I woke up like this: No make up week

I woke up like this: No make up week

No make up selfies

No make up selfies

When I used to watch my mum get ready to face the day, the thing I loved the most was how beautifully she applied mascara. Maybe that was the moment when I fell in love with make up. There was just something about the way she always looked so effortlessly refined.

With me it was a totally different story. I didn’t know what I was doing when I started applying foundation and it took me a while until I finally realised what the best colour for my very pale skin was. If you could only imagine how long it took me to master a cat eye! Picture this: every time I was going out somewhere I had to ask my older sister to do it.

I’ve worn make up ever since I can remember - to school, to work, to parties and even to dance class. Yes, I’m one of those people who gets up in the morning to work out and applies foundation, some mascara and a little bit of lipstick. A girl has to look good. You never know who you're going to meet on the way to the treadmill.

So, there I was, a simple girl in love with make up. An addiction that I didn’t even know I had until I was asked to spend a week without it. My first thought was ‘I can’t do it’. How was I supposed to face my co-workers, my dance colleagues and even myself without a little bit of foundation? Yes, I know this may sound ridiculous, but it’s the truth.

I’ve found a safe ally in make up. I don’t like to see myself without a bit of BB Cream or even some blush on - it feels like I’ve just gotten out of bed and didn’t bother. Like a mask, make up helped me to hide from the world and part of me panicked when I realised I had to take it off.  I was scared but I had to prove to myself that I could do it. So I said yes to the challenge.

At work people looked at me and didn’t recognise my bare face. My boss even asked me if I was sick. I simply replied ‘I’m not wearing any make up. This is me au naturel’. My editor thought my foundation had finished and I hadn’t had time to buy a new one. Apart from those two moments, everyone else thought I looked beautiful, which was a strange concept to me. I didn’t feel pretty and I couldn’t wait for the week to end. Confession time! From the second day onwards I did wear some mascara. Guilty as charged.

Aside from feeling the unglamorous insecurity of the nude look, I have to admit that there were a lot of positive aspects to the whole experience. It took me less time to get ready in the morning so I did sleep an extra 15 minutes. At night I didn’t have to remove any make up so I saved on cleanser. During workouts I didn’t get all smudged. But, still, it didn’t feel like me.

That weekend I had a family lunch and I tried to convince myself I had no problem facing them without make up. I failed miserably. I couldn’t bare the fact that I was going to have to meet my family in a way they hadn't seen me for ages.

As I was standing in front of the mirror all dressed and ready to go meet them, I felt incomplete. My mask was missing. I couldn't bare the fact that everyone was going to me see me completely "naked". So I caved in and put the mask back on. And I couldn't have felt better!

Living without make up made me feel like something was missing - like I wasn't myself. Above all, I felt as if everyone who saw me during my make-up-free week saw parts of me that I didn't want to show. Few people have seen me without make up - I have to be really comfortable with someone to let that happen. The problem was starring me back in the mirror every time I looked. Yes, I do feel incomplete without make up and that is something I have to work on. So I have set myself a new goal: at least once a week I will go bare face. And maybe one day I will realise that I am as beautiful without make up as I am with it. I can’t let something so futile control my life because, hey, it’s just make up, right?

Freeing menstruation, one period at a time

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