SGBC: Topic 2, Week 1: Make-Up- Can We Live Without It?


The other day I was thinking about a show I saw on TV years back. The show was challenging women to go a week without make-up.

The show was absolutely ground-breaking.

It documented what these women went through each day as they went about their lives- make-up free. One lady even went to bed with her make-up on and admitted that her husband had never seen her without make-up!

Personally, I have always used my make-up as a security blanket. I generally don’t go without it unless I am simply around the house or running to the grocery store. But even still, I tend to always put on my lip gloss when going out.

Some days I resent putting on make-up…I mean, it just adds another 10-15 minutes to my getting ready routine! It really can be a pain in the butt.

And expensive. Sephora, anyone?!

So as I started to think about this more and more, I realized that I have never gotten over my insecurity when I am make-up free. Sometimes I feel ugly, blotchy, or afraid to hold my head up high without make-up on my face.

This is really sad for me to think about.

I have always been self-conscious about the red undertones in my skin (much of my family has these rosy red undertones!) and I have always tried to cover it up and create a more even skin tone with foundation. I also have always been self-conscious about my beauty mark on my cheek. Many times growing up many people told me I had ‘a little something’ on my face and tried to rub it off, thinking it was dirt.

And you know what?

I’m sick of feeling this way.

I am sick of relying on make-up to make me feel beautiful! Now don’t get me wrong, I think make-up can be a wonderful tool to give us some kick to our step just like clothing can do, but I think we also need to ask ourselves if we RELY on make-up to make us feel whole.

I know I sure do.

And I think that needs to change.

So today I decided to come clean to myself and the world. I took this picture with Eric’s HIGH RES camera, so there is no hiding. ;)

ME: Make-up FREE!


I admit, I was nervous taking this picture. But I am even more nervous about the thought of challenging myself to go make-up free. I am honestly not sure if I can do it. A few years ago, I challenged myself to go 1 week without lip gloss (I am addicted). It was incredibly hard (Eric LOVED it- he hates that ‘stuff’!). It was so so hard for me.

Today’s SGBC Reflection Challenge is to think about this post and ask yourself whether you rely too much on make-up to feel ‘whole’.

ABC News wrote some tips for going make-up free:

  • Concentrate on your skin care. The best way to go without makeup is if you’ve been taking great care of your skin, so you can show it off. If you’re feeling confident about your skin you’re going to feel good about going without makeup as well. (Time to keep up with the green monsters!!!!)
  • Get a great cleanser, a very gentle exfoliant and a moisturizer with SPF. Most of the anti-aging creams out there are too rich for a woman under the age 35. If you still feel like you need anti-aging products, incorporate it; but, just like with makeup, less is more.
  • Keep your hair and nails looking good so you don’t look unkempt, even though you’re not wearing makeup. Consider getting a manicure or get a blowout that you can wear for most of the week. (While I can see their point with this tip, I think it contradicts their message! You shouldn’t feel that you have to ‘improve’ other areas of your appearance to justify feeling good sans make-up!)
  • Have your lip balm handy. If your lips look healthy and moisturized, you won’t look scraggly. (Well, gee thanks!) 
  • If you must have something on your face, try a tinted moisturizer with SPF. Clinique and Benefit make great ones. They offer moisture, a small amount of coverage and sunscreen — makeup or no makeup, you should wear sunscreen everyday.

Let’s think about some benefits of going make-up free:

  • You will save money
  • Extra time in your day to do what YOU want to do! Spend that extra 10-30 minutes relaxing, reading, or watching some TV!
  • It will challenge you to find out how secure you can truly become in your own skin
  • You will start to appreciate your natural beauty


We need to really embrace our whole selves- even if that means learning to love our skin make-up free….blotchy…freckled…broken out…wrinkly…and ALL!

I don’t know about you, but I feel STRONGER and more confident just writing these words.


Today’s questions:

Do you ever go make-up free?

Do you rely on make-up too much?

Do you think you could go 1 week make-up free? Why or why not?


