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3 Ways to Get Out of The Makeup Trap

I like to think I’m a pretty decent looking woman. I mean, I do have a big forehead(I could probably beat Rihanna in a headbutting competition), dark circles around my eyes, let’s not forget the horizontal scar in the middle of my forehead from where I had to get a lipoma removed. Then there’re these three wrinkles in my forehead when I laugh or frown, and what my mom used to call silver dollars. She claims that my eyes were the size of a Kennedy dollar coin. Oh, and let’s not forget these lips. But overall, I’m okay with my appearance. In about 2013 someone asked me why I never wore makeup. Honestly, I didn’t own any except for some mascara that was probably way past its expiration date, an eyebrow palette, and a tube of Mac Lip Glass. Even if I had owned some real makeup, I’d probably be terrible at applying it. I shrugged and the conversation moved forward. But it got me to thinking, “why don’t I wear makeup?” I was 26 years old and hadn’t even worn makeup to my senior prom. I was almost 30 and I think I was the only one of my friends who didn’t have an expensive collection of face stuff. It never really fazed me, but for some reason I decided now was the time. I made my way to Dillard’s that weekend and only left with a small container of NC45 concealer. The whole experience was probably one of the most overwhelming things I had ever experienced. I had no clue what any of that stuff was nor how to use it and I didn’t dare ask because at times I can be super shy too. In hindsight I had two friends at the time that I considered makeup gurus that I should have made tag along, but you’ll find out through this blog that I’m sometimes way too independent. I went to CVS and got some Estee’ Lauder powder foundation and a cheap brush. The next morning, I concealed my dark circles and a few acne blemishes, set my face with the foundation (amateur right?), and filled in my brows and headed off to work. As simple as this application sounds, I noticed a slight difference and I loved how I looked. Once I had gotten to work I got a ton of compliments from coworkers. Many noticed a subtle yet noticeable difference but the general consensus was that I “looked really, really pretty.” Didn’t I always look pretty though? I will admit that these comments did something for my already average self-esteem, so I kept it up. Over the years I consulted with my besties about tips on what to buy to enhance my novice skills. I learned how to switch looks from day to night and even got a tutorial on the dreaded winged liner. I had gotten so comfortable that I often wouldn’t walk out of the house without makeup.

Slowly Crawling Out of the Trap

About two years ago I got super active in the gym. My best friend started an amazing movement called Get Your Ass Outta Bed (#GYAOB) and we were working out from 5:30-7 weekday mornings. I was exhausted after these workouts, I would wobble home, shower, and crawl back into my bed even if it was only for about 15 minutes. I started to leave the house without makeup on because most days I was just too tired to put that much effort into my face or I just didn’t have enough time. I hated it. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin. I hated my dark circles (after Get Out premiered I named them The Sunken Place). I was on birth control and drinking massive amounts of water so I didn’t have any blemishes or dark marks but for some reason I just felt incomplete without a made up face. For a while I decided that I would forgo my after workout nap just so I could have time to do my face. I don’t know exactly when, but one day I woke up and decided that this was crazy. I was crazy! I was crazy for allowing makeup to cripple me and of course for eliminating my morning naps just to put it on because who doesn’t love a good nap? Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with makeup and I still love a beat face for a special occasion, date night, or a night out with the girls. But I had gotten to a point where I didn’t feel pretty without it. That was not okay. I stopped wearing makeup to work (what a time saver in the morning), I mean nothing, no filled in brows, no mascara, just chapstick or gloss and eventually other places followed. I recently came back from Bali for a couple’s trip and the Bahamas for my birthday. I didn’t even pack makeup. I went back and forth about this decision but I knew that taking it even if I didn’t use it would be crippling because I could fall back on it if I felt uncomfortable.

I’m Not in the Clear Just Yet

Although I have gotten comfortable enough to where I rarely wear makeup anymore, I still struggle with some insecurities. I get so many compliments on how clear my skin is. (Good ol H2O for the win!) But as we are often our own biggest critics, when I look in the mirror I notice what’s left of those circles (I’ve been using a dermatologist prescribed cream to help fade them), I nitpick about my uneven skin tone from a fading tan, and I sometimes hate how big my eyes look without eye liner. I probably will get back to a point eventually where I consistently use makeup again but it won’t be until I am fully secure in what I look like without a face full of products.  I encourage you to try to go makeup free for a while if it is inhibiting you from seeing how truly beautiful you are.

How to get out of the Trap

  1. Affirm your beauty. Affirmations have been great for me. Looking in the mirror and affirming that I am beautiful has been integral in helping to see my true beauty. I created a lot of my affirmations but they can be as simple as using the three words I. AM. BEAUTIFUL. With a fresh face stare at yourself and speak life into you. Try not to look away. This might be hard at first but you will get more comfortable over time.
  2. Surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are and who won’t discourage your new journey. My family and friends are amazing. Despite not sharing any of these particular insecurities with my favorite people, I can always count on them to tell me how great I look or how beautiful I am. My boyfriend calls me beautiful every day. Although at this point it has become more of a pet name, what makes the difference is that I know he’s genuine and that he truly believes it. Even if I send him a pic that has nothing to do with my face ::wink wink:: he will comment on how pretty I am.
  3. Go makeup free. Ditch the products and brushes from time to time and embrace your au naturale look even if it’s just to run to the store. Then try to go one day a week without Do whatever fits your comfort level until you fall in love with you again.

    Fresh faced

    -ATL

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