Why I quit makeup
Parenting & Family,  Simplify & Slow Down

Why I Quit Makeup and How to do a Makeup Detox

Remember back in 2020 when the whole in-person world shut down and everyone went to work through zoom instead?  What a weird, terrible time.  Well, unless you got to spend all those days basically just working from home in your pajamas (because that was pretty nice).  But the pandemic made me realize I needed to quit makeup.  

While going through that time of life, things got confusing.  With no set routines and no reason to get dressed, life felt…too ambiguous.  So I did what any person that loves routines and processes did:  set a “normal” pandemic day routine.  And for some godforsaken reason I decided I needed to get dressed every morning, wash my face, and do my makeup.  FOR MYSELF (or at least that’s what my little self-care voice said).

Guess what else happened during the pandemic?  My then 3 year old son started waking up at 4:00 am every day.  Every. Day.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t get him to go back to sleep.  So I accepted it and lived as a very sleepy zombie with 3 kids under 3 during the pandemic with very little knowledge of the outside world and long stretches of isolation.  What a time to be alive. 

Makeup As a Tool

You know what else I tend to do? Overcompensate when I’m not feeling my best.  I was never a huge makeup person, except for when I was feeling under the weather.  I used to always shower, get dressed, and put a little something on my face when I wasn’t feeling well.  This would make me look more presentable to the outside world and distract from whatever sickness or allergies were attacking me on those days.  

Through all the sleepy days, I tried to “make myself feel better” with concealer, bronzer, highlighter, mascara, and even sometimes lip gloss!  FOR MYSELF (remember?).  Yeah… it was getting to be a little much. Once my son started sleeping again, the world opened back up, and actual normal routines started to fall back into place, I finally realized I was putting way too much emphasis on makeup and needed a change. 

So I Quit Makeup. Cold Turkey. 

First day makeup free
THIS IS ME ON MY FIRST DAY OF NO MAKEUP – NO FILTER OR TOUCH UPS ALLOWED!

I then found out there is something called a Makeup Detox.  This involves some arbitrary period of time that you don’t wear makeup in order to detoxify your skin from products, let the skin heal itself, and even help regulate oil production.  Overall, you let your skin “breathe.”  Now, I know this sounds terrible to some people.  Some women truly love makeup and use it to be creative and show their personalities.  More power to you!  

I was more like a “how can I use this fancy schmancy highlighting stick to make me look like I’ve slept through the night at least once this week” kind of makeup person.  So quitting makeup wasn’t exactly difficult, but it did take some getting used to. 

To get the best results out of this process, choose a time period that’s at minimum 7 days. This will give your skin adequate time to heal and detoxify. For an extra challenge, aim for a month!

Here are my recommendations if you plan on doing a makeup detox:

  1. Be prepared for it to get worse before it gets better. Like with every kind of detox, there’s a period of time where your skin can and will revolt at the change in routine.  Hang in there and you will get through it. 
  2. Prioritize your skincare routine. Make sure you are washing and moisturizing appropriately for your skin type for best results.  Also, a good eye cream is a must while taking this journey!
  3. Drink extra water and think about other ways to take care of your face, like using a jade facial roller or chilled eye masks.  
  4. If you’re nervous about what other people will say if you don’t wear makeup,  plan this time when you don’t have any upcoming events you would normally get dolled up for.  

Side note:  Societal norms of our patriarchal society dictate that women wear makeup, shave our legs, wear bras, be polite and nurturing, etc.  If you want to do those things, great.  If you don’t, also great.  This process should be about you and no one else.  How does it make YOU feel?  Maybe this is a good time to start a journal if you don’t already have one!  But most importantly, do what’s comfortable and feels right to you.

Quit makeup

During Your Detox

During your makeup detox, take the time to clean out your cosmetics bag.  Check expiration dates, ditch anything you don’t use, and keep only your favorites.  Now is also a good time to switch to non-toxic makeup products if that’s something that interests you. These products avoid harmful ingredients, do not test on animals, are gentler on your skin, and are better for the environment.  

I mention a few makeup brands in this post:
Everything You Need for An Eco-Friendly Bathroom: Simple Tips, Hacks, and Swaps

Quitting Makeup for Good

I have only worn makeup twice in the past 10 months:  once for a dance performance and once for a wedding.  My morning routine is simple and quick because I don’t feel the need to apply makeup. My evening routine is simple and quick because I’m not removing makeup.  I’m not spending money on makeup that I may or may not use.  I rarely get breakouts or dry patches of skin.  And most importantly, I feel like me.  So for the time being, I will be makeup-free.  And that’s freeing. 

Do you have more goals you’d like to achieve? You may also like:
How to Be More Sustainable in 2023: Setting Goals You Can Actually Achieve

So, what do you think about quitting makeup? Do you think you will give it a makeup detox a try? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly updates!

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