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Two years ago, I gave up makeup, shaving, and all forms of feminine primping for 60 days.  The project – which was called The Naked Face Project – was a personal exploration dreamed up by Molly Barker (the founder of Girls on the Run) and myself when we started to ask each other WHY we exchanged in these habits.

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When I started TNFP, I was volunteering with little girls on a weekly basis, knee-deep in the second Operation Beautiful book (which is for tween girls), and really questioning the reasoning behind my near-daily full face of makeup, constant shaving, and overall time and monetary investment in my appearance.  I walked into the project feeling like none of these habits were “wrong” but really curious to explore WHY I did those things and WHAT the ramifications would be if I stopped.  So for 60 days, I gave it all up – no makeup, no eyebrow waxing, no leg or armpit shaving (that was kind of intense!), no dressing up, and no jewelry save for my wedding bands. 

 

Naked Face two years ago:

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One of the things that we worked really hard on during TNFP was making sure the project was clearly defined because we never wanted other people to feel attacked for their choices. If you want, you can go through some of the old posts to get a deeper understanding of the project: Here’s the project’s introduction, here are the weekly updates, and here are my final conclusions about the project.   It was especially interesting to do the project with Molly because I came at it as a late 20-something year old, soon-to-be mom, and she approached it as a women in her 50s with two teenage children.

 

So – it’s been over two years since I wrapped up The Naked Face Project, and lately, I’ve been thinking about it a lot.  It’s probably because I’m pregnant again, which of course dredges up all sorts of introspection.

 

Naked Face today:

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Two years have passed, and that’s two more years of time on my face.  Two years of some of the most physically grueling, exhausting years of my life.  I grew, delivered, and fed a baby and am working on growing my second.  I survived many, many months of sleepless nights and still rarely feel like I get enough sleep. I trained for triathlons and road races, and the sun + hormonal changes + my natural olive skin tone triggered noticeable melasma on my forehead, cheeks, and upper lip (despite being religious about sunscreen!).  I suddenly developed crow’s feet around my eyes.  I’m getting a permanent thought crease in between my eyebrows.  I don’t look like I did when I was 19, but I’m not who I was when I was 19 – I’m 30 year old me.  And I like it.  

 

One of the topics that we ‘debated’ during the Project was whether women look ‘better’ with makeup on.  Do I look ‘better’ with a full face of makeup on?  If we’re going by society’s standards, sure.  I looked ‘better’ with makeup on before the Project and I guess I look ‘better’ now, too, when I paint my face with artificially rosy cheeks and perfect eyes and pink lips.   But two years later, I still choose to be mostly naked face. I wear makeup for special occasions, but on a day-to-day basis, I embrace my wrinkles and sun spots and tired eyes – I guess I don’t feel like I need to always look ‘better.’  I don’t try to hide my natural face and all of its imperfections. 

 

Why?  Because The Naked Face Project really changed me.  Again, as I wrote frequently during the Project, I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with makeup or shaving or primping.  A lot of it can be fun and empowering.  But there was something wrong with the reasons that I constantly engaged in these habits.  I did it because – despite all the work that I was doing professionally to boost other women’s self-esteem – I still felt a tiny bit uncomfortable just being me.  Thanks to 27 years of society’s brainwashing, I got completely trapped into thinking that I needed to always look artificially ‘better.’  I needed to look ‘better’ to go out to dinner.  I needed to look ‘better’ to stand up in front of 200 people and give a presentation.  I needed to look ‘better’ just to take a selfie! 

 

60 days with the Project freed me from this type of thinking.  It truly deepened my understanding and appreciation for JUST BEING MYSELF – beyond even just looking like my natural self.  My post-Project reaction went well beyond when I’d use mascara and concealer.  I still occasionally wear makeup and I like to dress up, but I don’t feel tied down by these habits anymore.  Giving it all up for 60 days – and discovering that life goes on without these things! – really helped me be more okay with me on the outside AND on the inside.  When I wrapped up the Project, I wasn’t sure if that feeling would last, but it has – for over two years!  Which is pretty cool.  Other side benefits:  I can get ready in 5 minutes flat, I spend way less money on beauty products, and when I do dress up or get my nails done, I actually feel like it’s a fun, special occasion.