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{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa M July 3, 2009

Great idea.
I do, however, think it might be harder for those that work outside the home.
Would you consider doing it if you were still at your old job?
I don’t know if I could and it makes me feel…WEAK:)


Melanie Z July 3, 2009

I agree with previous poster. Honestly, I hardly ever wear makeup. Maybe once a month, if I’m lucky enough to get a date night that month. LOL! But I understand how for those who work out of the home, this could be difficult. I LOVE wearing makeup when I actually get the chance, though I do wish I had some more experience in applying it. Most days I’m glad my skin gets to “breathe”, and I’m glad that my inner self is confident enough to go out in public makeup free (despite the sporadic pesky adult acne I still seem to suffer from), but I do enjoy playing “dress up” on those odd days.


Cinemarie July 3, 2009

It’s kind of odd to me to read this – I never wear make up myself – not at work, no at an event, not… I don’t even know when women do wear make up!! I do not own make up either… At this point in my life, I would feel uncomfortable if I did wear make-up because 1- I have no idea how to apply it lol and 2- I am too shy to show myself wearing make up in front of people who have never seen me do so!!! :)
I guess my point is – maybe the idea is we should be embracing the way we look without worrying about what people think or how people perceive it? Just be ourselves!!! I say congrats to you for going make up free, you look beautiful with it and you look fabulous without it!! You are right – Let’s be comfortable in our own skins!! :)


Crystal July 3, 2009

I think it is a great idea! I have never really worn much make-up – mascara if I feel like I look like I am still asleep (although I live in Colorado so it is prob. more uncommon to see women wearing a lot of make-up). Just like people, perfection is impossible. Just like the message here on Oh She Glows (skin IS part of our bodies) – women need to embrace themselves not hide behind a coat of flesh colored goop!


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 3, 2009

I agree it is MUCH harder going make-up free in the workplace. I did it a couple times at my old job and I felt so off the whole day. To me that is a sign that I rely on it too much. I just wish I had had the guts to stick with it for longer! I think baby steps are a good goal…maybe focus on reducing the make up you use each day. I am going to try it myself.


TanyaS July 3, 2009

I have thought about ditching make up, at least eye makeup. I don’t know if I could ever leave the house without foundation.

I did have a bit of an eye-opener a few weeks ago, as my 9 year old daughter watched me “putting my face on” and asked “Why do you need all that stuff anyway?”

It was then I realized how beautiful I always though her face was au naturel.


CJ July 3, 2009

My apartment has been SO hot in the mornings these past few days that I actually haven’t put on my make-up in the morning but have carted my make-up bag to work figuring I’d put it on when I got to the office instead.

To be honest, other than one client trip out to a lecture (with an immaculate client who I dressed up specially to meet!) I haven’t bothered to apply it at all during the day and have felt so much better for it.

I’ve actually felt more self-conscious about my hair acting-out in the heat so clearly I’m not cured of the appearance obsesssion!



Kim July 3, 2009

I do go make-up free a lot now. I work from home (watching a couple of young kids & my own, too. I don’t have time for make-up after going to the gym, rushing home to shower & then getting the kids up & going.

If I am going “out”, I will use make-up.

I could totally go a week without it. As a matter of fact, I may just do that!!


Jodi July 3, 2009

How cute are you?! I gotta say, I think your skin looks more fresh and healthy without makeup! ;) I too rarely wear makeup And I work in an office environment. I hate the feeling of makeup on my skin (I’ve tried all kinds including the “all natural” claims, mineral powders, etc) and would rather not put those chemicals on my skin. If your body can absorb nicotine via a patch, it can then absorb all the other crappy chemicals in makeup. Great post! I hope others will become more confident in their own skin :)


Amy July 3, 2009

To me, make up just helps me feel my best.

I feel polished and pretty when I wear it, and that helps me exude confidence.

I meet daily with high level executives. I need to be looking and feeling my best.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wearing make up daily.

Especially since I’m not afraid to sweat it out.

My husband was telling my last night that he has the best of both worlds… a girly girl by day, and a sexy athlete at night. I had never thoguht of it thay way! :)


kayla July 3, 2009

When I go to the store or anywhere else w/o make-up I have a hard time looking ppl in the eye. This might sound bad but I just look away or down to avoid ppl seeing me sans make-up. I like wearing makeup bc I too have red blotches and it makes me feel more confident. When I don’t wear eye makeup (eyeliner/mascara) ppl ask me if im sick!! haha I guess I look totally differen’t without!


sarah July 3, 2009

i have been trying to wear less & less make-up. i love my skincare and feel like it has really improved the texture & color of my skin, so i’m wearing foundation only on my cheeks/nose (i’m very rosy too!). my whole make-up routine takes about 5 minutes and the less make-up i wear, the more i have days (especially on days i’m not working at the office!) that i don’t wear any make-up. thanks for this post… a great challenge. :)


Bec July 3, 2009

I am pretty minimalistic when I do wear make-up and I do go without it a lot of the time esp when I work in the morning! My mom however never wears make-up ever, not even going out and she always looks great!


