As I mentioned yesterday, No More Dirty Looks is hosting a No Makeup Challenge this week. Turns out it’s part of a whole big No Makeup Week originated by Rabbit Write here in blogland, so obviously, I had to get in on that action. (Hi fellow bloggers! Thanks for letting me play!)
What’s funny is that, before Beauty U, this would have been so not a thing for me. I was pretty straight-up no makeup. (Just ask my friend K, who did my makeup for my wedding and had to talk me into the whole concept of concealer.) I work from home and usually only leave the house for yoga or chocolate, yes, but even back in my office days, all I ever wore was some lip gloss. I wasn’t anti-makeup, exactly — I could get way into some fake eyelashes or red lipstick for dress-up fun and I was pretty well addicted to that lip gloss. But it was more of a “whee, aren’t we pretty!” thing than a “time to get my game face on” thing.
It wasn’t that, like Kate on Eat the Damn Cake, I was afraid of makeup or had missed being initiated into the makeup thing — I worked in women’s magazines with huge beauty departments brimming in free samples, for goodness sake. I knew what it was all about. I honestly just didn’t think I needed to wear makeup, at least not on a daily basis. I knew I had under-eye circles and the odd pimple that could be covered up, but they just weren’t the parts of my body that stressed me out in that way.
And this will make me sound naive, but I honestly did not realize, until the first night we did makeup at Beauty U, how many women do not leave the house without something on. Maybe not a lot. Just concealer, maybe. Or you just do your brows and swipe on some mascara. But something. Always something. And it’s because of some individual-to-everyone ratio of “this makes me feel pretty” and “the world cannot see what I look like without this.”
I didn’t become a makeup girl at Beauty U, exactly. Despite all the emphasis on dress codes and looking the part and promoting beauty and all that jazz, we got pretty slacker-ish over there about grooming, especially on weeks when there weren’t any clients and we were just sitting around the spa working on each other. Why bother with makeup (or real pants) when you’re just going to have to take it all off for a seaweed wrap anyway?
But whenever I would bother to take it up a notch and wear some shimmery eyeshadow (because we all scored some on one of the Sephora field trips) or straighten my hair, everyone at Beauty U noticed. Because we were in the business to notice that kind of thing.
And some kind of subtle shift did happen, so that I’m continuing to notice now, that ever since I actually learned how to put on eyeliner and such, I’m a lot more likely to think I should do it before I Go Somewhere. And by “Somewhere,” I don’t just mean Prom-level Somewheres. I’d say it’s up to pretty much any social event, from a work lunch to a dinner party, where I want to feel Dressed, as opposed to just “by the way, I got dressed.”
I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with this. It’s fun to feel Dressed, because it breaks up the tedium that is me yet again in jeans-tank-Birks (yes, those Birks. I love them now, I wear them all the time, this is my unofficial work uniform these days). And I’ve always been an outfit-y person.
But it does bother me that I used to feel Dressed without even thinking about makeup — and now I don’t quite feel Dressed until I contemplate that step too. And it does feel more “game face” than “ooh, pretty!” I’ve realized that yes, I have nice eyelashes, but they look even longer and curlier with mascara and eyeliner. Or okay, that pimple isn’t all that bad, but there is this thing called concealer which means the world doesn’t have to see it. And I don’t love that.
So, this weekend, I will be going no makeup wherever I go, no matter how Dressed I otherwise want to be. (I won’t wear makeup the rest of the week either, but I have to wait for the weekend so I can follow the “you must leave your house” rule of the challenge, since again, I work from home.) And I’ll post pictures and let you know how it feels — can I return to the old, pre-Beauty U me? Or, once you’re in the business of noticing, will you always see what the beauty industry thinks is missing?
And now, of course, it’s your turn: What’s your makeup routine like and how do you feel about a no makeup day or week?
[Photo via Rabbit Writes]