After the stresses (and there were a lot of stresses) of organising a wedding, we couldn’t wait to jet off to the other side of the world and enjoy everything it had to offer. Tropical climates, jungle backdrops, as many cocktails as I could consume poolside and day trips to locations that looked like another planet… As we started to relax and breathe deeply for the first time in months, I started to become so focused on living in the moment and letting my stress fade away that spending an hour getting ready every morning really seemed quite ridiculous. The first couple of days I made a marginal effort to pop on basic makeup and do my hair, but as we got caught in our first tropical downpour I wondered why I was bothering; less time in front of the mirror meant more time asleep (or eating breakfast) and less time having to faff around taking it all off again before bed.
For the next two weeks I barely wore anything on my face other than SPF and a touch of lip balm, while my hair spent most of its time tied up in a bun or plaited away from my face (and it was probably glad of the break from the straighteners.) It wasn’t intentional, but I kind of had a beauty break – and it was the best thing I could’ve ever done. Here’s what it taught me and how I’ve reassessed my relationship with makeup since.
MY IMPERFECTIONS AREN’T THAT BAD
It’s easy to focus on those dark circles, fine lines and redness around your nose when you spend so long trying to cover them up, but when you embrace them and look at your naked face in the mirror multiple times a day you realise they’re really not as bad as you think. Stepping away from the makeup and actually going to dinner with nothing but a slick of mascara made me re-assess how I percieve my own flaws, and that actually I don’t need to cover them up every day to be who I want to be. I’m getting older and my skin is no longer porcelain smooth, but that’s ok. It’s still pretty awesome just the way it is.
IT’S GOOD TO LET SKIN BREATHE
Although the majority of my cosmetics are light and non comedogenic (don’t block pores) there’s something about letting skin ‘just be’ that seems to do it the world of good. Letting the fresh air, sea water and tropical sun get to my face not only gave me a subtle glow, but my dark circles and pigmentation issues seemed to massively reduce. After two weeks away from the makeup, my skin seemed to glow (and not only from the sun.) There’s something in this ‘let skin breathe’ stuff!
WE OVER COMPLICATE EVERYTHING
My job is to use as many beauty products as I can physically manage, picking out the best ones to recommend and talk about to you guys. The side-effect of this is that my routine is probably the most complicated and long-winded imaginable, just so I can put as many new things on my face as I need. Stripping this back and using the bare minimum made me realise I didn’t need all those steps, and that multi-functional products really were the best things ever. Since I’ve got back I’ve made an effort to reduce the number of products I use and stop swapping them about every single day too, keeping my routine quick and simple so I can get out the door within the hour.
A BEAUTY KICK-START IS A GOOD THING
The best thing that came out of nearly two weeks away from the eyeliner pen and contouring palette? Actually thoroughly enjoying my routine when I went back to it after a break. I took more pleasure than I’d had for a long time from precisely blending in my base and buffing in my blusher, while creating a strong socket line was more enjoyable than an episode of Stranger Things! Looking at my face in the mirror when I was all ‘done up’ felt like seeing an old friend, but also it felt like I didn’t need to hang out with this old friend every day – I could save her for special occasions.
Since we returned from honeymoon I’ve started to either take five minutes to chuck on some slap, or really immerse myself in the pleasure of every facet of my makeup bag; makeup is about having fun, and I feel like I’ve really rediscovered that. I’ve learned that I don’t have to cover up my imperfections every day, nor are people even looking at them when you think they are. (I had a giant spot on my chin for half the holiday, but after a while I didn’t even care!) Beauty is about enhancing your natural self and providing a bit of pampering when you need it most – and sometimes the best way to rediscover that is to take it all away.
Have you ever had a beauty break? Do you leave your makeup bag stashed away when you’re on holiday, or would you never be seen without a full face? I’d love to know your thoughts!
Thanks to Kirsty from fashionforlunch.net for the photos!
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