Growing up, I never wore any makeup.
While my friends went through the awkward heavy black eyeliner and mascara phase, I rocked the bare face. I started applying mascara and bronzer throughout high school but overall, I never cared for makeup. Given this fact, it was a huge shock on my end when I found that during my senior year of college and post-grad life that I couldn’t leave the house without it on. As a bartender, I always have to look good, and for nights out? Forget it. Full face coverage, eyeliner, mascara, blush, contour, highlight. You name it – I was wearing it.
A lot of it was because I became super insecure during my senior year in college. I was facing a lot of mental health issues including manic/depressive episodes and severe anxiety. I was really focused on how I looked because that made me feel better on the outside. I was working out all the time, lost a shit ton of weight, and was applying nearly a full face of make-up every single day. Looking back, I ultimately used my make-up regimen as my crutch to dealing with these issues I was facing.
In the last year and a half, I’ve been working on myself. Rebuilding my self-esteem and growing into a person I can feel happy about on the inside – and I feel like I’m nearly there. Although my obsessive exercising and eating habits have worn away, I hadn’t dropped my makeup routine. And although it has gotten significantly lighter – I felt like the best way to challenge my self-esteem was to go back to the bare face.
So I decided to drop make-up cold for a minimum of seven days…
My morning routine now consisted of a lightly tinted moisturizer and brushed teeth.
I was feeling bold and confident. It was weird waking up and just applying moisturizer, but decided to post on my Instagram story about my week challenge and make it a point that people would follow this story. To my surprise FIVE people DM’d me saying that they felt I looked great regardless – so I was confident.
Here’s where the first lesson came in:
I didn’t believe I looked good without the validation.
I liked that reassurance from others, considering this bare-face look was a territory I hadn’t been on in a while. I realized, too many times make-up and our face is what people judge to try and figure out what we’re like. That day, I ended up telling my supervisor at my internship what I was doing in order to keep my insecurities from surfacing. I needed to justify why I looked the way I did, which I realize I didn’t need to do. The best part was she told me she couldn’t even tell – and I was relieved.
I ate lunch alone at a bar in a restaurant and struck up a conversation with a middle-aged man about his business and life. This wasn’t me flirting at all, I just happen to talk to everyone in the world when given the chance. At first I was super insecure that he was looking right at me and my pale-ass skin, until we got so into the conversation and he gave me his card (for future writing opportunities.) There I was, makeup-less in a bar NETWORKING. It was like pigs flew and I was on their back.
I’ve talked to guys in a nice setting before, but never in my life have I been in a bar bare-faced and ready to mingle with anyone. Ever.
Intelligence and personality speak.