As a self confessed make up addict (you can never have too much...) the idea of not wearing make up for more than one or two days is incredibly daunting, with the last time I did this in school probably being year 7.
However, I always made a point of wearing make up because it's fun and interests me rather than to hide my insecurities or feel as though I HAD to wear make up to leave the house. And so, I decided to ditch the make up for an entire school week to see how it was.
Oh my word, I had so much time in the morning it was unreal. On a good day, I can do my make up in 5/10 minutes. On this day, I found myself with oodles of wonderful time left before I needed to leave the house at 8:30 to go to school.
Immediately as I left the house I began to regret my decision. I felt really insecure, realising that a lot of my friends hadn't ever seen me without chemicals on my face - I tend to let my skin breathe at weekends.
However, not to worry, some of my friends noticed that I looked different, others didn't at all and when I mentioned it, they didn't see the difference. Bearing in mind on a usual day I would probably wear: primer, concealer x2, foundation, powder, blusher, bronzer, mascara and maybe eyeliner, I was considerably surprised.
The thing I realised after the day though was that I was more disappointed with myself than anything else; whenever I spoke to someone I found myself automatically apologising for not wearing makeup when nobody should apologise for that...
Remembering the extra time I had been blessed with the previous day, I stayed in bed a little longer, something which was the height of luxury since I hadn't slept well the night before. As a result, I had killer circles underneath my eyes which normally would be fought with an army of highlighting concealer. But not today.
After grimacing at myself in the mirror I left the house and walked to school.
That's when I got the comment that all non makeup wearing women are used to hearing "you look exhausted" and "you look ill". None. I'm good thanks. Just not wearing make up. Eau naturale.
This is where we should come to the golden rule of makeup etiquette. Really really think if the person in front of you is ok or do they just look different? Sure. I looked like hell but it's generally because of HOW UNNATURALLY FRICKIN PALE I AM!!!!
I discovered something rather interesting on this day when someone said to me "the day I don't wear makeup is the day that I've given up on life". This really made me think. To be frank, I felt slightly judged (not particularly by this person but just in general) I hadn't given up on life, I just had decided not to paint my face with pore clogging chemicals that morning. I began to wonder about the statement and it made me remember why I first started wearing make up. To fit in.
After being persistently deemed as the 'nerd' and 'loner' amongst my peers, even once being told by another girl "you'd be quite pretty if you wore more makeup" at the influential age of 12, I have to admit that one of the reasons was to try and be 'normal'.
But why is it that as women, we almost try and put each other down if someone does something a bit different or doesn't fit the standard? It made continuing with the week a little more important as I tried to feel more confident without makeup in order to revert back to my old mild set of wearing makeup because I enjoyed it.
I woke up with not one, not two but three lovely spots on my face. Mock exams were beginning that day and my skin really likes to freak out when I get stressed. Usually, I would cover that up. Immediately. With two concealors and foundation. Subconsciously I even open up my makeup drawer, only to physically restrain myself and instead grin and bear the miniture mountains on my visage.
Whenever I speak to people, as daft as it sounds, I can't help but feel self conscious. It's horrible. I can see girls with make up on covering imperfections and I almost feel lazy for not bothering. But why? I literally can't get my head around why we feel so crap due to a small mark on our face that everyone gets?
By the final day, I felt better about the whole situation. I'd certainly learnt a lot, which is probably the most mundane issue that I've ever 'investigated' in my life. But I think that it was really important for me to look at the reasons that I do things, such as wearing makeup, and who I am doing it for. Because at the end of the day, I think you do have to be little selfish in life, constantly living for other people can mean that you lose yourself in a sea of other people trying to also 'fit in'.
At the end of this week I really have found that if I wake up and think 'ergh I don't want to put make up on today' then I really shouldn't. Because then I'm living my life in the wrong way. Trying to prove something that doesn't mean anything. Wearing make up should be because it's fun and exciting and because you want to. Nothing else. And I really wish that I knew that when I was 12. But I'm glad I know it now.
So, what have we learnt this lesson?
We need to stick up for each other. Girls don't do this enough. It's ok to not wear make up. Your life isn't falling apart.
We shouldn't be trying to impress anyone. It's definitely what's on the inside.
Sometimes if you want to do something, you just have to take the plunge and do it. Before this, I would never have dreamed of not wearing make up to school, particularly over 5 consecutive days!