Fresh Face Fridays

MissRepresentation is at it again! This time, they’re promoting a campaign conceived by one of their Action Reps (we’re like grassroots superheros), a teenager wanting to challenge the face-painting status quo. And I don’t mean butterflies and tigers on kids at the state fair. I mean you and your daily face-painting habits that likely began sometime circa junior high.

In all honesty, when I first saw the campaign, my immediate reaction was “Ha. I’m not doing that.”

So of course, here we are.

Here it is in a nutshell:

Never in my life have I been a Major Makeup girl. Day-to-day I have a very simple, basic routine. But it is my routine, and this little challenge made me realize that I cling to it like plastic wrap at a plastic wrap party. You see, dear reader, I have substantial/genetic/doesn’t matter how I eat or live, dark circles under my eyes. Once, in the seventh grade, a kid asked me if I’d been in a fight. His friend laughed, but I don’t think the kid was being snarky – he sounded genuinely concerned. Or at least that’s what my twelve-year-old self chose to believe.

Enter: Concealer. My constant companion since approximately my fourteenth year on the planet. Never foundation, always concealer, and just for my infernal, perpetually raccoony eyes. Even if my only plans involve the couch and a stack of magazines, I almost always wear concealer. Someone could stop by unexpectedly, and like a boy scout, I am always prepared.

The kicker here is that as a working professional, it feels like even a day without makeup isn’t really an option. My particular eye condition* makes people tell me I look tired, even when I’m not. It makes me look like I have a poor diet, even though I don’t. So going without makeup feels somehow… unprofessional. It’s an unfortunate conundrum.

Thankfully, RLB exists. A platform for me and S and sometimes Lou to celebrate, critique, pontificate, and take the occasional risk – all in the name of True Beauty. So while I am too nervous about challenging the world’s obsession with makeup in my workplace, I will instead post it all over the internets. As S once declared: “Here is a picture of me with no make up. On the internet. All in the name of science.”

The best I could do was ride my bike to work, makeup-free, then sit down at my desk and document this process. All photos are 100% untweaked. No Hipstamatic, no Photoshop, no magic wand enhancing. And at first, the photo above did make me flinch a little. And I questioned moving forward. But this isn’t about me, it’s about all of us, and progress, and confidence, and truth, and beauty! (that one was for you, B)

First step: Apply precious concealer to mask fatigue beliers.
Imagine my surprise when these two images turned out to be… really similar. In my mind, my pre-concealer self is very sloth-like. Apparently my mind likes to embellish. Suspicions point to exaggeration as a common problem among most females: we think we’re too fat, too thin, too pointy, too curvy, too this, too that… when in truth we could all use a refresher on the Goldilocks worldview.

Next step: Apply mascara, a little blush, and some lip balm.
And I’m done!

That’s it for me and everyday makeup. Is it a big difference? Not at all! Am I ready to rock my Fresh Face for an entire Friday at work? Probably not as long as I have the fancy job in the fancy office working among lots of fancy, important people. But thanks to this little exercise, I can now honestly say that I wear makeup at work because I feel the need to present a polished and professional persona** not because I think me without makeup = wildebeest.

Perhaps I’ll aim for Fresh Face Sundays… Not as catchy, but hopefully just as effective in starting conversations about the role of makeup in our daily lives.

So what do you think, RLB readers? What is your relationship to makeup? When did you start wearing it and why? Does your job or school or vocation support you rocking a Fresh Face once in a while, or do you feel it’s a key part of your daily persona? How does it make you feel when you venture out in public, Fresh-Faced? Share your thoughts in the comments, or email us at reallivingbeauty@gmail.com

 
*I almost wrote affliction. Working hard to turn it around, people!
**Yay, alliteration!

4 thoughts on “Fresh Face Fridays

  1. E,

    So hard to let go of the routine! Even if it doesn’t consist of much, I think it’s the ritual that makes us feel “ready”. Like you, E, I have to put on a little bit of makeup even if I’m not leaving the house immediately. I just don’t feel ready to proceed if I don’t. It’s been that way since I was about 13, even though at that age I was still dabbling with cheap black lipstick from Hot Topic. Still, I could never abide that trend of leaving the house in one’s pajamas. Remember that, girls?

    I’ve rocked a “fresh face” at work once or twice, mostly when I worked at an elementary school at 7:00 am. Sadly, even the (very young) girls noticed my lack of make up and commented on how I looked “tired” or “sick”. It really made co-workers and I try extra hard to model positive self-image for them as much as we could, because it was clear they were listening. There was no way we would say, “Oh, I look fat today,” in front of those sensitive ears!

    -S
    ps. The camera luhvvss you dahling, the only affliction you suffer from is the curse of gorgeousness.

  2. Thanks for doing this little project. I work at a Catholic church goods store and most times I don’t wear makeup, but then I think I don’t want people to think people of faith can’t wear makeup or that we are plain looking so I wear a little makeup and earrings. 🙂 After a few years I have learned to be more comfortable with myself without makeup.

    And your pictures are not bad. We usually are the only ones who see faults.

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