 

One thing that Operation Beautiful has taught me is that everyone’s self-confidence and body acceptance journey is different.   For many people, there’s no relationship between the use of beauty products and confidence.  But for some – there is!  The process of improving your outlook is also not necessarily linear – there are lots of ups and downs.  As I get older, I notice that I have to constantly ‘work’ on my positive self-image.  That’s probably because there are so many crappy messages in our society about what women should look like and act like and feel like. 

 

Although it doesn’t directly relate to the topic of Naked Faces, I constantly go back to this powerful quote by Iyanla Vanzant whenever I am feeling like I need an extra boost:

 

“Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.”

 

I think so much of being content with life is creating your own definition of what happiness should look like.  I want to draw good things into my life.  And to do that, I need to be really and truly okay with myself, including how I treat loved ones, interact with strangers, and parent – and what I look like.  That quote always reminds me that it’s important to take the steps to be okay with myself… every day and in every way.

 

For more thoughts on self confidence, check out this post.

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Have you ever given something up for a period of time and had your opinion about it changed forever?  Makeup?  Cell phones?  TV?

{ 59 comments }

 

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  • Nikki @ grab your kicks June 19, 2014, 9:31 am

    I saw a news report on a woman’s experiment with not wearing makeup, wearing a little, and a “full face.” She was told she looked tired and sleepy with no makeup on and got a lot more compliments when wearing a full face. I don’t really wear much makeup. I don’t wear any when I teach an exercise class and thought about what others might think of me. Then, I realized I don’t really care. Why would I wear makeup to workout anyways? I usually wear mascara and a little blush most days, which is good for me!

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 19, 2014, 9:36 am

      Yup! There are studies that show people think women are more competent at their jobs when they are wearing makeup. Interesting huh? One of the things we talked about during the project was how some careers basically requires you to wear makeup and in others, it was seen as a bad thing (I remember the examples as being pharm sales and academic jobs). It was really interesting during the project to talk about the differences between how one views themselves and how others view you.

      Reply
  • MB June 19, 2014, 9:49 am

    This is really interesting. I find it kind of sad that even the thought of going to work without makeup makes me panic (I teach). I’m starting at a new school this year and definitely plan to tone down the makeup on a daily basis…a fresh start with a fresh face :)

    I gave up soda one year for Lent (40 days…I’m Catholic), and in 5 years, I’ve never gone back. Thank God for seltzer…

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 19, 2014, 9:52 am

      Congrats on your new gig! I hope you like your new school!

      Reply
      • MB June 19, 2014, 9:55 am

        Yay thanks! And congrats on finishing the 5 & dime in Boston…my boyfriend was running in the 10k with you!

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        • Caitlin June 19, 2014, 9:58 am

          Awesome!!

          Reply
  • Katie June 19, 2014, 9:50 am

    I have been wearing less and less makeup over the past two years as well! It helps that I live in a small town and don’t work in a strict corporate setting, but it is so nice to view makeup/blowdrying/styling as a treat! I keep my nails painted, but that is because I like it!

    Reply
  • blueberry June 19, 2014, 9:54 am

    I’d love to hear from some women who work who did the project. It’s easy for someone who works at home to forgo makeup and feel fine about it. But if someone all the sudden stopped wearing makeup to an office job, people might honestly think she was ill.

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 19, 2014, 9:57 am

      If you go back through the old posts, there were a lot of comments on this! I do know that my friend stopped wearing makeup to work and it took a few weeks for the “you look tired” or “you look sick” comments to stop. Then people just accepted it as her new normal, you know? A lot of it is about comparison to the made up face. There’s also a guest post in the master list from a news anchor who wrote about how makeup is a huge part of her job. The project ended up getting a lot of national press because a bunch of high schools also took it on, and a few news anchors took all their makeup off to do the reporting on it! Which I thought was so cool… Even if it only lasted a segment. Hah. :)

      Reply
    • Kathleen Ojo @ My Ojos June 19, 2014, 10:19 am

      I work full time for a big company, and though I didn’t participate in the project, I did stop wearing makeup to work about a year ago. Of course people will comment at first – it’s like, if you’re used to seeing an actor on stage or in movies, with a full face of stage makeup, and then one day you run into them in the grocery store. Of course you think they look different! But “different” doesn’t mean “bad.” People around my office did comment at first, but eventually they stopped comparing my real face to the artifical face they were familiar with, and it was fine. I find that people relate to me a lot more openly now, actually. They’ll tell me if I look tired, because I haven’t concealed away my undereye circles, which gives me an opportunity to say, “Yeah, I only slept 5 hours, the baby had me up….” and we can have a nice conversation. :-)

