Today, we’re talking about being naked. No, not “birthday suit” naked, but rather rocking a naked face and gaining confidence in your natural beauty. I’ve had a very up and down relationship with makeup over the years, which I’ll get in to, but nowadays I usually only wear makeup once or twice a week. Sure, sometimes I’ll spice things up and put a thin coat of mascara on my lashes or run some brow gel through my brows before I go to work in the morning, but I would say 80% of the time I’m bare faced and have no problem looking that way.
Now, if you would’ve told teenage Christine that I would eventually reach a point in my life where I left the house without putting on a full face of makeup, I would’ve laughed. Ironically, if you told me today that I had to put on a full face of makeup every day before leaving the house, I would also laugh and probably tell you to stick your opinion where the sun don’t shine. In order to tell you how I went from one extreme to the other, I should probably start by telling you my history with makeup over the years.
My first memory of wearing makeup is from the seventh grade. Of course, I didn’t have my own makeup, so I would have to steal whatever I could of my mom’s. The products and application were pretty basic: a swipe of shimmery shadow across the lids, mascara, navy blue eyeliner, and foundation that probably made me look like a corpse because I had no idea what bronzer was at that point in my life. That was pretty much my go to “look” in my last years of grade school.
Fun fact, at some point in grade school I decided to try filling in my eyebrows because I had heard other girls talk about it. As I mentioned before, my makeup collection was very sparse at that time, so I used the only brown-ish eye shadow I had at my disposal. Well, that brown shadow happened to be a shimmer shadow and I didn’t realize that I basically had metallic eyebrows until I took a picture of myself one day with the flash on my digital camera. First of all, kill me. Second of all, having to take selfies with a digital camera is literally making me feel ancient right now.
Anyways, after the brow fiasco I lost a little bit of confidence in my makeup skills. I mean, wouldn’t you? The ninth grade was spent mainly sporting mascara and that shimmery shadow but, other than that, I couldn’t be bothered with experimenting with makeup. To be honest, I was so self-conscious in my body and my own skin that I didn’t feel compelled to invest anything in to my looks because I didn’t really feel like there was a point. However, my mindset started to change by the 11th grade.
In the 10th grade I made the mistake of taking French as an elective. I had done really well in grade nine French so I decided to try and continue with the language. Well, after my first day of 10th grade French, I waltzed right down to the guidance counselor’s office and asked if I could switch electives. I didn’t really have anything specific in mind that I wanted to take, but I knew my friend was in 2nd period cosmetology which coincided with the 2nd period French class I was trying so desperately to switch out of, so I decided to give it a shot. Going into this class, I had NO idea about proper makeup application, hair styling, skin care, nails, etc. But, to my surprise, I ended up getting the highest grade in the class. This is what sparked my love of makeup and beauty.
When I reached the 11th grade, I was hooked on makeup. I was completely consumed in the beauty world on social media and I was finally making money of my own to spend on all the makeup products that I wanted. Yes, I liked makeup because it was fun and I was super intrigued by the beauty and diversity between different products and formulas, but I really started to fall in love with makeup for the wrong reasons. You see, at first I wasn’t diving into makeup as a hobby or using it to enhance my features, I was actually using it to deflect from things I disliked about myself. For example, I would rationalize that if I had a full face of makeup on it would deflect from my double chin that I despised so much. Or, if I try really, really hard on making my face look as pretty as possible, it would deflect from my plus-size body that I felt so ugly in.
Although positive comments were never intended to fuel this toxic fire of mine, any positive comments I got on my makeup validated the looming thought in the back of my head that I needed makeup in order to be considered beautiful by others. Comments made by others usually followed the format of, “Oh my god, you look so different!” or “Wow, you’re so beautiful!” Nowadays, I know to take that for what it is, which is just a nice compliment. However, when I was younger all I heard was, “Wow! You should really put more effort into looking like this all the time because you look god awful ugly without it.”
