On primping ‘for fun’ and the surprising side effect of being Naked Faced.


New to this series?  Please check out The Naked Face Project website and my introduction to TNFP to get a complete understanding of the intention behind the Project.


It’s March!  That means that I’m really and truly halfway through the Project, which ends on March 31.  I definitely feel ‘settled in’ to being Naked Faced and, quite honestly, although I’m looking forward to a return to shaving my armpits, I am very happy being make-up free on a day-to-day basis. As a superficial side note, my skin looks fantastic naked – I haven’t had a single breakout since the Project started, a very rare occurrence indeed.


This week, I wanted to address two topics:  primping ‘for fun’ and negative self-talk. 


Topic #1:  Primping!


So when Molly Barker and I first began the Project, our goal was to discover our intention behind our beauty habits so when the little girls asked us, “You say inner beauty is most important but then wear makeup and dye your hair – what does that mean?” we would have an authentic answer.  Basically, I had never immersed myself in the ‘other side’ until this Project, so I wasn’t entirely clear on why I did certain things – Was it societal pressure? Habitual? Self-esteem related?  Many of you remarked that you primp and wear makeup in part because you find it to be FUN!  I really didn’t think this applied to me.  Shaving? Ugh. Not fun.  Makeup? Meh. A chore!  Wearing high heels? Totally uncomfortable.


After 31 days of being primp-free, I have to say one thing… I was wrong! I do primp for fun (sometimes), and I really miss it.


My college girlfriends and I, for example, have a long-standing tradition of getting manicures and pedicures whenever we are together.  I continue this tradition with some of my Charlotte friends. I also go to the salon solo about once every two months and get my nails done as a ‘reward’ for completing a work project or as a stress-reliever. I miss getting my nails done a lot – not because I miss the actual nail polish, but the warm and fuzzy feeling I get when engaging in this fun tradition.


I also really miss wearing jewelry!  I never thought of myself as a big jewelry person, but I’ve caught myself gazing longingly at my jewelry box and yearning for earrings or a pretty necklace. Accessorizing my outfits is fun, too.  And sometimes, putting on a fancy dress and heels feels great.  


So, even though the Project isn’t close to being over yet, I do feel like I have one honest answer for little girls – I engage in certain beauty habits because they are just pure fun, and that’s totally okay.  I never thought that I’d conclude this because of the Project – I was so convinced that none of my habits were fun at all.  And you know what?  I really do derive a lot of pleasure from so many of my beauty habits.


Topic #2:  Negative self-talk.

When discussing this Project with other women, one common remark that I’ve heard is, “I could never do that. I would just feel so badly about myself the entire time.” Although Operation Beautiful has become a very pro-positive body image site, the mission actually began because I felt really dumb and worthless in my professional life, like I was failing at my chosen career path.  I struggle with an intense fear of failing and have perfectionist tendencies, but I’ve really reined them in and have learned to use my personality for personal good, not evil.  Despite my strides forward, I was very concerned that the Project might trigger negative thoughts about my professional abilities as well as negative thoughts about my body. Especially considering all the massive body changes I am experiencing because of pregnancy,  I thought giving up all my old beauty habits might make me feel unattractive and unconfident.  


Surprisingly, the Project has had the entirely opposite effect. 


I did initially struggle with giving up my habits, but about a week into the Project, I found that I was engaging in less negative self-talk than ever before.  It’s almost like I’ve given myself a free pass to just enjoy being me – on the outside and inside – and I’ve never felt so comfortable. 


And, by extension, I’m having less negative thoughts about other people (not that I had a lot of negative thoughts about others before, but I think we all occasionally judge the people around us, even if we find the habit horrendous).  One thing that I’ve began to really process and understand as a result of this Project is how amazingly unique and wonderful we all are… at the very core.  I never could’ve imagined that simply temporarily giving up my beauty routine would’ve had such a powerful impact.  It’s truly been life-changing, and I’m so grateful that I’m going through this at this particular time in my life.


For more The Naked Face Project, be sure to check out Molly Barker’s musings.


Your turn to weigh in.  Do you have fun engaging in certain beauty habits?  Which feel more like chores?  How did you beat negative self-talk?



  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat March 2, 2012, 10:48 am

    Shaving feels like a chore, but so does showering twice a day – time consuming but worth it! I do enjoy painting my nails or doing my makeup.

