The Surprising Thing That Happened When 5 Women Skipped Makeup for a Week
For many of us, 2017 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2018! Follow our Hit Refresh series through the season for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.
Whether you feel your best going full glam every morning or prefer to rock a more relaxed look, the daily lineup of products you choose becomes a part of you. In the spirit of feeling empowered by our natural beauty in the new year, five Brit + Co staffers who fall at different points along the beauty-dependency spectrum spent a week living their lives completely bare-faced and without their beloved beauty arsenals. Here's what they each had to say about their experience and what products they never want to leave behind again.
Anna Roberts, Food Editor
How did a makeup-free week make you feel? “I felt self-conscious and slightly unprofessional at first. But since no one seemed to notice or say anything, I also sort of forgot I wasn't wearing makeup.”
How would you describe your beauty routine? “I try to look polished without being overly made-up. I love makeup and beauty but don't mind the occasional moments of going without it, especially if I'm hiking or working out.”
What were your main apprehensions about this challenge? “I didn't want to look unprofessional or sloppy at work. I also didn't love going out on a date with my boyfriend without being made-up.”
Were you surprised by anything this week? “I was surprised no one said anything! I would have thought people thought I looked haggard or sick, and yet, no comments!”
Did this challenge have any lasting effects on your routine or makeup mindset? “I noticed that not wearing makeup to work makes me feel unkempt and as if I've just rolled out of bed. I don't think I'll go makeup-free for a while, but it does make me think I want to spend more time on my skincare routine and diet to make my face glow!”
Which product is the most valuable to you after completing your makeup-free week? "Lipstick — specifically Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour ($37) in Mademoiselle — because it has the power to transform a face, even if it's makeup-free."
Sarah Koller, Editorial Assistant
How did a makeup-free week make you feel? “Honestly, it felt really refreshing after getting beyond the initial insecurity of it. By the end of the week, my face felt much less stressed out than previously.”
How would you describe your beauty routine? “I love the 'no makeup' look, so I like to keep it as natural as possible, especially when it comes to my face/skin. I look young for my age, so some level of eye makeup or lipstick feels important to me at the right moments.”
What were your main apprehensions about this challenge? “I embraced the challenge with open arms, but I was more concerned about specific events or meetings I would have to attend product-free. It certainly helped that I had the camaraderie of girls on my team doing the same thing. But without them, I would've felt a little nervous about the fresh face."
Were you surprised by anything this week? “This seems obvious, but I didn't realize how much time wearing no makeup would save me! It cut my get-ready routine almost in half! Plus, it was really nice not to have to take off all my makeup before a workout or going to bed (which is one of my least favorite things.) By the end of the week, I was even receiving compliments about my skin which, TBH, felt amazing!”
Did this challenge have any lasting effects on your routine or makeup mindset? “As I mentioned before, I rarely apply a heavy face of makeup. However, I do think this challenge just reaffirmed that I can be confident and beautiful in my own skin. While I don't plan to keep the makeup-free thing going consistently from here on out, I do hope to give my face some product 'breathers' every once in awhile to keep these feelings and benefits in-check."
Which product is the most valuable to you after completing your makeup-free week? "So I actually realized that my skincare regimen is my most valued beauty item (great skin = no need for makeup!). But in terms of my actual products, I think my Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($23) is what I'd go with. It makes me look a little more alive and energized when I wear it compared to going completely fresh-faced!"
Natasha Thomas, Community Manager
How did a makeup-free week make you feel? “At first, it was a little nerve-racking. By the third day, I was completely on board. I was able to stay in bed for an extra 30 minutes, which was so nice. I even started taking better care of my skin since there was no makeup to hide behind.”
How would you describe your beauty routine? “I love playing with makeup, but my day-to-day routine is pretty tame. I look like myself, just a little more polished."
What were your main apprehensions about this challenge? “I was actually looking forward to it... until I realized that I had a few major meetings. I was worried that I wouldn't look put-together.”
