Not Shaving, No Makeup, and Throwing Traditional Beauty Out the Window

Not Shaving, No Makeup, and Throwing Traditional Beauty Out the Window

What would you do if you spent a year without pressing any beauty products?

I do not read the news. I stopped reading it when I realized that it was the main source of incoming negativity in my life. Now I have to grab the headlines on Yahoo when I log out of my email and through Facebook RSS mine.

A couple of weeks ago when I signed out of my emails, Yahoo was a post about a woman who had gone for a year without any kind of beauty. I clicked on the link, intrigued to learn more. The article was about the book, The Beauty Experiment, which chronicled his year-long journey of abstinence from beauty products in an attempt to salvage her self-esteem. As a new mother, she took a self-imposed challenge to ditch makeup, long hair, fancy goods, new clothes, haircuts, and jewelry.

The book, due out December 23, inspired me to look at my own beauty routine. How often I have listed the "trouble spots" on my shirt? Obsessive pluck my eyebrows to keep stray hairs in check? Worn do to cover up violations? The truth is: I was doing it quite often. Despite teach positive body techniques, I discovered that I spent a lot of time - more than I was comfortable with - focusing on my outer appearance.

So I took the challenge.

Now, I'm not going full throttle as author Phoebe Baker Hyde did, but I want to have more principles. So far I've gone a week without doing. Why did I choose do first? Because I realized that I did not use makeup to enhance my face - I was using cosmetics to hide it. I use eyeliner, mascara, blush, light bronzer and concealer to make my face face that I thought I should have to hide my imperfections.

This is very similar to the way a lot of women active: Never leave the house without looking completely put together. I admit that my outfits usually tend to match and I feel a tad embarrassed if people catch me wearing mismatched sweater to stay warm or visible panty line. That's why I started to question: Am I doing this because I enjoy doing it, or am I paying so much attention to my appearance because I want others to like the way I look? Turns out, I care much more about what other people thought, but I believed I originally did.

The first day I was doing-free, I still had traces of makeup from the day before. I felt confident in my ability to go at least a month without doing. My intention was to prove to myself that I do not do to feel beautiful and confident about how I look. As the days go by and all semblance of doing was cleaning off my face, I started to panic. I worried about how small my eyes are, or dark circles starting to form under them from not getting enough sleep. I was anxious that other people would notice how pale my skin in winter. And, horror of all horrors, my skin broke out in the first week.

This past week has been a series of emotional ups and downs. Every time I start to feel uneasy or insecure, remind myself of my intention. I remind myself that I'm awesome, that my personality shines through, no one cares if I'm wearing makeup (and if they do, their opinion is not as important as my own). I remind myself that I am the only one who has to like how I look naturally, because in my opinion is the one that matters most. I also think about all the beautiful women that I know that I've ever seen wearing makeup. I can not face those ugly, ugly, or in need of almost everything. Why should I see my own kind?

I swear, there are times when I'm going near tears because I am so afraid to hear people tell me that I'm not pretty or that I should really consider looking into a decent foundation. These are times when I forced a smile and make some time for me to ask why I think this. Why is it so important for me to look a certain way? Why I do not care what others think? What does it matter? By asking the right questions, I'll be able to find answers, to find peace and clarity in the midst of emotional chaos. I am able to re-center myself and remember that my external is only a small, small part of what makes me beautiful.

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