  • Faith @ For the Health of It March 2, 2012, 10:50 am

    I really do enjoy certain beauty habits too – like wearing glittery eyeshadow (because I’m clearly a 5 year old kid at heart) and heels – because yes, it is fun to dress a little sexy and feel really pulled-together. Even though some of my beauty habits are just that – habits – there are some I do because they’re actually fun!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 2, 2012, 10:57 am

    I definitely enjoy things like changing my nail polish color, picking out jewelry, and trying new lip glosses! Although I generally do that only for special occasions or if I’m just “in the mood.” Most days I’m either wearing just basic cover up and mascara or no make up at all! Haha if I’m not meeting up with friends or going to school, I’m all about the Naked Face!

  • Beth @ 990 Square March 2, 2012, 11:13 am

    Do you think being pregnant is helping you with the negative self talk? My #1 negative self talking area is around my weight/body size shape. But I’ve always felt like when I’m pregnant, I’ll get a “free pass” because you’re supposed to gain weight/have a larger belly when you’re pregnant.

    • Caitlin March 2, 2012, 1:06 pm

      Hmmm maybe! Not so much that I feel “allowed” to change but more so that I feel in AWE of that changes. In many ways, it’s like running a marathon. I can’t believe my body can do this. Does that make sense?

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 2, 2012, 11:19 am

    I personally LOVE getting manicures and pedicures done – it’s super relaxing and really, who wants to scrub their own feet when you can sit in a massage chair and have someone else do the work for you? Having said that though, I treat myself to them once in a while – I don’t think my budget could afford for this to be a regular habit! Accessorizing is fun too, and when I’m in the mood, so is putting on makeup. But I’ll admit, sometimes makeup for work just gets a bit tedious and chore-like!

  • Glenneth March 2, 2012, 11:20 am

    I don’t have my nails done anymore, but there is nothing better than a great pedicure. Pretty toes and a leg massage? That’s for me. I also love wearing glitter eyeliner on “fancy” occasions.

    • Anne March 2, 2012, 7:23 pm

      You have a cool name!

  • deva at deva by definition March 2, 2012, 11:23 am

    When I wear jewelry I typically pick out pieces that I own that have sentimental value to me: the diamond studs that my late great-grandmother gave me for my 16th birthday are a common favorite because they make me think of her more, and remember a few of our last phone conversations before she passed away. I also like to wear a pendant necklace I was given when I was 13. It was the first “real” piece of jewelry I ever owned and it holds a lot of sentimental value for me, and reminds me of where I have been, where I am going, and where I am now.

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras March 2, 2012, 11:24 am

    I’m a dog walker, so I look pretty gross for work every day – no make up, gym clothes, frizzy hair in a bun. In a weird way, this has actually done a lot of good for my self image. I think when we get so used to seeing ourselves done up all the time, we find our “naked” selves to be very different, and then, very lacking. I’m very used to what I look like without cute clothes, styled hair and make up, and am therefore completely comfortable being seen that way. Also, because I don’t have to look nice for my day-to-day life, getting dolled up is only something I do when I’m going out, or going to an audition (I’m an actor, too) or some other important thing. It makes it feel fun, and I feel even prettier because I only see myself made up a few nights a week.

  • Sarah@WilliamsburgBaby March 2, 2012, 11:29 am

    I agree…I sort of distinguish between grooming/self care and makeup. The former (pedicures, massages, facials, eyebrow waxing) I think makes me feel good. The latter kind of befuddles me. I wrote about the project on my blog and I think it’s great. Although I’ve been a participant (mostly) for 33 years, it does provoke interesting discussions.


  • Stephanie @ Legally Blinde March 2, 2012, 11:48 am

    I’m glad that the project has been so life-changing for you so far! That’s pretty incredible. I do have fun with certain beauty habits; I enjoy putting on makeup, doing my hair, and dressing up when I’m going out (as long as I have enough time and am not rushed). I would say that shaving is definitely a chore, though!

  • Emily March 2, 2012, 11:52 am

    I read this the other day and really appreciated it. It’s, in part, about devaluing the fun in beauty skills.


    I’d love to know what you think about it.

