I want to begin this post by saying thank you for all the discussion, feedback, and interest in The Naked Face Project.


One thing I really want to clarify is that I’m not trying to make larger generalizations or buy into stereotypes about how other women (and men) view or should view their own Beauty Habits.  This Project was never about that.  Everyone views life through the lens of their experiences, and that’s really all that I can write from – my perspective.  The Project itself was designed to reflect what it would be like for Molly Barker and I give up our own habits; if you were to do a similar Project, it may look completely different.  Thus, these posts will really just reflect my thoughts about my experiences with giving up my old Beauty Habits (and I’d like to reiterate that I don’t think these Habits are inherently bad or evil – I’m more concerned with why I do certain things).  I hope that, through this immersion, I can come to a deeper understanding of the intention behind my choices.  I wish that the comments section can be a place of conversation for other people to share their opinion and thoughts on their experiences, too. 


I’m two days in to no makeup, no shaving, and no primping, and I must say… It’s pretty nice. I’m one of those people who’d like to be a minimalist but always end up with so much damn stuff.  And now, I’ve cut my ‘beauty regimen’ from this…


… To this! 


It’s freeing. So much more time in the mornings.


Many of you have asked what the weekly The Naked Face Project posts will look like.  I think there was a concern that it would be a bunch of pictures of my hairy legs and pits, but never fear – it’s not.  I’d really like to format it similar to my pregnancy post updates, in which I discuss a certain topic every week.


One thing I noticed in reading through the hundreds of amazing comments on the initial The Naked Face Project post is that people of you said things like…

naked face project

All of these remarks about how location and upbringing influences Beauty Habits really got me thinking about how my own childhood, as well as how my birth city, profoundly impacted the way I think about ‘what women like me should do.’ 


Before I started to blog, I generally hung out with one type of person.  But because of blogging, I’ve had the opportunity to meet (or read about) a lot of really cool people with vastly different religious, political, and social views.  In my own life, I’ve observed that what I think is ‘normal’ is largely influenced by what my family or peers think is acceptable.  I made vast generalizations about how most people must view premarital sex and drinking because everyone in my social circle held the same view.  When I started to get to know more people who actually waited until marriage or had never gotten drunk, I realized – WHOA!  There are many ways to approach life, and not everyone has the same social norms that I do!  I think our social norms about Beauty Habits work in a similar way – sure, there are overarching ‘American’ views and powerful media influences, but a lot of why we act the way we act (or don’t act) comes from our social circle.


MomHTP is the best mom in the entire world.  Truly, she’s my best friend, and we talk every other day. 


My mom was born and raised in tiny Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  Her mom (my grandma) was widely regarded as one of the most beautiful women in town (she was an actual beauty queen).  She was smart and sassy, too.  Unfortunately, I never got to meet her because she died of cancer when my mother was my age.


My grandma – and the atmosphere of the 1950s – heavily influenced my mother’s Beauty Habits.  Being ‘a lady’ was of the utmost importance.  Mom recently told me that grandma had her in a padded bra “as soon as it was appropriate.”  Grandma wore pretty, feminine clothes and makeup.  Even today, my mom is always well-dressed with a full face of makeup on. 


In turn, my mom influenced my Beauty Habits.  Every morning, I’d watch her do her makeup at the dining room table (better light in there!) before heading to work.  In many ways, I don’t think my mom thought she really had a choice on whether she could not wear makeup at work – she worked at a large corporation where ‘old people’ frequently got squeezed out by younger workers.  My mom felt a lot of pressure to appear younger and attractive (as a side note, a reader passed along an interesting New York Times article about how coworkers perceive a woman as more competent if she’s wearing makeup).  As a result, my mom was careful to maintain Beauty Habits like makeup, hair dying and styling, and fashionable clothing.  I, of course, idolized my mom, wanted to be just like her, and subsequently copied her behaviors.  Plus, I enjoyed bonding with my mom over shopping and salon trips (among the wide variety of other, non-beauty things we did, like bike riding and going to the movies).


My Beauty Habits were further cemented by my hometown.  I was born and raised in Miami, Florida.  I lived in the city until I was 18 and moved away for college.  There are strong stereotypes about Miami, and I have to say that I found most of them to be true – so many of the people that I grew up around in Miami were very focused on image, appearance, and wealth.  In my world, plastic surgery was normal – even for teens.  There was a lot of pressure to look ‘dolled up,’ very tan (especially hard when you’re a white girl), and show skin.  All of my friends bought into this lifestyle, so I did, too.  For the most part, I’ve subconsciously carried it with me ever since.  Speaking of the pressure to look tan, it was only six years ago that I stopped ‘fake ‘n bakin’ and learned to embrace my natural skin color (and slather on the sunscreen). 


I do have to say that growing up in Miami wasn’t entirely bad.  Miami taught me to be very accepting and open to people of different nationalities, races, and sexual orientations.  It made me much more politically conscious.  And it made me appreciate warm weather.  Smile 


My social circle’s Beauty Habit beliefs aren’t necessarily or completely wrong… it’s just the way we do things.  We wake up, we shower, we brush our teeth, and we ‘put on our faces.’  These Beauty Habits are in my history, my blood.  I don’t really understand the intention behind why I do certain things because, for me, it’s just automatic (so many of you have said you do this or that because ‘it’s fun’ – for me, it’s routine!).  But it’s interesting for me to step back, observe, and think about the history behind my choices.  Just considering my lineage and the influences behind my choices have been eye-opening.


Why do you do engage in certain Beauty Habits?  Are you mimicking people in your life or choosing to go against the status quo?


PS -  You can read Molly’s entry for Week 1 of The Naked Face Project here.



  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen February 2, 2012, 12:47 pm

    I definitely agree with how upbringing and environmental factors contribute to our daily habits. When I moved from NY to West Palm Beach at 24, I was shocked to see the difference in people just at the grocery store or running basic errands. I never thought twice about going out in workout clothes or without makeup before and when I got to FL, I found myself all of a sudden, self-conscious for the first time ever in public. Simple trips out turned into events that I needed to get “ready” for (makeup, clothes, etc.) Now I’m back in NY, working from home and barely put my wedding rings on let alone makeup everyday!

  • Carly February 2, 2012, 12:47 pm

    Even though you are not wearing it for 60 days…. Issey Miyake is the best!!! I spotted it immediately in your pic 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP February 2, 2012, 12:49 pm

      Issey is the yummiest scent ever, especially on a man! GRRROWL!

      • Carly February 2, 2012, 4:57 pm

        I found it a few years back and loved it! At one point, my husband had a lunch meeting in his restaurant (he’s a chef) with some Issey reps and they gave him a complementary full size bottle of men’s and women’s!!!

  • juli February 2, 2012, 12:52 pm

    How do you like the Trader Joe’s facial cleanser?? I use their Enrich moisturizer and like it. I have somewhat sensitive skin.

    • CaitlinHTP February 2, 2012, 12:53 pm

      It’s alright; kind of drying. I like their tea tree oil one better.

      • juli February 2, 2012, 12:59 pm

        thanks for the quick response!! Love your blog!! Enjoy your pregnancy, I did.

  • Samantha @ Bikini Birthday February 2, 2012, 12:53 pm

    I think my mother’s daily make-up routine actually pushed me away from wearing make-up all the time. I knew she didn’t have to wear make-up when she left the house but she always felt that she had to.
    Sometimes we would go to the gym together and she would even put make-up on first.
    “Come on, you look beautiful. And you’re going to sweat it off anyway!” I would say. But she never relented.

    I never wanted to feel trapped and pressured into wearing make-up in that way (it almost felt like being a slave to the regimen of ‘putting on your face’) and so I didn’t. And I still don’t.

  • Laura @ She Eats Well February 2, 2012, 12:55 pm

    What a great thoughtful post. I am excited to see and learn about your journey. Living in San Francisco, even though it’s such a small city, I feel more inclined to wear make up in certain neighborhoods- each one has its own stereotype, good and bad. Weird right? My preference would be to never wear makeup; I love how my skin feels with just a little bit of lotion and sunscreen…! Also, growing up dancing made me kind of dislike certain things like lipstick; I hate it! I would have to wear so much for performances. It’s interesting to reflect on this…!

    • Liz February 2, 2012, 2:55 pm

      I live in SF too and it’s so true – different neighborhoods definitely have certain vibes. I am lucky that I live in the Mission so my makeup less face and ponytail go unnoticed…although there are a lot of well dressed hipsters around, too.

  • Sarah February 2, 2012, 12:56 pm

    Interesting post. My mother didn’t even own makeup, didn’t know how to really do her hair, etc. It’s not that she was opposed to it… it was just a non-issue in her life.

    I am the exact opposite. I want my hair and makeup to look at least half-decent whenever I go out. (Though I’m not one to spend an hour working on it.) Looking back I wonder if that’s actually ME or if it was the influence of my friends, Seventeen Magazine, tv shows, etc.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 2, 2012, 12:57 pm

    What’s interesting about my life is that my mom rarely wears make up. She’s quite a tom-boy. However, my grandmother is much more into appearances and I think I got a lot from her, as well as the culture I grew up in too. However, I’ve definitely held onto my mother’s tomboy ways and I wear minimal make up and don’t wear any if I’m just at the gym or running errands. I just don’t like going through the process of putting it on unless I have something specific I want to look nice for! I love this post, it’s great to think about how our upbringing affects simple habits like beauty routines.

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith February 2, 2012, 1:03 pm

    Are you letting yourself use hand lotion if your skin dries out? The winter is killing my skin (although it’s probably not as bad in NC?) …

    • CaitlinHTP February 2, 2012, 1:16 pm


      • Christina February 4, 2012, 10:48 am

        I was wondering about this myself, but not drying out of your hands. I’m a firm believer in wearing sunscreen everyday both on my face and on my body. I’m pretty minimalist: spf facial moisturizer, washing my face 2X changing my wash based on what my skin needs, and tinted chapstick with sun screen. Make up comes out if I’m feeling it, kind of like choosing what to wear.

  • Merry February 2, 2012, 1:03 pm

    I completely get the no makeup and shaving and whatnot, but I’m kind of stumped at no deoderant? I guess I see it as more of a personal hygiene thing, than a beauty ritual. Can you elaborate a little on why that got the axe? I’m curious 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP February 2, 2012, 1:15 pm

      Yup! If it was the summertime, we prob would not not have given it up, but because it’s winter and neither of us feel like we are naturally stinky/sweaty or will be torturing other people with our scent, we’re giving it up.

      • Merry February 2, 2012, 2:39 pm

        Totally makes sense – thanks 🙂

  • Kelley February 2, 2012, 1:06 pm

    My mom never wore make up and probably never will. Me and my sisters wear it. I live in Boston (originally from a little north of Boston, but not much) and here, I really feel like there are no ‘norms.’

