For several years, I rarely—if ever—left the house makeup-free. If I did, it would be to take out the trash or maybe go on a hike early enough in the morning that not many people would see me sans makeup. Forget about going to class bare-faced. I didn’t care how late I was going to be if I still needed to put makeup on. I was always the girl swiping mascara on in the car and going to the girl’s bathroom for touch-ups when I didn’t have enough time to get 100% ready in the morning.
I’d like to say I feel more comfortable going makeup-free in public now, but it really just depends on the circumstances. I feel comfortable enough walking around my dorm building and the dining hall with nothing but chapstick on, but I usually prefer being more made-up when I venture around the rest of campus.
My personal style of makeup is quite heavy (setting spray is my little secret to keep it from looking cakey!). I would never go to a party without a full face of makeup on, and there are some days that I don’t want to go to class without a beat face either. If you read my previous article, you know I find confidence in rocking a bold red lip. That same confidence can also be drawn from a high-coverage foundation and a super defined brow. I wish I felt more confident without makeup on, but I also know it’s not just about confidence—it’s the fact that even with makeup and fashion, too, I prefer to almost always be all dolled up.
Separating whether I like wearing makeup for aesthetic or self-esteem purposes is still a complicated issue for me, but now I’m seeing that it’s mostly for the aesthetic. I’ve always admired women who wear heavy makeup and nice outfits every day without fail, and if I can attempt that even a little bit for my 8 a.m. history class, I will. Below, I asked some of my friends their feelings about going barefaced in a variety of circumstances.
Élsa is all about the first impression, which I can totally relate to. “Normally whenever I meet someone for the first time I hate when I’m not beat because it’s like ‘No, no, I promise I can do better.’”
McKinley says, “I would feel pretty comfortable being makeup-free at the gym, but not in class. I also feel like I walk around the dorm a bunch makeup-free but I don’t think I would ever be makeup free going out. There’s a lot of pressure to look good around a bunch of people and to make a good [impression] and sadly, that implies looking good with makeup on.”
Victoria says she usually wears at least a bit of makeup. “Like on a light day, I’ll just do mascara or foundation depending on my confidence that day,” she says. “It’s not about me being comfortable either. It’s more internal for me. Like if I’m having a bad day, I might put on a lot to try to boost myself up.”
When do you feel comfortable going bare-faced and why? Let us know in the comments below!
by Ariel Wodarcyk