How to Go Makeup Free || Step-by-step Guide || My Journey


I, for one, love the way makeup can make us feel. It can make us feel beautiful, confident, and can have us checking ourselves out in the mirror (you know you've done it on a good makeup day), but what happens when that relationship turns from "just having fun" to downright co-dependency. 

I'm not telling you toss out your whole makeup bag. Heck, I love makeup. But I love myself more, and we are definitely more than our makeup. 

I wanted to write this post for any of you out there who want to start going make-up free but don't really know where to start. Or if you just need some support, I'll be there for you too! Or if you just need a reminder that you're already perfect, and that has nothing to do with your makeup. 

#1 Give Yourself Some Credit

You did it. No really, you did. You made a conscious decision about something you wanted to do and you’re going for it. There millions of people on this planet who do not take action, so congratulations. You’re already ahead of the game.


#2 Realize that no one cares as much as you do

If you read my latest post in Letters then you’ll know what I’m about to say. No one gives an f*ck and neither should you. While that notion could make you question the humanity of our society or the world at large, take a moment to think about how liberating that is. If everyone that is walking around you right now is thinking about the meeting they’re late for, a bill they didn’t pay, or what the heck to cook for dinner for the kids (you get it. It’s basically a Me, Myself, and I re-run) then why on earth would they spend those precious extra seconds of their life to contemplate whether or not you’re wearing make-up? Let alone have time to craft and send out a thought about how you look without make-up.  So let’s take back all those what, where, when, why, and how’s back. Because my love, they were never there to begin with.  

Throw a party in your honor, dance down that cereal aisle, and rock that foundation-free face. Because you, my love, are beautiful and that has nothing to do with what you look like.


#3 Baby Steps

I started wearing foundation when I was about 13 or so to cover up all those hormonal breakouts I was starting to have. So I chose the highest coverage foundation I could find and that habit was pretty hard to let it go. 

So if you’re starting your makeup-free journey and can’t imagine giving up foundation, don't! If having those eyebrows perfectly painted makes you feel amazing, keep doing it! If blending that eyeshadow makes you feel like an artist, great!

Start small by lowering the coverage of your foundation. Roughly filling in your brows. Wearing less or no eyeshadow. 

Slowly decrease the amount of make-up you wear on a daily basis.

That way you can gradually get used to the lighter coverage and your natural skin.


#4 Start Small

Who said we have to go cold turkey? No one, that’s who! Back when I was in deep with my negative relationship with makeup, I could not bear the thought of leaving the house without any trace of make-up on. So I started small. How small? Going around the corner of my house to get some groceries for 10 minutes. So like super, duper small. But who cares (Remember #2)! It was the beginning for me. So however big or small your beginning is, I want you to remember to place absolutely no judgment on it. The most important aspect is that you’re starting your journey. And that’s amazing.

When you feel like you can stretch the boundaries a little, choose a couple activities that you feel want to be able to do without makeup. For me that was going to the grocery store, yoga, and the gym.

Then when you feel comfortable with those places, choose a whole day. I started with Saturday’s because those were usually my chore days and if I did see anyone it would be close friends. After I became comfortable with the Saturday’s, I grew my makeup-free days to the whole weekend.

Eventually as you become more comfortable with the foundation-free weekends, you could start expanding those onto weekdays. For me this was a little difficult because I had a corporate job at the time so I would just scale back the makeup. I would increase the amount of concealer but didn’t wear foundation unless I had an important event. And while I thought everyone would notice the drastic change since they stared at my face almost every day, no one noticed. No one commented. Because no one cared (#2!).


#5 Take Your Time

This is a biggie. I started wearing foundation to cover up my blemished skin and even when my skin improved, I felt that I had to keep using it to cover up the scars those blemishes left behind. About a decade later, there I was with an extremely dependent relationship on that magical little bottle that could make it all go away.

So give yourself some time. If it took 10 years for you to create that negative relationship, it may take some time to create a positive one.

But don’t focus on how much time it’s taking you. Focus on the work you’re putting in every day to achieve your overall goal.


#6 Self-Affirmations

Good things don’t happen overnight. So when you feel like you can’t do it or when those words of negativity want to creep in, hit it back with some love.

To be able to go outside without any make-up took a heaping dose of self-affirmation. Yes. Self-affirmations. The face that I was used to seeing on a daily basis was covered in foundation, so getting used a freer face was going to take some time and some help.

While it may sound silly or cliché to stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself “You’re beautiful”, how about asking yourself “Why aren’t you?”

Instead of dwelling on “How can I go make-up free?” shift your perspective to  “Why can’t you go make-up free?”

This was really difficult for me at first. It’s like society had trained me to look only at my flaws in the mirror—hyperpigmentation, discoloration, dark circles, texture—instead of looking at my long eyelashes, my full lips, my light brown eyes.

When you look in the mirror make it a point to find at least 3 things that you like about your appearance. And leave it at that. Do not leave space or room for negativity.

Instead of everything you believe you are not, think about everything you already are.

You are already perfect. 

Eventually after doing this for a few months I actually started to notice that finding things I liked about my appearance became easier and that when I caught glimpses of myself throughout the day I would be surprised at how nice I thought I looked.

Changing negative habits to make room for more positive ones to grow aren’t easy and could even be the biggest cliché, but give it a try. They really work.


#7 Love Yourself

You can do anything.