Intentional living,  Minimalism,  Personal growth,  Self care

Why I Decided To Stop Wearing Makeup

I made a decision to stop wearing makeup entirely about two years ago. 

I have worn makeup most of my life, like most other women I imagine do. 

Right before I stopped wearing it, I was getting really into it. I was contouring, blending, wearing ombre lips and stopping by the drugstore everyday on the way to work to just take a look at the makeup section. My Instagram was full of beauty experts and makeup tutorials.  

I would text my sister pictures of my lipstick look for the day just to have someone besides the internet say, “wow, awesome!” 

Then one day that all changed. Here’s why I decided to stop wearing makeup. 

Some History

I waited tables for thirteen years. 

At my first waiting tables job I went through a short phase where I stopped wearing makeup. 

I had a boyfriend say, “ I don’t know why you decided to stop wearing makeup. It would be nice if you put more time into looking nice. You should wear makeup at least to work.” 

So I started wearing makeup again. Not for me, but for him. And my customers. 

Another Instance

Years later at another job I waited at, I had a manager make a comment. Women should wear makeup. It’s important to look nice and should be a part of us getting ready for work everyday. 

He suggested if we weren’t wearing makeup we weren’t trying to look our best and were being lazy. So I made sure to put on a full face before work everyday. For him. And for other people. 

Right Before I Decided To Stop Wearing Makeup 

I was really loving wearing it. Even considered it part of a self care routine. It made me feel great about myself. The act of putting it on was an artistic and creative expression. I could watch Instagram experts for hours learning new tricks and combos.

Then everything changed drastically very quickly. We spontaneity decided to hit the road. Read more about that here

And minimalism became not just a practice in our lives but an essential. As we continued to pare down along the trip to make room for other more important things (like a tent) my makeup collection got smaller and smaller. One day I would stop wearing makeup all together. It just wasn’t part of my routine anymore. 

After The Road Trip 

I wore makeup again. I had a hard time looking at my face without it. After years of being told by other people that makeup was important, not wearing it made me feel lazy and not put together. 

I started a new job and makeup became a regular habit again, but not with the zeal I had before. It became an obligation.

Until One Day…

I was driving home from work. My face was itchy and it was a hot day. I was *dying* to scratch my face. My eyes burned and watered. I was absolutely miserable. 

I decided I didn’t want to do this anymore. That was the final moment I decided to stop wearing makeup altogether. 

Adjustment Period When I Decided To Stop Wearing Makeup 

It literally took months for me to get used to my face without makeup. Shedding that old idea of feeling tired and lazy took time.

When I wore makeup all the time, people saw the difference. There was made up Melissa and no makeup Melissa. They were not the same person. The difference was noticeable. 

When Things Finally Balanced Out 

But a while after I decided to stop wearing makeup:

No makeup Melissa just became Melissa.

There was no comparison. No more comments. I got used to my face without it and started to think I looked good. My skin is healthier than ever and blemish free after years of battling. 

And people started to say things like, “You don’t need makeup. You look great without it. I *have* to wear it.”

But The Truth Is They’re Just Like Me 

They only think they need it. Because they’re not used to their own face without it. Or because they went without one day and someone asked if they were sick or tired. How could they possibly stop wearing makeup?

What Happens When You Stop Wearing Makeup 

Here’s a list of benefits you might experience if you stop wearing makeup. At least in my experience.

  • You’ll save money. Makeup is expensive, especially if you are a collector or buy the newest pallets. I immediately started saving money. 
  • You’ll feel less stress. Makeup was the most time consuming part of my get ready routine. When I decided to stop wearing makeup I found I could be out the door in just minutes. 
  • Your face might clear up. My skin has never looked better besides the occasional excema I get from dry skin. I never get breakouts anymore. I don’t need soap or special cleansers for my face.
  • You might look younger. Some makeup actually ages the face. When it settles into your skin it might highlight the wrinkles you’re trying to hide.
  • Your skincare routine will change. Your pores will shrink and you won’t need harsh soaps to remove makeup. 
  • You might have new appreciation for your hair. And some extra funds to spend the money maintaining it!

A No Makeup Challenge 

I would like to challenge everyone to stop wearing makeup for two weeks and see what happens. How do you feel? What can you do with the extra time? Maybe you can meditate in the morning or sleep an extra thirty minutes. 

My decision to stop wearing makeup brings me joy today. There are times where my self consciousness gets the better of me. But putting on makeup to please others will never fix that. 

Wear makeup for YOU. And if you stop wearing makeup, do that for you, too. 

9 Comments

  • Sue Reno

    About 2 weeks ago Katelynn saw me in the morning and asked me what was wrong with my eye. I looked in the mirror and realized I had popped a blood vessel in my right eye. I did not wear make up all that weekend. On Monday when I went back to work, I still had the bloodshot eye so I decided not to wear make up. Nobody noticed except for my bloodshot eye. Two weeks later I’m still not wearing make up, my eye is fine, and Charlie said I look good without make up. Getting ready for work is fabulous! So much faster! And if my eye itches, I can scratch it! I had posted a picture of myself on Facebook, and one of my dear friends told me I look beautiful. That made all the difference in the world to me. Maybe I’ll go back to wearing mascara, maybe not. But for now I’m kind of happy with myself.I still wear a little bit of powder, under I cover up, and blush, but that’s it. Love this blog! And I love you

  • Bekah

    You’re so right about makeup settling into the wrinkles we’re trying to hide.
    Although I haven’t given up makeup entirely and don’t intend to, I’ve stopped caking it on so to cover up so much much.
    Now I’m down to tinted moisturizer, blush and sometimes lip stick. And the biggest thing I got from this blog is that if you’re not wearing it for yourself, why wear it?!
    I totally agree with that.
    I personally like to wear a minimum amount, and that’s just because *I* like it.
    But I’ve done away with color palettes and contouring.
    This is a great article and it was well written.

  • Rosie

    Great, there’s two women in the world who haven’t been suckered by advertising and peer pressure! Loved your story. We should all do stuff just for ourselves, not for other peoples’ expectations. I have rarely worn makeup as I found it irritating to my eyes, and like you, don’t have the time to spend on such a frivolous task.

  • Ann

    Love this article. 👍😁 I went makeup free about 2 years ago also. I had the same story as you. I loved the creative side of makeup. I wore fun fake eyelashes along with hair extensions. I was told and believed the idea that I looked tired or lazy if I didn’t put it on. In efforts to simplify my life I suddenly stopped. I realized ppl identify you with the face you give them. If its a no-makup face, that’s the face they know is you. Not this facade you are trying to maintain. I wear makeup on special occasions and feel like Cinderella when I do. So I enjoy it rather than be controlled by it.

  • Eleanor Ajoku

    I stopped wearing makeup about 5 months ago and it was the best decision I made. You’re totally right, I started caring more about my hair the minute I quit makeup—I never used to before. This has been a journey for me, but it’s one I’m willing to stay on for the long run.

    One thing I’d also add is the confidence it brings. There’s just something amazing about appreciating your natural look 😊

  • Soraya selim

    Hi, it’s very interesting reading your article, I don’t know nothing about makeup, I guess, we don’t need it to be beautiful, I never put anything in my face , only cream lotion or something similar to hidrátate.

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