“You look tired.” Thanks. I’m not wearing any makeup.
For years after I started wearing makeup, I felt ashamed of my bare face. I made sure to throw on some eyeliner and mascara every time left the house. If I failed to do so, I was subjected to comments like, “are you okay?” or “you look upset.” In college, I had to add filling in my eyebrows and lightly contouring in order to feel okay enough to show my face among other girls my age.
Then I started going makeup-less to work. I was sick of my eye liner melting away throughout the day. My co-workers still made the comments, but I got better at ignoring them. But each “you look tired” still cut right to the self-esteem.
I didn’t have tons of acne, just the occasional zit here and there, but due to my busy work and school schedule, I didn’t usually get a lot of sleep, and thus the dark circles under my eyes were always present. I’ve felt uncomfortable with recognizing my beauty or being called pretty on good days. I washed my face every morning and took off my makeup with cleansing wipes every night, but that was the extent of my skincare routine throughout high school and most of college. My skin was in the middle ground between needing help and glowing, but I still did not like my bare face.
Last summer, I was scrolling through Instagram and kept seeing posts about Glossier makeup. I decided to look more into the products and found a very established and successful company. I was drawn in by their slogan, “Skin first. Makeup second.”
I read more about the company’s values and found that they provide “products invented to bring out your best before reaching for makeup. Then makeup becomes the fun part, not the fix—as it should be.” Their goal is to create products for real people and to celebrate individual women. I learned that most Glossier employees started out as customers, which gives them the edge on their customer-minded approach.
I looked into their products and found Phase 1, which included their Priming Moisturizer (face lotion), Balm Dot Com (a universal skin salve and lip balm), and Milky Jelly Cleanser (face wash). I decided to try these out, along with Boy Brow in brown (eyebrow pomade). The products came in the cutest packaging complete with a pink pouch and Glossier stickers. Later, I also purchased Wowder, a light setting powder (that reduces forehead shine). There are also many other skincare and makeup products like Solution for fighting acne and their most recent release, Lidstar.
From then on, I started paying more attention to my skin. I added the Glossier products to my daily routine—the Priming Moisturizer in the morning and the Milky Jelly Cleanser in the evening. It wasn’t too different a routine, but I felt the difference. I felt refreshed and more confident knowing I was making an effort to take care of my skin. I also made a conscious effort to change my mindset about makeup and use it to accentuate my beauty instead of create it. I even felt confident going out public with no makeup!
While it was Glossier that helped me learn to love my makeup-less face, it was not because of their products. Their products simply helped me realize that I needed to pay more attention to my skincare. The truth is, I had no reason to feel insecure about my bare face. It just took me a while to realize. I look the way that I look, and that is okay—I can feel confident just the way I am.