Makeup Free

In that moment, I discovered life can be much more fun without perfectly done makeup and high heels.

One sociology experiment in college changed the way I think about beauty. Each week we challenged one social expectation such as standing in an elevator backwards or simply being in a crowded space without moving. The most intense of these was one full day without looking at our reflection (for a girl in her heyday of makeup and frat parties, this was asking a lot).

I totally committed to the assignment, avoiding my reflection in bathroom faucets and windows. It was the first time I went without makeup in probably, years. I was driving around my old neighborhood and a car full of boys were making crazy noises. I remember thinking, “What’s going on?” The whole day I felt invisible without my “face on.” I was beginning to revel in the anonymity of it. It never occurred to me that their cat calls were directed at me.

Their hooting and hollering woke me up and I realized, I’m still here even without all that extra stuff. It was a wonderful revelation. I could stop trying so hard. I could feel the wind on my face and forget about smudging or retouching. The less I manufacture my image to the world, the more free I am in it.

Those teenage boys taught me a lesson I’ll never forget. Life can be much more fun without perfectly done makeup and high heels.

If you’re game, I invite you to try it – one day without looking at your reflection. I’d love to hear about your experiences below.


  1. Hmmm…I think this is a great idea. And it must have been pretty difficult. I read about one woman who did that for a year, which would be pretty intense. But a day? I could do a day. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

    1. Absolutely! I find the most beautiful women are those who have experienced a lot in life, but still remain open to it. The latest teen sensations pale in comparison.

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