    In Boston, it’s normal from people to wear no make up, tons of make up, some make up, and clown make up. Boston sometimes gets a bad reputation for being full of rude people and cold attitudes, and that’s pretty true, because there is certainly no Southern hospitality or anything of that nature. But Boston is great in the respect that no one is really paying attention to what anyone else is doing. We work hard, we play hard, but you focus on what you’re doing and there’s no time to really be interested if someone has bags under their eyes because maybe they didn’t get a whole lot of sleep or they just didn’t put concealer on.

    Quite honestly, I can see where some primping is done just because it’s a habit (like dying my hair, I don’t like to see my roots growing out) but I really do enjoy taking that time for myself in the morning and starting out every day fresh, clean and new.

    • Jessie B. February 2, 2012, 3:41 pm

      I’m from Mass too (central – near rt. 2 and 495) and I couldn’t agree with you more! There were plenty of people who wore makeup, and plenty who didn’t – and no one cared either way! I like your point about personalities/attitudes having an influence on people’s opinions. Funny thing is when I moved to Delaware (read: next to New Jersey) my now-husband (also a MA to DE transplant) informed me one night that “girls here get dressed up to go out”. Funny thing about regions…

      • Alex February 2, 2012, 8:37 pm

        Aww, please don’t extrapolate reality-television NJ to the entire state! I hate when I’m told, “You don’t look/act/sound like you are from Jersey” as a compliment because I’m proud of my home state and I’m also pretty representative of the community where I grew up. It’s a diverse place and going out in jeans and flip-flops is totally normal, as would be sporting heels and a minidress.

        I would expect DE to have its own vibe, and a Philadelphia influence if anything. And “Slower Lower” would be a completely different animal. What do you think?

        • Kelley February 2, 2012, 8:44 pm

          My grandparents lived in NJ for a number of years and while I don’t remember it too well, I do remember really loving some parts. But I must say, I JUST WANT TO PUMP MY OWN FREAKING GAS!! 🙂

          My grandparents then actually moved to DE and lived there until my grandfather passed. I found DE to be a little slow and boring (means nothing coming from a Bostonian!) but the people are great. And, the best of all, are the people from MD… so friendly and never taking themselves serious.

          Jessie I’m so glad you agree! Sometimes making such a broad statement feels a little funny in case other people see things totally different. Boston is one of the best places in the country for that reason.

      • Jen February 2, 2012, 10:07 pm

        I’m from that area too! Just a bit south at the intersection of 495 and 290 (I moved to western NY so I get excited when I hear of fellow New Englanders). I agree that there’s no strict standard in Massachusetts for make-up, styled hair, etc.

  • becca @ bellebottoms February 2, 2012, 1:09 pm

    I definitely find myself engaging in beauty habits based on my surroundings…I’m from Dallas, where the bigger the hair, the closer to God! Also, tanning, makeup, and designer brands run rampant, so looking good is a must. I grew up in an affluent town where girls were talking about boob jobs and which tanning salon they went to after school! I’m guilty of this too….I even started shaving my arms in high school because of a comment from a guy. He told me my arm hair was too dark. Instead of being proud of my Italian heritage, I shaved it.

    Now, I leave the house with no makeup some days, I naturally let my skin tan, and I sure as heck skip a hair wash or two! Beauty is so unique, and I’ve loved getting to discover that as I age.

  • Heather February 2, 2012, 1:09 pm

    I think this is a great project. It will also be a great lesson to share with your girls on the run group and operation beautiful stuff.

    I have to say I am impressed with the no lotion, especially in winter. My hands would be bleeding in a week.

  • Jen @ Renaissance Ma'am February 2, 2012, 1:10 pm

    Good for you both! The best beauty tool is a smile, anyway! Sounds like you should maybe bring sunscreen back into the daily regimen for health reasons, but given that it’s only February now and you’ll be done by April, I think you’ll be all right.

    I really only wear a bit of makeup when I go “out” for dinner or to a party or something. Even then I only go for a bit of lipstain, a little eyeliner and some cover-up. I *have* a full set of makeup since I got all dolled up for my wedding last spring, but when those eyeshadows reach their expiry dates I don’t know if I’ll be replacing them.

  • Caitlin @ Chasing a Mile February 2, 2012, 1:11 pm

    Very insightful post! When I was growing up my mom was never into makeup. I learned what I know now from friends. When I went away to college in South Carolina (coming from Richmond, Virginia) I became even more concerned with appearance. At school people seemed to be even more wrapped up in how they looked and honestly everyone seemed prettier. That really wore off on me and now, 12 years later, I realize that it has changed me to who I am now.

    Now I have to wear make up and do my hair. I am in sales and I would most likely get fired if I didn’t look the part! I will occasionally go out of the house without makeup on Sundays.

  • erin February 2, 2012, 1:14 pm

    Interesting. My mom never really did make up as i was growing up, she still doesn’t. unless it’s a super super special occasion, then she’ll do a little mascara and lip stain. I never really had interest in make up until college, but when i put it on, i always felt super super conscious about it because no one’s ever seen me with make up, so it was almost reversed from your experience.

  • Jesse (OutToLunchCreations) February 2, 2012, 1:14 pm

    I don’t wear make up on a regular basis because frankly, I can’t be bothered! When you wear make up everyday people get used to seeing you in makeup so when you don’t wear it you look different to them and they notice and comment. If you just stop wearing it all the time people will get used to your makeup free face.

    Shaving on the other hand is something I would have trouble not doing; at least it is the winter!

    • Army Amy* February 2, 2012, 2:14 pm

      This has been my experience, too. I’ll wear make-up if it’s a special occasion or if I happen to have extra time in the morning, but 90% of the time I go without. My husband likes to say that I’m a natural beauty, which is sweet, but I just think that I have him fooled!*

  • marci February 2, 2012, 1:15 pm

    I am intrigued by your project since you announced it and I don’t know why it baffles me so much. To answer this week’s question, I wear makeup, spend time grooming because I think people who don’t appear lazy and careless. On Sundays I prefer to not do my hair, not wear contacts and not put on makeup, but if I have to leave the house, I do those things (except for the gym).
    I also had a nose job at age 15 and have never regretted it.
    It might all be vain, but it doesn’t make me unhappy.

  • Kristen@Change of Pace February 2, 2012, 1:17 pm

    My mom still now puts on make up everyday. The same brand of makeup she’s worn forever. I don’t know how my husband would like the no shaving thing… I can totally see the no makeup and no extra primping but no deodorant? I don’t think I could do it!

  • Amy Q February 2, 2012, 1:18 pm

    Would you consider wearing an SPF sunscreen on your face? You are outside a lot and your message reaches a lot of women 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP February 2, 2012, 1:19 pm

      Oh yeah, sunscreen is permitted under the project 🙂 I don’t wear it every day though, only when I go outside. I am concerned about the chemicals in sunscreen. Thoughts?

      • Amy Q February 2, 2012, 1:38 pm

        I would agree with that. So maybe a hat is better??!

      • Alisa February 2, 2012, 2:26 pm

        Have you tried Burt’s Bees sunscreen? I have been wanting to try it but I am extremely fair and burn at the drop of a hat and am worried it won’t be enough for me. I’ve heard good things though.

      • AJ February 2, 2012, 5:22 pm

        What about the barrier sunscreens that are chemical free (ish)? I wear Invisible Zinc. I think daily sunscreen is important, but then I live in sunny Australia, (melanoma capital of the world). Great post!

      • Diana @ frontyardfoodie February 3, 2012, 12:39 am

        I totally agree. I don’t think sunscreen is good for our skin or even protecting from the sun. I personally think that heating up chemicals onto my skin can only be damaging.

        I think sun exposure is very beneficial and if you think you’re going over board, go with the barrier method (sun hat, blouse or whatever).

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 2, 2012, 1:19 pm

    Oh wow, you’re going to have so much spare time without all the extra minutes spent doing hair/makeup! 🙂 I’ll admit that I do wear makeup and I do pay attention to my hair, but I don’t think I spend an excessive amount of time on it or pay much attention to trends that the media dictates we “should” be following. Why do I do these things? I really don’t have a great answer. I suppose just out of habit over the years. Once again, I really think you’re awesome for doing this challenge Caitlin!

  • Shauna February 2, 2012, 1:20 pm

    It was very interesting to read about your mother and your grandmother! My mother never left the house without makeup, even if it was just to go on a quick run to the grocery store for milk.

    And despite receiving makeup as a gift from my older sister for my birthdays as a teenager, and despite growing up in Southern California, I don’t wear it. Not as a rebellion thing, for I do in fact have makeup that I’ll occasionally put on maybe once a month if I wake up very early and get bored, but just because it doesn’t interest me. (And there’s no denying that my face would look better because of it, as I have acne and acne scars.) I just can’t be bothered, and I like the freedom that comes with not worrying about my face coming off if I wipe my mouth with a napkin, blow my nose or wipe my eyes. I feel no pressure to wear it, but it’s unfortunate that such pressure exists in others’ lives.

    I’m looking forward to the next installment!

  • Katie Cummings February 2, 2012, 1:22 pm

    I follow my social surroundings. I work in a very rural area but have a sales rep job. When I’m in stores in the middle of no where I wear mascara, and that’s it. And its only because I have blonde eyelashes and want to accentuate my blue eyes. But when I’m with girlfriends going out I have a ton of fun putting on makeup! And if I worked in a city or with people who are generally stylish I would maybe wear more makeup. But for now I’m good with one swipe and out the door!

  • Devon February 2, 2012, 1:32 pm

    no shaving?! good luck, i wouldn’t last a week!

  • Mandy February 2, 2012, 1:36 pm

    Fascinating stuff. I just realized that if I met a new woman “on the job” and she was wearing a face full of makeup, I (and many other women, and possibly men, I work with) would judge the hell out of her, at least in a field situation (and not in a good way). I often do research outdoors; I hate to say it but I am prejudiced – I simply don’t take women that wear makeup to do fieldwork seriously. I need to think about why (aside from the fact that it will sweat off eventually and the fish and bugs don’t care what you look like) I feel this way. Maybe it’s an artifact of having to work in a “man’s world”? Oh, and (to make me a total hypocrite) I _do_ wear minimal makeup when I’m indoors.

    • Ali February 2, 2012, 2:32 pm

      I teach a lot of outdoor labs and do quite a bit of field research and I feel the same way – I can’t take others seriously if they are more worried about their heels getting dirty or their makeup melting off. I’m not sure why I feel this way either…maybe because it seems like (but is not always the case) that these people aren’t focused on the task at hand? I agree about the “man’s world” issue. I work will all men and if I came in wearing a dress and makeup, I would be a laughing stock. I also wear minimal makeup all the time. 🙂 It’s a weird situation I think.