  • Amanda March 2, 2012, 12:02 pm

    On weekends when I’m going to the gym, running around doing errands, etc., I tend to let myself go natural. The things that I still enjoy and find fun happen to be taking a shower and having my nails painted. I don’t mind not wearing makeup (although mascara is the one thing I love) or drying/straightening my hair.

  • Samantha March 2, 2012, 12:07 pm

    I’m the same way with manicures and pedicures…it’s my bonding time with a few of my girlfriends here in my new city, and my sister and I always do it whenever I get to go home for a visit. I don’t even care about the polish being there (half the time I forget it’s on afterward), it’s just nice to spend that quality time with each other while being pampered.

    I’m not sure how I’d feel about jewelry. I don’t consider myself a huge jewelry person, but I notice myself turning to it more often than I used to these days — I think that might be because I work in women’s magazines and i want to appear more fashionable? I think that’s a project of my own starting…

    As for makeup, I’m really scared to try that one. I wear very minimal amounts (and go naked on the weekends), but I’ve always struggled with acne and still do. I think I would feel unprofessional and wouldn’t feel confident in myself if I didn’t have any on at work…but I also know that I have a slight fear that people are judging me a lot. Eek.

    • Gwen March 21, 2012, 9:58 pm

      I also struggle with acne, which is really difficult to deal with because up until recently I pretty much had a perfectly clear face. I stress myself out a lot over it and if I wasn’t wearing makeup I feel like I would feel really lacking in the confidence department. I guess what I’m trying to say is if you do it, I’ll do it? haha

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 2, 2012, 12:08 pm

    Very cool thoughts. I totally agree-sometimes I DO Primp and do it all just for fun. I enjoy wearing heels (for real) for small amounts of time, I LIKE wearing makeup (not a lot of it), and I love jewelry. I do these things more for me than for anyone else and I like to!

    But of course, I also love pajama days, not doing my hair, and not wearing makeup too. I like to think I have a nice balance of it all…but I had a mom who was very balanced with it all too-I am lucky!

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery March 2, 2012, 12:12 pm

    Great post, Caitlin. I love manicures, pedicures, and massages as a reward as well. I used to work in a spa doing makeup and it was the best feeling to help someone feel good about themselves through it. However, I am so much more confident when I take good care of my skin and don’t feel the need to wear makeup. I’ve kind of been doing my own “naked face project” where I focus more on a good skin care routine. Beauty comes from confidence, not from makeup. I actually read an article today where Kim Kardashian said that she feels most beautiful with makeup on and all dolled up. That really hit me because while I think there’s nothing wrong with feeling beautiful when you are dressed up, what happens when you take off that mask? What are you left with? I think beauty routines should enhance confidence, not be the sole provider of it.

    I do love playing around with my hair. Coloring it, highlighting it, straightening it- it’s all fun but I’m most relaxed when I can just let my hair down in its naturally curly state and be me. I’ve also found that yoga has increased my body image tremendously. And one last note, I was at a lecture given by a sex therapist the other day who said that human beings need to be touched (not necessarily in a sexual way) at least 10 times a day. If these touch needs are not met, we can start to feel bad. These days I give myself hugs and leg massages with some jojoba oil and love my body for what it is and what it has done for me.

  • Sara March 2, 2012, 12:12 pm

    I don’t wear a lot of makeup at all, but sometimes it is fun to put that little bit on (and sometimes it’s just a chore.) I enjoy going naked faced often. I don’t wear any jewelry except my wedding rings but sometimes for an important work function I will wear earrings and I wear a lot of scarves. Anyway, that’s all. Here’s a random thought. I saw in a Victoria’s Secret ad that one of their models has freckles! Freckled girls unite! I just found that cool and I think the models look a little healthier. That’s all!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 2, 2012, 12:17 pm

    Shaving, drying my hair <- not so fun.
    Fixing my hair, dressing in a cute outfit <- FUN!!

  • Julie March 2, 2012, 12:19 pm

    You mentioned that “It’s almost like I’ve given myself a free pass to just enjoy being me – on the outside and inside – and I’ve never felt so comfortable.”

    Do you feel like you have a free pass because of the project? I guess what I’m asking is, do you think that the fact that this is a planned, structured, and purposed primping-free time in your life, you feel better about yourself (aka less negative talk)than you would if this was just regular life?

