My life and skin changed when I stopped relying on makeup

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I’ve loved makeup ever since I could remember. I would sit on my mom’s bathroom counter as I watched her apply every product in her routine — from primer till her finishing touches. She found blush and lipstick to be crucial because it gives your face some color. She would overapply a dusty rose blush that made her look flushed and beautiful. She’d carefully line her lips with a mauve colored lip liner and finish it off with lipstick in a similar shade. Those two steps in her routine have always stuck with me. It was satisfying to watch her attentively apply a light amount of makeup with her feathery hands. But she’d apply just the right amount to enhanced her features. Less was more in her mind — except for blush, of course.

In the third grade, I had a phase where I’d sweep her blush across my cheeks, apply some lipstick and sprayed her Coco Chanel perfume to walk through the mist. I just wanted to copy her routine that I’d watched for so long. In seventh grade, I was only allowed to curl my eyelashes, wear blush and lipgloss. Then, I started wearing eyeshadow to match my outfits. If I were wearing red, I’d wear red eyeshadow. If I were wearing purple, I’d wear purple eyeshadow. Yikes. I’m just grateful for my mom allowing me to creatively express myself. In the eighth grade, I got into makeup tutorials on YouTube and started wearing a heavier amount of makeup. I wore full coverage foundation, eyeliner on my waterline, mascara and continued wearing excessive eyeshadow. I continued this look through senior year where I took it to the next level and started wearing winged eyeliner… every single day. There wasn’t a day I went to school without wearing it. I had become dependent on it to make myself look good. I also had terrible acne, especially on my forehead, and makeup was my way of disguising it. Though, the amount I wore probably made my acne even worse.

It wasn’t until freshman year of college when I toned down on the eyeliner, only wore mascara but still wore a full coverage foundation. During the summer after freshman year, I had been taking summer classes and just found myself becoming too lazy to apply makeup for class. One day, I went to class without makeup and I’m telling you… I had never felt so free and fresh. This was also around the time when my skin started to become clearer. I fell in love with the feeling of bare skin. After that, I rarely wore makeup to class. Besides, who has time to wear makeup in college for class? It’s a waste of time and no one cares what you look like.

From there, I only wore makeup if I needed it. I threw away my old, heavy makeup and bought products I only found necessary. I transitioned into tinted moisturizers and cream blushes. Now, I’m practically back into my seventh-grade makeup routine where I only curl my eyelashes, wear some blush and tinted moisturizer. Maybe one day I’ll get into lipstick, but chapstick is easy and moisturizing.

I absolutely love my skin and embrace its flaws. I have prominent acne scarring on my forehead and some on my cheeks, and it used to bother me. But now, the level of confidence I have in my skin, I don’t even recognize the scars anymore because I’ve learned to overlook them. I feel my best when my skin is moisturized and dewy. Healthier skin and confidence gives me a natural glow that highlighter could never do.

I’m not saying that wearing heavy makeup is bad, in fact, I admire people who are talented with makeup. Your face is a canvas and makeup is art. But if you find yourself relying on makeup to feel good or feel like your skin needs a breather, then maybe transition into a lighter routine and see how you feel. If not, then continue to do whatever makes you feel your best.

Let me know how your makeup routine has evolved over the years!

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