I haven’t worn makeup in a couple of months.
I stopped wearing it because to wear makeup, you have to have time, energy and a little bit of skill to apply it so that you don’t look like Ronald McDonald (see: my college days) or Casper the Friendly Ghost.
When you have more pressing things in life to worry about, you abruptly stop caring about the everyday things that were a part of your routine. Flossing isn’t one of those things but putting on eyeliner is one of those things.
I’ve worn makeup since I was 11. My mom bought me Shiseido coverup power after I begged her. I started getting acne and I was embarrassed by my oily, red, and bumpy skin.
I’ve had pimples the size of lint and pimples the size of gum balls, the kind you get when you put a quarter in one of those spiral machines and watch as it falls all the way down into your hand.
My boyfriend loves those gum balls.
Whenever we’re in a store with one of those machines, he digs into his pockets, his wallet, his coat for a quarter and chews on the gum ball until the gum loses its flavor (which is practically instant).
He noticed I wasn’t wearing makeup anymore, weeks after I gave up wearing makeup.
For him to notice the lack of goo on my eyelashes and highlighter on my cheeks, meant that it was becoming obvious I had given up hiding my acne scars, my eye-bags, and the natural color of my lips, which for years I hid with the brightest magenta lipstick I could buy.
This time, last year, I went to get my hair highlighted and I left the salon with gray hair instead of blonde hair.
My boyfriend didn’t notice.
When I told him I hated my hair – he said it looked great, which I know wasn’t a lie because we had only been dating then for a month and that’s usually the time when you don’t lie because you don’t have anything to lose.
But the other day, he said to me, “Rockin’ the no makeup look?” And he said it to me as if it was a new style he read about on ESPN.com or something the other girls he knew were doing and it was OK. It was normal. It was cool.
“Yeah, umm, I decided to be done with makeup,” I replied.
“I noticed,” he said. “That’s cool.”
Before I could defend myself further, he made me understand there was no need to because all of a sudden, we were talking about what we were going to get for lunch.
I guess I realized I used to wear makeup to fool other people. To say to them, “HEY! I HAVE PRETTY PERFECT SKIN – BUT PLEASE DON’T GET MY FACE WET.” I won’t melt – but you will see some pretty gnarly acne scars.
I guess I realized I used to wear makeup to fool myself. To say, “Jen, the things about yourself, on your face, you don’t like, are hidden today. Go out and take on the world!”
I guess I’ll wear makeup again soon. Because some days I just want to and other days, I feel OK with who I am and what is on my face.
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Also, let’s be Monday morning pen pals!