Back to basics

If you go on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter these days, it may seem like every other girl is an MUA. 14 year olds are now looking like 25 year olds, with their 3 layers of MAC studio fix Foundation and their eyebrows that they got up 2 hours earlier to draw on that morning. However, with the rise of the ‘Instagram make-up’ trend, and it becoming harder and harder to achieve individuality with you make up these days, I want to know: what is this all for? Is it all worth it? Or are there any benefits to going make-up free?

First of all, the obvious benefits of laying off the make-up are for your skin. It is a widespread opinion that make-up ruins skin and causes breakouts. Of course, the number one rule of wearing make-up is that you must never sleep in make-up. If your make-up is on your face for a prolonged period of time, the ingredients and chemicals in the make-up can seep into your skin and cause breakouts. That said, there is a huge range of factors that can contribute to bad skin and breakouts, including stress, diet and hormones. So, the majority of the time, you should be okay wearing make-up if you steer away from anything that contains harsh chemicals or other ingredients which could cause your skin to worsen. Also, if you invest in a silicone-based primer (for example Too Faced’s Hangover Rx), this will act as a thin layer between your skin and your make-up, so that instead of the make-up sitting on your skin all day long, it is on top of the silicone primer instead.

This day in age, it is uncommon to see women or young adults out in public make-up free, but why is this? I feel it is a mixture of things. For those who are used to seeing their face made-up day in, day out for the past few decades, their face may seem different if they don’t apply at least one coat of mascara in a morning. Also, there is a growing pressure from society to look a certain way. If you don’t apply make-up in a morning, you’re ‘lazy’ or ‘look a mess’, but if you apply too much you’re ‘trying to hard’ or ‘high maintenance’. It is expected that women look perfect and natural every day with minimal effort. It is this same pressure which saw the emergence of the ‘no make-up make-up’ trend in recent years. Girls spends hundreds of pounds and several hours applying products which make them look like they’re not wearing make up at all.

Having a #nomakeup day has now become a popular movement on social media, after the success of the #nomakeupselfie a few years ago, when many celebrities joined the movement and shared their bare faces with their fans. At the end of last year, Kim Kardashian attended the Balenciaga show at NYFW bare-faced. Unfortunately, this act was overshadowed by events that happened just days later, but I don’t think that we have seen the last of this trend. I did see, in a segment on This Morning, a debate between two women about whether or not it is possible to be a professional woman and not wear make-up. The woman arguing that for ‘no’ (it isn’t possible) said that if she was looking at a prospective employee who ‘didn’t care about their appearance’, then she would assume they wouldn’t take pride in their work either. On the other side, the woman argued that it is her skills that make her professional, not what she puts on her face. At the end of the day, if you take a make-up free day or a make-up free life, then go for it! It’s your face at the end of the day and if you’d rather an extra 15 minutes in bed in a morning, or if applying your make-up is the highlight of your day then both of those are okay!

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