50 Things Before 25 | 21

I did not wear make-up for the entire month of February. 

In high school, during my years of never-ending pressure to look absolutely presentable at all times, I never went a single day without wearing my full “face,” never went swimming without re-doing my make-up immediately after, never went to track practice without being concerned if it was getting messed up. I was completely dependent on this look I had created for myself, and I wasn’t willing to let myself be seen any other way.

Upon coming to college, my personal discipline pertaining to beauty and vanity became more lax; I sometimes only wore mascara and cover-up for unfortunate blemishes. My life became too busy to care while juggling work, school, homework, family, friends, a long-distance relationship, and sleep somewhere in my free time. For this reason, and my boyfriend preferring me make-up free, it had become more common for me to bare my skin. 

When I noticed the new trend of #freshfacefebruary, I couldn’t help but see it as an excellent opportunity to “force” myself to go without make-up for a month and see what kind of impact it made on me. While I never posted a picture of myself during that time, I did feel very confident in what my face looked like without make-up. I began to pick out other girls and women who regularly went fresh-faced, and I saw the beauty in their confidence. Why had our culture insisted we cover up our natural attributes? While it is now March, and I have allowed myself to slip back into somewhat of a routine of wearing cosmetics, I keep thinking: what do all these beautiful women look like uncovered? Would we all feel better about ourselves if we just went without make-up? How would it better impact teenage girls if they had role models who were comfortable in their own skin? 

I hate that the pressure to wear rather than not exists. I am wearing it now because I enjoy it, and my plan is to never feel pressured on an off day to look more presentable than I feel like being.