What I Learned When I Started Wearing Less Makeup

I started wearing makeup in seventh grade. Just starting with a few products, I wore it every day. It didn't look good, of course — no one's makeup looks great when they're first starting out. But I still enjoyed putting it on and seeing how it made my face look.

When I got into high school, I started wearing more makeup. I used more products, experimented a little, and got better at it. Up until this point, I'd been able to store all of my makeup in a one-compartment bag. I was forced to upgrade to a larger multi-pocket makeup bag because I literally had too much makeup. More eyeshadow shades, more lip glosses, more everything, all just for one person.

At this point, I was still wearing makeup every day. Even on days where I wasn't going anywhere, I'd still put it on because I felt like it made my face look better. Why stare at my acne all day when I could easily cover it up and pretend it wasn't there?

In my first couple of years at college, my makeup use was at an all-time high. It was full-coverage all the time. I started wearing foundation more often instead of relying on concealer, I put on lip gloss or lipstick every day, hardly ever just rocking the natural lip. I'd try to blend multiple eyeshadow shades to try to create some kind of look. I was still wearing makeup every day no matter what I was doing that day.

My junior year, I transferred to a new college. I lived in a dorm, and my schedule got busier. I found that I didn't have the time in the morning that I once did to put on all that makeup. So, I started cutting back. Now, I wear concealer and powder to keep my skin looking nice. Even this isn't an everyday look; if there's a day that I don't have anything going on, I don't wear anything, because why put in the effort when no one is going to see me? Most of the time I wear mascara and maybe a tan eyeshadow, but sometimes I don't feel like doing that, so I just skip it.

It's been quite nice wearing less makeup. I've gotten used to how my face looks without all the products, and it's nice to look a little more natural. It's saved me time in the morning since I don't have to get up so early to do the whole routine, so I can sleep a little more. I feel less pressure too: when I wore more makeup, I always felt like it had to look perfect. Now that I wear less, I care less about what I look like.

When I wore more makeup, I noticed that nearly all my best friends never wore makeup, and I thought they were pretty. Now I've realized that I feel pretty too, no matter how much makeup I'm wearing. This is probably the most important thing I've realized. I don't want makeup to be the only way I can be pretty: I want to like how my face looks all the time. I've liked the changes I've made and I can't see myself going back to wearing as many products as I used to. My face, as it is, is my best look.
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