Saturday 18 May 2013

No make-up days

I guess for a lot of women the idea of a no make-up day in public can conjure up an image of a washed out photo. Like some how you are less visible (this is how I felt sometimes in the past).

My relationship with make-up is a funny one. I honestly think that you can get addicted to make-up like you do with alcohol, the difference being is that make-up addiction is not bad for your health and doesn't change your behaviour.... or does it?

Every one who made a change to cleaner skincare/make-up realises that your health, health of your skin can be affected by what is in the products that we use. But even after you make a swap does make-up really not affect how we behave? I don't think that I am the only one that gets this extra boost of confidence from wearing a great lipstick or flattering eye shadow, some powder that makes my skin appear more even toned and without shine, concealer that hides blemishes and dark circles. And that is a big part of why most of us use it, to be happier with our selves.

This is where the problem for me started. You see I always liked make-up because it was fun. Green or blue mascara, outrageously bright shadow, pink and red lip glosses. It was an extension of my mood, a fashion statement as much as my wardrobe.

As much as I love it I am also very fond of my sleep, so spending an hour doing my make-up was never me. Completely flawless foundation look, also not me. Yes I had a period of pretty bad skin, dealt with by some concealer and powder, yes you could probably still see the spots but they weren't as red so that was fine by me. And there were a few non make-up days due to not waking up on time. But those were quiet rare.

There was a point in my life that even though I wouldn't use much I would not leave the house without a concealer or a bit of powder, and when I realised this... I didn't like it, you see it felt like make-up instead of a fun friend became a crutch, like I was dependent on it. The fact is I decided that is not how I want this relationship to go on and that I am going to change it.

Before I continue with what it is I do on my make-up free days, there are a few things I would like to say.  Everyone is different and this is just the way I feel happiest and at the end of the day you should always do what makes you feel good. I have had women tell me that I should wear make-up and I have had guys tell me that I should stop wearing make-up. Both irritated me equally, it is my choice weather or not I wear make-up and only my mom has a right to give me unsolicited advice (well my dad too but he normally does it through my mom).

If you want to have a no make up day but don't feel confident here some things to keep in mind: when you pass people by they normally look at you for about 3 seconds, a little longer if something caught there eye (which is more likely to be an item of clothing or your over all appearance rather than some skin imperfection). Most of your interactions in the shops or restaurants are going to be with people who you will never ever see again. And most people will be a few meters away from you, so take a big step back away from the mirror, that is what they will see.

Don't you think that a make-up free day is an easy way out, alot of prep goes into it!

You should start from the night before.

 I normally wash my hair in the evenings and than let it dry while I sleep. Your skin looks its best when your hair is clean. However I wash my hair every 3-4 days so if I decide to have a no-make up day in between my shampoos I will use a face scrub or face mask before I go to sleep. Lately I have been alternating between comvita manukacare manuka honey, S.W. basics exfoliant and Stark green tea mask. All of them are mild but effective, so no unexpected break out in the mornings just clearer looking skin. After the mask/scrub (or washing my hair) I will spray my face with the S.W. Basics toner and while my skin is still damp I will put on the S.W. Basics cream. The toner really calms my skin down and the cream is really light ( I only need a half a pea size amount for my face) makes it great for night time use in my book (I am strongly in the DR Hauschka camp that you really shouldn't use heavy products at night and leave your skin to breathe, especially in the summer). When I wake up my skin looks pretty normal and not shiny. The best thing you can do for your skin is to have a good night sleep. I am a restless sleeper and often struggle with that, so I have turned to aromatherapy for help. I find that Lotus Wei quiet mind has been a great help with that and once I run out I'll be trying the badger sleep balm.

In the morning.

