It’s December 2015. I’m in my second year of college, and for the past few months, I’ve sort of ditched the No Makeup Monday concept, mainly because I felt like I didn’t need a designated day of the week to chill from makeup.
In my post “An Asian American In A Makeup-Dominated Society“, I had argued that my ethnicity plays a huge role in my approach to makeup.
I used to have this insecurity about not wearing eyeliner, because I thought I needed it for my Asian-American eyes to look defined. I wrote that I used to do my makeup on the car ride to school (here’s the plot twist: I was driving) and rarely went a day without it.
Towards the end of high school, and into my first year of college, I embraced something called “No Makeup Monday”, which is exactly what it sounds like. To control my own independence on cosmetic products, I’d hit snooze every Monday and forego makeup.
It sounds simple enough, but on a lot of occasions I’d catch a look at my face in the mirror and think something like…well, I’m the only one who knows and cares about this No Makeup Monday thing, so if I just skip it today it won’t matter…
I guess that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? No Makeup Monday isn’t really something that you’re supposed to profess on social media (though, I definitely have). You do it for yourself, no one else.
One big lesson I learned this year is that makeup really is optional. If I, or you, or anyone else wants to go bare any time, we have every right to. And if you think that if you can’t go without it, then you’re looking at it all wrong. You don’t need to look painted and done up every day. You don’t need to permanently alter your look.
There will be days when you don’t have the time and simply can’t be bothered to put any on, and that’s completely alright.
When I do wear makeup, I’m not as keen on having to wear eyeliner as I used to be. Sometimes a little bit of mascara is all you need. Or, just fuck it all.
Seriously, fuck it all.
You learn a lot based on how people treat you when you do and don’t wear makeup. If their respect and friendship is based on a mask that you aren’t obligated to wear, the relationship probably isn’t upheld by the best of intentions. Friends will treat you the exact same, regardless of if your skin is perfectly clear or not, because then you know that it’s about who you are, not how you look.
It’s an assuring change from last year. I started college with the intention of making friends who would value me based on factors unrelated to looks. Eventually, however, I felt compelled to wear it for certain people, for certain events.
Not wearing makeup is physically easier, but wearing makeup is easier because it’s an immediate way to feel more confident about yourself. – “An Evolution“
This year, I have really good friends who I feel comfortable with, in any state. I don’t feel the need to impress strangers as much or be a people-pleaser.
I guess, since it’s mid-December and we’re thinking about new year’s resolutions, one small challenge I’ll give myself for 2016 is to go barefaced to more things, parties, dinners, outings, whatever.
If I had one insight to offer, it would be this: take care of your skin. Let it improve naturally, not artificially. You’re stuck with it for the rest of your life, so all of the decisions you make today, big or small, are part of a long term investment. Start caring for it early, because you may not see the results of your bad habits and neglect until much farther down the road.
Just to be clear, however, I still wear makeup a decent amount, and I have no issue with it. I should be able to wear it if I want to, as long as I don’t grow dependent on it, which I definitely used to be, to some extent. My makeup routine has incorporated sometimes eye shadow, a strong cat eye, and lots and lots of mascara. I’m not afraid to have a little fun with it.