When I first met Jack, I didn’t let him see me without make-up for about 2 months. Like that scene from Bridesmaids, I used to sneak out of bed early so I could re-apply it before he woke up! I was convinced that if he saw me without it, he’d run a million miles. Even now – say we have to leave for an early flight at 4am – I’ll do my make-up (false eyelashes and all!) fresh before bed and sleep in it as opposed to just go a day without it.
It sounds dramatic but I’ve always been like this. I just don’t relate the girl I see in the mirror without the bold eyes and eyeliner flicks to being me. Evidently, instead of make-up just being an additive to my life, it’s become a necessity for my happiness and for a while, I’ve been very aware of the negative impact this has on my routine and wellbeing.
I spend too much time getting ready in the morning – precious hours of my life spent creating the Siân that feels comfortable in her own skin. But my time on this special planet is limited and I so badly would rather spend my time smashing a longer work out, waking up later or doing yoga. It’s gotten to the point where it’s no longer a choice to wear make-up but something I feel I have to do.
I’ve known for a while that the only way to conquer this problem and break the habit of a lifetime is to cut it off. It sounds ridiculous but this is honestly so huge for me! I’ve worn liquid eyeliner every day since I was about 14 – the classic cat eye is my thing and I don’t feel like me without it. To change, I need to face my fear of being seen without it. So here’s my experience of ditching the slap this week at work…
Okay, so I’m not completely bare-faced. I’m wearing mascara and I’ve filled in my eyebrows a little but the no eye-shadow/no eye-liner look for me just doesn’t happen in public, ever. I feel absolutely naked. I don’t recognise my own face. When I look in the mirror, I don’t equate this person to the Siân I am used to. I’m aware how ridiculously dramatic this sounds but it’s seriously how I feel! I’m nervous about getting to work and seeing how people react. On the plus side, I’m ready for work early (what!!) and take a rare, leisurely walk to the station.
I’m quite conscious on public transport but I keep reminding myself that no one knows the difference between my face now and my face as it usually is.
When I get to work I immediately announce to the girls ‘I’ve finally done it…I’m not wearing liquid eyeliner!!!’ (I’ve been talking about the fact I should do this for a while) as if I’ve literally just dropped the most Earth-shaking news in the world. They say I look fresher – Emily says I look beautiful, bless her – and Will announces ‘what’s liquid eye-liner’ and has no idea what’s going on. This makes me feel a little better.
Throughout the day, nobody else says anything. I was expecting the usual ‘are you OK?’ or some comments about looking rough but I got nothing. I found myself forgetting that I didn’t have my usual slap on and relaxing, only to be reminded of the situation each time I went to the loos. Still, I felt like I became less bothered as the day went on. It isn’t so horrendous that I don’t want to do it again tomorrow…
I feel more relaxed about getting ready this morning. I had time to do a 25 minute yoga session as well as 15 minutes of weights – I would never have had time for both before!!!! Even doing so, I found myself early for the train again and felt less conscious on public transport though I did find myself hugely envious of a girl’s 10/10 cat eye on the tube.
No one said anything at work again and I felt a lot more comfortable today. I met my friends during my lunch break and expected them to say something like ooooo where’s your makeup!? But again, no one made a comment…really expected some dramatic reactions from doing this but nothing so far.
I’m starting to feel like this is much more of a huge deal to me than it is to anyone else because it’s not been a big enough thing for anyone to make a comment about – either that or I look so terrible everybody is too scared to say something… 😂
I’ve quite enjoyed it today though. My face feels lighter and nobody is treating me any differently. I don’t know why I thought they would. Deep down I know and have always known that people don’t really care how you look if they love you for you. It’s just that I’ve always needed me to feel okay with how I look to be happy.
Didn’t workout this morning and managed to get the early train! I had a voice over session at 10 so I had more time to prep and get everything ready. I feel a bit rough today because my hair’s greasy and I look really pale but I also seem to have found a ‘fuck it’ attitude?! Well, hello! Welcome! I like this Siân.
I’ve noticed a slight problem with this no make-up routine…it makes me want to stay in bed longer! Didn’t workout this morning either. I need to find a way to push myself out of bed now I don’t have the threat of ‘omg if I don’t get up now I won’t be able to do my make-up in time!!!’.
Tobie got back off holiday today and said my face looked nice/that I looked really well today! I explained to her that I’m being brave this week and learning to love my make-up free mush #embracetheface
4 days in a row now of no eyeliner Siân and I’m kind of getting used to the way I look. I’m starting to accept that this is my face and it’s ok to not be done up always!! I feel like I look a bit gross today but I’m starting not to care so much. It feels like a weight off my shoulders.
That said, I was invited out tonight and even though I’m not going, if I was I’d have done my eyeliner. I feel quite comfortable going to work like this now but if I was going out for the evening, I’d want to do myself up a bit. And I can’t help the little niggle in my mind that worries Jack will stop fancying me (just being honest – we all worry about it!) 🙈
I’ve done it! A whole working week! Honestly, I never thought I’d stick to it but it’s been such an incredible experience. This morning, I actually wore NO MAKE-UP out in the big wide world!!!!! I worked out and didn’t have time so I did it on the train. Who am I!!!!
This week has been such a learning curve for me. In general, I feel so much more relaxed in the mornings. The pressure I’ve been putting on myself has disappeared and though it’s hard, because I’m used to making myself feel ‘nice’, my efforts are going elsewhere – places that I think are more important.
Every time I make the decision to not wear make-up, I make the decision to love and accept myself unashamedly. I make the decision to put more time in to my mental and physical wellbeing. I make the decision to be more than my appearance.
Because I am me. Eyeliner flicks or not. And I don’t need war paint to be the best, kindest, happiest person I can be.
(Sitting here writing this on day 6 of going to work with no make-up and it feels damn good)!
Love, Siân x