Kris July 3, 2009

When I do go without make-up, I definately feel a lot less attractive. I would NEVER go to an important function, dinner or night out sans make-up. I think that if you can look your best, why not?

On the other hand, there are times that I don’t have time to put on make-up. I often run to the store of hit the gym without it.

If we can find the balance between wearing it for special days/nights out and not feeling like hiding under a rock when we don’t, then I think we have found a happy comprimise! :)


Kristine July 3, 2009

Great post!! I hardly ever wear make up. I wish I did! My skin used to be flawless and now I tend to break out often and could use some cover up. I just sadly look at make up as “just an extra step in the morning” but wish I wore it more! I need to learn HOW to wear and and what kind of make up is best for my skin. But yes, I often go make up free. I was brought up constantly being told I was “naturally pretty and didn’t need it” so maybe that is why. :)


Jennifer @ His N' Her Health July 3, 2009

I go make up free rather often. I could really care less about it at work or school. Sometimes I will put a little foundation on and thats it, because like you I am very pink!When I go out I always wear make up though and I go all out on it! I actually enjoy it because it isn’t something I normally do.


cathy July 3, 2009

Wow a lot of non-makeup wearers posting here… I for one wear makeup all the time too. My skin is really uneven and I have blemishes so foundation is a must! I think I could do it for a week if I didnt have to go to work…


Kayzilla July 3, 2009

I’m usually without makeup, unless I’m going out and about. And then I just throw eyeliner and mascara on. And by throwing eyeliner on, I really half ass it and just put it part way on the lower part of my eye and then put mascara and a viola~. It doesn’t even take me longer then 2 minutes to do, and I put it on to bring more focus to my awesome eyes.

But I can’t imagine putting on more makeup then that. On a special occasion, I might consider a dab of lipstick to bring more color to my lips, and maaayyybe some eyeshadow if it’s a super fancy occasion, but I don’t need it. I’m youthful, vibrant, and don’t need the makeup. I just do it to enhance what I got because it’s.. well.. fun. For years my mom wouldn’t let me touch makeup because I was so messy with it as a kid, so now that I’m finally “of age” to put some on, I enjoy the freedom. XD;

But I do think too many ladies these days cake on the makeup too much. My best friend doesn’t want to go outside without caking on her super dark eyeliner and eyeshadow. I told her she looked beautiful without it and she disagreed and would not accept a word that came out of my mouth. I think this challenge would be so good for her.

PS you’re purdy<3 Just saying.


Katy July 3, 2009

Hi Angela!

I am so happy you wrote about this- coincidentally I was having some serious thought about this exact topic last night.

I do think that it would be best, at least for me, to go completely without makeup all the time for many reasons… the main one being that it is TOTALLY UNFAIR that women have to spend a lot of time and money on makeup and men do NOTHING. Harhar- I know I have a bitter tone in my voice, but it’s hard not to when I sacrifice 1 hour every day to excersize, more time to plan and pack meals, and on top of that I have to wake up 30 minutes earlier than my boyfriend so I can blow dry my hair and put on makeup. And he pretty much does NOTHING to improve his health/fitness/aesthetics and he looks great.

I think it would be awesome if all women in the world could band together and decide to give up makeup. Imagine the positive impact that would have on the enviornment as well!

Beause, yeah, the main reason I wear makeup daily is due to the fact that we have raised the beauty standard so high with makeup, hair extensions, fake nails, etc, that it seems like my little bit of eyeliner and concealer IS minimalistic. Sigh

Hopefully with time I will get braver and only wear makeup to special occasions.


Maureen July 3, 2009

I also rarely wear make up a little mascara to look awake and some face cream and off I go. Lately however I have been wearing concealer as I have a case of rosecea that is really bothering me. If anyone knows a natural way to treat this I would appreciate the information.


