no make up month: part one

[Disclaimer: For those who follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may remember back in July I posted that I would be declaring the next month “No Make Up Month” for myself. I didn’t give much of an in depth explanation knowing that I was planning for this blog to get started up, and hoped to share more about it here. So after completing a month+ of wearing no make up I’m hear to finally explain what it’s all about.]

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This is my typical make up routine for days that I leave the house: Start off with a little coconut oil as a moisturizer. Apply a layer of powder foundation to even out my complexion. Draw some eyeliner along my water line (but not on my eyelid because Lord knows I’ve tried & failed at that enough times to give up). Depending on the day’s activities some mascara might make an appearance, which usually will be proceeded by frustratingly wiping away the multiple smudges I made in putting it on, meaning those spots will be touched up with a little more powder. Possibly repeat the last step if I smudge it again (frustration x2).

& that’s it. A basic routine with all drug store brand make up. It’s nothing extravagant or special. Yet despite the simplicity, it’s still one that becomes frustrating at times for a girl lacking make up skills like myself. I never bothered to gain those skills while growing up, so I’ve always kept it simple. & I’ve always been content with that – well, the simplicity part at least. But I’ve still spent some mornings feeling defeated as I’ve had to fix the spots around my eye for the third time because I just couldn’t get that mascara on without smearing or clumping some of it (I’m sure the few male readers I have are totally identifying with the struggle). Then I kick off my day in a lame, if not bad mood (because I’m a woman, & we’re just too darn sensitive sometimes).

I could have taken the time to learn more techniques to diminish my struggles, but in all honesty the thought of that sounds horribly displeasing to me. So I’ve just stuck to it, hoping that I’d eventually get better. & some days are okay, but other days are spent being overly dissatisfied over such an insignificant matter.

I’m not even sure when I came to believe that I needed make up to feel prettier. I used to use the excuse that I wore eyeliner to make myself look more awake (because morning’s & me have never gotten along if it’s before 8 a.m. or I don’t get more than 8-9 hours of peaceful sleep). Yet by the end of most days my eyeliner has worn off enough that I have even darker circles under my eyes than I started with. Then at some point I added mascara into the mix. Why? Probably because that’s what everyone else was doing (along with telling each other to jump off a bridge, I’m sure).

As discussed here, our transition out to California has led to the decision to live my life more minimally. Since this time I’ve spent a lot of my days doing things around home without really leaving our apartment. Therefore, I don’t give make up a second thought. & let me tell you, it’s a nice break on those days to not have the grimy feeling of a layer of unnatural product on my face. It’s a relief to be able to rub my eye when it itches without worrying about messing up my eye make up. & it’s especially great to not get a headache at the end of the day from it (the headaches most likely being caused by my make up irritating my contacts & eyes). The more days I was spending without make up, the more I thought about taking a break from it. I could save a good chunk of time in my morning routine because I wouldn’t be fussing over it. And if I did that I’d also save myself from the irritation and frustration I explained above. AND I’d be irritating my hubs a whole lot less because I wouldn’t always be running late to go somewhere when I didn’t plan for the reapplication step of the process.

In the midst of pondering these thoughts, God did what he usually does when I spend time thinking over life changes. He gave me the extra push. A friend of mine posted Colbie Caillet’s music video for her song “Try,” found below. & I cried.

This was a beautiful encouragement, motivation, & inspiration to me to fully embrace my God-given beauty as it is. I haven’t been doubting that I’m beautiful. But I have been struggling to believe that I’m beautiful enough. There are days that I feel like I don’t measure up because I don’t look as good as this girl, or that one. The truth is we are all fearfully & wonderfully made in God’s image, therefore we shouldn’t feel like we need to add anything to us to look or feel beautiful. We don’t need to spend time covering up our insecurities or “enhancing” our look to measure up to other women. We’re already called beautiful by the God who created the amazingly beautiful world we live in. He’s made the mountains & the oceans & & the stars & the flowers. He makes the sunsets & the sunrises. He’s seen & made the most magnificent sights on earth. & he still calls US beautiful. That is such a heartwarming, encouraging, & freeing word to a woman who has given into the lie that she’s doesn’t measure up in her appearance & as a result has let it become a controlling & life-stealing idol in her life this past year.

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Make up in itself isn’t the evil I’ve been facing. Sometimes it does make me look & feel [extra] pretty. It’s nice to get dolled up for a fancier occasion. But I don’t want to be enslaved by the belief that I need it. I don’t want to get caught into the mindset that I need it to look good on an everyday basis – especially when I’m doing something that clearly doesn’t necessitate it (like going to the beach or playing volleyball, which I’m guilty of putting on some make up for both). & so I have been breaking this chain in my life that has held me back for too long. I made the decision to pack up & lock away my already minimal make up collection for the entirety of a month so that I could open the locks on my heart. As I did, the word FREEDOM just bellowed in my soul. Due to my minimal efforts in the make up department already, this wasn’t a huge shift in what I looked like. But that’s not what it’s about. It’s one small step for pushing back against my temptations, & one giant leap for freeing my soul. (That’s how the phrase goes right?)

I didn’t do this to gain attention for myself. I was never fishing for the compliments I received after posting about this (although they were very affirming & kind). But I did this to bring more awareness to the fight that I know many women are battling. One that discourages & tears down & strangles women on a daily basis. I’m here to tell each and every one of you that you are beautiful. You are enough. You don’t have to try. You are cherished. & you are loved. Simply because of who God created you to be.

I’m SO looking forward to sharing with you soon about how the last month+ of no make up has gone for me. Be on the lookout for that update soon. Until then, maybe it’s time for you to give yourself a break from the things that are holding you back or tearing you down. If that’s the case for you, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to comment below, or contact me by email.

Check out Part Two here.

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