Why I Stopped Wearing Makeup For A Year + What It Taught Me

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” – Sophia Loren

I have suffered from lingering allergies and sensitivities my entire life.

Every day, I am in some way affected by how my body responds to my environment. Whether it’s triggered by something I ate, something I wore, or something I touch or breathe in, it’s a struggle that has been with me since I was a young child.

Living with sensitivities like this teaches you how to appreciate life in a different way. If I didn’t find it so hard to stay comfortable, I wouldn’t think it’s such a blessing when food doesn’t upset my stomach, clothes don’t make me itch, or plants don’t make me sneeze.

Beginning in my early teenage years, I became interested in developing a basic skincare and makeup routine. It made me excited to use soft brushes, pretty products, and various cleansers to make my skin glow and accent my features.

What I had no idea would slowly happen was that my skin would poorly react to every beauty product I exposed it to.

Last winter, I officially gave up on attempting to wear makeup.

I had applied natural powder to my face to reduce shine one morning, and within minutes, my hands had broken out in hives where the product had come in contact with them. It was scary and disheartening at the same time.

What started in 2014 as a desire to feel prettier became a journey of heartache. Everything I tried using to cover blemishes, even out my skin tone, and keep my skin clean ended up burning, itching, and making me sneeze.

I had no idea that, in my case, beauty would hurt.

Going makeup-free in 2018 taught me so much more than I would have ever thought possible.

I thought that it would be hard for me to get used to, considering I’d been wearing makeup nearly every day for years. Admittedly, it was a challenge at first, because every time I went out in public, I felt like I’d forgotten to put on something important.

In this post, I want to share with I’ve learned with you. I’ve gained wisdom through this experience that is important to share, because it’s not something most young women would think to do. (And I don’t blame you! I only did this because of my skin, but I’m now all the more grateful for this challenge.)

Important note: It took a lot of strength to compose this post and then go through with publishing it. Your feedback would be much appreciated, but please be kind.

After not wearing makeup
for a year …

#1: I feel more beautiful.

I thought, for the longest time, that makeup boosted my ego and confidence. Little did I know that it did the complete opposite! I slowly started to forget the reason why I began wearing makeup in the first place (i.e. to enhance my features) and began to instead struggle when I couldn’t get my “look” just right. I felt ugly when my foundation was uneven, when one cheek had more blush than the other, when my mascara sprinkled down onto my under eyelids. I felt naked in my own skin and unattractive in my inexperienced makeup looks.

After going makeup-free for months, I now smile confidently in pictures. Every day, I’m learning to embrace my features and imperfections instead of wanting to mask them, transforming myself into someone different. I feel like myself! And that is a beautiful thing, indeed. โค

(However, I still have a long way to go … after writing out the whole of this post, I began taking steps backward, suddenly feeling like my lack of makeup use makes me ugly. How sinful is that?? Every day, the Lord is teaching me how to love myself and not listen to the lies of this world, or my mind.)

#2: I stopped caring about how other people see my outward beauty.

I don’t mean this in a silly way, or like I don’t give a darn how I look. I do care about how I look, but it’s not longer based on how people see my face; it’s about how they see the real me.

“Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!” – Proverbs 31:30 AMPC

I no longer define who I am by how dressed up and pretty I look. I feel the most like myself when I exchange smiles with a stranger, or make somebody I just met laugh. I now care about people’s first impression of how I act and respond to them, not on whether or not they think my makeup’s “on fleek.”

#3: I began to accept my imperfections.

I’ve been struggling with acne for years, and that was probably the hardest part about quitting makeup last year. I continued to have zits that I wanted to cover up. It took months for me to stop feeling self-conscious about it, but once that initial insecurity wore off, I can’t even describe how confident I began to feel.

I could finally accept that acne is just part of how my skin responds to things, and how blessed I am that it’s not much worse. I even started eating chocolate again, after years of sadly avoiding it in an attempt to keep my skin clear. I’ve found that eating what makes me happy (in moderation, of course!) is worth it, and that benefits my life more than by depriving myself of that happiness.

“Beauty attracts the eye, but personality captures the heart.”

#4: My anxiety has been reduced immensely.

It would be impossible for me to summarize just how many insecure thoughts ran through my head every time I applied makeup. Coupled with my desire to make a good first impression, my social anxiety caused me to crawl into a very dark hole.

Makeup may very well be the reason why I suffered as much as I did socially for years, because I was continually thinking about how others saw me. Instead of focusing on making small talk with people and being friendly, I was terrified – and I didn’t even realize it!

Now that I’m learning to embrace who I am without the makeup, I see people in a completely different light. I’m able to make small talk without being concerned about my makeup look that day.

#5: I’m able to focus more on interacting with people.

Because I don’t get caught up in my physical appearance anymore, all of my attention can be invested in the people I interact with. I’ve always responded to my family the same way, whether I’m wearing makeup or not, but around strangers and new friends? I used to be insanely distracted.