  • Katie @ cooklaughmove February 2, 2012, 1:37 pm

    I don’t remember my mom ever wearing make-up, but her mom was and is an Avon Lady, so I was around make-up a lot and LOVED to play dress up with her oodles of products.

    I have a couple friends who are make-up and fashion gurus! I love playing “dress-up” with them and occassionally try to mimic their style and tips on my own, but am pretty low-key in my day to day stylings.

  • Carla February 2, 2012, 1:38 pm

    This is weird and off topic, but I LOVE to see the products other people use. One of my favorite things is when people do post on “what’s in my purse” or “what’s in my makeup bag”. I have no idea why it’s so fascinating!

    • Sarah February 2, 2012, 1:44 pm

      Carla. I am the same. I am embarrassed to admit that I will sometimes try something based off seeing an attractive blogger use it.

      • CaitlinHTP February 2, 2012, 1:45 pm

        I also love what’s in my purse peeks. It’s like snooping in someone’s medication cabinet (not that I do that…).

    • Jen February 3, 2012, 2:17 am

      Me too!!! As wrong as it sounds, I love to see what’s in someone else’s purse (even if I have never heard of the person)! 🙂

  • Sarah February 2, 2012, 1:43 pm

    I have to admit, most of my beauty habits are carried out because I think they make me look better. I suppose I am mimicking my older sisters more than my mother, as she never wears makeup, rarely shaves her legs, and it horrifies her that I get a brazillian wax.

    When I was younger my older sister would literally chase me around the house with tweezers. I was so happy when a friend’s mom took me to get an eyebrow wax in the 7th grade.

    Now my beauty habits are routine. I have made an effort to not wear mascara while running, hiking, or camping. As silly as that sounds.

    I also gave up tanning in a bed about 3 years ago after finally coming to the conclusion that I was never going to be tan and I didn’t want to PAY for wrinkles and melanoma.

  • Jes February 2, 2012, 1:47 pm

    Don’t forget to keep the sunscreen. A lot of make-ups have some SPF protection built in now, so just make sure you keep some kind of protection. I read an article recently about how the left side of a our bodies are more prone to skin cancer due to all the driving that we do with the window at our left side.

  • RP February 2, 2012, 1:47 pm

    Love your blog! Especially your bravery to tackle these big issues and write about them so well. I am a professor at an Ivy League medical school and even with that accomplishment that I worked my whole life for, many colleagues still find it appropriate to comment on my looks. I have been told to “cut your hair…you look too pretty to be taken seriously”, or that I should “Dowdy myself up” before I give a talk. Unlike the article, in academia (in my opinion), it is definitely NOT beneficial to be an attractive female (especially not a YOUNG one). I find that the male dominated profession I am in has no trouble making sexist, and inappropriate comments about women’s physical appearances rather than focusing on our work. That being said, I made a pact a long time ago that I wouldn’t apologize for being a woman who enjoys make-up and looking professional, nor would I stop my beauty habits because it might help me be taken more seriously.

    I guess I am giving another perspective here. I enjoy my beauty routine and have been negatively judged for that and now I encourage my students who have had some negative comments to challenge the notion that we have to be something specific to be taken seriously. They can be whatever kind of woman they want to be AND be a doctor/academic.

    • CaitlinHTP February 2, 2012, 1:50 pm

      Oh! Such an interesting perspective. This reminds me of how many of my friends, when we were first out of college, made efforts to look ‘older’ because in certain careers, they would be taken more seriously.

      • CaitlinHTP February 2, 2012, 1:52 pm

        Also, congrats on your hellua cool job!

        • RP February 2, 2012, 1:57 pm

          Congrats on YOUR hella cool job. I think you are an excellent writer and I love reading your brave inquiries into the really important things in life. You definitely make me think…a lot.

          • CaitlinHTP February 2, 2012, 1:58 pm

            Thank you so much!

  • Amanda February 2, 2012, 1:52 pm

    I think that I felt this pressure the most when I was in college. I went tanning, along with all of the other girls in my sorority, and I developed an eating disorder because I felt such intense (self-imposed) pressure to fit in. My friends and I often remark how much healthier we feel mentally now that we are out of the “bubble” of pretty, thin girls at college and out in the real world.

  • Cheryl February 2, 2012, 1:53 pm

    My mom never wears makeup or engages in most beauty practices and she never encouraged me to do so. I wore makeup for dance competitions but never in school. Even now I rarely wear make-up but when I do it’s because I have time and its fun and different.

  • D February 2, 2012, 1:53 pm

    My mom never wore make-up…except lipstick, she always put on lipstick.
    I started playing with makeup as a preteen and have continued to play with it, but I am too lazy in the morning for it to ever become a regular routine. Powder was a routine to soak up all the oil as a teenager, I was blessed with long dark eyelashes. If I want to feel pretty or if I am going out, I put on make-up. For a regular day, I will walk out the door without any make-up on…I go to work without make-up almost every day. Now minimal make-up is mascara, or mascara + some light lip color, or mascara + powder, or some combination of the 3. If I want to look and feel “pretty” I do the whole mess and I love playing with eyeshadow…I’m just too lazy to take the extra 5 to 10 minutes to put it all on everyday. And in my head, I think my skin is healthier to not deal with it every day all the time. I put moisterizer on everyday (oily skin still and that helps) I brush my teeth and put on deoderant. For the first time in my life, I have shaved my legs every day for almost a year, b/c I live with a boy. Up to me and it is winter, my legs are not shaved. I hate how it feels to have hair on my legs but shaving is no fun.
    As far as those around me growing up, most wore makeup on a regular basis to some level. I grew up going to school in one tiny town and then high school in a different slightly larger small town. So, anything beyond makeup would have been abnormal.

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) February 2, 2012, 1:58 pm

    The only makeup I wear is powder and mascara, which makes me an anomaly in Orange County. Everyone here spends SO much time on their appearance! I cut and dye my hair myself, but I do spend an hour straightening it every day.

  • Molly Barker February 2, 2012, 1:59 pm

    I just think you are one of the coolest people on the planet. That’s all I’ve gotta say.

  • Ashley February 2, 2012, 2:00 pm

    I spent 22 years in the studio dance world, several in competition, went to college and joined a sorority. I have no doubt those two things have strongly influenced they way I feel about myself with or without make-up and primping. I’m to a point now though, that yes I feel better if I’m ‘done-up’ so to speak, but I know making myself all ‘pretty’ doesn’t define me. After my daughter was born my beauty routine has pretty much fallen to the bottom of the pile, but I do still enjoy really ‘getting ready’.

    And as a side note, I think I could possibly go 60 days without make up or primping, but shaving? I think I’d go nuts. I’m not an avid every day shaver or anything, but after a few days I get uncomfortable. Shaving I do mostly for myself! 🙂

  • Nicole February 2, 2012, 2:04 pm

    I will admit that when I first read about your naked face idea I was a little taken back … like, “oh boy here we go, another point must be proven..” And since I love your ideas and insight I decided to read through this to make sure I was giving it a fair shot. You proved me wrong and I appreciate your ideals.
    Personally, I wear make-up to help even things out and cover things up…and enhance my eyes which I feel are my best asset. I’m pretty minimal with what I use, but when I don’t use mascara or eye shadow I feel like I look … well, naked…even though I use a very nude color on my eyes. On the weekends, I try not to stress out over my clothes (it’s the only time I don’t have to worry about dressing up unless we go out) so I tend to wear jeans and t-shirts, but I’ve been battling lately with feeling “frumpy” and needing to upgrade my causal look (although I’ll admit that I’ve forced myself not to blow dry my hair or wear more than just my tinted face lotion on the weekends to give myself a break) Maybe it’s because I’ve hit 30 and I feel like I need to maintain … and my mother always gave me crap about “looking so pale” w/o color on my face (I’m Puerto Rican and I don’t really ever get pale so I never fully understood) I’m looking forward to reading about your experience.
    PS Are you not wearing ANY lotion?
    PPS The one thing I couldn’t go without is shaving. This includes the topic you posted on FB a while back about pubic hair…I hope the hubby doesn’t mind the jungle.. 😉

    • Caitlin February 3, 2012, 3:35 pm

      Thanks for giving me another chance 🙂

      We’ll do lotion when our skin is dry and cracked for hygiene issues – like when I get out of the super chlorinated pool!

  • Vikki February 2, 2012, 2:06 pm

    I think upbringing plays a huge role in how how people perceive beauty. My mom is a good Southern woman. Appearance is important to her. Even now, she looks a good 15 years younger than her age because she takes care of her appearance. I chuckle when she calls my Dad’s mom prissy because its like the pot calling the kettle black. I grew up in an atmosphere where the question most asked was “What will people think?” My teenage rebellion response was that I don’t care what they think. I still don’t.

    I don’t always wear make up, but when I do I wear it I wear it for me. In tribal times, mean would wear warpaint as they went into battle to strike fear in the hearts of their enemies. It was a ritual of commitment to the task at hand. My beauty routine is my warpaint. The more nervous that I am about the task at hand, the more attention that I will pay to my routine. Looking my best gives me confidence. When I was in college, I would attend class every day in ragged sweats, my hair in a ponytail, and no makeup. But if I was feeling the least bit nervous on test day, I’d get up early and curl my hair, put on make up, and wear my cutest outfit. It isn’t rational. I know that, but it is my choice and I know that I’m not doing it because someone expects me to. (Like my mom does.)

  • Nicole February 2, 2012, 2:07 pm

    Why do you keep capitalizing “beauty habits”? It’s not a proper noun. What you do, your routine, does not need capitalization.

    • Kelly February 2, 2012, 2:37 pm

      I was curious about this too. I must admit, albeit silly, it is driving me nuts.

  • Kattrina February 2, 2012, 2:07 pm

    I totally agree with you on this: family and environment play a huge role. My mom was never a make-up fashion girl. She puts on some foundation, blush, and mascara and that’s it. She never taught me how to use make-up, never encouraged it, and pretty much never mentioned it. She always put it on in the bathroom and so I never even saw her doing it. However, she joined the military at age 17 and then after she was married with kids she was a SAHM. We lived overseas for most of my childhood and didn’t have access to salons and great make-up stores. Plus, there were no great stores to shop at or things of that nature. So, I never really grew up knowing about fashion or make-up. We bought all our clothes from the little store on base or, if we were lucky, the JCPenney’s catelogue.