    • Audrey March 2, 2012, 12:39 pm

      ……it’s still just regular life, with or without a project.

      • Julie March 2, 2012, 2:31 pm

        It changes the purpose. I didn’t say that she’s not living her life now (seriously? what are you trying to point out?). But I’m asking if she’d feel differently if she wasn’t purposefully going without primping for a specific, publicized project.

    • Caitlin March 2, 2012, 1:02 pm


    • Caitlin March 2, 2012, 1:04 pm

      Hmmmm. This is a good question! I wrote last week that I could’ve never done this project without making it a formal project because I have benefited so much from the structure of it and the discussions with other people, and that’s still true. I also am not using the project as an ‘excuse’ to other people… Or really myself either. So I don’t think I would experience more negative talk if it wasn’t a formal project but I can’t be sure, really. I think it will be interesting to see what happens a month or two after the project concludes!

  • Laura March 2, 2012, 12:22 pm

    I agree that going to salons and getting pampered is fun. If I could go to Nordstrom everyday and have my makeup put on, I would! When I wear make up or do my hair or paint my nails now, it is for fun or because I feel like dressing up. It’s not an everyday occurance therefore I don’t think of it as a chore. I see it as a part of dressing nicely now. I put on a dress and makeup to go to a formal event. I slum it in sweats to go to the store.

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) March 2, 2012, 12:25 pm

    I do really enjoy getting a manicure, pedicure or massage. To me these things are totally relaxing and stress reducing. If I have a few extra dollars to spend I will spend it on some type of pampering before ever spending it on new shoes, clothes, etc. Drying and styling my hair is not that fun to me therefore I only wash it maybe 2x a week. 🙂 The rest of the week I put it up in a pony tail or side bun.

    It is cool to hear your thoughts on the project thus far. Really loving reading all the updates on your site as well as Molly’s.

    Have a great weekend.

  • Michelle March 2, 2012, 12:50 pm

    I don’t know if it is just me, but whenever I paint my nails, or do my hair and makeup, or wear high heels, it is for me. Not for who has to look at me. Those things make me feel pretty and girly.

    And believe me, if I could go buy a new pair of high heels or get my hair done every day….I would!

  • Irina March 2, 2012, 12:57 pm

    Interesting… I almost NEVER wear make-up (except for occasional lip gloss or tinted balm, I love the feeling of hydrated lips and hate the feeling of dry/chapped lips and mascara on very special occasions like a fancy holiday party) and now, in my late thirties, I can safely say I probably will not start wearing make up. I do not consider myself a totally “beautiful” woman outwardly, but I am not unhappy with my looks either. I do recognize that a few times in my life (hmm… 2 times exactly) when I had make up professionally applied (for a photo shoot and for a wedding of a friend… and yes, I got married makeup-free, but it is another story), EVERYONE said that i should do it more often, etc but I am just not motivated enough plus I think that my skin will age faster with all that goop I have to put on and take off. My husband never said he wished I had worn more make up, so there. Our society is truly encourages enhancing one’s natural features with make up to reach a certain standard of beauty. I have also heard comments like “you just do not care enough about your looks, you do not want to put in extra effort to look good” from other women (interestingly, never men….) but I just brush it off – I do put time and effort in eating well and exercising which, I think, make me look good. I am not all natural, granola girl, though, I do color my hair (too much grey and I am not ready to embrace middle age yet) and wear jewelry and high hills, but these are for me, not for someone else, I think.

    Another thought: I have had a lot of body image issues related to weight, although I have never been seriously overweight from the health standpoint, and only after being pregnant and having post-baby body I miraculously started seeing my new body as totally “fine”… go figure, I have the pooch and dimply arse and somehow it just does not phase me. I am happy with this new body image 🙂

    Good luck with the rest of your challenge and pregnancy! Do not do the hill clicks 🙂 too much, but kuddos that you still can!

  • Hillary March 2, 2012, 1:05 pm

    I love getting my nails done, but everything else usually feels like a chore. There are some exceptions to the rule: I love getting “dolled up” on occasion: for a fun date with my boyfriend or a wedding, etc, but on a daily basis, I sometimes just want to roll into work bare faced!

