6th November 2023
Makeup. You either love it or you hate it. Wearing products to enhance our appearance seems engrained in “female” culture- so common that it is rarely questioned. The use of cosmetics dates back as early as Egyptian times, with men as well as women dabbling in and out of its use over history. Nowadays, (usually, but not always) a sign of femininity, all genders from all cultures support the multibillion-pound makeup industry.
Yes, it can be an art. I applaud those who can transform their face into canvases full of colour, style, and detail. What about those, however, who use makeup not to express individuality or style but to cover up and hide natural features? Those that use makeup to “look better”, “more presentable” or “more attractive”?
I haven’t worn makeup now for several months and I feel GREAT. I guess it started with lockdown and never “needing” makeup as I was never actually leaving the house (or my bed for that matter.) However, my makeup-free spell has continued. I will admit that I have never was a big wearer of it anyway- just the usual concealer, foundation, mascara, eyebrows, and the odd eyeliner on a night out. However, quitting wearing makeup altogether was a big step. Stopping covering up my flaws and showing my natural face in public 24/7 was initially scary, but the benefits have been worth it. Here are the main 6 reasons that I, and many others, are quitting the makeup obsession.
30 minutes, 1 hour, 3 hours- how long do you take to do your makeup? However long, you could be tidying your room, reading, chatting to a housemate, or even just relaxing during that time. This realisation hit me. Sometimes I would postpone meeting a friend when I woke up late as I needed time to do my makeup, or I would take an age getting ready for a night out instead of pre-ing with friends. Now, I can leisurely have my pre-night-out nap in peace without worrying about my makeup routine. Just shower and get changed- oh the laid-back lifestyle.
Let’s face it, decent makeup = money. Although it may seem like just a 5 quid lipstick here and there, it does add up. Sometimes it can be a genuine struggle to hold yourself back from buying yet another new eyeshadow palette (I’m talking to you, yes you, the girl who takes cute pics of but never actually wears any of her 10 different Jeffree Star palettes). According to Glamour Magazine, women SHOCKINGLY spend an average of £482.51 on makeup every year (2018). This could get you around 2 Leeds Fest tickets or 148 Vanilla spiced Lattes at Starbucks!
That’s a LOT of money, is it worth it?
Another motivator for ditching makeup is skincare. Your porous skill will love you after you stop putting thick liquid substances on it. Makeup can cause overly oily or dry skin, spots, or even acne (Acne.org, 2020). That’s not to mention the unclean makeup brushes and out-of-date makeup that many of us use to save money and time. When was the last time you washed that foundation brush? Breakouts can often lead to a vicious makeup use cycle- makeup causes bad skin and then you use makeup to cover up the bad skin. It’s a real first world catch-22. Sometimes, your face just needs to breathe and regulate its oils naturally or with limited natural products.
Show your skin some love!
Possibly the most important reason for ditching makeup is the one thing that doesn’t actually benefit the consumer; shopping ethically benefits the animals involved in the making process.
Many brands are not cruelty-free. In most cases, brands allow third parties in China to test on animals. To name and shame a few- Maybelline, Rimmel, Max Factor, Sephora, L’Oreal, Dolce & Gabbana and so many more… (crueltyfreekitty.com, 2021)
If you do wear makeup, just make sure that you buy from brands you can trust- with one of the following logos on the product.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t owned many makeup items that haven’t contained plastic or unnecessary packaging. Plastic cotton buds, single-use makeup wipes, eyeliner and mascara tubes, et cetera et cetera. Most products contain some form of plastic or wasteful throwaway component. According to the National Geographic, more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are already floating in our oceans (2021). It’s not just the animals that get tested on, but the sea life suffering too! And that’s not mentioning the excess water and fumes inevitably used in the making of the products and the shipping cost of these (non-essential) products to stores.
To reduce environmental impact whilst still using makeup, some sustainable swaps can be made. These include reusable makeup wipes, reusable cotton swaps, eco tools makeup brushes to name a few. These swaps can even save you money long term!
Last but not least- confidence.
Wearing makeup can usually be disguised as giving confidence, however, this may only be a temporary boost. Having the courage to face the world with no makeup on can bring you fulfilling and long-term confidence. It forces you to look at yourself internally and things you want to change about yourself on the inside, not the outside.
So, if you’re thinking of ditching makeup for good or even temporarily, go for it! Save your time, your money, your skin, innocent animals, and the environment! It’s a win-win-win-win-win.
You may experience benefits you’re not willing to trade back for fuller-looking eyelashes or more tanned-looking skin. It’s worth a try!