Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bare Faced

I have a confession: I haven't worn makeup this week. Yes, this is a notable event. I've worn makeup nearly every day that I've gone out in public since the age of 15. It's habit mostly, and because I'm self conscious.

Why am I self conscious? Because of one comment made a long time ago by a well-meaning woman at my high school. She stopped me and asked if I was ok. I said I was fine, thanks (in fact, I was in a particularly good mood that day). She insisted that I looked tired, and was I feeling well, did I want to go home? I thought she was a bit nutty, insisted I was fine, and went on my way. Then it hit me: I wasn't wearing makeup. I looked so bad without makeup that she thought I was tired/sick/needed to go home.


I'm not blaming her or mad at her by any means, but that one comment made an impact. I was convinced from that point forward that I looked sick and tired unless I wore makeup.

My daily bare minimum: coverup or foundation under my eyes to look less tired, and mascara to counteract the lightening effect of the cover on my lashes. My daily usual: add blush or bronzer on my cheeks, eyeliner, and the occasional eyeshadow. This is very much pared down over the years, it used to be full foundation, at least two colors of eyeshadow plus liner, the works. Except for lipstick - being a musician in high school I never got in the habit of lipstick, it left marks on the reed and messed up my embouchure.

So, my current experiment: To go makeup free and see if anyone even notices. So far, so good. No one has mentioned that I look tired or anything (including my overly truthful, makeup wearing friends). I mentioned to one friend that I wasn't wearing makeup and she did a double take and just said, "huh. I wouldn't have noticed. You look good."

Well, there you go.

I feel liberated, being naked like this. I'm not going to swear off makeup forever, but perhaps for the daily norm I'll go bare faced and save the primping for special occasions.

As an afterthought that really should be noted - be careful of what you say to others, even the small stuff. You never know what type of an impact it will have.

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