Some of my earliest memories involve some kind of beauty product. Whether it was a bullet of Heather Shimmer lipstick, a dusting of Collection 2000 powder or a slick of gloopy mascara I’d claimed from my mum’s stash, I always loved the ritualistic nature of applying my makeup. There’s something quite cathartic about creating a persona or new representation of yourself with just a few simple tools; the beauty of great makeup is that you can be whoever you want to be, no matter what you’re actually feeling like beneath the surface. How many times are we told that a touch of lipstick has the transformative power of Clark Kent’s glasses, or that all we need to disguise that heavy night is a touch of creamy concealer? Having a portfolio of tools at your disposal doesn’t make you any more or less of a woman, nor is it ‘false advertising’ as so many seem to accuse; I can guarantee you that 99.9% of women apply makeup to feel good about themselves – and they couldn’t give a toss about Tom, Dick or Harry’s opinion. Anyway, I digress. My point here is that it’s absolutely ok to be passionate about makeup or beauty in whichever form you choose to digest it, but it’s also absolutely ok to have those days where you say to yourself in the mirror: “I just can’t be bothered.”
For me, those days are mostly when I’m working from home and have a sh*t-tonne of work to get through, so any unnecessary tasks that take up any valuable time are ignored. If nobody is going to see me, then why waste a good fifteen minutes of my morning applying product that ends up being a waste of effort, time and money? It’s the perfect excuse to lather on a great skin oil or super-hydrating moisturiser, chuck my hair back in a ponytail and get on with my day. Outside of that, Sundays are always my low-key makeup day; if I manage to put on anything at all, it’s a paired-back version of my usual look with just a dash of lipgloss and mascara. It seems a bit ridiculous to spend so much time chiseling my cheekbones when I’m wandering to Starbucks or stocking up at ASDA – and a super polished look really doesn’t feel necessary when I’m showcasing my usual jeans and jumper combo.
With social media now making us accessible 24/7, it’s understandable that we’re increasingly under pressure to always ‘be on’. If there’s even the slightest chance we’ll be instagramming, tweeting or snapchatting, it’s hard to embrace our natural beauty that lies beneath a tonne of makeup and a hair ‘do that involved thirty minutes slaving away with a hot pair of tongs. Maybe it’s an age thing, but I don’t want to have to prep and preen myself every single day when there are far more important things to be getting on with – whether that’s housework, admin tasks or simply a date with Netflix. Here are some of the reasons I’m increasingly embracing my naked face wholeheartedly, and encourage you to consider doing the same.
TAKE SOME TIME BACK
It’s estimated that we spend over 400 days during our average lifetimes applying makeup. For most that’s a fifteen to sixty minute morning ritual that could actually be put to better use once in a while. If you opted for a ‘makeup free’ day once a week, think of the other stuff you could get done – from a quick yoga session, to finally cleaning your makeup brushes or simply doing the washing up.
LET YOUR SKIN BREATHE
Although makeup is becoming increasingly lightweight and non-comedogenic (designed to not block pores,) on the whole adding layer upon layer of product could have a detremental impact on skin. If you’re prone to breakouts, dryness or irritation then your makeup could be exacerbating the problem; giving your skin a chance to naturally re-balance can only ever be a good thing.
LOVE YOUR IMPERFECTIONS
The problem with applying our ‘war paint’ on a daily basis is that we can develop a negative relationship with our imperfections and start to perceive them as quirks that ‘need correcting.’ Whether that’s dark circles, blemishes, freckles or a larger nose than you would have chosen for yourself, it’s important to love yourself for who you are and have a positive relationship with your face. We shouldn’t be afraid to look in the mirror makeup free, nor should we worry about loved ones seeing us without our face on; the more you embrace it, the more positive relationship you’ll have with yourself.
DOUBLE UP ON SKINCARE
Applying nine layers of skincare underneath your makeup isn’t always realistic, so skipping your foundation allows you to increase your usual skincare routine and leave the products to get to work. Oils and heavier creams are great for ‘no makeup’ days, as they’ll leave your complexion looking radiant and glowing while giving your skin what it needs. If you don’t have to worry about your face cream absorbing within sixty seconds, you can use those treatments you always *want* to use but never seem to have the time for.
What are your thoughts on makeup free days? Do you regularly skip the slap, make an effort to go without all those layers when you’re at home, or does the thought terrify you?