The Makeup-less Experiment

My previous levels of makeup use (though I rarely ever wear lipstick)

I wasn't a child who wore a lot of makeup.  It was left for special occasions only, and I was perfectly fine with that.  I even went through a period in high school where I 100% believed that my face was beautiful enough without any enhancements.  But that period did not last long.

Since high school, minus that brief makeup-free period, I've spent every morning "putting on my face."  I don't have an extensive morning routine otherwise-- my showers are taken at night and I never put product in my hair.  But I love waking up early, and I felt I needed some sort of routine to signify my day as having begun.

So I started with makeup.

Now I never really caked it on.  The heaviest I ever applied the stuff was foundation, powder, mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and chapstick.  Honestly, that's nothing crazy compared to some.  I'd mention that I had just put on makeup, and people would tell me that I didn't need to wear it.  I would always reply that I agreed.  That for me the makeup was more about the routine than about feeling pretty.

But makeup's purpose in my life changed somewhere along the line.  At some point I forgot that I was beautiful whether or not I painted myself up for the day.  Honestly, I probably forgot because there wasn't a day when I left my house or even room bare-faced.  Every morning it was the same routine.  First foundation.  Then the nude eyeshadow.  Blend that with the grey for depth.  Add the mascara.  Quickly fill in the brow, and abracadabra there she goes!

The trick was that I forgot that I was the same person with makeup as without.

I forgot that the difference between real-world Madysen and pajama Madysen was not as drastic as I saw it.  I knew what I had drawn on my face; I knew what clues to look for.  But it wasn't until recently when I came out of the shower with a freshly washed face, ashamed of him seeing the bare skin, that I realized others can't see the difference.  Or at least who I want to look nice for doesn't notice.  

So, in light of my abundance of alone time and no need to ensnare any suitor, I left my apartment for the day on wednesday without a stitch of makeup on.  Okay well I still used my eyebrow pencil, but that only makes me look more natural right?  I mean...I'm literally making it look like I have more hair in my eyebrows!  Anyways, I was heading for the beach on an absolutely sweltering day-- any makeup would wash or melt right off.

My face felt so light.  The humidity wasn't as suffocating.  I could come home, hop in the shower, and let the water pour over my face without fear of mascara smearing and getting into my eyes or clotting in my line of sight.  I felt weirdly more in touch with my body, and more at peace with myself.
My current, eyebrow only, makeup look.  Taken at the beach on wednesday, freckles and all!

So I'm trying to embrace this no-makeup look.  I'm embracing the freckles that recently have begun to dot my nose and cheeks.  Actually, I'm very excited about them and love them to pieces despite initial distaste and terror.  I'm letting my skin breath and saving the foundation for the really bad days, and the rest of the makeup for special occasions.

I can't say this will last forever.  I really do love the morning routine of putting on makeup.  But perhaps my routine will shift again to highlighting rather than masking my natural self.  No matter the case, it's nice to feel naturally beautiful again.


  1. Awww, you ARE naturally beautiful, even if I'm biased in saying so. I threw all of my make up out a couple months ago when I realized none of it had been bought in the last 3 years since I stopped working in an office where I occasionally wanted that stuff. So liberating to put it aside, right? Enjoy your freckles! I'm a fan!


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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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