The Case For Taking A Break From Your Makeup

There's no time like vacation to check your makeup bag at the door.
Publish date:
March 18, 2015
confidence, diet, travel, no makeup, beauty travel, TSA

By the time you read this, I'll have already started my backpacking holiday. And everything that goes into my pack will be considered for its weight and necessity.

When it came to packing makeup and skin care, I filled a little Ziploc with the basics: lip and cheek color, mascara, BB cream. Then, after thinking about it, I took it all out. I need a break from cosmetics. Here's why.

I feel like my skin needs a breather.

My routine is to oil-cleanse and rinse with a warm washcloth after I've worn makeup or done something gross (read: I don't cleanse every day). Some days I’ll wear foundation for 20 hours before I have the chance to take it off. I have often wondered if the paint/cleanse cycle has had a negative effect on my skin.

For me, taking a break from skin care is like hitting the reset button. I pay more attention to how my diet affects my skin when I'm not actively caring for it. After I went makeup-free for a few weeks, I tied breakouts that I’d attributed to sleeping in foundation to the actual cause: eating too much sugar and caffeine.

I'm in a rut.

It’s so easy to get into a style rut--sometimes I feel like I live in one. I love a minimal look, but even that can be so different depending on the features you want to accentuate--lashes, cheeks, lips, or brows. Departing from a makeup ritual reacquaints me with how I really look; instead of seeing myself in the hazy nighttime darkness post-contacts and face wash, I see myself throughout the day just as I am, and it gives me new ideas of how I want to play up my features.

One word: confidence.

Try to remember that you are your own worst critic: no one is going to pick apart your looks quite like you do. We all have things we don’t like about our looks, but realizing that it’s not the most important aspect of who you are is a big deal. We’re barraged with value judgements on our looks every day, and it’s time to fight back with some good old DGAF. You are more than your face.

Taking a break from your makeup can be intimidating, but it's also liberating. Accepting how you look is an important step to loving how you look. Makeup is a lot more fun when you look at it like a tool for expression instead of a necessity to "fix" yourself.

I had crippling self-hatred as a teen. But now, as I look back at old photos, I’m just upset that I wasted so much thought and sadness on my appearance.

I can't with the TSA product drama.

If you’ve ever had to deal with surly TSA agents, you know how fickle they can be. No liquids, creams, gels, or aerosols over 3.4 ounces seems straightforward--until you have three TSA agents bickering about whether you are allowed to bring lip balm onboard if it’s not part of your allowable baggie. I need it for health reasons, you jerks!

And that checked luggage? Yes, TSA will be shuffling through that as well, often opening and testing the products within. The thought of it never crosses your mind until you open your suitcase and find your belongings covered in liquid bronzer because someone didn't screw the cap back on tight enough. No shade (well, some) to TSA agents; they have a job to do in a very small amount of time.

Lastly, if I start having mascara withdrawals, I can always pick up a tube on the road.

  • Does going makeup-free for a period of time scare you?
  • If you could only pack one makeup item and one skin care item, what would you grab?
  • Consider the comments a no-makeup selfie party! Come one, come all!