    My little sister ended up growing up in the States and hanging around other girls who were into fashion and make-up and so she’s is one to never leave the house without at least eyeliner and mascara. I think her friends and American media played a huge role in that (since my mother did not).

    So, to this day I am not big on make-up. I think it’s fun to get dressed up every once in a while and I do break it out when I go to conferences or have to do presentations. I mainly put make-up on when I want/need to feel more confident, when I need a boost to my self esteem, or I want to feel “pretty”. And I’m fine with that. Since I haven’t worn make-up on a regular basis I don’t feel the need to put it on every day – I know what my face looks like with lotion slathered on it and so it doesn’t look “naked” to me at all.

    Now shaving and waxing are totally different – I hate hairy legs and pubes sticking out of my bathing suit!!! But that is really my own aversion to hair since I haven’t been swimming in three years and it’s the middle of winter so no one sees my legs except my husband.

  • Sheilah February 2, 2012, 2:08 pm

    I don’t think I engage in very many beauty-specific habits, but I definitely engage in lots of skin-care habits. I have extremely dry, sensitive skin and if I don’t moisturize it after I wash or rinse it, I can’t vary my facial expressions without pain. Luckily a lot of my skin care habits make my skin more attractive to look at (I get fewer rashes when I moisturize it than when I don’t). I don’t know what I would do if I had to do something for my skin that somehow made it healthier but less nice to look at.
    I do have one eye cream that is dedicated to beauty rather than moisture – a vitamin E cream that reduces puffiness and dark undereye circles. I love the effects it has – I look more awake and better-rested, which are never bad things.

    My mom and I have different outlooks and opinions on many things, but I think I did absorb some of her beauty habits. She never wears makeup and I almost never do either. Partly this is because I suspect that to find makeup that doesn’t irritate my insane skin will be expensive, time-consuming, painful and unfortunate-looking until I get it right, but partly it’s because I don’t know how to use any makeup except for mascara. I never learned how growing up, and by the time I was at university I felt like it was already too late and I was embarrassed to ask anyone. However, in the past year or two my sister has learned how to use makeup, so I figure that if she can, I can. Now it’s more a money/discomfort/learning curve concern. (I’m 27. If you suck at doing your makeup when you’re 12 or 13 it’s par for the course; if you suck at doing your makeup at 27 you look like a legit mess.)

  • Whitney February 2, 2012, 2:10 pm

    Let me start off saying that you have such a beautiful way of writing and conveying your thoughts. I really really love your thought provoking posts more than anything. I get so tired of bloggers who just write about their oatmeal and daily routine (boring!). Thanks for the great posts!!!

    Any ways, reading this post made me think about my beauty habits and mine were essentially started the way yours were. I have fond memories growing up of just watching my mother getting ready and dressed and I, too, wanted to be just like her so it only made sense that when I became of age to shave my legs and wear makeup that’s what I did. To this day, I only really feel “pretty” when I wear makeup. I know this is just an insecurity but I haven’t gotten past it just yet. Hubs tells me all the time that I look my best with a ponytail and no make up but I always think that he’s supposed to say that 🙂 Thanks for making me really think about why I did the routine I do in the mornings.

  • Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots February 2, 2012, 2:15 pm

    great post! I like how you talked about how you mimicked your mom’s beauty regime. My mom has always been so into make up and she does a great job of making it look natural, she wears eyeliner and all that jazz everyday. I am not sure why I never got into using lots of make up, maybe because I had 10 mins after swim practice in the am to get ready for school or that I am big on girls being as natural as possible, girls used to cake their makeup on in high school you could tell because their chin color neck color was different from their face! I only use under-eye concelar to hid my dark circles, some mascara and some bronzer, keep it simple!

  • HRCK the Herald February 2, 2012, 2:21 pm

    Hm…I don’t think you have any sisters, but this would be interesting to track among siblings to see how important the parental influence is. Like, if a family had three daughters and all three girls did the same level of primping each morning, it’d be another point for your argument.

    I’m one of three girls, and I’d say we all do about the same amount of stuff (low-key makeup, natural hair) every day.

    I’m really looking forward to hearing how this progresses!

    • Jen February 2, 2012, 10:01 pm

      Same here; I’m the youngest of three sisters and we’re all similar in our habits, pretty low-maintenance. I wear no make-up (I’ll wear cover-up, lip gloss, and eye shadow and eye liner if I’m going out somewhere special), my sister closest in age to me does basic foundation, lip gloss, and eye shadow daily and often straightens her hair, and my oldest sister only wears cover-up and paints her nails regularly, but leaves her hair natural like me (we both have curly hair and for me anyway, I’d have to spend three hours to get it straight).

  • Dee February 2, 2012, 2:21 pm

    My routine is limited to what makes me clean and smell good- so, I brush teeth, shower with soap, put on lotion so my skin won’t be scaly and dry, use colorless lip balm, and deodorant. I only wear other kinds of make-up if I’m going somewhere really nice- wearing a dress instead of jeans.

    It’s really interesting how your comments section gave you insight about location and upbringing. I think there’s a lot to that. I remember reading also, that different cultures have different standards around natural body scent. I can’t remember exactly which cultures, so I won’t guess, but I remember hearing about some that don’t use deodorant and people do not find the smell of the human body to be offensive. Showering daily, or sometimes not even daily, is sufficient for the society’s noses. There are also cultures that shower/bathe multiple times per day, and find those of us that shower only once daily to be smelly!

    I thought about that when you wrote about becoming aware that people have different social norms. Reading about how even something like body odor is “normed” differently, that was my big awareness moment.

  • Stace February 2, 2012, 2:25 pm

    My grandmother and mother both will not leave the house with out a full face of make-up and their hair perfectly coiffed. I some how missed this gene because I rarely wear make-up and I usually throw my hair into a pony tail. I have the same memories of watching my mom get ready and putting make-up at the dining room with her light up vanity mirror. She also took alot of time doing her hair and would always fix mine in barrettes or a french braid. It is strange though because I am not a “tom boy” and I love girly clothes and dresses but I save the make-up and hair dressing for special occasions. Maybe it comes from playing sports 12 months a year my whole life? Taking all that time to do my face and hair would get ruined by sweating or swim team practice in the pool I guess? I remember also that some girls would get up at 5:30 in the morning just to curl their hair and do their make-up before school and I thought that was crazy. Even when I wear make-up its just eyes and chapstick. The shaving is the one thing that would be hard for me mostly not for vanity but I truly think that it is uncomfortable and painful when my hair grows out. I think what you are doing is awesome and I totally get the message/personal experience of the project.

  • Anne @strawberryjampackedlife February 2, 2012, 2:31 pm

    While I grew up on stage doing dance and theater and absolutely love wearing make-up, I don’t do it on a regular basis. Really, I’m just lazy. Plus I work in engineering with all men.

    Recently I’ve decided to make my wardrobe more stylish. It makes me feel better about myself knowing that I don’t look frumpy. But my hair is still air-dryed and my face is still make-up free.

  • poptartyogini February 2, 2012, 2:31 pm

    what an interesting talking point. my mom grew up with 4 older sisters who told her she was too tall, no one would want her hair color and that she couldn’t walk across the room wihtout falling down (in her family’s defense they’re very nice people though this makes them sound horrible). she dyed her hair by the time she was an early teen and always work makeup. i think she didn’t want to put the same thing on my sister and me so makeup wasn’t a priority. when i was going to be a freshman in high school she was going to get me a makeup kit for Christmas. she told a friend who was a high school teacher her plan and he said not to. to let me be a kid for a little longer. i wore it fairly frequently through college and law school but over time less and less. now i only wear it for weddings and our company Christmas party. your project got me thinking why i didn’t feel a need to wear makeup. part of me thinks it is because i don’t think i’m worth taking the time to make myself pretty. i think for your 60 days i will take a day of the weekend and pop my contacts in and wear some makeup. i won’t sacrifice my sleep on the weekday mornings and will do it on the days when i see my husband the most. i’m sure he’d like to see me dolled up.

  • Ashley February 2, 2012, 2:35 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    VERY INTERESTING project you are undertaking. I am very much looking forward to following it. I am also very glad you have made a point not to vilify certain beauty habits. I can personally say that I LOVE putting on make up. I don’t really feel pressure to do it, which is probably why I enjoy it. I often go out with a completely bare face, especially to work (probably a benefit of working in the sciences?). However, I just love coloring all over my face. I like contrasting different eyeshadows, eyeliners, and lip colors with my outfit. I like to use different eye make up that makes my eye color pop this dramatic shade of green. And really I have no other artistic talents, but I can do some amazing make up on myself. To me it feels like face paint for adults, like when you used to get something painted on at a fair as a kid…I also get bored very easily and often change my hair color between different shades of blonde and brunette. This often seems to coincide with the changing of seasons…but when I was a teenager this was even more fun. I think I have had hair in every color of the rainbow. Purple hair was my favorite. Sometimes I wish I were a ridiculously famous pop star like Rihanna so I could still get away with wearing crazy hair & make up and outrageous outfits (that my profession doesn’t really allow for). I definitely went through some negotiating with myself over the years over what was important to me and what was not. I used to get my nails done all the time, until I realized I hate paying all that money to basically hold hands with a stranger for an hour, for a manicure that I will inevitably chip 2 days later. I still get them done for weddings and such, but otherwise I paint my own nails at home while zoning out to some mindless TV, if/when I feel like it. I also grew up with the tanning. I remember spending many afternoons in tanning salons as a young child for what felt like hours while my mother tanned (although it was probably only 20 minutes or so). Sure enough I started doing the same thing in high school, fake baking for prom, etc. That was until my sophomore year in college when my mother was diagnosed with stage III metastatic melanoma and had to have 2 tumors and many lymph nodes removed from her lower back and right leg. I now use sunscreen religiously, and will play with some fake (in the bottle) tan now and then or before a vacation. Let’s see, what else…oh I used to have cystic acne, which I really hated. I would get painful cysts all over my face that would last for weeks – months. After trying every treatment and antibiotic in the book, I finally went on Accutane (and although it can have serious side effects) I am thrilled with the results! Now that I’m writing about it, my success with Accutane has probably furthered my inclination to go bare-faced most of the time. Anyways, this was kind of a rant about my own habits but I think it’s really cool that you’re reflecting on yours to understand your motivations. It’s setting a really good example for the rest of us, and young girls especially, to be thoughtful about their beauty decisions.

    • Caitlin February 3, 2012, 3:36 pm

      Thank you sweetie.

  • Heidi February 2, 2012, 2:37 pm

    I love the idea behind this project!

    I watched my mom (a nurse) do her hair and makeup every morning. I now do the same thing! I think out beauty habits are strongly shaped by the role models in our life at a young age.

