27/04/2016 11:25 BST | Updated 28/04/2017 06:12 BST

10 Things I Learned From Going a Week Without Makeup

Surprisingly to me, my boyfriend was super into my pared down look. "I like it when girls look like they've just had a really heavy night," he said. Slightly offended, I thought back to all the times men in the street had hit on me when I was mercilessly hungover.

As a teenager my getting ready routine was one to rival Kylie Jenner's. A two-hour bore fest of hair extensions, fake lashes and three different types of foundation to mask the fact that, really, I was quite insecure.

These days, I'm much more relaxed. Makeup is usually saved for evenings out and more about fun than anything else. But the truth is, I do still rely on it to change 'imperfections' and even as a confidence crutch in social situations.

So what would happen if I spent a week without it? Here are 10 things I learned in seven days...

1. Monday through Wednesday was a breeze.

These were the days. My salad days. The time where I'm usually too tired to have any real plans and probably wouldn't wear makeup anyway - ripped from the comforting womb of my bed and readjusting to real life like a baby deer taking its first few blinks at the horrible world.

Who needs makeup when you're barely a functioning human?

2. Impromptu plans lost their appeal.

Unfortunately, my week without makeup seemed to suddenly coincide with my friends making last-minute arrangements. They wanted to do things and drink things. On a Monday.

What would have seemed spontaneous and fun, seemed slightly pointless without makeup. I was all for staying in, but the thought of going to a bar where people might see me bare-faced made my confidence shrivel up like cold genitalia.

3. My skin looked better than ever.

Instead of socialising like a normal person I decided to dedicate the time to my skin, investing in a new routine of AHAs, hydrating spritzes and LED light facials.

To my surprise my skin actually started glowing... before my plan ultimately backfired when a nightly eyelash growing treatment left red rings around my eyes and I looked like the walking dead.

4. I let my appearance slide. A lot.

On Thursday I stopped caring about what I looked like so much that I went to work with a conditioning mask still on my hair. Things were getting out of hand.


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5. Evenings out were the biggest struggle.

Just thinking of a night out sans makeup caused a bubbling anxiety to start brewing in my chest and made me feel a bit sick.

But an even bigger problem was what to wear. My normal outfits seemed to look insane without makeup and I had to completely change my wardrobe. I tried to do 'off duty model chic'. I wore jeans to a club for the first time in nine years.

6. Guys either loved it...

Surprisingly to me, my boyfriend was super into my pared-down look. "I like it when girls look like they've just had a really heavy night," he said. Slightly offended, I thought back to all the times men in the street had hit on me when I was mercilessly hungover.

Maybe I was onto something.

7. Or completely ignored me.

Maybe not. When sitting in a group with my ludicrously attractive friends, some guys would flat out act like I wasn't there.

Certain people only care what you have to say when they want to have sex with you. Luckily, these people are not worth knowing.

8. There's a reason they call it 'war paint'.

Without makeup I was less assertive and chatty. Without a flutter of lashes and a thick cat eye there was nowhere to hide - there was just me. But strangely, I felt less like myself than ever.

As someone who's used to wearing a full face of makeup, looking someone dead in the eye without a scrap of it on can be terrifying. I thought people would consider my opinions immature if they saw the old acne scars marking my cheeks, so instead became a vapour trail of my normal self in social situations.

9. It's strangely liberating to go bare-faced.

Not having to check if my lip liner needed retouching was great. Not having to spend five minutes reapplying every time I nipped to the bathroom was freeing. Not having to take it off at the end of each day was joyful.

Plus, the world didn't end and people did listen to my (sometimes questionable) opinions and input.

10. It made me rethink my beauty routine.

Did I miss my bursting-at-the-seams makeup bag? Not as much as I thought. While I wouldn't go a week without it as a steadfast rule (there is impromptu school-night fun to be had after all) - the experiment has certainly made me more comfortable in my own skin... especially as it's looking so great after my new die-hard skincare regimen.

Instead of my 12-step makeup routine, I only really missed the basics - concealer, mascara and eyebrow pencil. Seriously, a girl's gotta have brows.

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