Lessons from going one year makeup free!

For those of you who’ve been following me for a while you might remember a little blog post I did towards the last week of July last year about giving up makeup. Check it out here if you haven’t read it yet.

Anywho, it has officially been 1 whole year without makeup for me and I wanted to talk about a few things I learned along the way.

But first let’s talk about the reasons I gave it up in the first place.

  1. First and foremost I’m pretty lazy when it comes to my morning routine. I get up brush my teeth run a brush through my hair and that’s the gist of it. Maybe I’ll do a ponytail or braid if I’m feeling particularly adventurous. But having makeup in the routine was taking up too much time in my opinion, and quite honestly I was only using it to cover up blemishes anyway, not to turn myself into the next Victoria’s Secret model lol
  2. That stuff is expensive, and there’s so many brands to choose from. I’d walk into the store and it was time-consuming enough to find something that matched my skin tone, let alone wondering what the heck the different between a bb cream and a cc cream was.
  3. Most of the time I only managed to put on eyeliner and a bit of concealer and that was it.
  4. And quite frankly I was irritated that men could go out with a fresh face every stinking day without anyone making a peep but if I went out without eyeliner everyone asked me if I was “tired” and “doing okay”. As though my fresh face looked like one of an ill person. Oy.

So I decided to do a little experiment. I got rid of it all. Every last bit. GONE.


Quite honestly, I’m glad I did it.

Now I’ll tell you, for someone with acne scars and nice discolored bits on my face it was definitely an adjustment to go out without any “war paint” as it were. But you know what? Eventually I got used to it, and so did everyone else. I no longer bet any comments about my appearance except for those who say “oh, you look great today, where’d you get that skirt?” etc.

I’ve learned quite a bit from this experiment…

  1. Most people aren’t scrutinizing your face to see if you’re wearing makeup every single day. As a matter of fact, most people simply don’t care. So don’t base your choices on what others might think of your fresh makeup-free face.
  2. Makeup can be used for two purposes, the first being to hide imperfections, the second to enhance your favorite features. I prefer the second reason to the first. Everyone has some sort of imperfection and most are quite interesting and beautiful, like freckles. Now acne scars aren’t what I’d personally consider beautiful, but I can deal with others seeing them. If anyone asks, I simply explain I have food intolerances that caused a lot of acne growing up and these are the battle scars, so to speak.
  3. Don’t be embarrassed by your face. Everyone breaks out occasionally, just like a lot of people get weird sunglasses tanlines in the summer, its inevitable. Its HUMAN. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
  4. If you are insecure about breakouts or blemishes, try not looking into the mirror for a week. Soon enough you’ll realize it isn’t that big of a deal and there are much more interesting ways to spend your time.
  5. Guys go out without makeup, and it’s perfectly acceptable for us women to as well. End of story. (I’d also add here that we can go out with hairy legs and braless as well, but I’ll save those bits for another post:) )
  6. Nixing makeup saves both time and money. And energy. If I don’t put anything on in the morning, I don’t have to spend copious amounts of time scraping it off at night.
  7. My last point is that society can be pretty demanding, always trying to sell you the next beauty treatment or wrinkle remover, but quite honestly we don’t need them. If you’re young you’ll probably have some breakouts, if your older you’ll be betting wrinkles and smile lines, but its all a normal part of growing up and growing older. So embrace your age as well as your face, they are stunningly unique after all (unless you’re an identical twin, but I digress) and they’re all yours.

I’ll admit I had a few times the past year when I was tempted to get some concealer to cover up a few things, but now that the year’s over I can now say that I don’t really miss the makeup…except on Halloween. Then, yeah I’ll probably make a bit of DIY makeup just for the hell of it. But the rest of the year I will enjoy going makeup free and embracing me, scars and all.

Have any of you tried going makeup free? Do you enjoy it or did you regret it? Have any zero-waste/minimalist makeup recipes for me? I’d love to hear about it all in the comments!


7 thoughts on “Lessons from going one year makeup free!

  1. Totally agree with all of this. The only time I wore “make up” was in 8th grade and it was just a powder/concealer. Never got into it after that, not worth my time or money! I do get pimples and I also have really shiny/oily skin – but that’s just how it is. Here I am – take it or leave it! But like you said, most people really don’t care. My husband doesn’t care so I’m not going to worry about it either!


  2. I’ve been make up free for at least 5 years. I was never a big make up wearer. When i wore it i used it to usually cover a blemish. When i stopped worrying so much about blemishes and started worrying about fine lines i kind of gave up. This is me. Why should i hide. It’s freeing. I use lipstick for fun once in a great while and i do own a tinted moisturizer that never sees the light of day. That’s it. I save a lot of money and am very happy with my decision.


    1. This was an amazing read. I’ve been forgoing makeup for a few months. I have a little pouch of my favorites stashed under the sink but I haven’t pulled it out yet. Not wearing makeup has forced me to accept ME, and focus more on smiling. A smile is the BEST accessory to have. I resent the fact that I have felt not worth braving public (without makeup). Especially in junior high/highschool? What was I thinking? Makeup isn’t a bad thing, but it definitely can get you addicted. Woot woot for loving what we are born with:D


  3. I have dark.under -eye circles, which I believe are due to irregular sleeping patterns and allergies. I use concealer ro cover those bit wish I didn’t feel the need to. Not into a lot else unless going ro see clients. I applaud your stance and will work to resolve the racoon look another way!


  4. I’ve never worn much make-up. And all through high school and university I’ve only worn make-up when i felt like it, or perhaps for going out as part og the “outfit”. Now I’m recently done with uni and I’m wondering if I’ll be able to continue like this in a job? I hope so, I’m so used to not wearing makeup i tend to smear it (touching my eyes), and make me all black-eyed 😉


  5. I never wear make up for work but on the odd occasion I go out in the evening I wear mascara, rouge and lip gloss. I have very pale eye lashes and have them tinted to draw the attention to my eyes and save need for makeup too. A great idea for zero waste makeup remover is to use a thin slice of raw potatoe and wipe it over the eyes/face, believe it or not, I read it in a book about beuty treatments for teenagers from the 1950s!


  6. High five! I wear very simple makeup (powder, tinted lip balm, maybe eyeshadow) but am always drawn to the idea of using None Whatsoever. For me, the big reason is that men aren’t expected to wear makeup, and it makes me angry that women’s faces are considered inherently wrong without makeup. Nuts to that!


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