How Going Makeup Free Has Changed My Life

going makeup free
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

Going makeup free has changed my life.

Earlier this week my boyfriend and I were chilling at home, when all of a sudden, he asked if I wanted to go with him and get some groceries at our local supermarket.

I looked at the clock. It was almost 5.30 pm. We’d practically spent the whole day inside, and had no plans to go anywhere.

For the past few days, the weather in England had been glorious and we were going out a lot and making the most of it. That day, however, we felt tired and decided to enjoy a lazy day in our apartment. Also, since we had some leftover letcho (vegetable stew) for dinner from the day before, we simply didn’t need to go anywhere.

However, at around 5 pm, my boyfriend said he felt like eating something different.

As usual, on days when I stay at home, I don’t wear makeup. And when I remembered I had no makeup on, I immediately felt something holding me back from saying freely: “Okay, I’ll go with you. Let’s decide together on something delicious meal to eat this evening.”

Instead, two disturbing thoughts were  spinning in my head.

You have no makeup on, you can’t leave home without it.

You have no makeup on, you can’t leave home without it.

The words inside my head were literally preventing me from doing what I really wanted to do. I was about to miss out on the only occasion to leave the apartment today, when deep inside I really, really wanted to go out and enjoy the last moments of that beautiful day.

The thoughts inside my head were stopping me from living my life.

A bizarre situation, and a ridiculous thing to say – you would think – but it’s true.

This situation has been my reality for about the last 15 years. It’s been going on ever since I discovered makeup, and began subconsciously listening to the media. Their words fed me the belief that I should be using makeup to disguise my “flaws,” because this is what society expects from me as a woman.

I strongly believed I need to look presentable and beautiful all the time to meet these expectations. As long as I ensure I always look my best (which means wearing makeup, of course) I will be granted acceptance as a woman on this planet. Going makeup free was not an option.

Those images and messages from the media also kept assuring me that makeup will help me be more confident, and will help me love myself more, and become the best version of myself.

What fucking bullshit.

These messages have been brainwashing me for half of my life and led me to think and see myself as not attractive enough.

While being bombarded by the adverts and images in the press, social media and the internet, filled with beautiful faces with perfect skin, lean noses and high cheekbones, I felt immense pressure to look like them.

I have to cover the imperfections on my skin.

I have to lengthen my eyelashes.

And I have to contour my face.

The above were just a few of the beauty routines I introduced and imposed on myself to ensure my face looked pretty, and met at least some of the criteria to be considered perfect in today’s shallow world full of photo-shopped images.

I felt I needed to do this every time before venturing outside the walls of my apartment, so society would only see the “attractive” me.

The pressure I was constantly putting on myself was huge. Almost unbearable. I was doing all that, while subconsciously, I was still thinking I’m not attractive enough. At least, not without a sweet helping hand from my drawer full of chemicals & products.

Fuck.

For 15 years straight I thought so negatively about myself. And I feel so fucking sad that I’ve wasted so much precious time thinking poorly of myself.

So, I stood in my kitchen, consumed by the two thoughts that kept repeating in my head:

You have no makeup on, you can’t leave home without it.

And then I heard my boyfriend say, “Come on. Just get dressed and come with me. Without makeup. You are naturally pretty.”

I looked at him with eyes wide open. I suddenly felt my confidence rise, and fill me.

I’m not sure if he has ever said that to me before, but it doesn’t matter. What mattered in this exact moment was that I actually believed him.

This is what I look like and I can’t change that. I don’t want to. And I won’t.

I am naturally beautiful.

I heard the voice inside me. But this time it was coming from my heart.

I looked towards our glass balcony door and noticed it allowed the orange light of the afternoon’s sun to drift in. And I immediately thought it was perfect timing to venture out. It was an ideal moment to leave my home bare-face. So I decided to treat it as an experiment. An experiment that would help me to rebuild my confidence.

I got dressed quickly in my elegant pleated olive-green wide trousers and a plain black t-shirt. I decided to add a pop of colour and wear my mustard-yellow, pointed slingback flats. Then I pulled my hair back into an effortless bun, grabbed my black tote bag, and we left the apartment.

I was going makeup free.

For the first time, I was leaving my home feeling exempt from the pressure to look a certain way in order to please society. I no longer felt embarrassed or lacking in confidence to interact with other people without makeup on.

I finally felt liberated.

The day after, I woke up and looked at myself through different eyes. Objective and non-judgemental eyes. I looked in the mirror and saw a beautiful, millennial woman. Her skin was glowing. She had sparkly blue eyes, perfectly shaped eyebrows and naturally full lips. I couldn’t see her short eyelashes, high forehead, or big nose anymore.

Those “imperfections” were no longer noticeable to me. They weren’t important anymore. How society felt about my appearance no longer mattered to me – what mattered was how I felt about myself.

When leaving my apartment that day, instead of going makeup free, I opted for minimal makeup. I used a neutral face powder to matt my skin slightly. I coloured in my eyebrows very lightly and slid some mascara on my lashes. This process took me about three minutes in total. Instead of 30 minutes like the old days.

I finally believed I was beautiful. I accepted myself for the way I am.

Going makeup free – and finding the courage to do so – has changed my life.

And I decided, from now on, I would not be stopped by any limiting beliefs. Because I finally understood that my thoughts about being unattractive were not true. So I ditched them forever.

I will not miss even the smallest opportunity to live the life I desire.

I will always live an empowered life.

And I will not be stopped on my way to liberation.

But please, don’t be fooled into thinking I cured all my insecurities in one day. This is and will continue to be a fight between my ego and my true self.

If you are reading this, I assume you are fighting your own inner battle, too. And I would like to use this opportunity to share something with you:

Calm the negative voices in your head.

Ignore the false beauty standards being forced on you by the media.

Accepting yourself the way you are, bit by bit every day, will bring harmony to your life and eventually bring you the liberation you seek.

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