Dumplings, today I would like to share with you my story with makeup.
I was around 13 years old when I put makeup on for the first time for a party. I put on some concealer, mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick, and yes, I looked quite different than usual. Honestly I liked the result and I was so curious to see the reaction of the others. I heard the sentence “You look so beautiful” more times on this single night than in all the days of my life before. I believed that I looked pretty and felt more confident than ever. I wished I could feel like this every day.
That night I decided to wear makeup every single day. Starting the next morning, I didn’t leave the house without putting on some mascara and lipstick. Even for going to buy some bread, my makeup needed to be perfect. It simply became a habit and I could no longer imagine my life without these products. I started to believe that I must be presentable for others to accept who I am.
As I grew older, I started to adopt some lifestyle changes like minimalism and veganism. These shifted my mindset, but I was still wearing makeup every day. A year ago, I met someone who told me she never wears makeup. At the time, I couldn’t really imagine how she lives her life without concealer and eyeliner. But something about this excited me so much that I decided to quit makeup for a year. It was a bit hard at the beginning, but in the end I felt so grateful that I tried it. Here are some unexpected and wonderful benefits I experienced.
1. My skin became clearer
Before I’ve never had a clear skin. My face was normally full of acne. In my no-makeup year, I also started to take better care of my skin. Now my skin looks better than it ever has in my life. I don’t want to say that it was only because I stopped using makeup, but putting less chemicals on my face definitely helped a lot.
2. I had more time
This definitely boosted my quality of life because I hate to wake up early in the mornings. This past year, I didn’t feel rushed to get my makeup done before going out. My mornings became calmer because I didn’t have to worry about if I’ll be ready on time or not. In my opinion quitting makeup allowed me to spend more time in nourishing activities.
3. I saved money
I didn’t expect that just by no longer buying makeup products I’ll save a lot of money. But these items can be quite expensive and if you buy them regularly they might increase your expenses. I found myself spending this money on items and experiences that I value more.
4. I learned to appreciate myself
Before this experience, makeup was something that gave me confidence. I thought if I stop using it I’ll have less confidence too. And yes, this happened at the beginning, but gradually my confidence depended less on my appearance. I didn’t look at beauty products, clothes, and accessories as things that make us beautiful. For example, I would say “I look good in this new dress,” instead of “this new dress looks good on me.” I started to appreciate myself and accept my imperfections instead of focusing too much on creating the ideal me.
So I spent a whole year without any makeup. I experienced a ton of benefits and now it’s time to decide how to go on. I’ve become so comfortable not wearing makeup that I think I’ll keep it up going forward. Am I saying that makeup is bad and you should stop wearing it? No. I think the problem is if you wear makeup because you feel you need to in order to be acceptable or beautiful.
On the other hand, I think it’s great to wear makeup if you truly like it. I’m sure it allows a lot of people to find joy and to improve their creativity. For example, I like to express myself by drawing, cooking, and singing, but for some people makeup is the best tool for it. Just remember that you should wear makeup for you—not other people.
Also by Adrienn: How I Discovered Minimalism While Living In France
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Photo: Victoria Volkova via Unsplash; Adrienn Gyetko