Sunday, 7 February 2016

Fresh Face February: Week 1

So today marks my seventh day without make-up, yes I did it! (Read my introductory post to Fresh Face February here) Although today is yet to be over, as I’m not planning on doing much but reading Freud in bed with Green tea and then catching up with the Six Nations I didn’t think there was any point in postponing this post until tomorrow. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll be needing to add some ground-breaking epiphany about my make-up-less week. I don’t really think anything notable will be occurring.  Overall Week 1 of 4 seems to have been a success, and I do think that this little journey will be revealing more than I thought it would.

On 31st January, I spent my evening gathering up anything I owned that could be construed as make-up, everything from mascara and foundation to tinted lip balms and moisturisers. Then I hid it all away from myself in a suitcase at the bottom of my wardrobe, out of sight is out of mind after all. But I lay there that night wondering if, despite all said in my introductory post, I was going to go through with this. ‘Was it too late to take the post down? Surely nobody would have read it yet, and be able to spot me for the coward I am!’ But eventually, without action, I fell asleep.

It seems the Gods must have pondered over my fate while I slept and decided upon divine intervention. I was to make it through February 1st without a face of paint, whether I liked it or not. Those bastards meddled with my alarm, so I awoke with only half an hour to eat, shower and run out the door to my first lecture. I took the sign the universe gave me, and will power kicked in.

Despite returning home for lunch in my hour break, which on any other day would have meant jumping on the opportunity to amend my face, that wardrobe door remained firmly shut. I returned triumphant to my afternoon lectures with the same bare face, although I’m sure I looked miserable.

Day 4 - originally posted on twitter/instagram

The first few mornings were the worst, although it got easier as the week progressed. I would leave the house feeling incredibly self-conscious and was sure I could feel eyes on me and all my spots (I started the week with some pretty bad ones).  By each afternoon I would have completely forgotten about it all – unless I was sharply and painfully reminded in the bathroom mirror. Damn my reflection! I mean I’m happy to subject the rest of the world to my bare face, but I’d rather not have to suffer looking at it thank you very much. 

If the first day had not been challenge enough, day 2 brought around another. I hardly had time to adjust, before I was thrown into the deep end. I work as a Student Peer Trainer at my university’s student union, teaching sessions on Communication skills and the like. Realising I would have to teach such a class on Tuesday night, well, it worried me to say the least. I felt that without make-up I wouldn’t have the confidence to stand up and teach a class. I really did consider breaking and just applying my usual ‘natural’ look for that 2 hour session, but decided against it. I carried on, and got through it. Funnily enough not wearing any make-up didn’t actually affect my ability to give a good session, or enjoy myself! Who’d have thought it!? I’m really starting to question how this one little change, okay it’s not really that little, has caused me doubt myself to such extents. This has only made me more dedicated to perceiver and see what changes occur this month. Fingers crossed that one is better, clearer skin!

Speaking of which, I’m slowly but surely starting to see the pros of going make-up free. As I anticipated not having to get up so early in the morning is one. Then there’s being able to rub my eyes without either blinding myself with mascara flakes or creating panda eyes. Being a typical poor student of course I have to mention the potentially huge savings on not just make-up but make-up remover as well! I’m saving money, and time every day!

One thing I really don’t like is feeling under dressed, or half dressed. I feel my outfit lacks completion without a corresponding statement lip or smoky eye. This not wearing make-up gives the temptation to just not bother at all. Shouldn’t I save my best outfits for when they can be presented at their best, and for now just go about my days in jeans/leggings and hoodies? Luckily I’ve managed to resist this urge so far, as I know that it’s not really going to help with my general motivation or self-esteem. Slumping around, looking awful for a month doesn’t sound like a good idea. I’m fully aware that this would just make me feel low, sluggish and lazy, feelings which I’m already starting to creep over me just from not wearing make-up. But although I do feel incomplete without my face on, putting effort into the rest of appearance has kept me going. I’ve never really bothered with ever doing hair, it’s always either just down or in a ponytail – simple, easy, convenient. But now, I do have an urge to do something more… impressive? (if that’s the word) with it. So for once I’m actually utilising my French plaiting and fish tail plait skills.

The biggest boosts in confidence came, as usual, from my mother and boyfriend. While he told me that I didn’t really need make-up and looked nice without it, although did admit it prefers me with it, I actually had to convince my mother over Skype that I wasn’t wearing any! She couldn’t seem to believe that I wasn’t wearing any eye-shadow or eyebrow pencil. Gotta love my Mumma, always thinking I’m better and prettier than I am.

Unfortunately without make-up there’s no way to cover those dark circles, which so often feature around my eyes. I guess this is why now more than ever I should be prioritising some beauty sleep! But it seems there really is no rest for the wicked, or for the average third year student. My skin has been clearing though, which is always a massive plus. I’m in awe at the progress as I very rarely sport such clear skin especially at this time of the month! Apart from my forever massive pores, semi-blotchy complexion and some stubborn pimples, my skin is awesome. I don’t think it’s actually been so clear since before puberty, which I’m aware is a very bold statement to make. Fingers crossed the next few weeks, some pore strips and face masks might just render me with perfect skin at long last.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the round-up of my first week of Fresh Face February. Please let me know how your experiences with this challenge is going!

And as always if you enjoyed this post feel free to browse my archives, but I’d personally recommend:


  1. You go girl!! :-) I wanna do this but I'm not brave enough, I'm going to start with two days a week and go from there. Your post has inspired me! Xx

    1. Hehe, thank you! Oooh, yay. I wish you the best of luck! It's hard at first, but now I'm on Day 10 I've pretty much forgotten about all my insecurities for the most part. You're beautiful Katie! xx