  • Allie Q March 2, 2012, 1:07 pm

    For me, getting made and dressed up is fun when I’m getting ready to go out and socialize. But doing it every day is when it becomes annoying. I used to wear a full face of make-up eeeevery day, and even though it only took about 15 minutes to put on, I was sick of it. I’m so glad that these days I mostly just stick to tinted moisturizer and a liiittle bit of concealer.

    And with negative self talk I make a conscious effort to stop myself whenever I notice I’m doing it, which isn’t too often these days. Really, I think sometimes you just have to tell your negative tendencies to STFU. I don’t know what it is, but I’m good at giving myself reality checks and realizing that I am, in fact, the shit.

  • Rebecca March 2, 2012, 1:31 pm

    I must be an exception to a rule or something…
    The one time I remember actually getting “dolled up” for something (my…freshman or sophomore year of high school), it made me really uncomfortable. A few of my friends had decided that we were going to go out to dinner in Prom dresses, and I decided I wanted to join them. The evening was pretty fun, but the getting ready was so annoying. I was with a friend, and her hairdresser mother was doing my hair and makeup, but it still made me feel really awkward. I doubt I could do it every day, let alone just for special occasions.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 2, 2012, 1:38 pm

    I really enjoy my beauty routine. I’ve sometimes found myself putting on make-up in the morning not because I think I need it (I mean this is a completely non-haughty manner, lol) but because I genuinely like putting on make-up. I like creating looks and I LOVE painting my nails.

  • ErikaMC March 2, 2012, 1:39 pm

    Do you ever look at somebody though that doesn’t have makeup on, or combed hair, or hairy legs and think that they are just being lazy? To look at them and think if they only put a little effort into their appearance that they would look so much better, more approachable, more professional, etc.? This falls into the “horrendous” judging – I want to punch myself when I think these things of others, but I do think them occasionally.

    • Caitlin March 2, 2012, 3:30 pm

      Loled at your punch yourself remark. I think, more than anything, the project has showed me that there are lots of reasons why people don’t do those things… And most of the reasons are pretty cool! So whole in the past, I mightve wondered why they were so different, now it’s like, “cool! You ARE different!”

  • becca March 2, 2012, 1:42 pm

    you’re brave, encouraging and inspiring.

    • CaitlinHTP March 3, 2012, 8:59 am

      thank you becca.

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed March 2, 2012, 1:49 pm

    I think some aspects can be fun. I like doing my eye makeup… but I hate blowdrying my hair, which is why I often wear it air dried curly. I don’t enjoy shaving my legs but I do love how they feel afterwards. I love getting a mani/pedi but I don’t particularly enjoy giving myself one. I also love jewelry and feel naked when I leave the house without any on! I have so much and I love matching it with my outfit.

  • Kimberly (Sketch the Ebb and Flow) March 2, 2012, 1:49 pm

    Caitlin, your entire project has really helped me think about what my true motivations are for “getting dolled up” but I especially enjoyed reading this post. I think there is a lot of pressure from both sides. Pressure to look more “put together” if you don’t style your hair to perfection or wear flawless makeup AND pressure to be less “high-maintenance” and more comfortable in your own skin. Though I know there are a few issues I need to work on to feel comfortable and beautiful in my own skin, I also know that I enjoy putting on makeup and the ritual makes me feel prepared, and confident to take on the day. Ultimately, I think being comfortable in your own skin is being able to ignore the pressure from both sides and follow your own motivation.

  • Kim L. March 2, 2012, 2:02 pm

    I love getting pedicures- it makes me feel relaxed and totally pampered. And everyone deserves to feel that way now and again. I still struggle with negative self-talk and I am 44 years old… I thought I would be well past this phase, but old habits die hard I guess. I am a work in progress : )

  • Catalina @ Cake with Love March 2, 2012, 2:11 pm

    I like all the beauty routines maybe because I dont do them daily,I don’t wear make up at work at all, I wear make up only during the weekend, because I am a firm believer that our skin needs to breath and it is more healthy to go make up free a few days a week, I primp probably 2 to 3 times a week, and I shave my legs 3 times a week, in only take 5 minutes! Now I got a good deal on groupon for laser hair removal and I am very happy! I don’t wear nail polish often just because I have a job in Finance that takes sometimes all of my time, and I just don’t have the time to apply it every other day! On jewerly and high heels? I love this stuff, I love nice evening dresses with beautiful pumps and nice jewerly, I think it is fun and it is nice!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie March 2, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Over the years I have pretty much cut down my beauty regime to the fun stuff.

