The Month Without Makeup

A few days ago, I casually committed to wearing no makeup for one month. It wasn’t really something I put too much thought into; it arose organically and felt like a good “new year” experiment.

The night after I made this decision, I had two dreams about it. In the first, I was gathering with a large group for a photo. Everyone was completely glammed out, even my daughter! I was the only one wearing a simple dress and a plain face. I felt invisible and less than.

In the second, I was navigating my way to my first class of the school year. I couldn’t read my phone screen (you know how dreams are), so I didn’t know the room number. I did something I never did in my “actual” school years—I wandered through strange classrooms, scouring the space for signs that I belonged there. At one point, I went into the bathroom and was surprised to find that I looked nothing like myself. I had no makeup on, was wearing glasses, and had brown, pin-straight hair. When I finally found my class, I explained what had happened without shame and with a little attitude. Plain-faced me was actually more willing to take risks and make a fool of herself if it meant that she could find where she belonged.

I’m getting older. My wrinkles are deepening. My eye circles are darkening. The hair on my upper lip is growing darker too. All of these things make me uncomfortable, and it’s really for this reason that I’m going makeup-less not only in day-to-day life, but on my various platforms as well.

What will you think of my true face? Will you keep scrolling because it’s “just me,” naked and bare? Will your own fear of growing old and obsolete cause you to criticize the lines in my forehead and at the edges of my lips and eyes? Will I experience the “great disappearing” that so many middle-aged women experience?

I don’t know, but there’s only one way to find out.

8 Replies to “The Month Without Makeup”

  1. Thank you for doing this!! I have had pretty bad rosacea and ocular rosacea for years now. I have been unable to find any makeup that did not irritate my skin or eyes. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard I need to just wear a little makeup. I hear women talking bad about women behind their backs for not wearing makeup. It is a shame at this point in history women are still criticized over what we wear or don’t wear. Never have I heard anyone tell a man they just need a little lipstick and concealer

  2. Women do not fade away or disappear unless they want to. How magical to Be yourself as you are? For me to Be myself as I am? Without make-up, without hiding age or wrinkles or extra hair in places. I’ve been standing tall in this space since menopause in my mid-40’s. One does get bolder with age.

  3. Hello! I come to you straight from your latest newsletter, and I want to tell you how much it meant to me. If there has ever been proof that quality is the route to take beyond the algorithm, it is that this very newsletter is the one that made me click through to your site. Kind of poetic, eh? I wish I could have found a better way to give you this feedback than commenting on an entirely different blog post. But the heartfelt praise felt important enough to share that I clicked all over the place looking for someplace I could send you some positive feedback and support. Again, proof that the message is more important than anything else. And, to the point of this blog post, it didn’t matter one iota to me that you were not wearing makeup. Your light is brightest when you shine who you are. That’s what makes me read all the way through to the end of a newsletter and click through to your site, rather than simply moving on to the next email. Thank you for your light and caring support of your community.

  4. I follow you because of your authenticity and your ability to take no shit and to tell it like it is. You rock, make up or not! 🙂 I turned 50 this year, and the gift I gave myself was that of not caring what others think of me or my personal choices. I think you are awesome – keep doing what you do!

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