Forget the Filter: My 7 Day Makeup Free Challenge

I’ve seen these challenges pop up on my timeline here and there, and I’ve always thought, “Ha! Yeah, right! There is NO WAY I’m posting a selfie of myself sans makeup!” But that was then, and this is now. Now, here I am posting seven, yes, seven makeup-free selfies! I was inspired after watching a true life special about three women who were addicted to looking like their filtered-selves. I, too, am a filter addict. Anytime I’m on Snapchat, you best believe I’m using a cute filter! And if I’m not using Snapchat, you can find me editing my photos before posting them to Instagram or Facebook. But I felt going filter free wouldn’t be big enough of a challenge for me, so I decided to take it a step further and challenge myself to go without makeup as well!

So, before we start, here is a little background information on me. I am NOT a regular selfie taker. In fact, if you scroll through my camera roll of 649 items, you’ll find a total of 5 selfies. I am not even exaggerating, I just counted! So taking selfies, in general, was going to be a step out of my comfort zone. I am also not a heavy makeup wearer, but I do wear makeup everyday! A little foundation, some mascara and some filled in brows work wonders for me. If I want to feel extra pretty and girly, I’ll throw on some blush and a pretty lip color. It might not be much, but I swear by it. So without further ado, welcome to my challenge!

Day 1:

Oh my goodness! This was way harder than I thought it was going to be! After getting ready for the day and skipping my daily makeup routine, I looked in the mirror and thought, “Oh, no! What in the world have I gotten myself into!?” It’s like I was looking into a magnifying mirror. Each of my freckles was staring back at me. My wrinkles surrounding my eyes looked like deep, dark ravines on my face. And my eyebrows, oh, don’t even get me started on my eyebrows! So thin and patchy and eww! So, you caught me; I totally filled in my brows a little today. Call me a failure, I don’t care! There was no way I was going out looking like the hot mess I was!
I went out thinking the world was going to be staring back at me, judging me. And to my surprise, nobody even noticed! I was absolutely sure my immediate family would notice and comment, as they almost always do anytime I choose to go makeup free or let my hair reign on the natural side. Again, not a word was said! I was suddenly feeling more confident in my own skin and excited about the remaining six days of this challenge.

Day 2:

Today honestly wasn’t even a big deal for me. I was going to be cleaning all day so makeup free was ideal! I gladly braided my hair after getting dressed and went on about my day. (I didn’t even fill in my brows!) Vacuumed, swept, mopped, dusted, and never worried about my mascara smudging due to my sweat! Day two, success!

Day 3:

Okay, this day was a little more difficult for me. It was my cousins birthday, and I knew I was going to be going to the birthday party. My insecurities started to overwhelm me at the thought of all the people at the party. All people that I actually know, not just total strangers that I’d probably never see again. Still, if I gave up on day three, I mean, cmon. No. Makeup free I’d go!
When we arrived at the party, once again, no one said a thing! I wondered if people really didn’t notice, or if they were just being polite. As the day went on, I, myself had forgotten about my lack of makeup. I found myself completely enjoying the company of everyone around. I was far less concerned with the way I looked.

Day 4:

This was such a pretty day! I live in central California, and the sun was shining! Let me tell you something, lighting makes all the difference when taking selfies. Seriously, nothing is better than that beautiful California sunshine. This was another day where I felt zero stress about having no makeup on. I think probably because it felt a little like summer outside. I usually cut back on my makeup because it is so dang hot where I live when summer hits. My husband and I spent the day cleaning up the yard and playing with our son, taking advantage of the good weather. I think this was the first day I was feeling truly confident about going makeup free! Could I do this forever?

Day 5:

My favorite selfie of my 7-day challenge happened on day five! I don’t know if it was the ponytail or the polka dot shirt, but I can feel my joy truly radiating from my smile through this picture! I picked up my nephew from school on this day and went grocery shopping without hesitation. I felt so good about myself in my natural skin. Something that I learned through this challenge is that confidence is key, and a big bright smile can be the prettiest thing on your face!

Day 6:

We had a lazy day at home today, so once again, no makeup was fitting! I showered, brushed my teeth, put on some yoga pants and a t-shirt, and I was good to go! There is something freeing and also, so relaxing about having a makeup-free face! I felt so clean and refreshed!

Day 7:

After one not-so-long week, my challenge was coming to an end. At this point, no makeup had become normal for me. I had gotten into the habit of skipping my makeup routine, and it saved me a decent amount of time when getting ready for the day.

The day after my 7-day challenge, I went ahead and got ready with a full face of makeup. Expecting to hear comments along the lines of, “Wow, you look good!” I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked that not a single person said a thing. I kid you not. Aside from my husband, who so sweetly tells me a look pretty almost every day, nobody else had a single comment on the fact that I was wearing makeup after going makeup-free for a week. Looking back on this week, I have to laugh at myself a little. How was I ever so concerned about, and so attached to my makeup!?
I’m looking forward to summer, as I plan on doing a longer version of this makeup-free challenge. (Two weeks, maybe even a month!) I’d highly recommend doing this challenge to anybody. It’s a great way to gain some confidence in your natural skin and also gain some perspective on how the world views you. You learn some great selfie techniques when forcing yourself to go filter-free, and smiling is never out of style!
Stay BE-YOU-tiful!

- Amanda May

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