30 Days Without Makeup

Driving to work this morning and late as usual, I turned on the radio to find Kachi of Kiss FM suggesting we take on the 14 days #NoMakeUp Challenge and go bare-faced for Valentine’s Day. This caught my attention because I took the no make-up challenge for a month late last year but I didn’t come round to telling you all about it.

TIME-SAVING
Not having to wearing make-up every morning really does save you some time. Not that I spent the extra 30 minutes reading or having breakfast like she suggested, but it let me sleep in or work out a little longer, knowing that all I had to do was shower, dress and go! At first, I kept feeling like I was missing something, and on other there days I got ready too early . It had me thinking “Wow! So this is how easy men have it?”

CONFIDENCE TESTING
Going to work barefaced was a challenge. It’s not something I’ve never done, but knowing that I was on a personal test made it stressful. I wasn’t always in the “I don’t care, f**k your opinion” mode. So sometimes I became self-conscious. But by the end of the week, the stares and comments died down and I got used to it.

ANNOYING REMARKS
Being on her second day of the challenge, the OAP said she had received a number of compliments on her looks, and recommended we go “au natural” to see “Bae”, buttressing this with an instance where a guy decided to settle down after he saw his girlfriend without make-up for the first time. Now, my experience was quite different. Prior to my trip, I didn’t get many compliments. In fact I had to live with quite a lot of impolite stares from acquaintances. I got a few “Ah! I didn’t know it was you oh”, followed by some “Hope all is well?” and then a number of “Are you ill?”. Now, these remarks had to be the hardest part of the challenge. Convincing people that I was fine just not wearing any make-up was exhausting and oh, no one has proposed to me bare-faced…except when he was quite drunk.

SKIN AWARENESS
I became more aware of my face and the damaged I caused by pressing pimples and white heads. The injuries and numerous little scars became very obvious to me since I couldn’t cover them up with foundation. I realised that I had a terrible habit of self mutilation I needed to work on urgently.

COST-SAVINGS
On the month long Challenge, I certainly save a month’s worth of make-up which is a lot, especially given current exchange rates of N500 to $1. I won’t need to replace my stash as quickly as I would have needed to. So, in as much as I can’t exactly quantify it (because I’ve never costed how much make-up I use per day), I can infer logically that I did save some money on the #NoMakeup Challenge.

GLOWING SKIN
Going make-up free is said to give one brighter skin. However, I don’t think that is entirely true. Make-up can be toxic to one’s skin depending on the product you use, but not all of them are. This is why using a primer or moisturiser is recommended before applying foundations and other face products. The idea is to saturate your skin with the right products before covering it up with make-up. In my experience, your skin appears to glow more primarily because when you are off make-up, you take better care of it. You wash it, cleanse and moistures it more often because you are more conscious of it.

SEEING MAKE-UP DIFFERENTLY
I did see make-up differently. I have greater appreciation for it if anything and I want to learn to wear it better. Unlike Kachi’s experience where she found it easier to share her make-up, I didn’t and still don’t. Make-up is still a big deal and costs me quite a fortune. Lets be clear, one Ruby Woo is $17, MatchMaster Foundation $38, so I’m not even going to apologise for not being the most charitable with them. In this economy, if you want to look “on-fleek”, please go and spend your money. To be sure, don’t touch my make-up kit unless you are ready to meet your maker.

ANIMAL TESTING
Cosmetics companies test on animals. Pharmaceutical companies test on animal. Serial killers test on animals. Almost everyone tests thier products on animals. I mean, some things must be tested on someone to ascertain its safety. Would you rather be the guinea pig? No animals were saved by my going make-up free for 30 days, nor will any be for a 14 day challenge. No company will stop their Research and Development or change their Product testing policy because of a temporary action. If you are unhappy with animal testing, quit the brand and find a more compassionate one if you care. You might as well consider quitting a few pharmaceutical products in the same light.

ADDICTIVE
The moment you realise that people aren’t running scared and nobody will die if you leave the house without make-up, the freedom becomes addictive. Its no longer a compulsion, it’s a choice and one you will make more often after you survive the challenge. After the 30 days, I didn’t hurry back to wearing make-up. There really was no need to. I think I wore make-up on the 35th day and intermittently afterwards. It definitely took a few months to get back with the daily make-up routine.

Summarily, this beauty challenge is liberating and I recommend it for every woman who loves make-up. It does boost self-esteem and provides time and cost savings. However, I think it is overrated and hyped by social media. I didn’t bother with this post last year because I realised that if you already love and accept who you are, and use make-up for the right reasons: enhancing beauty that is already there, the challenge will do or tell you little that you don’t already know about yourself. If you have ever taken the #NoMake-up Challenge, please leave me a comment below.

P.S: As for seeing the one without make-up and deciding to settle, physical beauty is not the best basis of love or marriage. But I’m with Phyllis Diller on this “Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age – as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.”

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