The Bare-Face Experiment

I recently came back from a little holiday; five days in lovely Majorca, the sunny island that seems to have been created exclusively for such delightful chill out times, cocktail mixing and sun worshipping. I had the best time; drinking every night, playing cards with my dad & grandad, eating buffet breakfasts reading by the pool…and not wearing make up. AT ALL.

I am a huge lover of make up. Not in the same way as some more dedicated people, however, in that I don’t know how to contour or highlight or do that smoky eye thing. I just smack on some basics each day. Primer, concealer, foundation powder, blusher, eyebrow dust, mascara – and sometimes if I’m feeling brave I’ll add some extra eyeliner on the top lid. Then a thick coat of lipstick, always. I know listing it like that makes it seem like a lot, but honestly it takes me six minutes each morning before I rush out for my usual train.

Yes, I love make up. I rely on it. I dedicate time to it. I buy it with my own hard-earned money. And y’know what? I reckon I could count on one hand the people in my life who have seen me without make up (not including my immediate family as obviously most of them have been seeing me without make up since I was born).

Why is that, I wonder?

Because I am a shell of myself without it. I have barely any confidence and significantly less self-love vibes raging within me. Yeah, that’s right. That’s why I spend £50 on my foundation and primer (Bare Minerals FYI – OMG check it and thank me later) and order ridiculous plastic contraptions that house 20+ lipsticks online for £12. Yet when I was away for a few days I swore I’d go bare-faced the entire time, and I did. Partly to tan a little more (which I didn’t really, save my sunburnt shins) but mostly to save effort and be more relaxed. It was an experiment. And let me tell you…it worked.

I may have only saved six minutes each day, but whoa it was so much more than that! I absolutely loved rolling out of bed in the morning and simply showering, washing my face, getting dressed and going to breakfast. I loved getting back to my room in the evenings and only having to tie my hair back, brush my teeth and casually clean my face, rather than doing an intense process of micellar water on cotton pad over the eyes, exfoliator over the cheeks then tea tree gel rubbed on for overnight. Okay yeah, I still did that latter thing, I couldn’t not, but that took a second at most.

The only time I cheated on my make up ban was to slick some lippy on one evening for an outing to the bar down the road, as I needed to feel like I was going out and not just lazing around the hotel as per.

I may add in that I only washed my hair once whilst there for five days, and that was only because it was standing on end utterly stinking of chlorine after a few hours in the hotel pool…washing hair is so much effort, seriously. I dread doing it every week. Dry shampoo saves me on a daily basis at home. Didn’t take any of that on holiday, mind you!

An extra nice little perk of all this: now that I’m home I appreciate my make up SO MUCH MORE. I am happy to slap it on every morning and take it off every evening. It’s a novelty again! Let’s hope that lasts until mid-week when I’m running late for work…

Ladies & gentlemen, if you are in need of a change and a turning down of stress just for a little while, go bare-faced and product-less. Take one day off, at least, and don’t get dressed. Don’t make that effort unless you genuinely really want to. Give yourself a break, however that break may take shape! For me, it was going without make up for five days and it did the trick. Oh, also being on an island with 30 degree heat every day, armed with books and sunglasses and endless food and gin, helped… a little.

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  • Rene

    I’ve recently started going barefaced a few times a week. It’s helped my skin tremendously, especially during times of stress. Thanks so much for writin this piece!

    • Grace.

      I love this! Sweetest response, thank you. I really find it did help my skin, too. xo