Were you surprised by anything this week? “I had two major surprises. One, my face is way oiler than I thought. I don't know if it's because I put so much effort into ways to mattify my face, but without my makeup, I found it hard to control the shine. My second surprise came in the form of a VERY kind Uber driver. He gave me all the compliments and said he wished more women would have the confidence to rock a fresh face.”
Did this challenge have any lasting effects on your routine or makeup mindset? “I realized that I really don't need that much makeup. A little concealer or foundation to cover dark spots and some lip gloss is all I really need.”
Which product is the most valuable to you after completing your makeup-free week? "I can't live without my Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara ($23). I have very thin, short lashes and zero bottom lashes. Without mascara, I feel like I look tired. I think that mascara makes my eyes pop and helps make me look a little more alive."
Maddie Bachelder, Creative Content Producer
How did a makeup-free week make you feel? “So-so. I’m pretty insecure about my acne scars and uneven skintone, but I just decided to NOT CARE for the week. Put those concerns on the back burner, say, 'It is what it is,' and realize that it doesn’t really matter. People don’t treat me differently when I’m not wearing makeup.”
How would you describe your beauty routine? “I’m in constant pursuit of mastering the 'no-makeup makeup look.' I wear what I need to feel confident (read: cover my acne scars, fill in my brows, turn my blonde eyelashes black). I’ve had fun moving beyond those basics in the past year, but I never want it to look like I’m trying to be someone else. The goal is to accentuate my features rather than change them."
What were your main apprehensions about this challenge? “I felt like people would think I 'wasn’t dressed up enough' when out to dinner/drinks/shows on the weekend. Of course, no one said anything, which supports the notion that people don’t really care.”
Were you surprised by anything this week? “I’m surprised at how much I was able to NOT think about it. I thought I’d feel self-conscious all day, every day, and it’s not the case.”
Did this challenge have any lasting effects on your routine or makeup mindset? “I’ll go makeup-free more often. This showed me that a beauty routine is not a necessity like I thought it was. Sure, makeup is an easy way to feel more confident (and feel seen), but it’s not the only way. Hurrah!”
Which product is the most valuable to you after completing your makeup-free week? "The Ordinary Coverage Foundation ($7) because I can cover up my acne scars."
Beth Wischnia, Beauty Editor
How did a makeup-free week make you feel? “Initially, I felt terrified. As each day went on, I became more comfortable with being totally bare-faced. Honestly, by the end of day two, it felt pretty normal to not have a single thing on my face. As a bonafide beauty babe, I was surprised that it felt like NBD in the end.”
How would you describe your beauty routine? “My daily routine is fast and simple, with my main focus being on my skin. I like to use a few high-impact products to allow me to complete my routine in 10 minutes, max. The better my skin looks, the less makeup I'll wear. I usually wear a lightweight, sheer BB cream, under-eye concealer, blush, bronzer, brow gel, and curled lashes with mascara.”
What were your main apprehensions about this challenge? “I was worried about my coworkers seeing my skin. I also felt weird knowing I would be showing up to important work meetings without a stitch of makeup on; I was sure it was going to make me feel unprofessional and give a bad impression to my coworkers, but I ended up forgetting I didn't have anything on my face."
Were you surprised by anything this week? “I was surprised at how quickly it started feeling normal for me. I wasn't even stressed out about it at all by mid-week. I will say the only thing I did was curl my lashes every morning, and it made me feel more polished and put-together.”
Did this challenge have any lasting effects on your routine or makeup mindset? “I'd love to go makeup-free a couple days a month when my skin needs it. My complexion needs a break sometimes. I got compliments on my skin — instead of my makeup — which was really refreshing and reinforced how much more important skincare is to me than makeup."
Which product is the most valuable to you after completing your makeup-free week? "Mascara. My lashes are long but totally straight, so even just a swipe of Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Super Curling & Lifting Mascara ($24) makes a huge difference in opening my eyes up. I instantly look more awake and pulled together, so it was especially hard to skip this product for a whole week!"
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Photography: Brittany Griffin
Styling: Cassidy Miller
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