Kinda scary but totally worth it. By Dawn Chen
As someone who used to apply makeup daily (I never left the house without drawing my eyebrows and applying blusher before this), I wanted to try doing a total skin detox. No matter how non-comedogenic your makeup is, it can still settle into your pores and clog your skin. I’ve read about the skincare benefits of going makeup free, and decided to put it to the test while breaking the habit of becoming reliant on makeup.
At the end of last year, I decided to completely stop wearing every smidge of makeup for 21 days (I still wore untinted sunscreen though). It was time to step up my skincare regime even more and embrace my bare face – imperfections and all.
My go-to look: a touch of blusher and lipstick.
Week 1: This was the hardest. I know how pale and wan I look without colour, so it felt weird showing up in the office barefaced. Once I settled down at my desk, a concerned colleague immediately came up to me and said “Dawn, are you okay? You look so tired!” I knew it – it begins!
The rest of the week didn’t feel much easier. I was incredibly self-conscious, especially at beauty events. I felt out of place among other made-up journalists and PR people. The only day I felt more ‘normal’ was Thursday, since I was headed to a pilates class after work.
Week 2: Hard to believe I survived a week – and weekend – totally barefaced. I must admit that it’s liberating to have those extra 10 minutes to sleep in in the mornings, and to not have to worry if my blusher has smudged, or if I’ve rubbed off an eyebrow. That said, I still feel very compelled to blurt out “I’m doing a no-makeup challenge for work” whenever I head out for events or meetings with friends.
My skin is also starting to look clearer, and my pores have been getting clogged less frequently. I still dutifully stick to my daily masking habit, so my complexion looks brighter and healthier too.
Me, barefaced, in the second week of the challenge.
Week 3: The ultimate challenge: Attend two weddings – one of which is for a fellow beauty writer – totally barefaced. It didn’t help that I was seated with fellow industry folks and makeup artists. I got a bit nervous during photo-taking, and kept wondering if I looked fine. I was tempted to just slick on some lip gloss, but am proud to say I didn’t and still survived.
Towards the end of the challenge, my skin definitely looked much healthier and more luminous. The same colleague who commented that I looked tired on the first day of the challenge came up to me in the last week saying how good my skin was – she even asked what my secret was, and if I was using anything new. I guess going makeup-free does have its perks after all!
I wouldn’t cut out makeup totally, but I’m more confident to go out with much less makeup now. I can give up blusher daily, but I think I’d still like to have some eyebrows, thanks. I’m also really impressed by how much clearer and smoother my complexion became! Skin detox FTW!