  • Tia @ Veggies and Pearls February 2, 2012, 2:50 pm

    I have always been a stubborn rebel, so I usually don’t have a problem defying societal norms, on occasion. I do not do it all the time. My family has always been pretty minimal on the make-up/getting ready routine, but I think that it is due to economical beliefs more than any feelings on societal perceptions of beauty. My mom just wears a little blush and a little mascara, and she has very short hair so she does nothing to it. I do not remember ever really watching her get ready in the mornings as I grew up. My sister, also, does very little to her hair or face (but then again, she has a one-year-old!) We do shave our legs and dye our hair though, except my sister has virgin hair.
    Something that I find very interesting is that many, many guys that I have discussed the topic of make-up with seem to prefer girls with little to no make-up. I did a survey when I was in high school, and the general male response was, “A girl should wear a little make-up to emphasize certain things, if she wants, but I know a lot of girls that don’t need it, like you! And her! And my girlfriend!”
    My last two boyfriends have really preferred me without make-up on. I even showed up one night to my boyfriend’s house with more make-up on than I usually wear (but it was, by no means, a lot), and he said “You have a lot of make-up on!” I replied, “People will be taking pictures tonight!” But he liked me better with a naked face.

  • Olivia February 2, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Interesting that you’re still using whitening toothpaste?!

  • Tara February 2, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Have you seen this article from a couple days ago? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/fashion/it-starts-with-lip-gloss-grade-schoolers-and-makeup.html?src=recg

    It’s ridiculous, and I think people who send their 12 year olds to make-up artists so they can “learn” should not be allowed to have kids. (I have strong views on who should and shouldn’t be allowed to have kids. I’ll never be president, haha.)

    • Kelli February 2, 2012, 4:11 pm

      I disagree with you, but then again my mom took me to a makeup counter when I turned 13 to buy me makeup as well as have a professional teach me how to do it. I was always so glad she did because I knew plenty of girls in school who had no idea what they were doing & looked really bad b/c of it. I had been asking to wear makeup for a while & so her & my dad’s gift to me the year I became a teen was that makeup & the lesson. Then again, I’m a person who always wants to do things the best way possible & I always spend time researching & learning about things before I start them, wearing makeup included. I don’t see the problem with this at all!

      • Jenny February 2, 2012, 4:41 pm

        I’m with Kelli on this. I’d rather my daughter learn how to apply it correctly than slather it on. That being said, I would only allow a pretty minimal amount of makeup at that age, and only if she showed interest.

        • Kelli February 3, 2012, 12:42 pm

          Yes, what I was allowed to buy was pretty minimal, but it still felt like a big step!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB February 2, 2012, 3:04 pm

    I have really mixed feelings about this project. Above all, I do think it is interesting, but I guess I’m big on flexibility and 60 days just seems like a long time! What if you have a wedding to go to or a TV interview comes up? Or what if Ryan Gosling wants to hang out? 🙂 I guess it just seems extreme, which I know is the vehicle for your whole message. For me, personally, seeing someone go without beauty products for two months isn’t going to make me think any differently than simple blog posts inviting conversation on the topic.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with makeup, shaving or hair styling in moderation. I like primping before I “go out” and think going to work looking polished everyday helps me command the respect of my colleagues and students.

    My Mom was very carefree about makeup; she did her’s, but we never felt pressure to use any. As adults I probably have the most involved beauty regimen of my two sisters, but neither have “grown up” jobs. One wears some, the other wears none.

    • SpaceySteph February 6, 2012, 5:19 am

      You say this like she can’t go to a wedding with her regular face. Like it might be fit for daily life but is just too plain to appear in a photo album.
      Which I think is a major point of this project… that actually your bare face is just fine.

  • Liz February 2, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Caitlin – really insightful post! I love the perspective you shared and reading the comments.

    My mom wears make up every single day, blow dries and styles her hair, and always has earrings on. I didn’t consciously go against this norm, but as a kid I was just antsy. I was too impatient to blow dry my hair – there were other things to do! In high school, the only thing I really did was dye my hair – I was never very GOOD at putting on make up so I didn’t do it. But I definitely felt more pressure to look good and “fit in.”

    I got my first grey hairs at 16 and now at 24, they are rampant. But again, I’m mostly just too lazy to dye it, plus the idea of exposing myself to the harsh chemicals isn’t so appealing. There are times where I’m self conscious about it (although last weekend a friend said to me “Liz, I love your grey hair!” and that was nice!) but really, just too lazy. I like the way I look with make up and styled hair, but it doesn’t make me feel different enough to spend the time most days!

  • Johanna B February 2, 2012, 3:06 pm

    My mother was an incredibly beautiful woman who used all the tricks of her time to make herself appear even more beautiful. I have never been into make-up or beauty rituals. I grew up with the hippies of the sixties. My daughter has studied makeup design and loves all the “feminine wiles”. Maybe “it” skips a generation. Ha Ha.

  • Becky February 2, 2012, 3:07 pm

    I work from home and I’m 9 weeks pregnant so I’m pretty much doing my own version of this without even trying!
    Seriously, being this exhausted and feeling gross (hello, anytime of day sickness) has had me abandon all hope for a beauty routine. Its kind of nice, actually. And nobody even seems to notice (husband included!)
    I’m totally behind this. Now if only we could get the mainstream media on board, we’d (women) be in business.

  • Abby February 2, 2012, 3:11 pm

    Your blog made me think of when I was teaching at a wealthy school in Mexico. Parent night happened early in the school year. I was nervous about making a good impression with the parents. I had a PowerPoint
    that I was really proud of, hand outs, thought I had a good handle on the curriculum ( after being there for only 2 weeks), and thought to myself “I can do this.”. I saw the assistant principal that afternoon and asked if I was ready. I told her about the presentation and she replied with a laugh and said, “remember to wear heels, the higher they are the better they like you.”. Sadly I didn’t own a pair, and sadly it was true! I can laugh about it now 🙂

    • Caitlin February 3, 2012, 3:38 pm

      Hahah WOW. Very interesting!

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery February 2, 2012, 3:12 pm

    First thing I noticed was that I use the same hand cream and deodorant. I love Aveda and used to work at an Aveda spa so I have a lot of their products.

    One thing that I have been thinking of recently is that if I had good skin, I wouldn’t need to wear as much makeup. Now, there’s two things I have to say about that. On the one hand, I guess it’s still a desire to look good, but at the same time, it’s empowering to feel like you have natural beauty and I think people with naturally great skin (or take really good care of their skin not through cosmetic procedures) are really beautiful. I’ve also recently switched to a new line of completely natural products (the brand Arcona) that have a signature cranberry scent and have done wonders for my skin to the point where I feel ok going out without makeup because I still feel pretty. Those are just my thoughts in reaction to this post.

    It is interesting to see how many products many of us use, isn’t it?

  • Emily February 2, 2012, 3:13 pm

    I totally support you doing this. I don’t know why I do what I do either. Sometimes I think it is because of the pressure from society/my peer group that I should look a certain way, but then when I’m staying at home all day and seeing no one I still do it all just for me, because I feel better for it. I don’t really understand why I feel better.

    Underlying it is definitely a lack of confidence in my body’s natural state. That’s why I’m not joining your project now. Its giving me a lot to think about though – I look forward to reading your blogs as it goes on.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 2, 2012, 3:17 pm

    My mom wore a moderate amount of make-up and it definitely influenced my beauty regiment, versus if she wore no make-up or a complete face all the time. Now in college, I’ve been influenced by my friends. I have one who wears a lot of make-up when she goes out and when we lived together in the dorms I noticed that I wore more when I went out, too. It’s all about finding a balance. Now I usually only wear makeup if I am going to work or going out. Other than that, I give my skin a rest.

  • Rebecca February 2, 2012, 3:23 pm

    I don’t think my mom wears a whole lot of makeup, but she takes FOREVER to do her hair in the mornings. She keeps it really short and curls and gels it, even though it looks okay natural (pretty straight). My grandma (Mom’s mom) gets her hair permed, especially for special occasions like weddings. My dad’s mom always had to “put her face on.” I remember watching her one morning. I don’t remember what I felt/thought then, but now I think it’s silly. I avoid makeup at almost all costs, lol. My sister wears a little–at least mascara and probably foundation or something. She’s got a collection of different perfume and deodorant containers–I have no idea why she needs so many, but they take up her entire dresser. Earrings and lotions, too. Doesn’t need them, but has tons. Whatever. Her choice. Mine is to try and accept myself the way I am rather than making myself into someone I’m not comfortable with. Too much time and money and energy in my opinion.

  • Bob B February 2, 2012, 3:23 pm

    It’s interesting to hear so many women comment “I look so much better with makeup”. I spent 20 years in the ski business, 8 of those years in Breckenridge, CO. NONE of the girls / women wore makeup – the Avon Lady would have been in the unemployment line. They were the prettiest, most healthy-looking people on the planet! When I moved here, and become “city-fied” it took me a long time to get used to seeing women with all that “gunk” on their faces – it always makes me think “what are you hiding under there?” It’s like neckties for men – whose stupid idea was it to take a piece of fabric, half choke a man with it, and call it “fashion”??

  • Kristin @ wounded fawn February 2, 2012, 3:30 pm

    I lived with extended family growing up and I watched 2-3 aunts, my mom and an older cousin put make-up on from a very young age. By the time I was 10 I had stolen someone’s eyeliner and was putting it on at school every morning and washing it off every afternoon. I was most amazed by foundation which is my least favorite thing to wear, but I ALWAYS DO. If I don’t put make-up on in the morning I feel like I never completely wake up and start my day. My ex used to tell me that I look like two completely different people with and without make-up. Not that I am more beautiful either way, just different.

    On a side note, I love the perfume that you are giving up for this project. It’s one of my favorites. hehe 🙂

    I haven’t decided if I want to challenge myself to do this. I am already challenging myself in many other areas and don’t want to be too hard on myself. Maybe I will participate in this project at a different time, but I look forward to what you discover along the way!

  • Lindsay February 2, 2012, 3:36 pm

    When I was young, no one pressured me into beauty products- in fact, kind of the opposite. I wanted to use mascara and eventually I was allowed to use clear kind. I wanted to shave my legs and ended up with an electric razor. I was allowed to make my own choices, within limits, which helped me to determine why I was doing these things to begin with.

    The summer before high school, my grandma took me to Clinique. They taught me how to apply minimal makeup that looked natural – 13 years later that lesson has finally stuck. When I choose to wear makeup, it helps me to feel like a more put together version of myself, but I would never wear makeup that made me look not like me.