Sam July 3, 2009

This wouldn’t be much of a challenge for me personally as I hardly wear make up during the week. I don’t wear it to work or during my regular daily routines. The only time I really do myself up is if I’m going out (whether it be to dinner, a movie, the bar, etc.). So I probably average 2-3 days where I wear make up during the week, and even that isn’t all day.

I think growing up playing sports and being more of a “tom boy” attributes to this. While I love wearing make up and love the way it makes me look and feel, I don’t rely on it. I’m proud to say this is one thing that I don’t need to feel good about myself.


Lori July 3, 2009

So interesting to see so many people say they rarely wear it. I thought it would the opposite!

I hardly wear it and if I do it is mascara and maybe a bit of eye shadow, but I have no problems going out with none at all. One thing I won’t wear is foundation. It makes my face feel awful. I went through a makeup phase in 8th grade and those around me really got through to me when they said you can be beautiful without it and I gradually gave it up over the years.

There is nothing wrong with wearing it to me, well, unless you won’t be caught without it on. Then I feel it is an unhealthy addiction like any other. Personally, I’m so glad I don’t rely on it. Perhaps I could look better, but I’m happy the way I am and I save a ton of money. You look beautiful without it, by the way! :)


andrea. July 3, 2009

That’s funny that you should post this, because I’ve been having the exact opposite feelings lately! :) I NEVER wear make up, not even to work — I’ll wear it maybe once a month if I’m going ‘out’, but that’s it. And lately I’ve been really beating myself up about it, like why don’t I put more effort into my appearance, I must be the laziest person on earth if I can’t even take 10 minutes in the morning to do what every other woman manages to do, etc. So it’s interesting to hear this from the other perspective. :)

By the way, your picture is lovely and I don’t think you should worry. She definitely glows. :)


Allie July 3, 2009

I love makeup and own tons of it but I don’t wear makeup on a day to day basis. Even when I was working in an office I rarely put on makeup.

I love eyeshadow, blush, mascara and eyeliner… I don’t usually get into foundations, concealers and all of that jazz. I’m already bronze so a bronzer is out of the question.

I think you have to do what is comfortable to you. I personally think putting on a full face everyday is a little excessive but if you need a few touch ups to hide imperfections then go ahead.


Lori July 3, 2009

I almost never wear makeup anymore. I used to wear quite a bit (and sold Mary Kay!) years ago. The more weight I lost, the more comfortable I felt in my own skin and realized the makeup didn’t necessarily make me look better, just different.

The only thing I do wear is mascara when I go out, just because my lashes are very light colored.

I actually think women look fresher, younger and more alive without a lot of makeup on.


Katharina July 3, 2009

I go make-up free sometimes but I do like my mascara and blush! I think if I ate enough beets and squashed enough berries I could go a week without make-up lol. Just kidding ;)

Time to bust out that tub of coconut oil to work on that healthy glow!


Aaron @ CrossBorderCravings July 3, 2009

I used to rely on make-up all the time! I would never be caught leaving the house without mascara because my eyelashes are so light that without it I look like a cancer patient! If I ever go to the workplace without make-up people comment that I look “tired”. It used to bother me, but at this point I am totally comfortable not wearing make-up.

Given the choice I do prefer to wear make-up both because I love playing around with it and it makes me feel my best. However, I can easily skip it if need be. I think you have to do whatever you are comfortable with. If you enjoy make-up then I don’t see any harm in using it daily, but of course in moderation! My make-up routine includes mascara and eyeliner, blush and lip gloss – nothing excessive!


Sam July 3, 2009

Sorry about the double post, but I forgot to say you look beautiful with or without make up!


Katherine Feeney July 3, 2009

For about 1 month I went make-up free at work. I work in an office setting and EVERY single woman wears make-up. Men do NOT wear any make-up. Their skin is not even, they have freckles, wrinkles, imperfect eyebrows etc. I have to admit there are times when I felt self-conscious because there are some women in the office who think every girl MUST wear make-up and look gorgeous. Anyways I decided I didn’t care…I wanted my skin to have a chance to breathe and clear up. I now wear mascara and eye shadow when I want to…mostly because I LOVE my eyes and the make-up accentuates them. But I say NO to foundation and blush…even though I am currently sporting sunglass tan lines! Yes I went to the beach AND wore my sunglasses…so what? My boss actually pointed it out and was rude about it…but I let it go…sucks that she has to spend SO much time on her make-up in the morning…I feel good with that extra 10 mins of sleep! :-)


Mandy A July 3, 2009

For me, make up is FUN.. I LOVE playing with different eye shadow colors, blushes, lip glosses… so I never go without it… i feel like i DO need at least some foundation and mascara at the least… but I play with different looks everyday because it’s like a hobby for me!

