I Woke Up Like This

I Woke Up Like This

How I Stopped Wearing Makeup and Started Embracing My Natural Beauty

I’ve worn makeup practically every day since I was a teenager. Do I like it? Sometimes! Do I want it to be at the top of my to-do list every. single. morning? Definitely not.

But the reality is that, in today’s world of Instagram filters, “looking the part”, and just wanting to be the most powerful, beautiful version of ourselves, many of us often feel like we have to wear at least some makeup in order to get out there and live our “best lives.”

It's not always fun. Sometimes, I would rather use those extra 20 minutes to hit the snooze button one more time. Sometimes, I’d like to be “photo ready” without the prep. And, just once, I’d like to look fresh-faced and rosy-cheeked without it coming with a hefty Sephora price tag.

Here’s how I made that dream a reality.

There Are Real Problems With Wearing So Much Makeup

Makeup has seemed like a must-have for women for as long as I can remember. Any woman that doesn’t wear it to work, on a date, etc., seems to be perceived as decidedly “marching to the beat of her own drum,” extra free and confident or - worst case scenario - sloppy and unkempt.

That said, people are over this paradigm. There has been a decided shift toward keeping things as fresh-faced and as natural as possible. Part of that comes down to the “no makeup” makeup look that takes just as long - and involves just as many products - as a full glam.

But another part of it is a clear push toward cleaner beauty all around and a recognition of the fact that all that makeup really isn’t doing us any favors. Why is that?

  • There are toxins: A lot of makeup comes with harsh chemicals inside that seep into our pores and can lead to uneven skin tone, dark spots, rosacea, and more. On top of that, there are tons of bacteria that build up on our makeup and makeup brushes over time. This can wreak havoc on your skin, leading to inflammation, clogged pores, skin congestion, and more.
  • It leads to dull skin: When we go throughout our day with a fresh face - and wash our face at night - our skin goes through a natural cell renewal process. Dead cells are sloughed away and our new skin can breathe. Makeup can prevent this from happening, especially if you leave it on overnight. This leads to the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin - and dull, dry, flaky skin.
  • It causes irritation: Most makeup contains metals, sulfates, parabens, and other substances known to cause skin irritation and allergies. The allergic reaction can be subtle - just some contact dermatitis that looks like dry patches. In reality, your skin is fighting against your makeup and it’s not the best choice.
  • It can lead to wrinkles: Sounds ironic since we use makeup to cover up wrinkles and skin imperfections, but it can actually lead to more of them. The irritation and dry skin caused by repeated makeup use strips the skin’s natural barrier and encourages more lines to form. Additionally, makeup tends to settle into existing fine lines and wrinkles, making them more apparent rather than covering them up. Not great.

On the flip side, skipping the makeup can come with a slew of benefits, including:

  • Clearer, healthier skin: No toxins and no clogging your pores means that your skin has a fighting chance at staying radiant, youthful, and healthy all year round.
  • Decreased chance of infection: No sloughing bacteria onto your skin means you have a lower risk of eye infection and skin issues.
  • More time: The average woman spends 53 minutes on her beauty routine each day. Simplifying the process gives you extra time to work out, read, watch TV, or get some more rest.
  • More confidence: When you can embrace your authentic, makeup-free self - and feel really good doing it - it can do wonders for your sense of confidence and power.

It all sounds great in theory, right? But it’s hard to live this way when we’re still battling with things like blemishes, under eye circles, fine lines, and dull, uneven skin tone. Then we get the dreaded, “Oh, are you feeling sick today?” or, “Honey, you look like you gotnorest!” - which we could all do without for the rest of our lives.

How to Go Makeup-Free:

Skincare Superstars that Can Change the Game

Find your routine and stick to it

Step 1? Find a skincare routine that your skin really responds to andstick to it consistently for at least 6 months. If you want to get this part right and maximize the benefits, you have to find the right mix of products that your skin responds to positively. Here’s a great starting point:

Start with all 7 steps and take it from there, paying attention to what works foryour skin now.

  • Do you find that scrubs and masks are too much more than once a week? Then step it back.
  • Do you have less than 5 minutes in the morning? Then pick your must-haves to simplify your AM routine and make it more feasible.

Learn more about the purpose and power of each step here.

And remember to look for green, clean products. If your skincare products contain the same parabens, sulfates, and irritants as your makeup, you’re not setting yourself up for success.

Add the right players for extra oomph

Certain ingredients do double duty, helping make your skin as radiant as possible.

  • Glycolic acid: Helps slough off dead skin and kills bacteria.
  • Vitamin C: Brightens skin tone and fights fine lines.
  • Antioxidants: Calm inflammation and reduce wrinkles.
  • MSM and Peptides: Promote collagen production for firmer skin. 
  • Hyaluronic Acid and Squalane: Hydrate skin.

That's everything that you need for killer skin. So hone in on what you need most and make sure that the products you add to your routine contain the right ingredients for your goals.

And don’t forget everything else

Remember, it’s not just about what you put on your skin, but also about what you putin your bodyas well.

With that in mind, try your best to stick to the following advice:

Eat Clean

Avoid ingredients known to cause congestion and inflammation - like alcohol, processed foods, and sugar. Instead, opt for:

  • Healthy omega 3's and fatty acids from salmon, avocado, and olive oil.
  • Hydrating foods - like watermelon and cucumber - which can decrease water retention and puffiness around the eyes.
  • Foods with polyphenols and antioxidants - like green tea - which flush out toxins, heal blemishes, and minimize scars.
  • Enjoy vitamin-rich foods - like oranges for vitamin C, eggs for vitamin D, and almonds for vitamin E - for healthy skin from within.

If you can’t totally avoid the bad stuff, at least try to include some of these ingredients every day to balance out your diet.

Drink Lots of Water

Your skin is 64% water. Staying properly hydrated is good for your skin and your all-around health.


Exercise gets your heart pumping, increases circulation, and helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to the surface of the skin. It also helps carry away toxins and free radicals, purifying from within. And it reduces stress, which improves your sebum production.

Get Outside

A little sun and fresh air always helps! Even if it doesn’t directly impact your skin, spending some time outside and connecting with your environment can help decrease cortisol, produce vitamin D, and more.