Let's get one thing clear: I love makeup.
I can spend hours watching makeup tutorials on Youtube or Facebook. I also used to be the kind of girl who wouldn't be caught going anywhere if I didn't at least have a fresh coat of concealer on or some mascara brushed on so it looked like I had some eyelashes to speak of. I used to be so insecure about what I looked like because I was terrified of someone looking at me and not being happy with what they saw.
Against my better judgment, however, this all changed last semester when I had to be at work at 8 a.m. every morning. I was working two jobs, was a full-time student, and wasn't getting enough sleep as it was. Judge me all you want, but getting up that early every morning was a struggle. I give major props to any person who is as busy as I am and still finds the time to wake up early and look good.
I just didn't have it in me to put that type of effort into my appearance.
It got to the point where I would roll out of bed and leave my apartment at the last possible second just so that I could get an extra minute of sleep. I barely gave myself time to eat breakfast, which meant I definitely didn't have time to apply makeup.
I hated it at first. I couldn't help but think that everybody was judging me or when I had a particularly bad pimple that shone bright like a diamond on my face, I worried incessantly that everyone I passed would be staring at it. I was so self-conscious, I think it actually drove me a little nuts.
But after the first few weeks, things got calmer. I stopped worrying and I grew more confident in myself. I now realize that most of that self-doubt came from not recognizing what I looked like without makeup, and as I grew more comfortable with my appearance, I stopped caring what other people thought about me.
The crazy thing though, and something I still have to remind myself, is that nobody was judging me to begin with. We are our own worst critics, and if I'm being honest, I don't think many people cared about what I looked like. The things that I think are the most noticeable, like how short and light my eyelashes are, are most likely not noticed by anybody else.
And odds are if anyone did notice it, they didn't care.
I can't think of one time I ever judged another person for not wearing makeup. It has never crossed my mind to judge someone on the amount of makeup they're wearing if any at all. So why on earth did I expect the rules to be any different for me?
Not wearing makeup has allowed me to be more confident in myself and it has allowed me to see my natural beauty. I don't think makeup covers up what we look like or makes us lie about our appearance, in fact, I think makeup is something that just enhances all the beautiful things about us. But sometimes it's hard to remember that and we forget to remember that we're still beautiful without it.
I've never felt more like myself. I can confidently walk around campus without anything on my face, and that's something I would never have been able to do even last year.
I encourage any person out there who wears makeup to remind themselves that they do not need it in order to look beautiful. You grew up without it for a majority of your life and you were beautiful then, so you will absolutely be just as beautiful now.