How No-Makeup November Changed My View On Beauty

While many men were growing out their beards and others were saving every penny, I was going on my own November adventure. November is the month that we have chosen to eliminate things from our lives, whether it be bad spending habits, excess hair, or, in my current case, makeup. That’s right, I chose to go on a barefaced journey for the entire month of November and, let me tell you, I learned quite a bit.

Let me preface by saying that I am not particularly a “makeup person.” I don’t know a thing about contouring, can do a mediocre cat eye, at best, and have no desire to own a Kylie lip kit. This all being said, I wear makeup every single day, with little exception. Although my routine is simple, the face it creates is part of my daily uniform and a security blanket for me. This year, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and eliminate makeup from my routine for an entire month. Overall, I would call it a success, but the journey took many turns along the way:

Week 1:

This was, by far, the hardest week, but isn’t starting always the hardest part? I dove in head first and literally wanted to quit on day one and day two and day three. I have never had perfect skin, but it has always been manageable. This being said, my face decided to break out like crazy this week, but there was nothing I could do about it. I had to push through and share my blemishes with the world. “How will I ever survive?” I complained. Each day was a new struggle: I wanted to tame my eyebrows, I wanted to cover my acne, I wanted to curl and coat my lashes in mascara, but I couldn’t do any of these things. I was committed to finishing, but this week was tough. Each day unfolded into more and more self-consciousness. I thought this was supposed to feel like girl power and self-love, but none of those feelings were coming. I gave up on my appearance completely this week, wearing nothing but sweatshirts and jeans, not doing my hair, and wanting to go completely unnoticed.

Week 2:

This week was full of realizations. My skin had somewhat cleared up and I began to notice my positive features, instead of just looking at every little imperfection. This week was an interesting one for me because I couldn’t just be casual and barefaced, but I had to look professional. I attended a national convention, so I had to look presentable, even without my makeup façade. My bare face felt unprofessional, so I felt the need to compensate with my hair and clothing. I spent a lot of time picking out my outfits, making sure they were properly ironed, and doing my hair in order to maintain a professional look without makeup. Overall, Week 2 was a vast improvement over Week 1; I started to feel confident and comfortable with no makeup and I stopped caring about what others were thinking all the time. This whole no makeup thing could really work.

Week 3:

This was the true turning point in my project. Not only was I going with no makeup, but I also scratched my cornea, so now I am wearing my glasses on the daily when I usually only wear contacts out of the house. The self-consciousness came back with the new addition to my barefaced look. How could I possibly wear glasses and no makeup? I was being dramatic, but I just didn’t feel like myself. After toying with the idea of giving up a little early, I finally decided to continue through. After all, I was already halfway done. This week was about giving up all reservations. Now that I was wearing no makeup and glasses, I completely stopped caring about what others thought. I didn’t even give it a second thought. I laughed, I smiled, I felt amazing because I didn’t care. It was like the glasses put the whole experiment over the top and now I was free to completely not care about what others thought. I just lived my life and forgot to worry about how I looked.

Week 4:

The final week led to little change and a lot of reflection. I definitely peaked in Week 3, so now all I had left to do was evaluate the entire month. I have realized through this whole experiment that I don’t need makeup, but I like makeup. I miss experimenting with a new lip color and the satisfaction of perfectly shaping my brows. I will go back to wearing makeup after this month, but the detox was needed to learn why I wear makeup and what I like about it. I may never have Alicia Keys-level barefaced confidence, but I have gained a better appreciation for who I am and what I have to offer, with or without makeup. No makeup November taught me that I don’t need makeup, but I like it, which is okay.

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