      Reply
    • Ali June 19, 2014, 12:07 pm

      I didn’t do this project, but I have stopped wearing as much makeup as I used to over the past year and a half. I used to do foundation, eyeliner, brow pencil, the works. I went through a lot in the past 1.5 years, including an eating disorder, and have had to learn to accept the real me. I stepped my makeup down gradually, so it wasn’t a WHOA – WHAT HAPPENED problem, but it had more to do with me feeling more comfortable with less makeup. Now, I just do a little powder (because I have oily skin and it helps with that) and mascara (because my eyelashes are blonde and my hair is dark). I am definitely more comfortable with myself. When I had to do a full face a few weeks back for a wedding I was is, I ended up looking at pictures and not really recognizing myself. I am definitely someone who wears their current conditions and experiences on the exterior and people do comment, especially my college students and student workers, but it really doesn’t bother me anymore. I am in a male dominated field and I think men have been more accepting of me and have treated me more as a colleague than a lower class citizen since I’ve stopped wearing as much makeup. I somewhat relate that to increased confidence though.

      Reply
  • Suzy June 19, 2014, 10:01 am

    My husband often tells me I look great without my make-up and there will always be this small part of me that will never believe him. Although, I’ve always been pretty minimal about wearing make-up. It’s just so hard to let it go that it’s sometimes IS ok to not be made up.

    And lately, I’ve really been focusing on buying more natural make-up and products. If there’s one thing that will help us look better and more healthy, it’s choosing good products and eating, drinking and taking good care of your body: ) And of course smiling!

    Reply
  • Julia June 19, 2014, 10:12 am

    This was one of my favorite series on your blog – I loved the different posts about your experience with the project! So interesting and while I didn’t participate, it caused me to think (like you said) about WHY I wear makeup or do certain primping things. I used to put on makeup and curl my hair every day, even if I was just running errands. I also felt like if my skin wasn’t absolutely magazine perfect, then I had no business not wearing at least a little foundation.

    But over the past year, I’ve made a conscious effort to slowly change that. Sometimes that felt uncomfortable, like going out with people without wearing mascara or curling my eyelashes! (I mean I used to do that to go to yoga or the pool… Ridiculous I know.) I did feel like I looked better so that meant I was better on a deeper level. But now I opt out whenever possible – I let my hair airdry, I ditch the makeup, and it’s nice to know that… I’m still me! Surprise! Haha. It actually just doesn’t matter — people don’t treat me worse if I’m not all primped and pretty. I still get zits and have frizzy hair days, but you know what else I have? More time to do things and be with the people I love instead of spending it in front of a mirror. And like you said, now when I do “get ready,” it’s fun and feels special.

    Side note: I would be really curious on your thoughts about this sort of topic in relationship to how often women look in the mirror. I read a story once about a woman who stopped looking in mirrors for a month or something, and she said she had no idea she “checked” how she looked so often. I find that very interesting.. I know I’m guilty of it! As a mom, do you check yourself out in the mornings or before you head out the door (maybe that is a laughable question — I’m not a parent though)? What about in the car, or in a store with mirrors or windows, or even on your iPhone? If you don’t now, is that something you used to catch yourself doing?

    Anyway, thanks for this post as a reminder to accept yourself just as you are!

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 19, 2014, 10:23 am

      That blog is called Mirror Mirror Off the Wall. She also wrote a book (I have a review blurb on the back cover actually!). She didn’t look at her reflection for an entire year and she got married during the time! Crazy. She is a sociologist too so the story was particularly interesting.

      One of the comments I got during the project was that some SAHM moms could care less and others really liked getting dressed up on a daily basis. I can agree with both perspectives. Usually I don’t care and don’t have the energy (hello, yoga pants are my uniform!!!). But sometime, if I’m really worn out or tired, it’s a nice treat to put on a super cute outfit and do my hair. It puts a little pep in my step. That’s what I like about giving it up on a daily basis – it makes it feel more special.

      Reply
      • Julia June 19, 2014, 10:31 am

        Oh awesome! I’ll have to check that out, thanks!

