Talia Levy

April 18, 2023

why i don't wear makeup

Makeup is a beautiful art, and some people are extremely talented at and have a healthy relationship with it. While I have my reasons for not wearing makeup, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing so, and I support a person’s decision to.

One reason I choose not to wear makeup is because I don’t like how closely tied it is to fancy events. There’s no problem with getting done up for an event, but the automatic association between the two is what I find problematic.

When people associate their most fancy and put together moments with makeup, it can make people in times without makeup, feel less beautiful than they really are.

There’s also an association between makeup and women in the workplace. The two don’t need to go together—women can work without makeup just fine—and I’d hope the two become disconnected.

I know for some jobs like acting or dancing, it might make more sense to wear makeup on the job, but for so many others, it’s not necessary at all.

A similar problem is how straight hair is often associated with special events or fancy outings. People with curly hair can feel like straightening their hair is the way to go for these situations, leading them to feel like their natural hair is less than beautiful. Which is also completely backwards.

People don’t need straight hair and people don’t need makeup to look beautiful or put together or attend fancy events, but the association between “beauty” and “makeup” blurs that line for people. It makes it harder psychologically for them to feel confident and accept themselves as they are, day to day.

On the same line of confidence, I don’t wear makeup because on my own journey of self-acceptance, I don’t want to feel like after I take my makeup off at the end of the day, that I looked better with it on.

Now, this won’t be the case for everyone—I’m sure some people don’t feel any way about a makeup-less face at the end of the day.

But it’s something I consider for myself, and I know I’m not alone. I’ve heard others say things like “no, I look so bad, I have no makeup on,” or “when I put makeup on, I’ll look better.” Not wearing makeup helps me better accept what I look like naturally and it helps my confidence.

I’m also conscious of what I put on my skin and don’t like the feeling of many things on it. Makeup can sometimes feel like much for me in that regard.

Also, for the health of my skin, I feel it will be easier for me to maintain clear skin if I’m not putting makeup on it every day. Are some people’s skin completely fine, even with makeup on every day? Yes.

So, that will definitely vary from person to person, but going back to the confidence point, I’d hope others feel happy enough and comfortable enough with a makeup-free face that if not wearing it helps their skin too, they feel confident enough to do so.

The final reason I choose not to wear makeup is for minimalist purposes—minimalism with my money, my time, and my physical space.

Money is a clear one. Makeup can get really expensive, really quickly. They’re products you constantly run out of and need to rebuy. This adds up month after month, and since I choose to fully eliminate that expense in my life, I save myself a lot of money in the long run.

Makeup can also be incredibly time consuming. Some routines are very simple, maybe taking five minutes. Others are more elaborate, taking closer to an hour to do.

My choosing not to wear makeup saves me a lot of time in the mornings (and mornings over the course of my life), as well as at night because I eliminate the extra step of removing my makeup at the end of the day.

That’s also another personal preference—when I come to the end of my night routine, I just want to wash my face and be finished.

Lastly, going makeup-free saves me a lot of physical space. I’m a minimalist, and I like a clutter-free space. Makeup can get messy and cluttered very quickly.

I’m very intentional about the material items I buy and add to my life, and my not wearing makeup helps me take a considerably less amount of items into my home. I have less items I’m thinking and worrying about, and I value that a lot as a minimalist.

Also, this freeing of physical space is very helpful when traveling. I don’t need a separate makeup bag on my travels that takes up extra space in my luggage.

So, because of my minimalism with my money, time, and physical space, going the no-makeup route works better for me.

As I stated before, makeup is a gorgeous art, and I admire good makeup done. It’s 100% a skill, and I applaud talented makeup artists. Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with makeup, and people can love, have a healthy relationship with, and be great at it.

And of course it doesn’t mean a person’s not confident or is trying to hide themselves in some way if they use makeup. While that may be the case for some, it definitely isn’t for all.

Some people use it as a way to express themselves, some appreciate the art of it, and others like the calmness it adds to their routine. Whatever the reason may be, people can love makeup, and that’s completely wonderful because I believe it can be done in a healthy way.

I have my reasons I wouldn’t like to wear makeup, but I am open, as I am with all of my opinions, to this changing in the future. I may decide to wear makeup one day down the line. But right now, I wouldn’t like to, and if others choose not to as well, I hope they can have a lot of comfort and confidence in that decision.

About Talia Levy

i write about relationships, self-help, & other random reflections i have. new posts every sunday.