    However, even from years ago when I first started using make up, wearing high heels and doing my hair I enjoyed it all. I found it very fun to play with colors, play with styles, learn to play up my eyes or my lips.

    Part of my regime was stemmed in a deep rooted insecurity (bad skin) but even covering that had a certain satisfaction for me.

    Now that I do less my confidence certainly is even higher and I REALLY love natural parts of my beauty like my hair color and don’t feel like changing that anymore. I never appreciated my natural hair color before. Now I consider it to be a part of who I am.

  • Amber K March 2, 2012, 2:39 pm

    I’ve always enjoyed putting on makeup and general primping. The only thing I find to be a chore is shaving, but I truly enjoy smooth legs so to me it’s totally worth it.

  • Jen March 2, 2012, 2:45 pm

    About the time that the Naked Face Project started I began my own sort of naked face project. My project was influenced by a hectic schedule that involves driving 1 and a half – 2 hours commuting between Boston and where I live in central MA. Some days I will do just about anything to squeeze in a few more minutes of sleep.

    So, I inadvertently stopped wearing makeup. I also began routinely taking showers at night and sleeping on my hair all night. The first few days I did feel, well, naked, not wearing my makeup. But then something changed. I looked in the mirror and thought, wow, this is what I really look like. And I liked it.

    Also, the acne that I have been battling since I was a pre-teen has drastically reduced since I stopped wearing makeup.

    As I’ve gone through my own accidental naked face journey, I have really appreciate reading your thoughts and have related to many of them!

  • zoe (and the beatles) March 2, 2012, 3:02 pm

    i also found confidence when i stopped masking myself and wore, simply, me. wonderful to hear how the project is shifting your perspective of yourself and of “beauty” in general.

  • Chelsea March 2, 2012, 3:10 pm

    I actually looove doing make up :)! I find it so much fun to do different looks and what not. I’m not much of a main/pedi girl just because I hate my feet feeling so soft (doesn’t help with running).

    • liz March 4, 2012, 11:25 am

      Agreed on the point about too-soft feet! I also run and hike a lot, and I need to have tough feet to prevent blisters.

  • stephs March 2, 2012, 3:36 pm

    Im not a girly gorl in any respect but I need my earrings in!

  • Wendi @ A Southern Yogi March 2, 2012, 3:38 pm

    I struggle with negative talk and it’s sneaky, like I don’t even know i’m doing it at all. Sometimes, it’s not even a direct thing I say to myself, but a general sense that I’m not doing it right, or I’m not good enough.

    I appreciate that you’re talking about that here!!

  • Kristina March 2, 2012, 4:31 pm

    I must admit that I don’t really think of jewelry as a ‘beauty’ item, largely because I don’t see that the jewelry I wear ‘enhances’ my so-called looks. Most of it is of sentimental value and it’s not overly feminine. I don’t have an engagement ring, just a simple band, but I definitely like my earrings and don’t see them as part of any beauty ritual.

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 2, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Most beauty habits I wouldn’t say that I enjoy doing but I DO enjoy putting on a nice outfit and I really do like putting on makeup!

  • Ashley March 2, 2012, 6:49 pm

    I’ve never really been that into makeup (and didn’t start wearing it until college, where my roommate had to teach me what types of makeup work for my skin and how to apply it) but love wearing simple jewelry.

    A friend and I started reducing our makeup use a couple weeks ago after discussing all the chemicals involved and it’s been 4.5 weeks since I’ve worn any makeup (okay, I’ve worn mascara twice – but NO foundation/coverup!). My skin feels healthier and my morning routine takes way less time. Plus, it saves money! It’s made me much more honest with and true myself, and I find that I engage in LESS negative self-talk. It especially feels good when you mention to others that you don’t wear makeup, and they respond with, “You don’t even need it! You’re beautiful!”

    I love your Naked Face Project! Enjoy the rest of it 🙂

    • liz March 4, 2012, 11:28 am

      I also threw out all of my chemical-laden products (cleansing, moisturizing, and makeup) — my skin is much clearer and less irritated, and healthier I think.