        Reply
  • Kathleen Ojo @ My Ojos June 19, 2014, 10:12 am

    Wonderful, thank you so much for revisiting this project! I followed all your naked face posts two years ago and thought it was a truly awesome experiment. I grew up with a mother whose natural hair color I have never seen, and who put on a full face of makeup every single morning without fail. Her self esteem was, and unfortunately is, not very good, but I was raised thinking these are just things that women HAVE to do to be seen in public.

    What changed my mind was actually living in Kenya for a couple years. The average woman there does not shave, wear any sort of deodorant, or put on makeup. Though I never stopped shaving, I did go sans makeup/deodorant for most of my time there, and it really made me think about WHY I perform all these beauty rituals. It really is just part of a cultural norm for women in America, and just because something is mandated by culture doesn’t make it “right,” nor does it mean we shouldn’t try and change it for the better.

    Reply
  • Rebecca June 19, 2014, 10:22 am

    I’ll be going without TV and mostly without my phone and internet for the next week and a half on a mission trip, so that’ll be interesting! But going without my phone won’t be super hard, because even though it’s always in my pocket, the only people who call or text me are pretty much my parents. LOL. I’m going to turn off most of the notifications before we leave so I stop getting stupid Facebook game notifications all day…

    Reply
  • Chelsea@TableForOne June 19, 2014, 10:29 am

    This is so empowering! I love the idea of 60 days without primping. It really is hard to accept our natural selves in a world that values our made-up selves. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • JD June 19, 2014, 10:30 am

    I like wearing make-up. To me it’s like art. I enjoy doing it. The same way I enjoy putting together my outfits. But I don’t really care what anybody thinks of me without make-up. If don’t feel like wearing any, I don’t.

    Reply
  • susanna June 19, 2014, 10:34 am

    I think you look fabulous without makeup. When I got my first full-time job after graduate school, I thought I would give a “grown-up” makeup routine a try. I went from wearing make-up (mascara and liner) only for weddings, so doing that plus eye shadowa nad lipstick every day. This is hardly an invovled routine, but after a month, I realized two things: 1) it was a time suck – in the AM and in the PM (to take it off) and 2) I started seeing myself as “less pretty” when I took the make-up off and I started to feel like I had to wear eye makeup for my eyes to look “normal.” That is when I said “I am done with this s*it.” In a matter of days of goin back to my usual no make-up self, I started to appreciate my face as it has been 99% of the time: without makeup. I don’t know whether anyone noticed at the office – and I did not care. I had 2 more office jobs after that and my motto was “come as you are.” No makeup, no jewelry, other than tiny earrings, and no one ever said anything or treated me differently. But maybe that is because I did not care and I acted confidently looking like myself. I always tell my husband that my goal in life has been to have jobs were I can roll out of bed and wear a clown suit and no one would bat an eye at me. So, today I am a college instructor, an NPR-affiliate host and producer, and a fitness instructor. I have rolled into the firts two jobs in lounge apparel – uggs, sweatpants, and tangled, ratty hair – and, of course, radio listeners are none the wiser and students appreciate me for my brain…I consider myself very lucky. That is not to say, however, that I don’t enjoy make-up and I have been known to spend good money at Sephora. However, it is for special occasions and when I feel like it – it is never an obligation or to cover “imperfections.”

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 19, 2014, 10:57 am

      You work for NPR?! So cool!!! What station?

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      • Adrienne June 19, 2014, 12:23 pm

        A celebrity is among us!! NPR is the greatest.

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      • susanna June 20, 2014, 9:53 am

        It’s KCHO 91.7 FM – I live in a small college town North of Sacramento in NorCal. I have a few fans in town (my former UPS driver), but I am hardly a celebrity. I mostly do the 5 min. newscast and say “this is KCHO, Chico and KFPR, Redding.” Now, if I worked for da’ mothership – NPR headquarters – I’d be a real celebrity like Nina Totenberg or Ira Flato… but that is a whole different league of NPR people. :)

        Reply
  • Lyndsey June 19, 2014, 10:35 am

    I have to say, after 10 years of always wearing eyeliner on the bottom of my eye (old highschool habit that never died!) the last 9 months i have stopped. I’ve also stopped straightening my natural (mixed girl) curls, and embracing all of me! It is TOTALLY freeing,

    Reply
  • Andrea B. June 19, 2014, 10:37 am

    I gave up makeup nearly 20 years ago, while in High School. I even went for almost 10 years without owning any make-up. I work full-time out of the home and have 4 children. Because make-up isn’t part of my normal, I don’t think most people even notice that I don’t wear make-up. I think people get used to seeing us one way, and if we change it, we look different. And different isn’t bad, it’s just different.

