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One Week Without Makeup: My Experience

the naked face project

Last week I wrote about a project that is underway called The Naked Face Project. Two women decided to forgo makeup, hair products/styling, and any primping for sixty days. I challenged myself to go a week without any of the aforementioned as well.

Makeup has always been something that I’ve loved. As soon as I could, I was wearing mascara and blush and different eyeshadows. My friends and I would have slumber parties where we would do each other’s makeup and hair and take our “head shots.” This love for makeup eventually led me to wanting to become a makeup artist. I went to school in Los Angeles and loved it. Makeup had always been an art form to me; a different canvas and different paints but art just the same. I never felt as though I looked at makeup as something that I needed to feel confident or something that helped to define me.

Fast forward many years later to last Wednesday morning when I got up for work and didn’t put any makeup on. I felt naked. I felt exposed. Vulnerable even! I was shocked at how difficult it was for me to just put on sunscreen, brush my teeth, and walk away. My makeup routine in the morning was nothing extreme: I would put on some concealer, blush, and mascara. That’s it. Yet, for some reason, without those three little products I felt slightly less complete. All of a sudden I could see imperfections (to me) that I probably would have never noticed before. The no hair styling aspect of this challenge was not really an issue as I have to wear my hair up and in a scarf for work everyday-always zero styling involved, especially at 4 am! While I was at work I tried to forget about the fact that I wasn’t wearing any makeup, but it honestly distracted me. I was taken aback by my own internal reaction to something that I assumed was going to be a walk in the park.

The next day I felt slightly better, but that may have had to do with the fact that I hit the snooze once since I didn’t have to put anything on! It was still on my mind, though, and I realized that I was very self conscious without any makeup on. Almost as though someone would notice and say something or they would ask me if something was wrong or if I was tired. To my surprise, this never happened. I began to realize that the only person that had a clue I wasn’t wearing makeup was me. The second day also brought an interesting twist of sorts to the challenge. I was having a friend over, of the male variety, that I’m interested in. The idea of not putting my best face forward, so to speak, had me a little anxious. Again, to my surprise, he didn’t notice or act differently towards me. It just didn’t matter.

After that second day I began to feel exponentially more comfortable in my exposed skin. It started to feel very freeing. It almost felt like an announcement to the world of “Here I am, take it or leave it. Flaws and all!” With each passing day I looked in the mirror less, thought about it less, and eventually I didn’t think about it at all. I still have a love for makeup and I’ll continue to wear it to some extent- I doubt that will ever change! The Naked Face Challenge helped me honestly realize that my made up face doesn’t define my beauty and it doesn’t define or alter what I have to offer. The challenge also made me realize that I care more about what others think of me and my appearance than I thought. I had always thought of myself as a body and face confident woman; it didn’t matter if I covered up that blemish or wore mascara around someone that I like! After doing this challenge I realized that I said those those things with confidence without ever making myself do it! It’s easy to say that it doesn’t matter if I wear mascara or not while I’m wearing it, but then to make that statement unmasked is completely different. I CAN now say, with true confidence, that I’m beautiful with or without makeup!

Did you do The Naked Face Challenge? I would love to hear about your experiences as well! Feel free to leave any comments, questions, or links.

Written by Maria

Hey there! I'm Maria Raffaelle and I currently live in Chicago, IL. I have a passion for all things eco-friendly in makeup, skincare, haircare, and fashion. The crafter in me loves to put a DIY twist on beauty too! One of my goals is to help women realize that they are all beautiful; no matter their size, shape, or skin. Let's celebrate the beauty in each of us, together!

One Comment

  1. I haven’t done this recently, as I am an esthetician and makeup artist and it is in my job description to wear makeup, but I it was much different a few years ago. I was at my heaviest, having chronic health issues which sometimes affected my skin and never left the house without makeup. It was such a crutch, and I felt that people would know I was unhealthy or unhappy without it. I saw an Oprah show about a woman who wore so much makeup and hairspray everyday, her husband barely knew what she looked like without it. Her make-under was inspiring, although I won’t lie, I waited for my skin to improve a little before I started going out without makeup, but once I did I had similar reactions. I felt so vulnerable and paranoid that people were judging my appearance, but a week in of not wearing makeup to work, I realized I got hit on just as much, I felt clean, fresh, honest, and was glad that I was no longer a person whose identity needed to be painted on. It’s definitely an important thing to be proficient in makeup for job success, and to give yourself that pick me up or special treatment as a woman, but I agree it is equally as important to recognize your unadorned beauty. Confidence turns head far before concealer 😉 Thanks for posting this.

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