  • Kelly March 2, 2012, 7:16 pm

    I am really impressed by everything you learning about yourself via this project. I was one of the skeptical ones when you announced this and honestly thought it sounded gimmicky and kinda dumb. But you have really shown me that you this project was a lot more than I ever gave it credit for. I now look forward to the weekly updates and how much you are learning about yourself!

    • CaitlinHTP March 3, 2012, 8:58 am

      Glad you gave me another shot!!!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) March 2, 2012, 7:26 pm

    I have fun engaging in most beauty routines 🙂

  • Jacalyn March 2, 2012, 7:28 pm

    I HATE drying my hair. I will only do it once a week and it has to be a clinic day for me to do it. I have two clinic days a week, so I just pick the day and suck it up and dry my hair. I dont “like” putting on make-up. I only feel the need to wear mascara because my eyelashes are blonde and I like them to be dark. I really only wear eye makeup because of this reason. On weekends, I never put on make-up unless me and the hubs go out to dinner. I hate the way hair legs and armpits feel, so I can’t not shave. I do enjoy a pedicure because of the social aspect, but I dont think I’ve had once since the fall.

  • Sarah March 2, 2012, 7:57 pm

    Honestly, I really enjoy getting ready– it’s a soothing process to me. I’ve learned to get some really good thinking done in the shower, and when I get to dry or style my hair? Well, that’s a special treat. Having a baby completely changed the way I think about beauty routines. What used to be drudgery (shaving legs, etc.) is now a real treat!

  • stefanie March 2, 2012, 9:01 pm

    Caitlin, I’ve been loving your Naked Face posts!

    I can really relate to the “free pass” feeling that comes with letting go of the often automatic rituals of prepping oneself for the day. Sometimes I spend too much time popping pimples in front of the mirror (who doesn’t) but other than that I don’t feel so stressed about my looks. I have a “free pass” to be more in tune with my body, to engage in more nourishing rituals that make me feel strong and beautiful from the inside. In a way it’s like coloring outside the lines, where expression and creativity are valued over perfection. I think of the many ways in which we, both as a society and as individuals who internalize society’s standards, reinforce these ideals every day. I remember my boyfriend’s daughter was 3 years old when she decided she needed a pocket mirror at PRE-SCHOOL to check her teeth for food after snack time, because all the other little girls were doing it. Really? That really hit home for me. When do we start engaging in rituals that so deeply shape our self-concepts and thought patterns? We could be exploring so much more instead of taking on all these extra insecurities and buying into our own “shortcomings”.

    And, I totally hear you on the judgement piece. I have a lot of friends who do not wear makeup or shave, but will immediately decide that a woman who CHOOSES to is living life on her knees. BS. Rather than exploring the intention behind what we do, we tend to polarize lifestyles and choices into good vs bad and any deviation from the “right way” is a step towards self-oppression. Rather than challenging collective ideas and validating individual desires, we are divided and judgmental.

    Here’s a crazy thought: My name is Stefanie and I effin love my body. It is beautiful, one of a kind. A temple. Makes me glow inside and out because I take care of it and listen closely to what it has to say. I adorn my temple with earrings, toe rings, rings. I let my skin and hair breathe. I nourish my body with good food and strengthen it on the daily so I can set crazy goals and actually accomplish them. Redundant on a healthy living blog I know, but it took me years to accept that.

    Have you ever watched Jean Kilbourne’s Killing Us Softly documentary?

    • CaitlinHTP March 3, 2012, 8:57 am

      YES Jean is the BOMB. I met her once and nearly died of a girl crush.

      Love this comment.

      • stefanie March 3, 2012, 2:24 pm

        OMG, she came to Olympia once and I nearly died. Total girl crush, indeed.

  • Jen March 2, 2012, 10:12 pm

    I can definitely understand the liberation even though it seems like it would be the opposite. I think it’s really similar to social media. So many of us are tied – and yes, addicted, even though we don’t think we are – to social media (the internet, blogs, cellphones, iphones, twitter, facebook). Just think about how much time you spend on it (not to mention TV, etc.).

    That’s now healthy either. And getting away from it can really decrease the amount of negative self-talk, judgements, anxiety and stress you feel. (because yeah, it does generate a lot of those feelings by constantly being engaged/doing something, feeling out of the loop, comparing oneself, etc.). Once you get away from it, you really have the opportunity to discover YOU, who you are, what things you like to do (time to read more, go out with friends, sew, knit, write, paint, play music, talk – anything!). It’s truly, truly liberating and amazing.