    Reply
  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed June 19, 2014, 10:42 am

    Hmmmm I have mixed emotions about this topic. I’m pretty laid back and often let my hair air dry or twist it up into a simple updo (usually after I haven’t washed it for 4 or 5 days). As far as daily make up, I usually wear some eyeliner and call it a day, sometimes I’ll do some eye shadow and mascara, but I’m not a fan of layers of junk on my face. In high school I went two months without shaving my legs (despite walking around in my cheerleading uniform), at the time I thought it was hilarious.

    But on the flip side, I do love getting all dolled up and I definitely feel more attractive when my hair is done, legs are shaved, and my make up is just so. I think that because I don’t do it all the time, it actually makes it more special when I actually do those things.

    Reply
    • Marie June 19, 2014, 11:58 am

      I can’t believe that was actually two years ago! Time flies!

      Reply
  • Nicole N. June 19, 2014, 11:27 am

    I loved your Naked Face Project! I was at a point in life when you did it that I was feeling like to be accepted as a grown up I needed to look “polished” at all times and that just isn’t who I am. Some of the exploring you did during that series really helped me be ok with deciding to just do what I feel like doing and ditching the rest. I have found a great group of friends who aren’t all about makeup and perfectly manicured nails and brows and it makes me feel so much more comfortable in my own skin to know that they don’t care and that I am accepted simply for who I am.

    Reply
  • Coco June 19, 2014, 11:37 am

    I have an office job & I plan and run events, so I am expected to look professional. That being said, I have NEVER been a girly girl. I hate makeup and high heels and excessive jewelry. Now, I am only 26, so I guess I don’t NEED a ton of makeup anyway and maybe I’ll wear more when I am older. But for now, I hardly look different with it on than with it off, so I don’t wear it most of the time. Also, I have never waxed my eyebrows (or any part of my body) in my entire life, and I pluck my brows maybe 3 times a year. So, I think it really depends on personality and upbringing. For me, the no makeup project would basically just be my 26 years of life so far.

    Reply
    • Caitlin L. June 19, 2014, 1:53 pm

      This is interesting because in our society we define the term “professional” as wearing make up, amongst other things, which is silly. Someone isn’t less professional or good at their job if they choose not to cover their face in make up.

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      • LuLu June 19, 2014, 8:24 pm

        I cringe when I hear/read the term “professional” tied to wearing makeup. I am a young professional and have never worn makeup and nobody has ever called me out on it. I really think that the way you present yourself has more to do with how people perceive you and perhaps women who typically wear full-makeup present themselves as less confident when they have to go without?

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  • Adrienne June 19, 2014, 12:21 pm

    I was JUST thinking about this project the other day. It was such a great one! I wear very little makeup and always have but I do still feel that I look too tired when I don’t wear my concealer and mascara. I’m thinking no makeup and less candy (more veggies!) will solve a lot for me personally – the way I feel, the way I look, the way I FEEL about how I look.

    Reply
  • Sara June 19, 2014, 12:37 pm

    Cool post. I remember The Naked Face Project! I don’t wear a lot of makeup. Very light eyeshadow, concealer under my eyes, light blush and some pressed powder and a non-tinted BB Cream. I have really dark circles under my eyes (always) so it makes me feel better if they’re a little concealed (and I have shiny skin so the pressed powder helps). I grew out my hair a few years ago so I could donate it in honor of my aunt who is a cancer survivor. When I cut it, I realized, after pregnancy, I now have wavy hair! So I’ve just been rocking the waves and not drying it or doing anything to it. It’s very freeing from someone who has always had to wash and dry their hair! It air drys and life is simple and good. It may look a little wild, but, whatever. It saves me so much time in the mornings. I also stopped waxing my eyebrows about two years ago. I just tweeze any little strays I see. I haven’t had a pedicure in forever. I just go au natural or paint them myself (which never happens).

    Underneath my sunny personality, I actually have low self-esteem, but I’m trying to boost my self-confidence with exercise and eating well instead of makeup, clothes, etc. If I feel healthy, I feel better, and feel more confident! That’s a bigger boost than makeup or how you look in the mirror.
    Sorry for the randomness of this comment!

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    • Caitlin June 19, 2014, 2:26 pm

      You are awesome Sara :) You’re one of my favorite commenters.

