Monday, March 5, 2012

The No Make-Up Challenge

I really love make-up. I love to wear it. I love putting it on. But I sometimes find myself troubled by how much I need make-up to feel like myself. Sometimes I don’t like the face underneath. I’ve always been envious of those women who seem to have a natural, unmasked beauty, a radiant and organic glow that says “I just woke up so refreshed this morning. I took a bath in a forest stream and some little birds brought me these uber-flattering yoga pants. I moisturize…with apricot nectar and fairy dew drops.”  I’ve been dying to know…Do I have a natural beauty hidden behind the foundation and eyeliner? Where are my little birds and yoga pants? Where is my radiant glow???

So last week, I gave myself a little challenge – just a chance to try to appreciate my skin and my face, unenhanced by cosmetics. I used an exfoliating face scrub from Bath & Body Works, Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner (which I only mention because I recently discovered it through Sarah’s blog and it’s awesome), and the generic substitute for Aveeno Daily Moisturizer. One week, no make-up. I took pictures everyday. No touch-ups or editing. The only change I’ve made to any of these pictures is to use auto-levels to better represent natural light. The challenge was to love the face in the mirror sans make-up.

Day One
NoMakeupDay1-Three
NoMakeupDay1 - One
Day Two
NoMakeupDay2 - One
NoMakeupDay2-Two
Day Three
NoMakeupDayThree - 1
Day Four
NoMakeupDayFour-1
Day Five
NoMakeupDayFive-1
Day Six
NoMakeupDaySix-1
NoMakeupDaySix-2

At the end of the week, I can say I’ve made a new peace with my appearance. This face is flawed. It has blemishes and freckles and unevenness. Maybe this face doesn’t have a place in a magazine or in a movie but it is my face, the one God gave me, a face that is half my mom’s and half my dad’s. It is a map of all the places I have been before, it is a signpost along a journey I am continuing to make. I will look back at these pictures and know what it is to have been there. I have found a comfort in that. I kind of like my face.

I still loving wearing makeup. But I think I’m ready to let my own skin shine through a little more.

I want to hear from you. Is wearing make-up an essential part of your routine? What makes you feel most naturally beautiful? What makes you feel confident as you begin a new day?

love, elizabeth

16 comments:

Stephanie said...

Love your blog and what you have to say :)I think no-makeup is a great practice. Sometimes it's nice to give your skin a break and feel fresh and light! I think you look great in these pictures and I hope you'll feel more confident after adopting a part-time no-makeup life...sometimes I get super dolled up, and this it looks great...sometimes I think au natural is better. Just depends on the day and my mood. It feels good to be comfortable either way.

Ashley said...

I love this post! I go in and out of the makeup phase all the time. I always am wearing makeup but it goes between natural looking and obviously wearing makeup! The summertime I definitely go sans makeup more and I feel pretty but not always the case when im so used to being able to disguise my blemishes and shape and contour with makeup!

Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daryl said...

I think this is an amazing thing that you're doing. What a way to boost self confidence! I go without makeup on a regular basis but that is simply due to laziness. I don't feel really pretty unless I have makeup on.

In the spring and summer I tend to wear makeup less, since it's so hot and no body wants to sweat their face off. My go to then is tinted moisturizer (LIFESAVER) and just a touch of bare minerals powder, maybe a quick dab of bronzer and some mascara if i'm doing something other than going to class or running errands.

I don't think I'm at the point where I can go sans makeup completely, but this is definitely encouragement to wear a whole lot less!

Thanks!

BTW - YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

<3 Daryl

Unpublished Life said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for the follow!

This is such an interesting post. Personally, I hate wearing make-up. I'm not sure why. I think I have a bit of an obsession with getting zits etc. so I try to keep my face as make-up free as possible. I only wear powder and mascara to work ... but when I go out I usually go the whole hog. It's great and I feel good, but I do scrub my face for hours afterwards ... I must have seen a video about clogged pores when I was younger and developed a bit of a phobia about it!

You look great without make-up and not even actresses and models have faces that have a place in magazines and movies - their faces are caked with so much make-up they are barely recognisable without it!

http://unpublishedworksofme.blogspot.com/

Karm said...

you're still gorgeous.
I'm normally just wearing eyeliner and mascara... so that is almost au natural right? hehe

Jennifer said...

Wow...this was SO inspiring. I feel the same way. I don't wear a ton of make-up, but I definitely feel like I have to wear it to feel like myself or even like the way I look. When anyone sees me without it, I feel like I have to apologize and I always say something negative about myself.

This really made me think. Maybe when I'm feeling brave, I'll do this challenge too.

Also - you are SERIOUSLY beautiful. You have stunning facial features. Maybe it's just harder for us as women to see our own beauty for ourselves - and seeing others comes more natural to us. IT's always easier to see the good and beauty in others and much harder for ourselves.

LOVED this. (o:

Dawn said...

I used to be so, so bad about wearing makeup. I couldn't leave the house without putting a little something on. I had a very hard time. Every time I went to town, I'd do my entire face up. I don't spend as much time anymore doing that. When I do, I put the focus on either my eyes or my cheeks or my lips. Just one. Besides, it's healthier for my skin to be without, anyway. I actually wanted to cut down on my dependence of makeup, so I gave it up for Lent last year. It was hard, but it turned out okay. Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure if I'm found of my appearance...but I think that's because I'm out of contacts and miss them. :)

Alexandria said...

Girl. I think you're stunning. And this inspires me to wear no (well...less...) makeup in the near future :) You're such an inspiration.

Sarahcastically said...

When I end up going without makeup it's usually because of laziness and/or not having a reason to put it on (aka my lack of a social life), but I usually at least do some powder because my skin is so oily that I feel like wearing makeup helps control it and keep it from breaking out as much. This is a very scientific observation, of course. But this is still a really cool idea and a great post.

Anyway, you're beautiful.

Emily said...

Is there a natural, glistening beauty under that make-up? Yes, of course there is, because under all of that is beautiful, wonderful you. So proud to have you as a friend.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

My mom is always telling to put on more make-up! To her dismay most days I go without make-up:-) oh and you have the most gorgeous skin!

toi said...

the last time I wore make up was April 23rd. I lost my make up.

you have lovely face and i think you don't need make up so keep up the great work.

Ashley @ A Recipe for Sanity said...

You are beautiful, inside and out! Great idea. :)

As for me, I rarely wear makeup. Probably like once a month. I can't be bothered with it! ;) My mother would love it if I wore it more often.

Emily said...

You go girl! I wish I could do that..
xo

Courtney said...

you have beautiful skin. jealous.

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