Minimal Makeup Month – Why do we hide beneath our second skin?

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For a very long time now, us girls, myself included have relied on makeup. We, for whatever reasons, feel the need to hide behind this mask – which have you noticed? Does not come cheap. Now, I know that there are many reasons why some of us hide behind our masks of gorgeously expensive slap, many more reasons than just wanting to ‘feel pretty’, but do we really need it? Hiding scars, boosting your self-esteem, covering blemishes and acne – they’re all reasons that we cover ourselves in everything from MUA to MAC.

My reason for wearing makeup has been that of many others – making myself feel better in myself and up until last summer, it was a reason that I didn’t feel too bad about. I like makeup and I like spending my hard earned money on slightly more expensive brands. So what? Us girls are allowed an indulgence and are allowed to feel pretty… But last summer I went through a really traumatic time – It’s a story for another day, as I have said before, a story for a time when I feel like I can relive the situation without crumbling down into a messy heap on the floor. But that situation and those couple of months scarred me in more ways than one. Makeup and my blog became a new hobby and obsession for me to try and forget everything that had happened. I dove head first into a whole new world of high end and left behind the magazine samples and the Mother’s hand-me-downs. Makeup well and truly became my mask and I found myself applying more and more layers to hide the pain. It was my way of dealing (or what I thought was dealing) with the trauma that I had been through. I felt much like the Phantom of the Opera, in a way – I thought that the guy I had been with had stripped me so emotionally bare that my skin may as well have looked like the Phantom’s. Makeup became my new skin and gave me the ‘confidence’ to try and move past what had happened.
I know for a lot of people out there, Makeup has done the same thing for them. It’s helped them cover up and focus on something else…

A few days ago, a guy told me that he didn’t like too much makeup. It affected me more than I thought it would as that morning I’d worked so hard to try and look ‘perfect’ for him. Having him tell me that he thought I was pretty without all of the cosmetics really made me start thinking. Do I need to be hiding behind it all? If he can see through it and think I’m the same person that I feel I am with it all on, would taking it off really matter? As the months have passed, I have become a little more relaxed with letting certain people see me with my ‘guard down’ as I like to call it, bare faced and being myself. Granted, these people are my family members, but for a while after everything had happened and I’d first turned to makeup properly, it had taken me a long time to even think about leaving my bedroom in the morning without makeup on. So maybe now is the time? It’s been long enough, I feel, and to have somebody tell me that I’m myself no matter what I have covering my face, that really boosts my confidence more than anything.

This month I have decided to strip myself bare – well, almost. I’ve zipped up my makeup bag and popped it on my shelf, taking out only the ‘necessities’ of my MAC Studio Finish Concealer, my New L’Oreal Manga Mascara and of course, my Benefit Browzings palette – A girl’s got to have bold brows! These are the ‘bare’ necessities that I have allowed myself for this month, or at least for however long I manage to go before realising I can live without my 15 ‘daily essential’ makeup items that I currently use. I think it’s a bold step, but one that I need, not only to rejuvenate my skin and get it back to a healthy no-makeup state, but to also show myself that I don’t need the makeup everyday. That I don’t need it to be a confident person or to be myself. I don’t want it to be all that people see, the emotional scars are still there, but I’m not the Phantom, I don’t need the mask on anymore.

Anybody else with me?


I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below. 

xox


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4 Comments

  1. February 4, 2014 / 7:13 pm

    Wow this post is so inspirational. I have been thinking about this for a while but the whole idea scares me. I feel safe, secure and confident wearing makeup that they idea of leaving the house without it on seems like it would never happen.
    I think my skin is good at the moment and yet I still put on a 'face' every morning. I haven't got the confidence or the self belief to go without for a whole month, but am thinking of one day a week not wearing any. What do you think?

    Becca xx

    • February 4, 2014 / 8:25 pm

      The fact that it has inspired one person makes me so happy. It's been a real emotional journey but making this step has really helped to heal me more than any 'face' i apply could. It definitely won't be a forever thing, I doubt that I'll even last the month, but it's been kinda like a therapy for me and if you feel like just one day a week could help you gain more confidence from not wearing it then I'd go for it. However wearing it or not wearing it makes you feel is what you should aim to look for. If you feel good wearing it but know that it';s just a mask, like with me, then maybe peeling back the layers one bit at a time could help realise that for you. Maybe lift off the bronzer one day and the blusher the next and so on… nothing about how much you wear matters to anyone but yourself and if it's something you want to do to try then you go for it, nobody should stop you and nothing they say about how you do or do not look should affect you. xxx

  2. February 5, 2014 / 9:45 pm

    Aww, this was a really brave post. I hate that one person can make another feel so small, so insignificant or damaged, and yet it's something that goes on all around us, every single day.
    I don't think I could get used to going completely bare-faced – I need at least a little bit in order to look 'human', which in itself is a silly statement, but hey – once you get used to it, it's hard to go back, isn't it?
    Best of luck with it all.
    Mel x

    melswallofmirrors.blogspot.co.uk

    • February 5, 2014 / 9:53 pm

      Thank you so much, It's such a relief to know this post was worth the – I don't want to say pain, but almost pain – of writing it. It was a toughie! I completely agree with you though, It has been difficult, stripping back the layers – but honestly it's been worth it to just have the extra 20 minutes in bed in the morning that I would've spent applying it all! Haha.
      I think after detoxing myself from makeup like this, I'll appreciate it a lot more on nights out and when I want to make an effort. But right now, I'm showing myself I can be happy with a bare face and honestly it's doing the world of good for my skin and I've found that by looking after my skin more profusely instead of hiding the bad points, it's improved so much and I'm not 'needing' the cover up. 🙂
      Thanks for taking the time to write a comment. It means so much xxx

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