So here’s a thing.
Up until two days ago, I wore foundation or concealer (or some combination of both products) every single day (give or take a glitch or two in the algorithm that is my life) for the past fourteen years.
That is over 5000 days of wearing makeup; makeup that covers up and paints over my natural skin tone, my freckles, my pimples – everything that makes my face, my face.
I wore this makeup on runs, to the beach, to work, to work out, to school dances, to graduations, to family dinners, to the grocery store, to job interviews – I wore it everywhere.
And two days ago, I stopped.
I thought – enough is enough.
I am twenty-eight years old.
This is very representative of how I operate in life. I won’t do something until I have completely made up my mind.
However, once the decision has been made, I will never renege, and I will never look back.
I first started wearing “pressed powder” when I was thirteen years old. I had just started grade eight, and I was very self-conscious of the patch of acne that had sprouted atop on my forehead over the past year.
I wanted to make a good impression, so what better way to do this that spackle six dollar Cover Girl all over my skin?
(The answer: be really, really funny.)
Grade nine brought even worse skin, so I graduated from just the powder, to bottle foundation (that I supplemented with the powder.)
Looking back at photos of myself from that time, I can only laugh. I wore so much of this product that I looked practically a ghost – pale as anything, with super dark red lips, and thick black eyeliner.
I was pretty much a dead ringer for one of the Twilight kids, only ten years too early.
Over the years, my use of foundations and concealers has waxed and waned.
I wrote previously on how this tied directly to my eating disorders – in times of health I used less because my skin was much clearer, and in times of sickness I used much more.
But even at my happiest I always used it.
But two days ago I was out at the park, running myself ragged, doing my favourite combination of sprints, push-ups, pull-ups, squats (and all their ilk) and I just felt so incredibly strong- so alive and powerful.
So much so that when I arrived home and showered, I stood in the bathroom and just stared at myself for a long, long time.
For many years, I would do this same thing, but in a highly critical sense. I would scrutinize everything about my body – my skin, my hair, my teeth.
I would pick myself apart, and leave the pieces scattered, broken on the floor.
But this time, however, I marvelled.
At the strength of my muscles, and the glow of my skin; the length of my hair, and pulse of my heartbeat.
And I thought – I will face the world as I am.
Which is not to say that I won’t wear any other makeup ever again.
I love playing dress up too much for that.
But I won’t wear any more skin cover up products.
I’ve got a strong enough foundation as it is.
40 thoughts on “The naked truth”
Vanessa, this post is absolutely amazing. I was just thinking about the fact that women wear makeup and men do their own ‘beauty rituals’ as well. To what purpose? I feel like it has been established that to wear makeup or whatever is what we are told is beauty in our society. But at the end of the day we are all who we are, which is much more than just our outward appearance. I think it is amazing that you are doing it. You are beautiful just the way you are as are all of us!
Kloipy sir, thank you so much for this lovely message. To what purpose, indeed! We need more men just like you. :)
Women are more beautiful than men to begin with (most of the time, right?) and most men don’t bother with any sort of make-up… SooooOOOoooo: you’re on the ball. I just wish more people would figure it out, and at an earlier age (from the beginning’s never going to happen) too…
Keep doing what you’re doing. :)
Better late on the ball, than never!
And thank you – I will continue on in style! x
Aaaaaaamen girl!!! Your blog is giving life to those that read it, I promise you.
You’re such a beautiful woman and I love love love this post!
You all bring life to me! Thank you, always! x
I like that “strong foundation”. You’re beautiful. Don’t cover it up.
Thank you Princess Rosebud! It takes one to know one. :)
You inspire me so much, Lady! I love this!! You really are a strong, beautiful, and powerful woman and I love that you’re letting it shine. So proud of you, happy for you, and cheering you on! It’s so easy to cover up, to hide who we really are – and it seems practically encouraged by our culture. So as you take a stand to be genuine in every way it inspires so many around you. Thanks for sharing this post. All my love to you, Dearest!
So easy to hide; too easy to hide!
Thank you so much for your always fabulous support, and kind, kind words. They mean more to me than you know! x
Cha-ching! You hit the jackpot with that point of view right there! I’m glad you realize how beautiful you are with or without makeup. I rarely wear makeup but it’s more out of laziness than self-confidence. I also own the fact that if people don’t like me without makeup on they probably won’t like me with it on either. No use trying to win a beauty pageant when I have more important things to spend my time on!