      Reply
  • Erin June 19, 2014, 1:09 pm

    Caitlin – I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you over the last year. You’re a remarkable person. Keep it up!

    Reply
  • Nicole Y. June 19, 2014, 1:18 pm

    This post totally hit home with me. First of all, I’ve followed your blog for years and years so I vividly remember the NFP. At the time I thought you were crazy! At that point in my life I couldn’t fathom stepping out of the house without a full face of makeup on, the thought was disgusting. It wasn’t for hate of my own face but because I was so image-driven and focused on the absolute wrong things in life. I was worried about how others would perceive me and if they would still think I were beautiful. Would others not want me without makeup?

    Recently I experienced a major shift in my life. A refocus. Something just clicked inside me and life came into greater focus. One of my epiphanies deals with why I want to be loved, respected, thought fondly of… and it has nothing to do with my appearance. I’m kind and giving, loyal and trustworthy, empathetic and reliable. I’ve realized that I love the way I look and if others don’t think good things about me because of my outward appearance it’s a flaw in them and not me. One of my missions was to wear makeup much, MUCH less. For work it is still necessary (unfortunately, I work front desk at a hotel) but in my day to day life I can’t even stand to wear it anymore. It feels like a mask, my skin feels suffocated. After only two weeks of not wearing makeup besides at work I’ve come to love my naked face! My skin is actually brighter and clearer (thank you coconut oil!).

    Anywho, I thought of you and your NFP throughout my little journey over here. Hopefully my little ramble made sense. :)

    Take care!

    -Nicole

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 19, 2014, 2:25 pm

      Very cool! So happy for you.

      Reply
  • Christine June 19, 2014, 1:37 pm

    I have to say, I think this may be one of my favorite posts that you have written. Maybe because it is because I am in a similar place as you (30 y/o with a 3 year old, never getting enough sleep, finding new lines on my face everyday) that it just hits home. Especially living in Miami, where plastic surgery and these unrealistic expectations on women’s bodies are so normal it is a struggle to accept yourself as you are. And is something I have been working on a lot, especially because my job as a dietitian has me working with a lot of young women that are struggling with eating disorders and self loathing.
    I love that quote by Iyanla by the way so true! Thanks for this post, I am going to share it with my friends.

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 19, 2014, 2:22 pm

      Miami is a hard place to live. I think Miami shaped so many of my perceptions. Part of the problem is that everyone is always half naked because it’s so flippin hot :)

      Reply
  • Ali June 19, 2014, 2:14 pm

    This is so cool that you did this. Since becoming a mom, I rarely ever put on makeup. I feel like I’ve let myself go in our society’s terms on most days. I feel comfortable going out in public without makeup and only shaving a couple times a week. When I feel really sleep deprived and haggard, I put on makeup if I’m leaving the house because it makes me feel better about myself. I feel more empowered, clean and fresh in an odd way.

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  • Amanda June 19, 2014, 2:20 pm

    I love not wearing makeup! Saves so much time and money. You look great without it!

    Reply
  • Alex @ Kenzie Life June 19, 2014, 3:18 pm

    I really hope to one day be at the point where I’m confident enough to go out without makeup, so I give you major props for embracing a naked face! A part of me feels like I’m “lacking” something by rarely leaving my house without makeup (and I even wear it when I’m chilling at home), but on the other hand, I actually genuinely enjoy the process of putting on makeup. I worked as a makeup artist at a spa for a little while in college and I love experimenting with new looks and products. If makeup makes me feel more confident, then I’m all for it. I just try and use quality products that contain more natural ingredients (and aren’t tested on animals) while also continuing to do other things that build and boost my confidence. Thank you for your honesty, Caitlin! <3

    Reply
  • Kaell' June 19, 2014, 3:30 pm

    I work in television and have been told, on more than one occasion, I need to wear MORE makeup (apparently for the cameras!) It’s frustrating at times but, I have to admit, no makeup and high definition is a little scary to me. Plus, it’s hard not to compare how you look with other people doing the same job, looking a certain way.

    I “put up” with foundation, mascara, powder, blush, eye liner, eye shadow, lip stick Monday-Friday 8am-5pm but I have a naked face outside of the office! I don’t like to spend time on the weekends doing my hair and/or makeup when I can hang out with my son. Plus, it gives my hair and skin a much needed break :)

    Reply
  • Kaella (KaellaOnTheRun) June 19, 2014, 3:30 pm

    I work in television and have been told, on more than one occasion, I need to wear MORE makeup (apparently for the cameras!) It’s frustrating at times but, I have to admit, no makeup and high definition is a little scary to me. Plus, it’s hard not to compare how you look with other people doing the same job, looking a certain way!

