When I was in 7th grade, my mom finally allowed me to start wearing mascara and blush to school. I wanted to wear more than that, but took what I could get after months of sulking about every time she told me to go wash my face when I would try to stealthily apply more makeup. (I now realize this mission was doomed from the start seeing as how 7th graders are not fluent in the pervasive “no makeup makeup” concept). I just wanted to wear makeup so bad. I wanted desperately to appear at least five years old than I was — a common theme in my childhood self.
Then there was the time my best friend told me on the middle school bus that she liked my sans makeup appearance better than what I assumed was my best self (with makeup, of course). I realize now that this was probably a very unique and shaping experience, no matter how short or little I thought of it at the time. But how many middle school girls encourage one another to show off their most natural selves? Not many, I assume.
All that did little to deter my interest in the treasure trove that is the beauty isles of Target and the counters at Sephora.
But here I am, almost ten years later, and my beauty experimentation days feel long gone. In fact, my makeup use has exponentially decreased in the past year. I find it interesting that I have consciously decided to not do what I assumed was a right of passage as an adult, something I thought made me older (never wiser) through all those impressionable years.
At the beginning of this year, I proclaimed — as I so often do — mascara to be dead to me (now skinny jeans are too, fyi). The reason: it makes my eyes feel heavy and it’s a bitch to remove every night. Talk. About. Annoying. I had a hard look in the mirror, in the most literal figurative sense, and asked myself why I felt the need to do something I really, truly did not enjoy? Was I wearing mascara for others? Because honestly, I feel just as confident without it as I do with it. So I decided we’d take a break Ross Geller style.
Four months later and I’ve taken a break from all makeup. The only exception being Saturday night when I’m inclined to use sparkly emerald green eyeshadow to ward off any boy who thinks I’m the type of girl who would want to settle down in the midwestern countryside with him. I love that my morning “beauty” routine of washing my face and applying moisturizer takes less than two and a half minutes.
The greatest irony is that while this dissociation with my cosmetic bag was in the works, I was asked to represent a little beauty company (you may of heard of them, they go by Glossier). Their ethos is very minimal, easy, on-the-go makeup products, while putting your unadulterated skin first. But I’ve talked about Glossier before, so you already knew that.
Not covering my freckles in layers of makeup feels nice. Not spending more than five minutes on my face feels even better. Deciding to be true to myself feels the best.
Also, how do my under eye circles look today?