I was a teenager in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Contouring did not exist, and you didn’t find winged eyeliner on every eye. All over color foundation was the norm, and blue eye shadow paired with pink sparkly lip gloss was totally acceptable.
We emulated our makeup looks from Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, and J.Lo.
Yes, I know, those ladies are still setting the makeup standard. The difference is, over the last 20 years, they have kept up with the changing makeup trends.
Oh, and they have their own stylists. And lots of money. So there’s that.
Along the way, I did not become rich and famous, and I do not have a stylist. Honestly, when it comes to time and effort, something in my life had to go. Makeup had to go.
I discovered I could find other things to do with that 20 to 30 minutes spent applying makeup in the mornings, not to mention the time spent trying to adequately get it off every night.
And the cost? Well, that was money better spent elsewhere in my opinion. No more budget line for “cosmetics” anymore. Dropping $50 at the makeup counter for a couple months’ worth of product? Never again!
So here I am embarking on my 11th year of motherhood doing it au naturale most days.
Feeling Like the Odd Mom Out
I will admit, I reached a point where I was self-conscious when I was with other moms who had perfectly filled-in eyebrows, blended two-toned eyeshadow, and mascara when we were only at a kid’s birthday party. I felt unsure of myself around moms who had contoured cheeks and perfectly winged liquid eyeliner at the park.
Yes, I felt self-conscious in these instances. So I started putting on a little something when I knew I’d be around other moms. That way I wouldn’t feel like I was sticking out like a sore thumb.
But again, time, money, and the fact that I can’t contour or do winged eyeliner that doesn’t look like I walked off the wall of an Egyptian tomb sent me back into my reality.
Sweaty Alabama Summers
Plus, y’all, I live in Alabama: the land of long, humid summers. The air actually burns your skin when you walk outside. If you can wear makeup in these conditions, my hat is off to you. To me, it’s just an added discomfort on top of discomfort to wear makeup when the heat index is in the triple digits.
And let’s not even talk about the sweating . . .
Finally Embracing My Bare Face
It took some time, but I got over it. If you see me in Target, I won’t have on makeup. If you see me at the park, no makeup. At church, I still probably won’t have on makeup. Even if I am dressed up super cute for some outing, there is still a 50/50 chance I won’t have on makeup.
I decided that I didn’t care what others think about my bare face or what I perceived that they thought. No makeup is just who I am. I am comfortable with it. I don’t mind being the only bare-faced mama in the group. No sense in wasting time and money trying to be someone I’m not.
Recently while scrolling through Instagram, I was confronted with a makeup-free Jessica Biel. Granted, even with makeup, I will not look as good as Jessica Biel without makeup. But I loved everything about her post. It empowered me. It inspired this post you’re reading right now. Going without makeup is not a new thing for me, but it’s only been in the last 24 hours that I felt compelled to write about it.
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Spreading some self love today with zero filter and zero makeup for my girl @KateUpton. She’s on a mission to encourage everyone to feel strong and love themselves *as they are*… and I’m so honored to help spread that message. Take a second to show the real you. Tag someone you admire and pass it on ❤️?#ShareStrong
I immediately started digging into more about Kate Upton‘s mission and the “ShareStrong” hashtag.
Called #ShareStrong, Upton, 27, said in an Instagram video that the aim of the campaign is for people to post photos and videos “talking about who or what inspires us to be our best selves.”
“It’s to spread positivity and inspiration by creating a community that talks about encouraging, empowering stories and self-motivation,” she added.
Upton said that her inspiration is her 9-month-old daughter Genevieve.
If you pull up #ShareStrong on Instagram, you’ll see women of all types sharing real photos of themselves. Ninety-nine percent of them use no makeup and no filter — a stark contrast to the contoured, eye-lined “perfect” images we are bombarded with all the time. They are sending the message that “our best selves don’t have to include a made up face.” Our best selves don’t have to hold up to any kind of societal standards.
I don’t have a daughter, but if I did, I think I’d like her to see that I don’t need makeup on to feel good about myself; that I don’t need to “fix my face” before I go to the grocery store.
I do have a son, and as he gets older, I hope he realizes that beauty is not in the makeup.
I will make an honest attempt at a decently put together face for some special occasions such as formal pictures, weddings, and special nights out. And I do tend to wear a little bit more makeup in the winter. But I don’t need both hands to count the number of days I leave the house with makeup on even in the winter.
Listen, Mama, if you love your makeup, have nailed the contouring, and you can do flawless eyes (yet don’t sweat in Alabama summer heat), rock on.
However, if you are in line behind me at Target rocking your bare face, know that I’m inwardly fist-bumping you because you are part of my tribe.