    However, like all women, I went through a period of time where I subscribed to a certain “standard of beauty” – which for me happened during early college. I had regular highlights to keep my brunette hair blonde, I went tanning with my friends, I thought I needed to be thinner, I only wore certain brands of clothing and piled on makeup. I was trying to reach an unattainable standard that I would never be and it made me feel terrible about myself. It didn’t help that around this time I developed painful cystic acne. Eventually, I discovered what was causing it, but I still had horrible scars on my cheeks. I was so self-conscious about my appearance. I had a few laser treatments done right afterward and combined with time, 7 years later the scars are now barely visible. It’s SO sad to me that those experiences made me feel so terrible about myself, but they did. I almost want to go back in time and give 19 year old me a hug. I wish that this project had been around then! I think that what you are doing is truly incredible and so inspiring for any woman, regardless of whether she is in that place or not.

    Now, here I am today. I’ve embraced my natural hair color – ironically enough, I’m sporting the same bangs I had at age 5 🙂 I’ve accepted myself. I have never been so grateful to finally feel like I can leave the house with just lip balm and just feel like me. I can’t wait to read more about your project and all of the things you discover!

  • Jen February 2, 2012, 3:40 pm

    My mom definitely had the biggest influence on my beauty habits. She was a stay-at-home mom until I started school, and never wore make-up except for special occasions (like a wedding). She has never dyed her hair, either, so I never saw any of that as a daily necessity when I was little and I suppose that just became my habits too.

    I also had extremely sensitive skin when I was in high school, and most kinds of make-up left me feeling itchy and miserable, so I avoided it.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife February 2, 2012, 3:42 pm

    My mom hardly wears make-up, but I like wearing a little make-up. The only time I really “get ready” in an intense way, is if I’m going on a date night with my husband and/or have an interview or need to make a good impression. Otherwise, it’s just a few strokes of mascara, eyeliner, and sometimes blush.

    Love these posts!

  • Jen February 2, 2012, 3:44 pm

    I think my mom influenced my beauty habits too, but hers were almost the polar opposite of your mom’s! Mine never wore makeup on a daily basis (only occasionally to events like a play or fancy dinner), and she considered nail salons to be gross and unsanitary.

    As a result, I’ve never worn makeup (again, except for weddings/big events), have my nails done maybe once a year and generally assume that’s normal because it’s what I grew up with.

  • Sara February 2, 2012, 3:56 pm

    I always wonder about beauty products people use; kind of cool to see. How do you like that TJ’s face wash? I am buying it one our other TJ’s wash runs out (they don’t make it anymore–least not at ours.) I am not really sure where I got my beauty habits from. My mom wears way more makeup than I do and she used to tell me I could use a little color (I wear very minimal makeup.) I also try to use natural products whereas my mom loves Avon’s creams and such. All the chemicals kind of freak me out. I live in Richmond, Va. and it is such a hodgepodge of styles. Maybe that’s why I am kind of hodgepodge.

    • Sara February 2, 2012, 3:57 pm

      P.S. This project of yours has really made me think about getting back to nature and just embracing life and its natural beauty. I was at a mushroom farm today (so cool!) and was thinking about this project plus gardening, etc. Just embracing and appreciating life for what it is–it’s simple, natural beauty is awesome. I hope to do that more.

      • Caitlin February 3, 2012, 3:39 pm

        I like that Tj’s face wash but I like their tea tree oil one even better!

  • Rachel February 2, 2012, 4:11 pm

    My mom was a stay-at-home mom so she never wore makeup unless she was going out for dinner or somewhere special. I pretty much do the same except that I work for a living, so I put on makeup for work everyday. I keep my makeup minimal, but I do have a “face” on b/c I think it looks more professional. I also wear makeup if going out somewhere nice. But, on weekends or if I’m not going anywhere special my face is naked as a jaybird, even if we do go out for a casual dinner, and I love it!

  • Chelsea February 2, 2012, 4:18 pm

    I love how you pretty much state in the beginning to avoid conflict. I need to remember to do that more often on my blog because sometimes people love to start conflict lol. But I was raised by my mom saying, “Never let a guy see you all dolled up unless you’re married.” Yeah…when I think about it now it’s kind of harsh lol =/

  • Lisa February 2, 2012, 4:29 pm

    I grew up with my mother always wearing make up, doing her hair every day, etc.

    I think I am kind of the opposite of some people. I work in an office setting with two other people. I dress professionally but don’t feel the need to do my make up every day. During the week more often then not I go to work with no make up and my hair dried from the night before. I do however wear make up and get dolled up if I am going out. I do enjoy it most of the time but sometimes it is a pain! I don’t like the idea that you have to wear make up every day so I just stopped. I think surroundings play a huge part in most peoples beauty regimens including mine. I think as I’ve gotten older and more comfortable in my own skin I’ve been more inclined to change my routine based on what I want to do and not what I think I should do.

    I agree with an earlier reader that you can often be judged for wearing make up and being fashionable in certain industries. I often feel like clients won’t take me seriously because of my appearance so these issues certainly go both ways.

    I think this is awesome I can’t wait to hear your weekly updates!

  • R. Chandra February 2, 2012, 4:29 pm

    is it just me or does your mom totally look like Sigourney Weaver!!?? (a compliment of course :))

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny February 2, 2012, 4:33 pm

    My mom rarely wore make up for no other reason, other than it just wasn’t her. Oddly, about 3 days ago she told me she thinks shes starting to look a little old and thinks she needs to start wearing a little make up. I have to admit that I felt a little jealous of my best friend who’s mom ALWAYS had a FULL FACE of make up on and perfect hair, and thus passed it on to her. I finally figured out the whole makeup thing on my own in my later teens. I’m no MAC queen who wears loads of shadows and foundations, but I do feel like I NEED a few essentials eeryday in order to leave the house. Loving this series! All the best.

  • Hallie February 2, 2012, 4:37 pm

    When I posted some wedding photos to Facebook, I posted this gorgeous shot of my mother-in-law getting her makeup done. Well, she kinda freaked out that I would publish a photo of her sans makeup and so I took it down. I didn’t understand it…she looked so pretty in that photo…but I get it now. That’s just how she was raised and the generation she’s from.

  • Ashley February 2, 2012, 5:13 pm

    My mother and grandma always wear a moderate amount of make-up every single day. In fact, one day the tornado sirens went off and my grandma went into the bathroom and fixed her make-up. She said if the camera crews came out she wanted to look on tv. LOL I use to wear a lot of make-up every single day, and currently, I hardly wear any make-up. My hubby said the other day that he loves it when I don’t wear any make-up.

  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good February 2, 2012, 5:29 pm

    That’s an interesting point – that for you it isn’t “fun”, it’s “routine”. I have told my daughter that I consider make-up something that is for fun, kind of like dressing up extra special – and I meant it. And for me it is not part of my everyday routine. Maybe that makes a difference. Then again, there are likely other women who wear make-up every single day and find it something fun every single day. I’m sure there are many viewpoints on this topic.

    About my upbringing, my mom has never worn make-up that I can remember. I know she did wear lipstick when she was young, though. I always thought it was a matter of preference, but eventually she mentioned that it was because of her eyesight. She can’t see well enough without glasses on to apply eye make-up, and well, with glasses on, they are in the way! So, maybe she inadvertantly influenced me not to wear make-up very much.

  • Veronica February 2, 2012, 5:31 pm

    OH MY GOSH. Caitlin you are SO right. I hail from hippie-liberal, granola-crunchy Seattle. You’re more likely to smell patchouli on someone than deodorant! Little regard is given to appearance and I love it. In the Pac Northwest it absolutely does NOT matter what you look like, what you wear, what color/gender/orientation you are. Everyone is just accepted.

    Now I’m hangin’ out here in Fayetteville, NC and its like a different world! I go to the grocery store and see women with “done up” hair, classy shoes and make-up. Women seem so much more put together here in the South. I’m running errands in my jeans, Brooks runners, ponytail and no makeup and I feel so frumpy – but back in WA I’d feel normal.

    The US may be a melting pot, but regional culture norms definitely exist and dictate our beauty habits.

    • Noelle February 2, 2012, 5:50 pm

      If you take a trip to Asheville, NC you’ll find something a lot similar to Seattle. Even states can be very diverse. 🙂

      • Veronica February 2, 2012, 5:56 pm

        Good to know! I bet Charlotte is similar too!

    • AmandaonMaui February 2, 2012, 7:04 pm

      I lived in Seattle for a while, and the lack of personal care actually bothered me. I am fine with people not wearing makeup, but being unkempt was a problem. There were so many people who took minimalism to the extreme. It seemed like so many people just rolled right out of bed and doused themselves with patchouli or took Body Mynt to cover up their poor hygiene.

      Those who worked in the corporate offices downtown were in better shape, but they weren’t doing it for themselves.

      Oh, and I wouldn’t say that what a person looked like in Seattle didn’t keep them from being accepted. There is a lot of racism toward Native Americans there. My boyfriend was treated poorly by some people because he looked Native. In fact, he’s from Portuguese, Hawaiian and Dutch heritage. Also, if you don’t look goth enough the goths won’t want you. If you don’t look preppy enough the preps in the suburbs don’t want you. If you don’t look granola enough the hippies/hipsters don’t want you. It felt like high school.

      • Alex February 2, 2012, 9:00 pm

        In college, I interned at an environmental organization in Seattle (so I probably should have seen this coming…). The one night we all decided to go out on the town, I wore a “cute” shirt from the mall and some mascara. Soon I realized everyone else was still rocking Birkenstocks and semi-clean t-shirts. And I felt a lot of judgment from my coworkers. They already thought of me as “that girl from .” Thankfully, now six years older and wiser I am sure I would be completely comfortable wearing what I wanted in that scenario, but man, that night was rough.

        Of course, this was like fifteen college kids. I don’t think everyone in the PNW is a patchouli snob!

  • Liz February 2, 2012, 5:32 pm

    I just saw this article in the nytimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/fashion/it-starts-with-lip-gloss-grade-schoolers-and-makeup.html?src=recg

    I thought it was a fascinating look inside the beauty industry and our culture of teaching girls what is socially accepted for beauty norms. This would be a great thing to add to your analysis of your project when you are done!