 I don't use a cleanser in the mornings (very rarely once a week or every two weeks I will use a face soap during warmer periods) so I either wash my face with water or wipe my face with some rosewater on a cotton pad. As you can see my Pukka rosewater is peeling, that is because when I was mixing a face mask I forgot it in the bathroom and the steam causes that layer (of plastic I guess?) on top of the glass to get loose and it comes off when you hold the bottle. After that I will spray my face with S.W. Basics toner and while it is still damp I will use either a drop of Stark cypress oil or a very small amount of Balance Me balancing face moisturiser. For me an eye cream (or an eye gel to be more specific) is a must on a no make-up day. I use Oskia eye wonder. Technically you don't need an eye specific product if you have a basic/light face moisturiser, but I find that an eye gel feels very refreshing and makes the eye area look brighter without needing make-up (plus I would not put most of my skincare full of essential oils near my eyes!). Lip balm is a must (even if you just use it once in the morning), I like to apply suvana first thing and than use hurraw during the day, at the moment I am obsessed with the almond version (yummy marzipan). If you have oily skin like me, mattifying papers are your best friends on a day without make-up. With this routine I find that my skin stays pretty good but, depending on how warm it is, I probably will need to use blotting paper once. I have a selection Jane Iredale ones are my favourites at the moment, but I have not tried Tatcha yet.

Hair routine.

 If you don't have perfect skin (which if you do I am super jealous of  you, you lucky thing) making sure your hair looks great on a no make-up day is a priority. Generally people will be noticing how good your hair looks and there for will have less time to concentrate on any skin imperfections you might have. I have had lots of compliments about my hair on my non make-up  days (now they might have been thinking boy but you could use some foundation, but it doesn't matter as they still said something positive, compliments always make you feel more confident, and you know that is what counts). I use acure shampoo and less is more protein spray the night before. For in between days I use either Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing spray or John Masters Sea salt spray (yes you can make your own but was being lazy). Both work similarly and I use it as a dry shampoo substitute in the summer. This is the application process that works for me: brush my hair really well (good hair brush is a must, I really like the tangle teezer), flip my head upside down, spray onto the roots evenly so at the back and at the front (this is a fairly heavy spray, you want to feel it on your scalp but not so heavy that you hair is wet) than a very light spray on the lengths of the hair. Sea salt is drying for the hair and the other spray contains alcohol so you don't want much of it on the areas of your hair that are already dry, but it really helps with the oilier parts.

Nail routine.

The same principal as for hair goes for nails, a pretty manicure is another positive thing for people to concentrate on. I would file them with a glass nail file (seriously get one if you don't have it, the best thing for your nails) and than massage a cuticle nail treatment I have always like Burt's bees but there are loads out there and you could use neem oil or coconut oil and most skin or lip balms. In the morning I would paint them with what ever colour I feel like (I think have about 20 to choose from at the moment).

If  you are going make-up free your choice of clothes is very important. Generally with the right make-up you could get away with wearing pretty much any colour you want but if you don't the colour you wear makes a huge difference to how your skin tone and your eyes come across, certain colours will at best do nothing for you, while others will just make you look washed out. A block colour is more flattering than patterns.

One other thing (I don't really do it but it does make a difference) is shaping your eyebrows.

Ultimately it is always making sure that you yourself feel good. Put on some matching undies (according to some study that boosts confidence in women, seriously people do studies about these things?). Spray your favourite perfume  on and just have a good day.


  1. You put a lot of planning into your no makeup days! For me, no makeup days are more of a last minute decision. That said, they don't happen all that often unless I'm just hanging out at home. I'll go out without makeup on, and even though I'm sure no one but me notices, I'm always very conscious of the fact that I'm not wearing any.

    1. Well I have those too:) the prep is for the ones when I am at work or a weekend out ;) I try to have about 3 non makeup days a week, I kind of forget when I have makeup on and when I don't lately (keep trying to rub my eyes and than I realise no! shadow and mascara!)

  2. I loved this "night before" routine. I usually have no makeup days when I am not feeling well, otherwise I am always wearing at least a little bit of it. If I have a good night of sleep and I am drinking enough/eating well, I feel more comfortable with no makeup on, and I also enjoy the thought that I don't have to spend too much time to take it off, lol. Such a nice post :)

    1. Thank you :) yeah easier cleansing in the evening is definitely a bonus! If I don't drink enough water, instantly cracked lips:)