Going all natural for seven days. This meant:
- No makeup
- No hair products
- No fancy beauty creams/treatments, just moisturizer
- No shaving
- No shapewear
- I even refrained from plucking my chin hair for eight whole days
I think it is worth mentioning here that I do have a job outside of writing. I went to an office for four of the seven days I went all natural, just in case anyone was thinking I stayed home in my sweats for the whole week. I also think it’s worth noting that I rarely wear shapewear, in fact, I’m not even sure I own any that fits, so that was not a challenge for me.
First Discovery: Extra Time
The first and most immediately noticeable difference was how much extra time I had in the mornings. I have a fairly simple hair and make-up routine, but having those extra 10 to 20 minutes back made my whole morning feel less rushed and more relaxed. I even had time to actually have a conversation with my husband before running out the door to work.
The entire time I went makeup-less and without hair products in my naturally curly hair, no one said anything about it. If my coworkers noticed, they kept it to themselves. I didn’t get any comments about looking tired or asking if my kids had kept me up all night. The first few days I was very self conscious, but like so many other things in this life, nobody cared as much as I did. I was the only one who felt weird because I didn’t have mascara on; everyone else couldn’t have cared less.
Filters on social media, our phones and retouching in nearly all major advertisements would lead us to believe that everyone has perfectly flawless skin from head to toe and smooth, shiny hair. But in reality, all people have pores. Mine happen to be pretty visible and that’s something that has always bothered me about my otherwise low-maintenance skin, but going without makeup for seven days helped to realize there is absolutely nothing wrong with my skin. There is nothing wrong with my pores, the laugh lines and crows feet that are starting to form, or even the occasional pimple.
My Natural Eyebrows Are Fine
I’ve also recently jumped on the eyebrow trend. Not so much that I spend forever shaping the perfect brows, but I have started wearing colored brow gel to make my usually blonde eyebrows stand out more. But going without it for seven days made me realize I don’t actually need it. My eyebrows, just like my skin, might not be perfect but they are fine the way they are.
The funny thing is, that while I was stressing about how tired and unkempt I looked, I had comments every day on the photos I posted documenting my journey telling me my skin was glowing, that I looked gorgeous, that people wished they could go without makeup like me. I was so concerned everyone was going to think I had given up on life, when total strangers thought I was glowing!
Is The Beauty Industry Misleading Us?
The beauty industry has convinced us we need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on makeup, skin care products and special treatments to keep our skin from aging and looking like it has been lived in. Maybe I would have a different opinion if I were a little older and my skin a little more wrinkly, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a face that looks natural, pores and all.
Even my naturally curly hair needed less than I always thought it did. Sure, it was a little frizzier and the curls a little less defined without my go-to hair cream and diffuser, but I didn’t look like I just rolled out of bed, either.
Going Forward Naturally
At this point you probably think I’ve thrown out all my makeup and beauty products and am living my best natural life over here. I haven’t done that and have no plans to do that because I like makeup. I like getting all dolled up and even on the days I don’t go all out with my makeup, I like the way mascara makes my eyes pop. I like having bouncy, frizz-free curls.
I have, however, started wearing less makeup on some days. I’ve gone several days without foundation since my challenge ended and I don’t always wear eyeliner or eyeshadow, either. And that is what has been so liberating about this challenge — the realization that if I want to go all out with my hair, makeup, outfit, shapewear, or whatever else it may be I can totally do that. But if on those days I’m just not feeling it, my natural self is good enough.