    I “put up” with foundation, mascara, powder, blush, eye liner, eye shadow, lip stick Monday-Friday 8am-5pm but I have a naked face outside of the office! I don’t like to spend time on the weekends doing my hair and/or makeup when I can hang out with my son. Plus, it gives my hair and skin a much needed break :)

    Reply
  • Abby June 19, 2014, 4:03 pm

    I absolutely loved this project. Molly and you are daily inspirations for me. I also did the project and haven’t looked back. I never wore a lot of make-up anyway but gave up what little I did wear. I too have embraced how I look at 38 years old. During the winters here in the North it can get a bit shaky but your right a special treat like waxing is terrific. A couple of thoughts….I wonder what my two little girls will be like when they get older (they are 3 and almost 2). WIll I have made an impact one way or the other on them? My husband is so supportive of me, telling me I look better without make-up. Also I have recently read several articles about the amount of chemicals in beauty products in the U.S. European countries have banned 185 chemicals from their beauty products and the U.S. has banned 8. That scares me. I make sure I get safe sunscreens for my children and I really don’t feel like going through all that research with make up products.
    I am on day 4 of giving up added sugar. I want to see Fed Up. I have only done the reading around it. One it has made me become aware of much sugar is in so much of our food…urrrg. After 10 days I will go back to a little sugar but will be much more aware of what I am putting in my mouth. (A positive for me is that I have lost weight by just cutting the sugar out :)

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  • Casey @ Casey the College Celiac June 19, 2014, 7:42 pm

    For Lent, I gave up electronics after 9:30 and it was a life changer! It gave me the chance to read for leisure even during the crazy time of college and transformed my sleeping! I never slept so good! As a result, even though I’m not super strict about it, I’ve kept up the habit!

    What an awesome project! I usually go sans or with very minimal makeup, but I definitely find myself facing a personal beating for not having the perfect skin, eyelashes, coloring, etc. without a prefectly applied makeup mask. I actually wrote about self-love on my blog a little white ago. It isn’t easy, but an awareness of what we do, why we do it and how it makes us feel is definitely a start!

    http://caseythecollegeceliac.blogspot.com/2014/04/self-love-with-celiac.html

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  • Emily June 19, 2014, 8:57 pm

    I gave up on daily makeup several months ago simply because I was trying to save some time in the morning. I still put on my face for date night and client visits, but I really don’t miss it.

    Reply
  • Amy June 19, 2014, 9:23 pm

    This is so interesting! I have been thinking about this topic recently. My husband belongs to the Free Masons and I recently attended a dinner with him where there was a speaker talking about men’s attire. His focus was on men in the professional world and how the way they dress directly impacts their success. The speaker worked for a men’s clothing company and had “dressed” several high end clients, including CEOs and politicians. One of the things he said (and I’ve heard it before) is that how you dress is how you present yourself to the world. It made me wonder…am I confident and above societal pressure to wear make up and be constantly coordinated and feminine…or am I just lazy and slovenly? I work as a personal trainer and SAHM so I’m always in gym clothes and only wear make up when going “out” or for special occasions. It’s just not practical for me. But I see a lot of other trainers that wear make up and have their nails done, and even their attire is more coordinated and feminine than mine. You commented on how appearance doesn’t effect work performance and also how that’s not widely accepted in society yet. I think it’s important to point out that not wearing make up…or shaving, etc. doesn’t mean you don’t care about your appearance or how the world sees you. Great post :)

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  • Louise June 20, 2014, 8:35 am

    Do you think becoming a parent has changed your perspective too?

    I wonder whether bringing a whole new person into the world who consumes (rightfully) so much positive emotion and time, that Henry has taught you to embrace yourself as you are? Obviously children take up a large part of your previous disposable/spare time. It’s easier for you not to wear make-up and spend time primping with a bubbly toddler on the go all the time. But I wonder, as a 24-year old non-mom, whether having children changes how you women see themselves.? Whether you value more the downright incredible things your body can do and make, and maybe you learn to be more easy in your body as a result?

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 20, 2014, 9:43 am

      Most definitely.