Now that I haven’t attempted wearing a full makeup look in months, I genuinely smile at people. I feel actually happy and confident about who I am and how I act, about the more authentic, beautiful person I’m becoming. It matters more to me to impress people with my behavior than by my outer beauty.

“If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?”

#6: I’m now learning to accept my body the way it is.

Most skincare products are about treating your skin right, enhancing your best features, hiding imperfections, and becoming the person you envision yourself to be. I really wanted makeup to be something that increased my confidence and overall happiness, but that’s not what it did at all. I became angry at my body for rejecting products I was originally excited to use, and I was frustrated at my inexperience when I found out my makeup didn’t look the way I wanted it to.

I’ve struggled with having a quick temper since I was a young child, and makeup ended up adding to this burden. Since stopping the use of these products on my skin, I’m thankful every day for the lesson it has taught me about loving who I am, sensitive skin and all. I still have a quick temper, though, which is something I need to work on (haha), but I’ll save that journey for another post!

#7: I no longer feel like I need to cover up my imperfections.

Sure, I’d rather not have acne that stands out, or frizzy hair that keeps falling down in front of my face. I’d love trying out new eye shadow looks and perfecting the winged eye.

But going makeup-free has FREED me.

I am a better person without makeup. I now consider smiling eyes and a huge grin the only “makeup” that I need. I’m confident in my own skin without needing anything to make me feel beautiful.

For the first time in my life, I’m grateful that the Lord gave me skin that is so sensitive. Through this difficulty, I’ve become more confident and happy, which I wouldn’t have believed possible. โค

Thank you so much for reading this post. I really poured my heart into it, because I’ve been thinking a lot about what this subject means to me lately. Some of the hardest things we go through in life make us so much stronger than we would have dreamed possible! I have to say that that has certainly been true for me.

I’d be interested to see how other girls my age would view themselves differently if they went makeup-free, but this is a huge decision you have to make for yourself. If someone else had encouraged me to stop wearing makeup because I’d feel better, I probably would’ve rejected the idea and thought they were insulting me or something, haha! At this point, I just know that sharing my experience was (and is!) important to me. If it inspires you to do the same, whether it’s for a week or a month, I definitely think it’s worth it. You’ll have to let me know what you learn!

“That’s the thing about inner beauty: unlike physical beauty, which grabs the spotlight for itself, inner beauty shines on everyone, catching them, holding them in its embrace, making them more beautiful, too.”

66 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Wearing Makeup For A Year + What It Taught Me

  1. This is amazing! โค I don't wear makeup, but in the future I probably won't, except possibly a little bit at parties, but as of right now I don't think I'll wear makeup. Oh, and I noticed how you're now .com instead of .wordpress.com!! I don't think makeup is necessary, except for like dance shows and stuff where there's lots of lighting. Great post Maggie!
    ~ Ara

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh same Jo! I was a flower girl at my aunts wedding this year and even though I had no intention of it I walked out with makeup. I donโ€™t plan to – but Iโ€™ve recently gotten some as a gift from that same aunt…itโ€™s been shoved in my cupboard and hasnโ€™t been looked at!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful post, I too stopped wearing makeup as much in 2017/2018, it taught me a lot of things and one of them, to love my skin and accept my imperfections!! You are beautiful btw!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post was so beautiful! And you certainly are very Beautiful!๐Ÿ–ค Being beautiful after applying 100 tons of makeup isn’t exactly BEAUTIFUL (according to me). Learning to love what god has already given you is actual beauty.
    I’m really happy to know that you have started to LOVE yourself as you are! I hope to achieve it as wel.
    Penny xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great testimony!!!๐ŸŒธโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒธ Thanks for sharing. I have never been into makeup, but I was told that it is quite addictive and makes you feel unworthy.๐ŸŒธโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒธ

