeup. And I’ve realised, it’s no big deal to anyone else either!!
It’s true what they say about being your own worst critic. It’s also true that “what other people think of you is none of your business.”*
If you’re someone who goes makeupless on a regular basis, this may seem like common sense. Awesome. You need no guide to shine your naked beauty. Keep doing your thing!
If you are someone who wears makeup on the daily, and is totally happy and contented with that? Awesome. Keep doing your thing!
However, if you are someone who wears makeup as a security blanket and would like to dip your toe into the nudist movement, here are my tips from what I’ve learned along the way.
I think everyone looks beautiful wearing a smile. I’m not talking about plastering a weird, false, perma-smile on your face while you’re walking around town.. I’m talking about allowing your genuine inner joy to radiate out through your face. I love that Roald Dahl quote:
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
So smile at yourself in the mirror before you walk out, and keep sparkling.
2. Feed your skin
Having a good skin day definitely helps if you are reluctant to step away from your concealer. Water is your best friend, especially water-filled fruits and veggies. Don’t forget to eat healthy fats to plump up those lipids in your skin (avocados, coconut oil, seeds and nuts.. yum!). Obviously, you also need proteins for skin cell regeneration – they are the building blocks of your cells (quinoa, beans, lentils, nuts, cheese).
Feed your skin from the inside and it will definitely show on the outside. My skin is one of the first things that starts to show the effects of eating poorly, and the inverse is also true.
3. Surround yourself with positive people
There’s nothing more toxic than someone trying to bring you down, either overtly or covertly. Sometimes it’s a really obvious comment, aimed at making you feel “less-than,” other times it’s a more sneaky, seemingly off-hand comment or behaviour that is unsupportive.
While this kind of behaviour is usually a sign of insecurity or jealousy, and should be met with understanding and patience, NOBODY needs that shizz. Short of having a conversation with that person (caution: peeps can get very defensive and nasty) I recommend spending as little time as possible around them, or cutting them out altogether.
Focus on people who make you feel special and loved, who accept you unequivocally and who buoy you up.
4. Accept yourself as you are
It sounds so naff, but it’s actually really important. You are perfectly imperfect, as you are. In this moment, exactly as you are.
Bonus: this also helps us to be more compassionate towards, and less judging of others 😉
5. Be unapologetic
I cannot count the times I have heard women APOLOGISE for their bare faces. No. This needs to stop.
In my eyes, there’s nothing “unacceptable” about a woman with no makeup on. I would never think to chastise someone for being seen in public without her face painted – would you? Of course not! So why are we being so hard on ourselves?
By just nipping down the shops in a bare face, we’re saying “yep: not sorry”.
I’m hoping this is a trend that catches on. Women unapologetically embracing the bare face. Whether brave or blasé about it. Who’s with me?
Peace and Light,
*I’ve seen this quote attributed to so many people, but I heard it first in Struggle, a Xavier Rudd song!