It’s been a hard road to get here, but I did finally manage to come to this realization! And you are so, so right. There are so many other important, beautiful, and magical things to focus on!
Get it, girl. Your transparency, philosophically speaking, is inspiring :)
Thanks Ms. Laura Beth. You are a never ending source of inspiration for me!
This is hands down my favourite post you’ve ever written, Vanessa. Good for you for being so raw, honest, and vulnerable. The world needs more of this. <3
Thank you so much! Gah, your note leaves me humbled! x
About a month ago, I stopped drying my hair… Because I wanted to cut my electric bill, I'm so cheap… but in 29 years, I had never once not dried my hair with a blow dryer, except on the very rare occasion that I went to the beach. Never. It's such a thrill to see my natural curly ends.
Your skin is lovely and glowy :)
That’s awesome!! Good on ya misses, I bet your curly ends look amazing! :)
And thank you! x
You look amazing! My mom was pretty strict about us not wearing makeup, so I never got into it. I was in an Ulta today looking for some essential oils (store options were sadly limited), and I was so grateful for a mom who saved me from the time, effort, and money it takes to do the hair and makeup thing. And I’m so lazy!
It certainly can be time consuming – but mostly just emotionally draining. Focusing on that stuff if tiring!
Glad to be rid of it! :)
hey. i love you. i know i am among, if not multitoods, the two or three or several dozen, okay? and i never knew. interesting thing for you to share. perhaps one day i’ll discuss my “thing” about shovels. oh, never mind.
back, to … whoever “follows” you for any length of time has an … idea. a feeling. an affinity. an association. a glimpse. and you continue to REVEAL, lay bare the soul, in short, what we’ve come to expect. you are (more or less) pretty much the same IDENTITY, person, and dare i say –> “expectation” in that you exceed expectations, expand them. i feel like i could continue with this, but
Well, this note is something else! Thank you. :)
Love you very much and so proud of you confident, beautiful and brilliant sistah.
Love you too sister cat! x
Amazing. And yes. You ARE gorgeous.
Thank you, thank you!
You Go Girl!!! I have not worn makeup since I was in my mid-20s and do wear a little when I get dressed and dolled up. The key for me with good facial skin is drinking lots of water, making healthier food choices, cleansing, mositurizing and SUNSCREEN! Happy Thursday:)
Thanks Ms. Renee! A little here and there is totally fun, but your keys are spot on. Drinking enough water is something I always have to work on! Happy Friday! x
Yes! You are beautiful just the way you are!
Thank you so much! x
You have a beautiful face and like you said…”Will never look back” . I was never allowed to wear makeup. (My Mom tolerated my ‘goth phase’ which consisted of black lipstick) I remember trying a friends ‘powder’ and over the years I’ve worn mineral powders to ‘special events’ like weddings and some ball. ( I’m more Zena less Cinderella) I HATED the way my skin felt. I felt like my face was choking and couldn’t get the stuff off fast enough. mascara made my eyes burn, powders felt thick. The only time I wear makeup now is for Halloween and that takes day of skin recovery. LOL what we will do for our obsession.
“More Zena, less Cinderalla” <- LOVE IT!
Thank you so much for this rocking note. You are absolutely fabulous! x
“I marvelled. At the strength of my muscles, and the glow of my skin; the length of my hair, and pulse of my heartbeat. And I thought – I will face the world as I am.”
ABSOLUTELY LOVE your awakening and embracing the perfect person you are. As you were filled to the brim with love from your recent wedding trip, giving love freely, love returned to you tenfold. It is the magic of this world we live in! May you continue to give love and gratitude each and every day of your life. Blessings to you!
Ms. Bella, this note makes my little heart dance! Thank you so much for your wonderful words. :) It really has been a fab time of late – lots of adventures and change – what keeps life special!
I started using pressed powder about the same age you did. It’s comical when I think of those days. when I feel like being fresh and athletic looking I don’t wear it or around the house. However I like to experiment with it and keep up with the beauty bloggers.
There is of course nothing wrong with wearing makeup! A little or a lot, every day or sparingly. I just needed to work out the reason why I wear/wore makeup. Everyday at that!
I think experimenting is the most fun thing about makeup :)
This post is a shining example of you at your most awesomenest. I’m inspired and moved. Brilliant stuff. Thanks for this.
Mr. Ad-libb3d!! You’re back! How did I miss this?
And thank you. :) Your words are so much appreciated!