  • Kelly February 2, 2012, 5:38 pm

    This was a much better explanation of The Naked Face Project. I again..hope you find what you are seeking. 🙂

  • Nathalie February 2, 2012, 5:45 pm

    Where to start. This post is so well written, you are an excellent writer 🙂 I think The Naked Face Project is a great project; I look forward to reading your conclusions at the end of the 60 days.
    Your mom is beautiful, she looks like a young Susan Sarandon in that photo! And I’m sure she’s just as beautiful without makeup. And you’re such a cute kid!
    Thinking about my beauty habits, which I have never given much thought, I realise that I have definitely picked up a good few of my grandma’s habits. I like it that way, pretty minimalist-ish unless for special occasions, never OTT but always presentable 😉
    PS: One thing going without makeup, shaving etc…but no l’eau d’Issey???!! OMG, that is THE best scent ever. Love it! 😉

    • Caitlin February 3, 2012, 3:40 pm

      Me too! Smells so good 🙂

  • Noelle February 2, 2012, 5:47 pm

    Our moms/grandmothers are very similar. I liked my upbringing in that I was the only girl (tomboy tendencies) but my mother was very feminine so I became a balance of the two.

    For me, I like to get fixed up…makeup and hair, etc…it boosts my confidence to feel put together. But, I’m lazy. So I rarely wear makeup to work (there was a time when I wouldn’t leave the house without makeup but it has passed) and my get ready in the morning routine is minimal.

    I guess its a balance. It’s okay to “enhance” your beauty if its something you do for yourself but it shouldn’t be something you feel obligated to for others.

    To be honest—not shaving sounds terrifying to me. I don’t shave more than once a week as it is, but to completely stop? That is the one area that…while I know its not fair that it’s socially expected to be hairless…the reaction to having a hairy body is not something I’m willing to made a stand for. It would gross out my husband (and that’s not even on purpose, he’s conditioned maybe but he can’t help thinking its gross at this point) and I’d feel like I had poor hygiene (even if that’s not really true).

    At the end of the day…me not wearing makeup, shaving, fixing my hair, eating healthy, or exercising etc all comes down to laziness. It’s good for me to push myself to take care of myself because I tend to lean the other way.

  • Meghan February 2, 2012, 5:50 pm

    I liked your reflections on where you learned these beauty routines.
    My mom is a Mary Kay rep and I am all about the skin care part but only wear makeup a few times a year. Now she’s given it up but she would occasionally ask ‘don’t you want to wear some (insert makeup here)?’ She never really pushed which I thank her for. Basically just wanted me to know that if I was interested she was there. She did my makeup when I went to prom and it looked lovely but as soon as she left the bathroom I wiped half of it off because it just wasn’t me.
    Like I said, I rarely wear makeup and only blow dry my hair in the winter but this project is making me think about the few beauty routines that I do participate in and I thank you for that.

  • Amber K February 2, 2012, 5:58 pm

    I never thought about it, but maybe part of the reason I always thought makeup was fun is because my mom never wears it. I never saw her putting it on then and she doesn’t wear it now. So when my friends started getting into makeup it was fun to play around and experiment. I never feel like I have to do it, but I like to.

  • Jo February 2, 2012, 6:08 pm
  • Chelsey February 2, 2012, 6:20 pm

    I’m 24 and I think I struggle a lot between wanting to do all the popular beauty and style type things and wanting to not be so high maintenance. It kind of clouds my vision of who I really am without the influence of society.

    This projects sounds great. It is like clearing out the clutter in that aspect of your life and being able to figure out what is important to you and what habits are more of trying to mimic society.

  • Amanda February 2, 2012, 6:30 pm

    The first thing I noticed was that the hand cream wasn’t in the second pic…. I guess we know what I consider bare minimum. lol

    As a kid I remember putting on make-up for dance recitals and looked forward to it. I just thought it was so fun. In a nutshell I grew up thinking that make up is fun but not essential. So now as an adult (who works the night shift) I frequently go without.

  • AmandaonMaui February 2, 2012, 6:57 pm

    My mother’s mother is the queen of makeup. My father’s mother was the queen of no makeup (except on special occasions). My mom would put on some makeup before going to work or going out somewhere nice, and she almost always had a compact in her purse. My step-mom only put on make up to go out to dinner or to church. My sister is like my my mother’s mother. I am like my father’s mother. Some days I put on makeup to go out to run errands, but usually I wear no makeup.

    When I wear makeup is usually based on how my skin looks (acne, acne scars, etc.) and the occasion. Sometimes on special occasions (if my skin is looking great) I won’t wear any makeup except a little eyeliner or lip gloss.

    I have never been able to get my hair to do anything other than lay there, so that’s what I do with it. I let it grow long and be naturally beautiful (though in my late teens I bleached my already blonde hair).

    Growing up my mom always told me that I was her “California beauty” even though we lived in Florida. To her, “California beauty” meant a natural beauty that requires not makeup to enhance it or improve it. I guess it stuck with me.

    I also think living on Maui I don’t have the social pressure to wear makeup. In Florida nearly everyone wore makeup. The teenage girls were covered in it, and the adult women were heavily made up as well. You had to have your nails, hair and makeup done before you could set foot outside of the house.

    No wonder I didn’t fit in.

  • AmandaonMaui February 2, 2012, 6:59 pm

    Oh, and I switched from using acne fighting face washes (which caused me more breakouts) to using the Oil Cleansing Method. Talk about going minimal! I love it though. It has helped me more than any maximum strength or ultra sensitive chemical based face wash ever did.

  • Gloria February 2, 2012, 7:04 pm

    Hey Caitlin, I’m excited to read more about your project as it goes along! It is definitely hard to look at yourself critically sometimes and question habits like that, so good for you for doing it on a public stage. It’s an important conversation and I’m excited that you’re starting it on your blog.

    But the real reason I’m commenting is because I saw this interesting article/video on the history of assigning pink and blue to gender in children and I thought it was something that you would appreciate. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this blog at all, but it’s fantastic and covers a lot of stuff on our culture and the media too. Check it out 🙂

    • Caitlin February 3, 2012, 3:45 pm

      Cool! My dad passed this along to me yesterday too 🙂 It was SO interesting.

  • Natalie @fitjamericangirl February 2, 2012, 7:12 pm

    Congratulations on week 1 🙂 I love wearing makeup (as I wrote before). I had no intention of going “makeup less”. But yesterday, being influenced by your post, I decided to not wear any makeup since I wouldn’t be in court and I don’t need to dress up in the office. I felt self conscious and pointed out to my female coworkers that I had “bald face” going on. They stared at me with blank faces. One of them said “I didn’t even know that you wore makeup, you always look nice. I certainly can’t tell the difference now, you must not need it”. It felt so freeing to know that my perceived imperfections (blemishes) aren’t noticeable to everyone like I thought they were. Even though I still love makeup because it’s fun and unique, I certainly don’t need it like I must have thought I did.

  • Gary O'Brien February 2, 2012, 7:27 pm

    Caitlin, Molly – a brief thought. How much money will you save by not buying cosmetics, etc. during the 60 days of the project?
    It’s interesting when you stop spending money on something how that changes the way you think about it.

    This is a great thing you two are doing, and I’m looking foward to following your progress.


  • Laura February 2, 2012, 7:44 pm

    Very interesting project. I’m as much curious about how your self-perception will chang as how others’ perception of you will chang. I think you will learn a lot about yourself *and* about society as you interact with others.

    On the flip side, one of my pseudo-new year’s resolutions was to start taking *more* care with how I look each day. I’ve felt that over the past three years, since I entered graduate school, my priorities have shifted away from attending to my appearance. For instance, partially in an effort to rescue my hair from endless damage, and partially because they are ungodly expensive, I chose to stop getting highlights after (holy crap) twelve years. I also wear way less makeup than ever before in my life, have stopped blowdrying except on very special occasions, and have more or less forgotten how to walk in high heels. These changes have been somewhat facilitated by my workplace environment (veeery casual) and geographic location (Northern CA – again, super super casual). Plus, I don’t know, I’ve been with my partner for four years, so I’m not trying to show off for any guys except the one who sleeps next to me every night. Finally, a fairly big part of me wants to project an appearance of “seriousness” – I want people to hear what I say without being distracted by how I may look. And, frankly, pancake-faced blondes just don’t have that kind of reputation.

    Anyhoo, all that said, recently, I’ve been looking in the mirror and thinking, I don’t really recognize the frizzy-haired, pale-cheaked, under-eye-circled brunette staring back at me. And when I see pictures of myself from only a few years prior, I think, wow, I looked pretty cute then. I guess that, in my head, I am still that more “feminine” blonde.

    So, I’ve decided to ramp it up, just slightly. Still no hair dye or eyeliner. But sometimes I blowdry! And sometimes I wear blush and/or eyeshadow – it feels good to feel more vibrant. I’ve never really been a just-jeans-and-tshirt type of person, but sometimes now I mentally plan out my outfits even days in advance.

    I’m just experimenting at this point – my own little “Decorated Face Project” – but so far I feel a bit better when I catch my reflection. I feel more like “me,” but I still feel like a serious grown-up, like people will listen when I speak.

    • Laura February 2, 2012, 7:52 pm

      Oh, and I will add that I started highlighting my hair at age 12 because my mom wanted me to. She also bought me my first makeup (probably to keep me from using hers) around that age, and used to talk with me about how “when you look good, you feel good about yourself,” which at the time meant dressing up for special events like piano recitals.

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs February 2, 2012, 7:48 pm

    Such an interesting project! I look forward to reading more about it as it progresses.
    Also, I love the picture of your Grandma!

  • Alaina February 2, 2012, 7:52 pm

    Looking back, I don’t think my mom was ever really into wearing all kinds of makeup, all the time. Her routine was lotion all over (she never wore perfume), face moisturizer, and mascara. I actually didn’t start to wear makeup until I was a senior in high school.

    In terms of shaving, I just do it because I hate the prickliness on my under arms and legs.

    I am really intrigued to see how this project will pan out! What a great experiment!

  • Kristen February 2, 2012, 8:43 pm

    I think it is an interesting project for sure. Especially since you’re talking a critical look at your own habits and doing some self reflection. Always a little scary to put that out there for others to read. I’m almost looking forward to reading the comments as much as your experience.

    One of the first things I thought when I saw your picture of your new “beauty routine” though, was “hey, brushing your teeth isn’t beauty- it is health and hygiene.” But I’m guessing the picture is for effect mostly…

    I think it will be interesting to see how the no shaving feels. I wonder if you’ll get looks at the pool 🙂

  • Erin February 2, 2012, 9:32 pm

    I just had to comment that I think I was DEFINITELY influenced by both of my parents and hometown in my “beauty” routine… I grew up in Boise, ID and definitely only saw my mom in makeup if we were going to a party or she had a public speaking event. My dad also always told her she was putting on her clown face when she did get done up (jokingly, of course, but he still is not a huge made-up fan). In high school, I definitely wore make-up every.single.day., but to me, being “done” was mascara, eyeliner and some eye shadow. Now, at 26, I rarely put on much more than face lotion (with SPF) and some mascara (when I am feeling less-than-pretty). I actually feel more comfortable without make-up than with it! And, ironically, at yoga today I did notice that my leg hair was longer than I had thought…. kinda grossed me out for a second and then I forgot about it. I most likely will re-realize this when I go again next week 🙂 Good luck with your project, you are beautiful without make-up; I foresee a minimized beauty-routine even after the 60 days are over!

