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How Traveling Changed My Relationship With Makeup

6/30/2014


I used to be the girl who had to wear a full face of makeup everyday. The thought of going out into the world sans makeup terrified me. I would wear it to the grocery store, class, the gym, around my dorm room...literally everywhere. Any pimple, any imperfection had to be concealed with foundation, which as you can imagine just created a vicious cycle of yet more pimples. I quickly became a master of disguise and...sans the rare few who did occasionally see me without makeup...I probably appeared to have been perfectly made up most of the time. But I didn't feel that way inside. I dreamt that maybe one day I would feel comfortable walking around in public with a naked face, but did not have enough courage to do anything about it.

I knew that I wanted my relationship with makeup to change, but I didn't know how to make that happen.

Things quickly changed when I moved to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. The moment I stepped off the airplane the hot, humid air made my foundation feel like a disgusting pile of sludge. I couldn't wait for the second that I could wash it all. I didn't even care what my skin looked like underneath that sludge, I just knew that I had to get it off.

That was the day that makeup released its 8+ year hold on me. It felt amazing to be able to wake up, splash my face with water, go for a run on the beach and not worry about what anyone thought. I could take a swim in the ocean without having to worry that some of my perfectly applied makeup had rubbed off. Most importantly, I was able to enjoy and cherish experiences without worrying about how I looked. And not so surprisingly, my lack of foundation allowed my skin to breath and made it better than it had been in years.

Since my time in Mexico I have not completely broken up with makeup, but we definitely have a much more healthy relationship. I went from wearing makeup because I felt that I had to, to using it for fun and as a way to express myself. Yes, I still get the occasional breakout and yes every single time it completely bums me out and forces me to reluctantly reach for the concealer, but for the most part not wearing makeup (or at least very rarely/not very much) has allowed me to embrace me (I know that sounds super cheesy).

Have you ever had a similar experience? Let me know!

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