Why I left my makeup days (and nights) behind.
Going makeup-free is not an easy thing to do. I got mixed thoughts the first time I ventured out of my flat without putting any foundation or powder on my face.
I remember feeling like everybody would focus on my skin flaws and the blemishes on my chin. A couple of hours later, it was finally clear that nobody really cared; in fact, nobody noticed my new makeup-free status.
Now 27, I do not wear makeup, foundation or powder, because I don’t like things covering up my face. My skin is sensitive, intolerant, and prone to allergic reactions, thus applying cosmetics all over it for a whole day sounds like a bad idea.
I also hate touch-ups. My skin is oily, and any attempt to set my foundation with powder would result in a greasy mess (and clogged pores) within hours of application.
Since I am not the kind of person who would carry tons of cosmetics in my bag or waste time touching up my makeup through the day, the decision to go makeup-free was pretty much easy.
These words come out of my mouth easily now, but, years ago, when I was in my early 20s, I was totally nervous walking out of my home makeup-free. It took me years of efforts to overcome this insecurity and accept my bare skin the way it is.
My makeup philosophy: Less is More.
To be fair, I did not get rid of my entire makeup bag. I am a winged eyeliner enthusiast, I love red lipsticks, and I use concealer -sparingly- to cover up my under-eye circles.
Put simply, I have nothing against cosmetics and I am not anti-makeup by any means. I just found out that makeup and foundation make my acne issues worse, so I decided to go makeup-free.
I only keep what works for me. In the past, I used concealer to hide pimples and zits and I ended up with severe breakouts. Now, I prefer leaving my skin bare to breath and heal itself.
When it comes to makeup products in general, my philosophy is ‘keep it simple’. I usually pair my eyeliner with a lip balm or my mascara with a red lipstick. Overall, it takes me no more than 10 minutes to get made-up.
On special occasions, I wear blush and perhaps a neutral eyeshadow. That’s pretty much all. No makeup or setting powder.
Makeup-free: 4 beauty tips I swear by for fresh looking skin without makeup.
When I decided to banish makeup from my beauty routine, I realised that I had to change my beauty philosophy as well. Makeup-free face means bare face. Therefore, I had to focus on how to make my skin look better, instead of how to hide flaws.
Going makeup-free was enough for my complexion to look brighter and more clean. Skincare experts have indicated that makeup aggravates acne and powder can cause clogged pores. When I stopped using both, half of the pimples and zits disappeared.
However, I still had to fight hormonal acne. Read on for the 4 simple beauty rules that helped me embrace my makeup-free face.
Skincare: It pays off!
My makeup-free skin could no longer rely on makeup. So, I turned to skincare for help. Folks out there use makeup to hide brown spots and uneven tone.
However, some amazing skincare products can make the dreaded acne spots to fade away faster, whilst improving skin tone and clearing up zits that come out of nowhere.
Skincare eventually payed me off. I spent hundreds of pounds (and euros) in an attempt to conceal my puffy eyes, before spotting the holy grail eye balm (Frezyderm Eye Balm for Puffiness & Dark Circles) that banished the under-eye bags for good.
Even if you are a sworn makeup lover, skincare can do wonders for you. A gentle cleanser, a moisturising cream and a nourishing serum will prep your face for makeup and give you a smooth surface to work on.
Listen to your skin
I always adjust my beauty routine seasonally. I also change my regimen daily and weekly, because my skin needs’ change before, during and after period.
In my first blog post, I described how I came to battle hormonal acne; hormones’ ups and downs during the menstrual circle make my skin glowing (right after my period) or oily, blemish-prone and dehydrated (one week before period).
My beauty skincare consists of two categories:
- all time classics – products that I use on a daily basis
- beauty SWAT – products that I use to control mild to severe acne breakouts, oily or extra dry skin, and dullness
When I feel my skin oily, I switch my daily moisturiser to a specialised anti-acne treatment. If my complexion is dull and my face looks tired, I go for a serum to make my skin radiant again.
In short, I listen to my skin’s needs and I change my skincare accordingly to dealing with all the types of skin flaws effectively. This routine is what helps me to go bare-faced.
SPF: Skipping sunscreen is not cool
Sunscreen is my ultimate beauty essential hands down. It keeps the skin radiant and it prevents age spots.
Even in Scotland, where the weather is mostly rainy and cloudy, I apply sunscreen to my face, neck and hands. Every. Single. Day.
Fighting acne left me with confidence-sucking red and brown acne spots on my chin, jawline and forehead. I started applying sun cream religiously to help my skin heal itself.
I can’t stress this enough: no matter if it’s not sunny outside, we are still exposed to sun’s UV rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF), up to 80% of the UV rays pass through the clouds, resulting in sun-related skin damage.
Wearing a quality, broad-spectrum sunscreen enhances skin’s repair and protects against wrinkles, sun spots, and discolouration.
Folks like me, with skin prone to brown spots, must keep their skin well-protected to stop uneven skin patches from getting darker.
Eat your way to glowing skin
When I embarked on my makeup-free journey, I realised that food could really help me improve my complexion’s texture.
I started drinking more water and I tried to get -at least- my five-a-day. Then, I came across the ‘rainbow’ rule, so I made sure that my fruit and vegetables intake was colourful.
The ‘rainbow’ rule is the best advice I ever incorporated in my daily diet. Fruit and vegetables are classified according to their colour: red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and white.
Different colours are associated with different nutrients. For instance, tomatoes (red) are a great source of lycopene (a strong antioxidant that fights free radicals), lemons (yellow) are rich in vitamin C and leafy greens, such as kale, are high in vitamin K.
So, a colourful salad guarantees you are getting a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
I also replaced the ‘bad’ fats (saturated and trans fat) with extra virgin olive oil, avocado, oily fish, and nuts, because ‘good’ fats make skin look healthy, radiant, and hydrated.
Whether you embrace makeup-free face or not, nourishing your skin from within is your best beauty weapon.
Would you go makeup-free? Do you prefer makeup coverage or skincare? Would you secretly go for that brand new foundation or would you invest in a repairing night serum instead?