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We are each wonderfully made; God knew what He was doing when He made us!
    I usually only wear makeup for weddings and such, which are rather rare occasions in my life. You’re right that it’s really hard to get the look to be just right, and putting on makeup makes me notice all my imperfections close-up, which I normally don’t even notice. For me it tends to be time-consuming, also.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Right now, everybody my age is starting to become a little more interested in make-up, and even me, because we are human. I suffer with extremely sensitive skin, I have to buy super-expensive sun-cream, try out billions of products to trying to find something that my skin, well, works with. And it kinda sucks. I get extremely dry skin one day, then oily skin the other day, I canโ€™t keep up. But I think natural beauty is the way forward, because hey, if they donโ€™t like how you look naturally then why waste your time on them?! All my classmates are wearing make-up to school and I just look at them and literally think, I could peel all that make-up away like some sort of mask. I only wear make-up on special occasions, like maybe my birthday, or a nice dinner, or a wedding etc. But I want someone who appreciates me, for well, me. I want to learn to develop confidence in myself and my looks, because that is something that I sometimes struggle with. That pimple or zit that wonโ€™t go away, or that dry skin patch that just when you think is gone, suddenly comes back. But Iโ€™ve learned to turn those imperfections and not my perfections. Because they make me me. Jeee, I write long comments ๐Ÿ˜‚
    Feel youโ€™ve really touched a good subject here โœจ Well done for wearing no make-up in 2018.
    Amber x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, sensitive skin squad ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚ Iโ€™m so sorry your skinโ€™s like that, too! Thatโ€™s called combination skin, I think – where it goes back and forth between oily and dry. Iโ€™ve seen beauty products made for that skin type ๐Ÿ˜Š but of course, theyโ€™re not sensitive skin friendly. The struggle!
      EXACTLY! If it was possible for me to wear makeup and feel more confident, I would, but I honestly end up feeling like someone else ๐Ÿ˜‚ Thatโ€™s a very good thing to desire, Amber! It makes me sad when girls define themselves by how they look.
      No worries! I love long comments ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ
      Aw, thanks for reading ๐Ÿ˜Š Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing post! โค I'm not against makeup, for sure, but I don't wear it, (personally I think 14-years-old is way too young and that's how old I am), and my Mom agrees, I probably will when I am 16-years-old, but just a little. I wear it for plays, have to, and then I see my face afterwards and sometimes I see myself and I am like "Woah…I'm so…not pretty!" And I have to get "used to" my face again because I'm already used to makeup wearing. I think it is beautiful when women/girls see themselves as beautiful, that's how we are supposed to see ourselves. You can tell when a person feels good about themselves, I think that's super important, and I think when a person is confident it makes them more beautiful than they were when they were not confident. I think you should care how you look, but it shouldn't cripple you. I am so proud that you found this and you are free from those feelings of "I'm not pretty enough" and those anxious thoughts! *hugs* Go you! Nice post, and thanks for sharing. โค

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Ariana! ๐Ÿ’› Yeah, I think costume makeup is an entirely different thing. ๐Ÿ˜Š I had that happen, as well – I actually started liking my face less and less when it didnโ€™t have makeup on! So do I โค Thatโ€™s very true!
      Thanks Ariana, so am I ๐Ÿ’– *hugs* Thank you so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. YAS GIRL! You are beautiful and this post was so inspiring! Thank you for being brave enough to put it out there. I feel as women, we are constantly bombarded with this notion that we have to wear makeup to be/feel beautiful. I didn’t even attempt to wear makeup until I was a senior in high school and even then I wasn’t very good at it. I, too, have sensitive skin, so many products didn’t work for me either. It can be so disheartening the kinds of things people say or the looks you get when you are a woman who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup or any makeup, but I feel stronger as well. It really forces you to believe in yourself and in your natural beauty. Nowadays, I just wear a tiny bit of mascara and some kind of lip color, but that’s it and that’s not every day. I think it is best to just do what works for you! Keep being you girl! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww Lauren, thank you! ๐Ÿ’• Iโ€™m very happy to have shared it. Yes, itโ€™s a very unfortunate thing – societal pressures to cover our imperfections. Choosing not to wear makeup shouldnโ€™t make us seem like we donโ€™t care about our appearance, because honestly, if weโ€™re not wearing makeup because we LIKE how we look, that says something more about our self-confidence than wearing makeup does!
      Yeah, and I just use a bit of an eyebrow pencil ๐Ÿ˜‚ and maybe some lip balm! I certainly agree!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. When it comes to makeup, lotion/skin care products, and even deodorant, I can’t put hardly anything on my skin; everything irritates it. I have found that products designed to treat acne actually seem to make it worse for me! Crazy, right? I think it’s the chemicals and stuff, it just makes your skin less healthy overall. I’ve never worn makeup for that reason, and because I’m fairly certain my skin would react to anything I tried to use. The way I see it, I like my face just fine, and if other people don’t, well that’s their problem. XD It’s just not worth dealing with the irritated skin.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This was such a thoughtful and heartfelt post. I’m so glad for what the Lord has shown you through skin problems (It’s crazy how he can take things that seem bad and use them to show us important lessons!). I love how this post doesn’t say “don’t wear makeup” but it does push us to communicate our personality through conversation instead of through looks. “If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?” definitely stood out to me. I generally wear light makeup once, sometimes twice a week-but I agree that the less we wear the more comfortable we can all be in our own skin ๐Ÿ˜€ You are so beautiful Maggie! Thanks for sharing โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Isabel! ๐Ÿ’› So am I โ˜บ๏ธ (yes, He really truly does!) Thatโ€™s what I hoped would come across. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ Who we are should be reflected in so much more than how we look! Yes, that quote is a great one. ๐Ÿ’“ Aw thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a journey!! I’m happy that you’re happy! ๐Ÿ™‚ You are beautiful regardless of whether you wear make-up or not! โค
    I like the creative aspect of make-up, but I would never use it to cover up my imperfections!
    Oh and I love all the quotes you shared in this post – very inspiring! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this!! I have never worn makeup (on a day to day basis, at least: I have gotten it done for some special occasions) and I really enjoy not having to worry about makeup before going out in the morning! Thank you for sharing your heart โค

    Liked by 1 person

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