Makeup Me, Makeup Me Not:: Deciding to go Makeup-Free

makeup-freeTwo things can drive you into the land of makeup-free proficiency. 

Being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM)



Our culture is so enmeshed with makeup at various levels.

We put on our faces to make a fashion statement, to run to the store, to make sure we look more alive than a centenarian vampire, or even to work out at the gym. Why do women go to such lengths to mask their faces, and in some cases, their true beauty?

Well, I don’t have an answer to that. Today I’m here to chat about Makeup Versus Makeup-free.

Where do you fall?

I never thought I’d be without mascara. Mark my teenage and young adult (and even for-real adult) words, I will never be without mascara on my lashes. Having natural blonde hair, being without mascara, was the equivalent of looking like the most alive vampire anyone has ever seen, just a touch pinker in the skin. I’m pretty sure my husband didn’t see me without mascara for at least a year of our relationship. At least

I know my thrall with makeup is no extraordinary story. I’ve only seen women in passing with naked faces in public, and my usual thought is, “They’d look stunning in makeup.” 

But why do we do this to ourselves?

We are the only species on the PLANET where females go out of their way to look their best for other people, typically the person they are trying to attract. We need only look so far as our bird friends to see the apparent difference in male to female appearances. Only male peacocks, cardinals, finches, etc., are brightly colored, picturesque birds. And like male peacocks, women paint their faces in an array of breathtaking contours and shadows. 

When I became a SAHM, I realized getting my makeup done with a child around wasn’t impossible, but it was challenging and, sometimes, exhausting. I also wanted to be more comfortable with my face. After all, I have a daughter who is blonde and blue-eyed. I want her to be comfortable with her face, too.

I tried to get a group of my friends to go cold turkey, makeup-free.

You may have guessed that I was entirely on my own. No way was anyone going to embark on such a journey with me. Today I realize how vulnerable women can feel to go makeup-free. I didn’t understand what I was asking them at that moment. When I started, I felt ugly, distasteful, undesirable, and like I would be differently treated if I didn’t wear makeup.

I decided I didn’t want to feel this way anymore.

I knew in my gut if I could take a run at going makeup-free, I would become comfortable in my skin. 

Finding comfort in one’s skin is an age-worn battle anyway, so you could argue that as I gracefully age, I’m simply more comfortable with myself in general. This fact is undoubtedly true. After all, I thought I’d live in heels until the day I died. Now I own three versatile pairs.

However, I still think about putting makeup on when I go out, go to the store, or on a walk. Pick your poison; I always consider slapping on a round of mascara. 

Here’s what I’ve found when I went makeup-free.
The results may shock you.
  • The cashier at the store smiles at me the same way. 
  • People I don’t know still hold eye contact.
  • Bartenders will still flirt for the best tips.
  • I’ve received compliments about how great I look (while wearing a naked face).
  • Perhaps most importantly, and maybe what we fear most—My spouse still thinks I’m attractive.

My spouse and I have even discussed makeup. He prefers me without it and hopes our daughter will feel the same way because she’s the most beautiful thing we’ve ever laid our eyes. 

So, in the end, my motivation to remain makeup-free is three-fold. 
  1. For myself and my confidence
  2. To set an example for my daughter that she is gorgeous just the way she is
  3. And to show my son that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and not within the applied layer of makeup on someone’s face

Now, nothing is perfect, and I’m a real human. Let’s just suffice it to say that I will still wear makeup for professional pictures or to a formal dinner party. Some slices of socialization you just can’t break. 

At the end of the day,

You Do You, Makeup or Makeup-Free

Sara Hoogeveen
Sara is a career child welfare worker turned career mama. After having their first child, Marian (Feb 2017), she realized her true calling in life was to mom and mom hard! Sara resides with her husband, Blake, and daughter in West Omaha. They are expecting their second child, Henry, August 2019. Sara is a Nebraska transplant from Iowa while Blake grew up in Bellevue, NE. She has a professional background in child development, psychology, and human services, and puts these degrees to use every day in raising her children. Sara is a staunch believer in only being able to care for others when you also care for yourself. When she’s not momming, she can be found reading books from a book club she co-leads, cooking, or crafting.