MAC has made TONS of money off of this girl :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 3, 2009

Thanks for sharing everyone!! I love everyone’s different viewpoints.

Personally, I love playing with make up and I love how special it makes me feel. What I want to work on is not feeling self-conscious when I’m NOT wearing it!


Katharina July 3, 2009

Oh.. and I know that make-up makes me look older, so I’ll wear mascara and blush. I usually get the “you look younger” and I’m 21 – so I’m not really going for that at this point in my life lol.


Krista July 3, 2009

I go make up (and hair product) free for sure one day over the weekend if not both. I really feel like my face and hair need a “break” from all the crap I put on to go to work through the week. And I don’t even wear a lot of make up. I’ve no patience for it! I find that my weekends are generally low key so a trip to the store/mall or Costco doesn’t bother me. If we are going somewhere fancier, I’ll put some on. One thing I always use is chap stick. My lips get too dry without it! Great post!


Katie July 3, 2009

Never do I leave without concealer and foundation unfortunately I’m a broke out mess and I just can’t embrace the zit.


Danielle July 3, 2009

First of all, you are BEAUTIFUL without makeup!!! Good for you taking that picture!

Now, I hear what you are saying about embracing ourselves and the idea of not wearing makeup, and I am happy to know that so many non-makeup wearers exist and are so happy!! But i just can’t do it. Addicted? Maybe, but I am no way ready to try going without makeup.
I had Lasik Eye Surgery about 3 months ago and for about 2 weeks I couldn’t wear eye makeup. All I thought about all day in work is that people must be thinking how tired I look, and was something wrong, and all that stuff. Maybe thats just my insecurity…I mean I did it, but I felt awful.

Anyway, Maybe thats a long term ultimate goal for me! It certainly is something to think about. GREAT POST!


Mackenzie July 3, 2009

aaaah, anyone else out there an Accutane alum or currently enjoying it? I truly don’t even look like the same person when my make-up is off, and I truly resent putting it on. But the alternative is seeing the bewildered looks of horror in strangers’ eyes. I was au natural on the way to the laundromat and a neighbor asked me “oh my gosh, are you sick? what are those spots?” Apparently the sensitive man thought that I actually was diseased my face is so bad. However, I have a deft hand with concealer and with make-up on, I fancy I look rather nice.


Micco July 3, 2009

I never wear makeup. I don’t even know what foundation is. My skin is really nice, and I think a lot of that has to do with never wearing makeup – which also means I don’t feel like I have anything to hide! “Natural” makeup confuses me because, while it obscures what people look like, you can still tell they’re wearing it. I like really theatrical makeup because there are no pretenses of naturalism. It’s like using an illusion to help create an illusion, like people tapping into an alter ego, you know? Course, that requires wayyy too much energy for this cowgirl.

Keep going eau naturelle! Show off that glowing skin!


Melanie July 3, 2009

I’ve got this one!! I don’t wear makeup all that often, even while working a corporate job (although most of my work doesn’t require much “face time” with clients, so I can’t say that I wouldn’t answer differently if I had to face the public). But I’ve done pretty well lately with not feeling like I’ve got to have makeup on to feel whole. Good challenge! And FYI, your picture without makeup looks just fine!


Diana July 3, 2009

I never wear make-up. I’ve always looked younger than I am and I just thought I wouldn’t look that good with make-up on. So I never really learned how to use it (yeah… ahah) and I don’t really need it. The only thing I do use is a kind of moisturizer because my skin is pretty dry.

To be honest I think you’re beautiful either way and it’s really heartbreaking when I read how hard you are on yourself. The same thing applies to a lot of the other ladies whose fitness blogs I read.


Holly July 3, 2009

I never wear makeup, just like some of your other commenters. My friends always say I should, or how much better I look with it, or what have you. If someone does my makeup and I take a photo and put it on my blog, I get all these comments about how great I look.


I don’t want to put the time and energy and money into it. I’m fine with my face how it is. I’ll wear a touch of makeup for special occasions, and for my new career I know I’ll have to wear some. But I am comfortable without it and that’s what counts.


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