      Reply
  • Kim L. June 20, 2014, 12:35 pm

    I wore the same pair of pants to work every day for 2 weeks. I realized that no one (except for me!) is really paying attention to the details of what I wear every day. During that same period of time I didn’t wear any makeup. My morning routine was so quick and easy and I realized how much pressure I put on myself about looking a certain way.

    Reply
  • Breanne June 20, 2014, 2:38 pm

    But what about your thoughts on shaving???

    I don’t wear make up most of the time and when I do, it’s still usually minimal (a little mascara and powder, maybe some eyeshadow… definitely a striking difference from my roommate who does full make up even for urgent care :)). I can’t imagine not shaving at all though – especially for 60 days!

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 22, 2014, 5:13 pm

      I returned to shaving completely. It was way too ingrained in me to give it up. Plus I hated the way that hairy legs felt, and hairy armpits are stinky :)

      Reply
  • Nicole @ Broken Road Creative June 20, 2014, 7:59 pm

    I loved the NFP! My mom instilled a love for natural beauty in me at a young age. I always enjoyed playing with her makeup and even grew up to be a cosmetologist, but I’ve always believed a woman in her natural state is most beautiful. Personally, I enjoy emphasizing my best features but not completely changing them. I tweeze my eyebrows to define their natural shape, I occasionally place a few highlights in my hair, and I like to wear mascara and blush sometimes. As a mom of one daughter and one on the way, I want to teach them that it’s okay to enjoy these beauty rituals but that there’s nothing wrong with the way they look naturally, and that their true beauty lies inside.

    Reply
  • Mer June 21, 2014, 3:25 am

    That is an awesome project. I work(ed) in a place where wearing makeup was discouraged because it can flake and contaminate what we were making. I’m also a chemical engineer and well, on the whole, most of the females wore virtually no makeup ever. I did not realize the expectations and/or mindset that many other women have/face. Its enlightening.

    10 months ago I gave up my job, my apartment and almost all my stuff to travel the world. Through this experience I realized I don’t care about clothes. I’ve been wearing the same 4-5 outfits for 10 months and it does not bother me at all. I have never wished I had different or more clothing or got sick of anything I was wearing. Same with shoes.

    Reply
  • BP June 21, 2014, 3:39 am

    I personally don’t relate wearing make-up to self-confidence issue. I don’t normally wear a ton of make up, but I do wear some foundation (sunscreen), eye makeup etc. to work. I’m an engineer in a corporate setting, I do many presentations and I like to feel neat and polished while at work. Same reason I don’t wear yoga outfit to work. On the other hand, I have no problem going to the gym and grocery store with a bare face; it makes sense not to have makeup clogging your pores while you sweat away. And it has nothing to do about how people perceive me at work either (my boss and 5 people in my team live in the same neighborhood as me, we all use the same grocery store etc so I can and have run into them outside the office). Maybe it’s because I don’t really relate outer appearance with self-confidence issue, but I think people make too much of a big deal about make-up. I’d tell my daughter: do what you makes you feel good, don’t put too much weight on what others think. If you like wearing make-up, then wear it. If not, don’t. The key is to empower girls/women so that they are doing things for themselves, not for others. I think self-empowering girls/women go beyond “we need to stop wearing make-up because it makes us look too girly”. How about encouraging girls/women to study science/math instead of telling them to stop shaving their armpits? I just don’t see the relevance.

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  • Elyse June 23, 2014, 5:34 pm

    So funny that I was just thinking about this the other day because I pretty much quite wearing make-up around the same time. It’s been incredibly freeing and I love wearing it now for date nights or other special occasions. It feels like a treat, not a chore. Thanks for doing this then and posting a update. One of my favorite things you’ve ever written!

    Reply
  • Cel June 24, 2014, 9:48 am

    a few years ago i got scouted to be a model. my eye brows were over plucked, i wore powdered foundation, liner, mascara, gloss …pretty much a full face everyday! the modeling agency told me to wipe my skin clean and wear nothing to go to castings/everyday. I was sooooo insecure. Makeup was my mask. But it was the most freeing thing to gradually feel comforatble wearing no makeup. everyone has a fresh naturaly pretty face. It just takes time to create a ‘new normal’ of what you and other percieve to be your own natural beauty. modeling may be a vain industry but it helped me be more secure in my own skin today :) x
    @celinaeliz

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