My Make-Up Free Challenge

My Make-Up Free Challenge

I have gone SIX WEEKS without wearing ANY MAKE UP!

I hear your gasps, reader, I do.

So… you’re asking why?

I mean, what kind of amazingly confident girl would go six weeks without wearing make-up?!? 

Well, okay, truthfully, it started because I got sunburned on vacation and I literally could not put anything on my face except a soothing moisturizer.  


Then, as my vacation faded into the background, the reality of my red-faced situation set in…

I had never gone to work without wearing make-up. 

Now, let me be clear, I’m not the girl who wears a full face of make-up everyday, but in recent years my morning make up routine includes:

  • Concealer
  • Powder
  • Blush
  • Mascara

It’s not a lot, but to me, that extra layer on my skin made me feel prepared to face my day. That extra layer between my skin and their eyes made me feel “acceptable”.

The first day I had to go back to work, I woke up, looked at my face and was terrified to leave the house. I also just really didn’t think my boss would accept my sunburn as an excuse to miss work.

Immediately, the thought of having to go into work barefaced left me feeling self-conscious, anxious, embarrassed, fearful of seeming unprofessional or messy and ashamed that I didn’t look “ready” or “put together”.

But, I went.

And I felt naked.  I felt exposed.  And then I started to think about why I felt this way.  Why does society make women feel as though they have to buy products to cover their natural skin with liquids and powders that are made to look like their natural skin just to feel "put together" or "ready"?  

And one question stood out among them all:

Why wasn't my natural skin enough?  


That’s when I decided to start a #NoMakeupChallenge on my Instagram story:

First and foremost, my make-up free inspiration is Dana Suchow (@dothehotpants).  She has done quite a bit of work exploring what it feels like to not wear makeup in public as someone who as always used make up to cover her acne prone skin.  She is one of my heroes! She documents her public no-makeup excursions via her Instagram often and gives commentary challenging social beauty expectations & standards.  I owe all courage to BRAVE my workplace make-up free to Dana!

Immediate Benefits:

  •  Morning Efficiency!

If you’re like me, you hate waking up, so taking out that small but focused amount of time out of my morning allowed me that extra “beauty sleep”/“face smushed into the pillow sleep” and by eliminating makeup all together, my morning became hella efficient. (Guys, morning efficiency was not my intention, it just happened, I swear!  I came back from vacation as red as a lobster; no amount of make up would change that.)

Initially, I thought my challenge was going to be a “quick five-day challenge” and so I titled it the Mini No-Makeup Challenge.  I “quickly” found out five days without makeup in the workplace was A LONG TIME.  One day was A LONG TIME. 

And then, I was surprised and overjoyed by the girls who joined me. Their BRAVERY and courage was so moving.  Girls everywhere who had never gone barefaced in public were doing it and it was a HUGE deal.

I continued the challenge the next week and even when I stopped actually officially announcing it on my Instagram story.  I still had girls mentioning me in their stories saying that they were still going makeup free.

In the past six weeks, I’ve worn mascara a few times because I had a need to wear it for peace of mind, but have recently let it go. Only one time did I put on a full face with powder and I had it off before 10am that day.  


  • My skin feels so free!  It has never been this clear for this long.  
  • Not having to take off mascara at night… 

Also this obviously doesn’t mean I won’t ever wear make-up again.  I like make-up, I think I look pretty with make-up, it makes me feel comfortable & confident and all of that is OKAY!

There is NO WRONG WAY to do this. There is NO WRONG WAY to be you. With or without make-up, and I’m glad I know that now.

TOP 5: Joanna Vargas

TOP 5: Joanna Vargas

Joanna Vargas At Home Mask

Joanna Vargas At Home Mask