I’m Not Making This Up

This post is about makeup—actually, about the fact that I don’t wear any, and why. Thus, the punny title. =P

For the past five years, I haven’t worn makeup on a daily basis. It all started on a retreat I went to with my church, when I realized a simple truth—I spent too much time looking in the mirror and worrying about my appearance, and not enough time looking at things that are more important and eternal. In a word, I was vain. That vanity also contributed to my low self-esteem.

I never was one to wear a lot of makeup, but I used to feel like I couldn’t go out in public without concealer and mascara. I felt like my face alone just wasn’t enough to be considered pretty, and I also felt like being pretty was really important. The day I realized that I felt these things, and that I didn’t like feeling them, was the day that I decided to stop wearing makeup. I decided that I wouldn’t start wearing makeup again until I truly felt like I didn’t need it. Funnily enough, once I got to the place where I felt like I didn’t need it, I never felt the urge to start wearing it again regularly. And so, I’ve been makeup free for the past five years. And it’s great!

One of the things I love about not wearing makeup is that it’s easy. It takes me about 10 minutes to get ready in the morning (along with not wearing makeup, I also have a minimalist wardrobe consisting only of clothes I like to wear, can wear, and do wear). I don’t have to spend a lot of time fussing over how I look, and I can spend that time doing things I enjoy instead. It also makes things easier because I never have to worry about my makeup smearing, or rubbing off on things, or running if my face gets wet. I’m free! It also makes it easier to wash my face because there’s no need to remove makeup first or take extra time to get it all off. Yet another benefit is that I spend almost no money on makeup, which could get expensive for some people.

Another thing I love about not wearing makeup is that I feel more confident and beautiful. I don’t feel like I’m hiding behind anything; it’s just me. If I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and think I look good, or if somebody gives me a compliment on my appearance, I know that it’s because I am beautiful, not my makeup. But more importantly, I just don’t feel like it matters that much how I look. Yes, it’s important to feel good about your appearance, and it’s a good thing socially and professionally to look put-together and like you take care of yourself. For me, those things can be accomplished without makeup, and beyond that, I believe that appearances really aren’t that important because they don’t last, and they aren’t worth anything in the grand scheme of eternity. As corny as it sounds, I’d rather be beautiful on the inside than on the outside. And that attitude actually contributes to me feeling beautiful inside and out.

The third thing I love about not wearing makeup every day is that when I do wear makeup, it can make the occasion feel more special. One occasion that I always wear makeup for is my family’s annual photo shoot. I like to have photos where our outfits look cute and my hair and makeup is done. It’s not because I don’t like to be photographed without makeup, either. I have no problem with taking photos in my normal day-to-day style. But for our photo shoots, I enjoy doing something extra. I also wear makeup to parties sometimes, or occasionally if I just feel like it on any given day. It’s just something different and special, like deciding to wear a dress or a skirt and nice top instead of jeans and a comfy shirt.

I know that choosing to not wear makeup isn’t for everybody. And there’s nothing wrong with appreciating or pursuing beauty. For me, the problem was that beauty became too important, and I was pursuing it for the wrong reasons. I used makeup to make myself feel more beautiful, which made me feel more valuable. For a woman who feels beautiful with or without makeup, who wears it because it helps her to express herself, or who wears it to add beauty to the world, I think makeup is a wonderful thing. For a woman who wears makeup because she feels like she has to, or because she feels like her beauty makes her worth more, or because she wants people to be envious of her or lust after her, I would say that maybe makeup isn’t such a good thing. I used to be in that second category, but now I’m in the first, and I love how it feels.

I wonder how many women out there would be willing to challenge themselves to go without makeup? If it is a challenge for you, then maybe it’s one you need to take! For all the men out there, I hope you can appreciate the women in your life for the beauty that they exude, whether they’re wearing makeup or not; especially inner beauty, because inner beauty really is more fun to be around, anyway.