I didn’t wear makeup for 48 hours, and it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Yeah, there were a few parts I enjoyed. I got to sleep in an extra 20 minutes every day, and the ability to rub my eyes without worrying about smearing a black cloud of eye shadow, eyeliner and mascara into a racoon mask was really nice. After only two days, my skin felt softer and looked clearer than it had in a really long time.
None of that really matters, though.
Makeup is my arsenal, my barrier from the world that I’ve relied on pretty consistently since I was 12. It’s something I’ve watched my mom, my grandma and pretty much every other woman in my life mount onto their faces to hide whatever it is they are insecure about.
For me, one of my biggest insecurities is my skin. My skin is naturally very pink — so pink that I have to be careful about the colors I wear so I don’t end up looking like a ghost. It is also splotchy in places, covered in acne scars in others and somehow both oily and dry simultaneously — it’s like my skin defies nature.
I have an arsenal in my drawer, never daring to leave my room without some foundation, concealer and powder (at the very least) to attempt to level the inconsistencies that I see blaring on my face in every mirror.
There is mascara because I have blonde eyelashes, and pens for filling in my eyebrows because those are fairly invisible as well. There’s lipstick I started wearing because I like to think it hides the fact that the left side of my mouth is fuller than my right.
I don’t think I really learned anything from going without makeup for 48 hours, except maybe that I still have a lot of insecurities left to deal with and they have a bigger grip on me than I’d care to admit.
Maybe the vanity that I seem to be drowning in comes from a place of self-doubt that leaves me sure everybody knows as well as I do that my right eyebrow is lower than my left.
Maybe, deep down, I’m still the same 15-year-old girl who didn’t want people to see that she had acne.
Maybe I’ll always still be the girl who watched video after video trying to figure out how to blend all the products into my skin with that dumb egg-shaped sponge, and maybe my dependence on concealer is just as much a part of me as my love of coffee.
Kaylie McLaughlin is the assistant news editor for the Collegian and a sophomore in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.