Two things that I wasn't allowed to do much of during my adolescence was wearing black or wearing make-up. While my religious upbringing may have played a role to a certain extent (I grew up Seventh-Day Adventist although I consider myself to be a disciple now), something that my mother used to say about black is, "you've got forever to wear something so dark" and, as far as make-up went, "one day, you're gonna thank me when you age better than a lot of your friends who have all of that stuff on their face."
Now that I'm in my 40s, while I definitely own some black clothing, it's rare that you will ever see me in it, even at funerals because my brain is wired to wear a more "joyful" hue. And as far as make-up goes, while back in the 20s I rebelled, all it really did was cause my skin to break out more. So, once my 30s rolled around, I focused more on skincare. Since then, waterproof mascara and lip color are my mainstays yet it's rare that you'll see me with a full face on. And yes, my mother was right — I get complimented on looking younger than my age all of the time.
That's why, while I definitely think that a "beat face" is an art form and there is certainly nothing wrong with going "all in" when it comes to cosmetics, I also think that balance is important and that there are some really good reasons to consider going without make-up on your face, at least once a week. And while there is actually a myriad of them, I'm gonna share eight solid ones today.
1. It’ll Save You a Ton of Time
It's not until my hair is in a protective style that I realize how much time I save not having to style my hair on a daily basis. Again, while it's been a hot minute since I've had concealer, foundation, eyeshadow, blush, etc. on, when I sit and think about how long it would take me to "do it right" when it came to applying make-up back in the day, lawd, it had to be at least 30-45 minutes. Now that I think about it, oftentimes "putting my face on" is what caused me to be late to certain things. So yeah, when I think about a top reason why going without make-up can sometimes be a really good idea, the amount of time — time that you will never get back — that you will save is definitely a top one.
2. It Can Save You a Boatload of Money Too
I'm thinking that it's no surprise that the beauty industry is a billion-dollar one and we as Black women are a huge part of that. Yet when you break it down into how much each of us spends, guess how much reports say that is? A whopping $15,000 in our lifetime which basically boils down to being somewhere around $40 a month. Y'all, that is a freakin' car!
So, if money is currently tight and you're looking for a way to keep a few coins in your pocket, going make-up-free sometimes could end up being the money-saving hack that you didn't know you were missing.
3. Your Skin’s Texture Will Improve
Is your skin's texture a bit on the rougher side? If so, make-up could be the culprit (especially if you make a habit of sleeping with it on). Although we're literally shedding 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells every minute of the day (pretty crazy, right?) when we've got make-up all over our face, that makes it hard for those cells to leave which results in clogged pores and a rough texture. Once I personally started focusing on improving the health of my skin instead of covering up my "flaws", my own skin's texture started to become baby smooth. These days, I will put rosemary oil on my face in the day and sweet almond oil on it at night, and whew — the glow and softness are truly unmatched. Straight up.
4. Your Pores Can Breathe
Something that I have is larger pores (check out "10 All-Natural Ways To Make Your Pores Appear Smaller"). It's a huge part of the reason why, even in my 40s, I still get pimples from time to time (especially around my period…which yes, still comes, right on schedule, chile). And while I am well aware of the fact that things like foundation can help to protect my schedule from the outer elements, I also know that it can do a real number when it comes to clogging up pores which can lead to breakouts. That's why, when you do wear foundation, it's best to avoid one that is oil-based. And in general, you really should give your pores a break sometimes by going without putting anything on them, so that you can do things like exfoliating and steaming your face which will give your pores can get a break and deep cleanse them so that your complexion can become/remain nice and smooth.
5. It’s an Anti-Aging Hack
Tell me something — when's the last time you actually read the label on your favorite cosmetic brands. If you never have before, I recommend that you do because a lot of these companies use all kinds of chemicals that may produce pretty hues and temporary visual effects but long-term…uh-uh. If they're not irritating your skin, they can dry it out which can result in fine lines and wrinkles over time which can cause you to look older than you actually are — if not immediately, eventually.
This is another reason why going without make-up sometimes is a smart thing to do. If you want your Black to not crack, you need to be intentional about moisturizing and pampering it. Yes, we've got melanin on our side, but constant make-up use can do some real damage to us, just like everyone else if we're not careful.
6. It Can Do Wonders for Your Self-Confidence
Something else that my mother used to say often is, "Make-up shouldn't change; it should enhance." Do I like my eyes more with a couple of coats of mascara? Definitely. Are my lips super on-point when they've got a liner and some gloss on them? Chile, listen. Still, I've gotta admit that it has done my self-esteem a lot of good to know that if I go out with absolutely nothing on, I'm still a cutie pie because the face God gave me is just fine as is. There's no way I would've come to that conclusion if I didn't go without make-up. And a woman who is truly, genuinely and fully self-confident? She radiates beauty in a way that cosmetics could never ever do for her.
7. It Will Keep You from Totally Relying on Cosmetics
Back when I was in high school, I went to school with a lot of white girls who literally lived in a full face of make-up. Because of what I said in the intro and also because the girls of other ethnicities (including my own) didn't put on nearly as much, what white girls sent themselves through was pretty fascinating to observe. That was until I saw some of them without any make-up on and then I was like, "Please put it back on. How quickly can you do it too?" The moral to the story here is when you are so consumed with cosmetics that you literally look like an entirely different person when you take it off, that can put you on a cycle of being super reliant on it because you don't feel like you are pretty or appealing without it because you have literally created another face. And that can be a dangerous way to approach how you see yourself.
8. Natural Is Sexy
I'm not sure why so many women get triggered when they hear men say that they don't particularly care for a lot of make-up because what that basically boils down to is they are all about your wake-up face and what in the world is wrong with that? Even as a woman, when I see someone who is fresh-faced in pictures or even when I'm out, she causes me to do a double-take because 1) I dig the self-assuredness and 2) it reminds me of a compliment a man gave me years ago that still remains on the forefront of my mind — "Thanks for remembering what you look like."
Can you be sexy with make-up on? Sure, you can. There is something about how cosmetics can put an "explanation point" on our looks that is undebatable. Still, when my mother's husband once said that the thing that he liked most about her beauty is the woman he went to bed with is the woman he woke up with, I totally got where he was coming from. Going without make-up and letting your natural beauty shine through is always sexy AF because you're saying that "I know that I am sensual and alluring, just as I am" — and who can't be turned on by a woman who feels that way…about herself? Exactly.
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