    • liz March 4, 2012, 11:38 am

      Jen – I agree with this. I noticed that when I drastically cut back on tv and magazines, I was using blogs as a replacement — to fill that gap, and it wasn’t doing me a lot of good. So now I have cut back on social media (blogs and facebook) to focus on myself – my own life and interests and relationships. Trying to limit to weekend checks only. It is a kind of addiction, if we let it.

  • marian @ MarianWrites March 2, 2012, 11:16 pm

    regarding negative self talk: since I’ve been traveling, I’ve become more comfortable in my skin. This may just be from learning more about myself and feeling like a competent traveler, but I have been going without makeup (except for a bit of mascara a few times when we want to dress up for dinner) and primping much less. I rarely shave my legs or armpits and I just don’t really care. It feels very comfortable and natural, and gets so much out of the way so I can just live my life as ME, you know? thank you so much for these updates. I love reading them and I appreciate your honesty! xo

  • Erin Margaret March 2, 2012, 11:36 pm

    Totally not the same thing, but I’ve not worn makeup the last two days just because I wanted to give my skin a break. It was weird and I probably looked a little more tired at work but ultimately it was fine and I could just focus on what I was doing, not picking at myself. Like you said, gave myself a free pass!

    I definitely do (most of) my beauty habits because I enjoy them and they are fun! And the mundane tasks like body wash are always a nice treat when you splurge a little on something that’s higher quality 🙂

  • Jen March 3, 2012, 3:13 am

    Beautiful post, Caitlin – I love your honesty! And, although I am not actually participating, this project really has made me think…and even reduce the amount of primping at times, thinking “I’m fine as I am…REALLY!” 🙂

  • Just me March 3, 2012, 5:00 am

    It’s almost like I’ve given myself a free pass to just enjoy being me – on the outside and inside – and I’ve never felt so comfortable.
    Exactly! You spelt this out so perfectly. It’s so liberating!

    On the first topic you wrote about – I think it’s fine to enjoy some of these habits in this way, like as a social thing with friends or as a reward or yeah, just because it can be fun to get all dressed up now & then, but I think it’s important that if you’ve found it true for some things, you make sure your answer to any girls asking it in future is still honest. Not that you just say “Because it’s fun” if in fact you still don’t enjoy putting make-up on every day, etc. Because if it’s true that some of it’s fun, that’s totally fine, but if you only think some parts are but not all, it’s not okay to give them the message that it’s all for fun, if there are other reasons (societal pressures) behind the rest of it.

    Hope that makes sense!

  • Anna March 3, 2012, 7:26 am

    I do love a good mani-pedi 🙂

    I’ve definitely realized I have negative self-talk far too often. I need to work on that! It’s reading blogs like this that encourage me to embrace my own beauty!

  • JenATX March 3, 2012, 11:17 pm

    awesome post. I am so glad you have learned so much about being nice to yourself and valuing people for what is important 🙂 I think a lot of people could learn from that message… including me!

  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf March 4, 2012, 1:13 am

    I went almost a full week sans makeup a few weeks ago. I was trying to see how many consecutive days I could go without, since I’d never gone more than a few days without since I started wearing it in middle school. I gotta say, I did enjoy having more time in the morning and how “clean” my skin felt, but what broke my string of consecutive days was the simple fact that I was missing the creative act of putting on makeup. I saw pictures of cute eye makeup looks on Pinterest and honestly missed it from an “artist’s yearn to create” point of view. Some days I see my clean naked skin and feel like it honestly needs nothing at all, and there is so much beauty in its nudity. Other days I see my clean skin as a blank canvas!

  • Cathy Smith January 28, 2015, 6:13 pm

    Thanks so much for the article! I think it’s awesome that you went makeup free for so long. I wish I had the self confidence to do that! But like you said, sometimes it’s just fun to primp a little bit! In fact, I wouldn’t say just sometimes; it’s always fun! I especially like pedicures. Like you and your friends from college, I love heading giving myself a nice foot bath at home after a long, hard day. http://www.wholesalesalonequipment.com/spa-body/pedicure-spas.html

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