I've always thought of myself as a pretty low-maintenance chick. I can generally get out the door in 20 minutes flat, I gladly forego hair salon blowouts and I'm a downright conscientious objector to high heels. So when my colleagues suggested that we go a few days without makeup, I sneered as if it was no big deal.
Before this, I wasn't very attached to wearing makeup anyway. I'm basically a tinted moisturizer, mascara and lip balm kind of girl, so I wasn't too scared to go cosmetic free. I mean, I'm a writer, not a model, right? Who really cares if I go to work with uneven skin and naked eyelashes? It turns out, pretty much just me -- but my opinion holds a lot of weight in my world.
That first day of going barefaced, upon entering my office building, I felt oddly vulnerable. It was as if I was allowing my coworkers to get an all-too-personal glimpse of my exposed face, like I was flashing my pores to the world. It was truly a fair-skinned person's nightmare. How Sally Singer, Tonne Goodman and Kelly Cutrone work in the fashion industry without a single swipe of mascara every day is beyond me. These women are fabulous and confident. These women are clearly not me.
It wasn't until Anya asked me if I was planning on joining in on the challenge while I was sans-makeup and already participating that I actually started to realize that my paranoia may have been a bit of an overreaction. Then, when I met friends for dinner that week and they didn't notice either, I really started re-thinking my whole beauty regimen in totality. Could I forego my overpriced tinted moisturizer and mascara routine altogether?
I didn't end up being quite that brave. Now that the challenge is over, I've gone back to wearing minimal makeup to work. However, this interesting exercise in restraint has made me set a new goal. I really do hope to one day be as confident as Sally, Tonne and Kelly, but I think that level of self-assurance will come to me with the passage of time. Just as Woody Allen saw himself aging as "the balding virile type" in "Annie Hall," I intend to be one of those women who really owns their natural allure as they get older and survives off of a meager beauty diet of Cetaphil and sunblock. We'll see how that plan pans out. For now, I'll just give a major hat tip to all of the ladies out there who are secure enough to go without makeup. You're all fabulous and confident, but you're not me ... yet.