My week without make-up
The Tab’s Cristina Criddle bares all for a week, attempting to give up make-up for seven days
I love make-up. It’s a life-saver, covering up everything you dislike about your face.
I wasn’t sure whether I did this out of personal choice, or out of fear of people’s reactions… so I decided to say no to the slap for a week to see if it was as scary as I’d imagined.
I woke up with the serial panda eyes.The make-up removal was more thorough than usual, aiming to remove any scraps of mascara (usually I just try and rock the smudges from the night before).
I looked at my daily supply, adding up the seven years with replacements around every six months, that’s around £1960 – quite a killing.
Late for an appointment at the opticians, already looking worse for wear, I attempted to pick out some glasses. I already look like a dork in specs so, without my usual face camouflage, it was awful. I didn’t feel that different and picking up snacks at Asda was easy – I fitted right in.
Preparing for the week ahead I pampered. Face-mask, exfoliant and plucking, in an attempt to fill the time application would usually take.
With my face feeling like a baby’s bottom, I felt confident and headed to the corner-shop. This happiness was fleeting as I was confronted by the cashier:
“Did you just get out of bed, love? You look like shit.”
I reeled back in horror… this man was used to seeing me made-up, but it was also 3pm and I had even brushed my hair. I walked home grumpily thinking he could do with a bit of concealer to cover up his bags.
After the corner-shop hit I was unwilling to leave the house. My housemates said I looked pale and ill, and they were being nice. Instead, I wallowed in bed all day – one of the only circumstances it is deemed acceptable to be bare-faced (that, and sport, but I rarely stretch myself that far).
Getting up for my 9am was harder than usual as I couldn’t hide signs of tiredness. My mirror revealed a recent outbreak of spots, patchy skin and bags… it was enough to make me consider buying anti-ageing cream. Evidently, my skincare efforts were futile.
I went for lunch with a friend and all I could think about was how much makeup she was wearing, how I wished I could somehow rub my face against hers and add some colour to mine. This was beginning to get creepy…
I decided to man-up, following some tenuous flattery from a friend claiming they “genuinely couldn’t tell the difference”. I was beginning to realise people were indifferent towards my face.
Even worse than not caring was not recognising. A friend had a two minute conversation with my housemate before doing a double-take to my ghastly self.
“Shit, I didn’t even realise it was you! Are you alright?” He had become so accustomed to my mask he’d thought it was my real face.
In a final attempt to embrace my near invisible look, I indulged in all the unattractive habits you keep in check. I bit my nails, spoke loudly in the library, and embarked on a takeaway binge – including dessert. My friend remarked I looked “young and vacant”. Yes, I had been reduced to infancy and loved every moment.
Going out was my biggest fear. Med usually calls for heels and a lot of slap. Instead I got dressed and sat watching my friends getting ready, traipsing from room to room.
However, after passing the hefty obstacle of sobriety, I began to forget about my lack of make-up. Unfortunately, this doesn’t correspond with sexual harassment… my arse was still grabbed multiple times and the med-men still didn’t realise no really meant NO.
Wierdly, other girls seemed to find me more approachable, rather than catty looks, I got smiles. Is wearing make-up intimidating, or was I just imagining my new-found amicability?
The final day of makeuplessness mayhem had arrived. I was glad of the absence of sticky black remnants from the night before. My skin felt great but I was ecstatic at the prospect of longer lashes, and un-patchy skin. I almost caved with date-night, but decided to resist the urge to cover up, finally taking numerous teachers’ advice that “no man likes a dolled-up hussy”. I felt more naked than if I had just worn nipple tassels.
Overall, I am glad to don the make-up again but the thought of going au-naturelle was more daunting than actually doing it. Generally I found nobody cared whether or not I wore make-up – only I do.
The only issues were trivial issues and if you hate wearing makeup (but had just been worrying about what everyone else would think) ditch it – you’ll have nicer skin, more money and MUCH more time.
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