Occasionally, I like to share about topics that affect adult lives because the life we live as adults has a profound affect on the lives of our children.
This article at Curly Nikki got me thinking about makeup and my own journey with it. In my late 20s, I’ve successfully weaned myself off of using makeup everyday. Occasionally I wear it for fun but not to cover up things I don’t like about my face which I think is an important distinction. Makeup honestly needs to be rebranded because I don’t like the idea of “making up” for something when it comes to women’s natural beauty. For many women makeup has become something they feel like they need to look beautiful and the industry definitely exploits that to make a ton of money.
I don’t have amazing skin by any means. I’m susceptible to flair ups from stress, bad diet and whatever else. But overtime I gradually got the confidence to use less makeup by taking better care of my skin, my diet and loving myself. Embracing my face naturally has made me feel just as confident and as when I embraced my natural hair.
I don’t begrudge anyone who likes to use makeup for fun but for those of you struggling to accept yourself as the beautiful person you are, here are some tips on how I stopped wearing so much makeup (to almost none!) and embrace my face the way it is:
Work towards healthy skin
Find a face washing regimen that works
Using all natural products has made a world of difference for me and can be quite affordable. As they say, less is more! Now this did take some testing; Shea butter, for instance, ended up clogging my pores something fierce so there is trial and error period. I still have blemishes but overall, natural products has given me a healthy glow and softness in my skin. Here’s my regimen
- CLEANSE: Rub Alafia African Black Liquid Soap (I also use this as a shampoo!)
- Rinse away with warm water massaging as you rinse
Splash face several times with cold water (this tightens the pores)*NEW* – my new fav exfoliate is a few tsp of kosher salt with some jojoba oil. It will exfoliate and moisturize at the same time. I rub on skin, then rinse with warm water and then cold!
- Pat dry with towel
- MOISTURIZE: Finish with a few drops of Jojoba oil
The most important things to do are cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize. Cold water and just my hands is enough for me to exfoliate; it’s also beneficial. Some of you may need something different exfoliating techniques so do your research . I highly recommend cold rinsing above everything else. It takes a bit to get over the cool shock but after a little while it is super refreshing (especially in the summer)!
Use natural oils
Oil is not the enemy even if you have oily skin and in fact it can minimize/balance your natural oil secretions; it’s all about finding the right kind for you. Jojoba is my favorite but you can also try apricot oil, coconut oil, avocado oil etc.
Drink lots of water
I was not a water drinker until I made it super accessible and cold for me. I keep a 32 ounce BPA-free, water bottle in the fridge all day everyday. Here’s my bottle of choice.
Don’t touch your face
Your hands are usually filthy unless you are washing them twenty times a day. Keep germy hands off! Here’s a couple tricks I do to keep me form touching my face; if I start to reach for my face I touch my ear or neck.; if I find myself touching my face I try to go splash my face with water.
Break a sweat everyday
I’m talking about 30 minutes of cardio every day. I found running to be the cheapest and quickest way to do it but whatever you want to do just make sure you are getting the blood flowing and the face sweating.
Wean off Makeup
Only spot use foundation on your blemishes
Try to stop coating your whole face in foundation and just spot check and blend in small areas. I know the idea is to make your tone as even as possible but you need to start to see how little you need to use the foundation. As your skin improves you’ll be spot checking fewer and fewer areas until viola — no need for foundation!
Find a finishing powder you love
I discovered that finishing powder does wonders for evening my tone, toning down sheen and making me feel less self conscious about my skin. Some days I’m just not feeling my face and a finishing powder is my little cheat instead of using foundation. It is really does not covering up anything but it makes me feel a little less exposed on those days I’m doubting my skin.
Use Oils as makeups
Castor Oil is an amazing natural mascara. Buy a empty mascara bottle (or clean an old mascara bottle; sort of tricky but vinegar, baking soda and soaking are your friend) and fill it with castor oil. Use the brush and apply as normal.
Keep a stock of makeup and invest in high quality, natural and expensive makeup
The better quality means the less harsh to your skin and the more expensive the more likely you may not over use.
Keep the details neat and tidy
I have traveling brows. I don’t trim them because I enjoy there thickness but they get frayed around the edges and i don’t care for that because it really changes my look and gives me sort of kid appearance. I always make sure to use a small tooth comb to keep them tidy and it makes all the difference. You may have something like this wether it be your hairline, chin hair, lip fuzz etc. Try to find a way to keep these things tidy the way you like them.
Mantras in the mirror
I started to stare in the mirror each day for about 2 minutes and instead of thinking of everything I didn’t like I started to find the things I did like. Honestly most of the things you may think are imperfections are your greatest assets and make you distinct and beautiful. Those chubby cheeks? Make you look young. Those laugh lines? Make your smile stand out. Those features are what make you, you and you should enjoy them.
Take pictures of yourself #selfie #nofilter #nomakeup
Sometimes you need a little more distance than the mirror so take photos of yourself. Try a couple different faces too; happy; animated, upset, neutral. And look through them. You don’t even have to bother posting these, they are just for you. Occasionally, when you are scrolling through your album you’ll probably have forgotten you took the pic and be pleasantly surprised you look so nice without makeup. It’s your vanity vault just for you!
If you are a heavy makeup wearer don’t be shy when it comes to telling your friends and family you plan to cut back. Explain that you are nervous/afraid but you want healthier skin but more importantly a healthier attitude towards your natural beauty. Your friends and family love you but they may not realize that noticing your lack of makeup by saying things like “you look tired?”, “your face looks different”, etc; will hurt your feelings and self esteem. Give them a small heads up and they are sure to support you if they truly care about your feelings.