I started to become very dependent on makeup to make myself feel good. If I didn’t give myself enough time to do a full face or “transform”, I would become extremely anxious and feel horrible about myself. I can’t even tell you how many stupid arguments I got into with my family because I always kept everyone waiting while I put my face on. It didn’t matter where I was going, all that mattered was that people would be there and I would’ve rather been locked up inside forever than have them see my uneven complexion or a breakout I had on my chin.
When I got to college, I tried to keep up the everyday glam routine but, due to a much busier schedule and a season of severe depression, my need to always have a full face of makeup slowly fizzled out. Now, at first, this wasn’t healthy at all. I wasn’t wearing less makeup because I was embracing my natural beauty or becoming more confident in my own skin, but more so because I wasn’t taking care of myself. However, as the clouds began to part and there was a light at the end of the tunnel, I started to ask myself…why couldn’t I have the best of both worlds?
Sure, doing full glam on the weekends or for a night out, or on days where I’m feeling a bit down about myself is fun and makes me feel fly as hell…but being able to sleep an extra 30 minutes because I choose to not wear makeup one day is also a fantastic feeling. Although I wouldn’t say I completely felt beautiful being bare faced, I had reached a compromise with makeup. I felt great on the days that I did decide to wear makeup, and at least I didn’t feel like an ill-ridden child from the 1800’s on days where I decided to not wear makeup.
I always find it funny how true the phrase “you’ll grow out of it” or “it’s just a phase” really is. Of course, there are people who do become stuck in their ways and it works for them. For me however, I think of how many things I over-dramatized as a teenager and laugh because I did truly grow out of those habits or mindsets. For example, in my last blog post I hopefully made it very evident that I absolutely hated my body and thought I was worthless because of the number or letter on the tags of my clothes. However, at 22 I now realize that, even if I want to sometimes make changes to my body, I should love myself no matter my size or shape and find beauty in not just physical attributes of myself, but internal attributes as well.
It’s the same thing when it comes to makeup and embracing my natural beauty. When I was a teenager, you couldn’t dare tell me that I “didn’t need all that makeup” or that “nobody cares what you look like at the grocery store.” In my mind at that time, a full face of makeup became my identity and without it I felt hideous. Now I look in a mirror with my bare naked face and embrace the beauty of my features for how they are naturally. Sure, throwing on a copper shadow can make my eye colour pop, but they’re still just as pretty of a blue when I don’t have makeup on. Or sure, spending an hour making sure I have a flawless base of makeup makes me feel amazing, but I also love looking in the mirror and seeing a hint of rosiness in my cheeks or my freckles that are so easily erased by layers of foundation and concealer. Also, if someone is going to treat me differently because I don’t have a flawless face of makeup on every time I leave the house, I sure as hell don’t want them in my life anyways!
The makeup I wear today is very different from the makeup I wore in the past. Sure, if I’m putting time and effort into my makeup you better believe I’m layering a million different shadows and shimmers on my eyes and going full glam. However, when it comes to the skin and brows and such, I’ve strayed away from heavy, camouflage-like products and ventured in to products that are more natural and dewy. Making this switch has helped me become more comfortable in embracing my natural features and “flaws”. I’ve also started to invest more time and energy into implementing skin-focused self-care into my everyday routine, which has helped me outrageously in appreciating my “au naturel” face.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is, don’t be so harsh or quick to hide the features that make you who you are. Yes, cut me with that crease, rock that bold lip and snatch those cheekbones, honey. But, make sure you remind yourself that makeup is a temporary enhancement, not a disguise, for features that are already beautiful in the first place.
If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure to like, comment and SHARE! Next week on the blog, we’re going to be discussing something I never expected to open up about, which is my experience with anxiety and depression. It’s a very personal and vulnerable topic for me to discuss, but I felt it was important to talk about with Bell Let’s Talk Day coming up on the 29th of January. If you want to be notified about every time I post, make sure to either sign up for email notifications, or follow me over on Instagram (@christinemarieblogs).
Thanks for reading!