  • Roselyn @ A Balanced Fit February 2, 2012, 9:52 pm

    I love this post! I have always been into beauty products; probably as early as 3 or 4. My own mother worked in the cosmetic industry and was always made up. I definitely adopted my beauty habits from her. Even now, as a SAHM, I wear makeup daily and do my hair. It’s just what I do!

  • Jessica February 2, 2012, 11:07 pm

    Interesting project!

    I’m in the no makeup camp. However I’m currently teaching a class at a local (typically nontraditional) university and since half of my students are older than I am (I’m 25), I find myself wearing makeup, more professional clothes (re: suits) and my glasses to make myself look older, or in hopes to at least be taken more seriously.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) February 3, 2012, 12:28 am

    I am blown away that plastic surgery was normal where you grew up!!!? No one I know has had plastic surgery!! Growing up I never heard of anyone having it either. This is a very interesting post, because our definition of normal is so dependent on our environment.

    I think you found your next book topic …

    • Caitlin February 3, 2012, 3:45 pm

      Oh man! I think 3 books in 2 years wore me out.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie February 3, 2012, 12:43 am

    I love this project for many reasons aside from the general separation from society standards….like how much money you can save, how many less chemicals are used and how low maintenance it is!

    I wear minimal makeup (not every day) and use no hair products ( I use a flat iron sometimes). I used to use make up as a security blanket. My mom was the ideal example, wearing a little make up here and there but only to enhance her natural beauty but I had acne as a teen and it really affected my confidence. I didn’t WANT to wear make up but felt so insecure about my skin I felt I had to.

    Now I love experimenting with make up for special occasions because I feel that it’s a work of art when put on correctly but I love being natural and carefree about my regime. I don’t even use moisturizer or face wash!

  • Jen February 3, 2012, 2:33 am

    Although I am not actually participating (but reading with great interest), just hearing about this project has already had a bit of a positive influence on me! 🙂

    When getting ready in the morning, I have found myself a little less anal about perfection…I have found myself thinking, “If Caitlin can do THIS,” I can get over not having flawlessly applied makeup, hair, etc. Also, fewer checks/powder applications for “shininess” throughout the day. Yes, I know that this makes me sound pathetic, but hey, I’m getting better! I’ve already come a long way from the days when I couldn’t even go to the mailbox without full hair and make-up! 🙂

    • Caitlin February 3, 2012, 3:46 pm

      I don’t think it makes you sound pathetic at all! I am glad the project is resonating with you.

  • Jen February 3, 2012, 7:59 am

    What would have been more interesting is if you would have just done all this with saying anything. And then seen if you got a reaction from anyone, in real life or in the blog. Since you do post pictures of yourself; a blog post about if people noticed would have been interesting.

    • Caitlin February 3, 2012, 3:46 pm

      That would’ve been interesting, you’re right!

  • Charise February 3, 2012, 8:16 am

    This is so spot-on, Caitlin! My mom and friends wore some makeup almost every day, amping it up for nights out or special events, so that’s what I’ve always done. I have a group of friends now that are all from the same hometown, and they all grew up spending HOURS getting ready for school – fake bake, layers of makeup, big blown out hair every day – because they felt like they had to to fit in there.

    Thinking about how my mom and the people around me as I grew up handled makeup/hair/etc. compared to those habits of friends from other places is interesting!

  • Abby @ LiveLaughRunToday February 3, 2012, 10:06 am

    This project fascinates me! I think it mostly fascinates me because I feel I look my best with make-up on and keeping up a “beauty” routine. AND, I do have to say I enjoy it (not always, but most of the time).

    I went into a situation at work that was very difficult, and in my own way, COMPLETELY stopped caring. With that, I stopped wearing make-up, not doing my hair and no longer dressed up for work. I work in a male dominated industry and got numerous comments like “Guess you are super comfortable around us now, don’t care anymore, huh, do you not care what you look like anymore?” It was interesting that me not “keeping up” hair and makeup gave off that perception to the people around me, so much so they would say something. ANYWAY, I think that is why this fascinates me so much, because it’s NOT that you don’t care, you DO in such a different way that it’s started this project. I admire what you are doing, not only because I know I couldn’t do it, but know I wouldn’t really want to either.

    Oh, and, my boyfriend PREFERS me with no makeup and in sweatpants. So, there’s definitely something to be said for when I do choose that look and like the other posts said how supportive most men really are! I’ll be reading for sure!

  • steph February 3, 2012, 10:14 am

    can we ease off the makeup hate? there have been more than a couple of references as to how we as a society “dont take women seriously” who wear makeup, or take interest in their appearance. i would think as women, we would have the most interest in not reifying these stereotypes. i dont judge other women in my workplace based on how much or how little makeup they choose to wear, so long as they do their job, because thats how i’d like to be treated.

    • Caitlin February 3, 2012, 3:47 pm

      Hey Steph – I wish you would reread the post so you could see that I absolutely never hated on makeup.

  • Life's a Bowl February 3, 2012, 11:07 am

    Beautiful story and I think “The Naked Face” project is a great idea! I used to cake on the make-up when I was in middle school because I was super self-conscious of my skin [had some typical teen acne issues] but over the years my make-up routine has dwindled down to applying a ]light layer of tinted moisturizer, and if that even! There are definitely special occasions that I take the time to apply a “full face” [eyeshadow, mascara, blush] and I love it but I don’t think that it makes me any more “beautiful”- my fiance actually asks me why I put it on and prefers me without any!

    As far as shaving, I have gone a week [and a little more] without it but when it gets to a certain point I can’t take it anymore- especially on my legs, rubbing against my pants… Ouch!

  • allpointswhole February 3, 2012, 12:40 pm

    I absolutely love it. I too would consider myself a minimalist. I dont wear make up throughout the week or weekend. The only time I do is if its a special day, etc

  • Diane February 3, 2012, 1:58 pm

    How interesting that I came across this project when I have also stopped wearing makeup and shaving over the last month. I wonder if you will find, as I have, that you are able to be much more focused w/o it. When I look in the mirror at work, I know there is nothing I can do to change the way I look (as I have nothing to adjust it) and go about my day undisturbed.

    I think what brought it on for me was working and being around men the majority of the time. I found myself looking at them and noticing that they were perfectly beautiful despite wearing no makeup. I also over the last to years learned to accept my curly hair, which required me to let go of control and embrace my natural beauty.

    Good luck on your journey 🙂

  • EllenE February 3, 2012, 8:05 pm

    Meh. This article (or really, just the first few paragraphs, it’s sort of long) sums up my and probably many other’s feelings:


    Wear makeup. Don’t wear makeup. It’s only a big deal if one MAKES it a big deal, imho.

  • Emily February 4, 2012, 12:39 am

    Interesting post. My mom never, ever, ever wore makeup (still doesn’t) when I was young. Once she wore mascara to my dad’s work party when I was about six. It was weird. I’ve never worn much makeup. I do use bareminerals and mascara during the week but I feel like I need to because I look so young. I have no problem going without and it doesn’t really effect my mood or how I feel about myself.

  • SpaceySteph February 6, 2012, 5:29 am

    I am a new reader, looks like I got here just in time! I’m fascinated to see how this goes.

    I only wear makeup and do my hair for special occasions. Otherwise I leave the house with only sunscreen and a wet ponytail. But this has even got me thinking why I bother wearing makeup for special occasions… what’s wrong with my face?! I think it’s to demonstrate to the person who’s special occasion it is, that I think it’s special so I’m doing something special. But its not as if a bride would notice my eyeshadow, amidst all the other things going on.

    Anyways, to answer the Q… my mom wears makeup all the time. I was always dismayed because it seemed a symptom of my (strong, beautiful, intelligent) mother’s poor self esteem. But now I think back to my grandmother (her adoptive mother from birth -so there’s a nature vs. nurture study for you) who always wore such heavily caked makeup and had a line under her chin where her foundation stopped. And how my mom would always try to tell her to blend down her neck but she had been doing it for 60 years and wasn’t about to stop now.
    Ok, enough rambling from the night shift. You have given me lots to think about!

    • Caitlin February 6, 2012, 10:05 am

      Thanks for reading!

  • ktlee February 6, 2012, 8:56 pm

    Love this challenge! I am starting the opposite challenge. I grew up in mainly rural and western parts of America and never really wore makeup and have had no clue on how to wear it well. After nightmare Sephora visits, where the salesperson made me up like a clown with green eyeshadow and hot pink lipstick (this just happened a month ago!), a friend who is a whiz at these things gave me some tips and I am really having a blast trying different looks. I doubt I will ever be a hardcore makeup person, but learning some skills which gives me the option has been great. Best wishes in your naked face project!

  • Kate G. February 9, 2012, 12:13 pm

    Interesting concept for a project (though I wonder about the capitalization of “Beauty Habits.” Why the caps?)

    When I was a kid, my mom never wore makeup — in fact, she openly spoke against it. I wear makeup every day, not because I feel pressured to, but because it’s a creative outlet, of sorts (albeit a small one). Viewed as a form of self-fashioning/representation, the wearing of makeup can be an empowering practice.

  • Teagan February 9, 2012, 1:52 pm

    Not really related, but I am from Oak Ridge! There’s a grafitti on one of the greenways in Knoxville that says “you are beautiful” – make me think of your blog 🙂

  • Danielle February 16, 2012, 1:01 am

    I’m just so grateful that you and Molly created this project. Rather than it being a polarizing thing, I view The Naked Face Project as being a rational middle view. Forgoing all the gloss for awhile gives woman the chance to reevaluate their beauty routines, comfort levels, and attitudes about beauty. That can lead to a more authentic practice in real life. Most of us start out doing what our moms do, or at least, what our friends do–and we often continue that for most or all of our lives. This project will help women and girls jump off the conveyor belt long enough to ask ourselves, “Is this really what I want?”

    That alone makes this an important and worthwhile project!

  • Rebecca March 21, 2012, 12:53 pm

    Every day I do face scrub, light foundation (liquid not pressed), concealer for my ever blemished face, blush, and mascara. I usually also straighten my hair if it is going to be down that day. If I put it up I will let it air dry and be wavy.

    I think it would be really hard for me to go without any sort of makeup because without makeup I feel like I do not look put together, and I also look younger. I feel like if I went to an interview or to work without makeup on people would not take me seriously.

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