What makeup product can’t you live without?

For me, it’s lipstick. No lipstick – Oh. My. God. Doomed.

Ten years ago though, it was a different story. I could not live without concealer, nude eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara AND lipstick. The full works. Everytime I stepped out of the house.

I don’t know what happened but somewhere along the line I didn’t like the fact that I had two faces. The one I would see when I woke up in the morning fresh-faced, and the one I saw during the day when I had my “mask” on. I felt like I was hiding from the world.

I also realised that while I was busy hiding my real face, all this makeup I was piling on was filled with toxins and chemicals like lead that were just blocking my pores and getting absorbed through my skin and affecting my health in some way. It started to make me feel a bit squeamish.

So slowly I quit makeup.

I had to do it little by little though. I was extremely terrified. I don’t know why I was so nervous about people seeing the “real” me.

I knew that I was the one who had to be able to live with the real me though, so I was the one who had to get used to the me without the makeup. Not those around me. If I couldn’t accept me for who I was, why should I expect others to?

I also kept reminding myself that I had to be more consumer aware about the chemicals in our daily products and the types of adverse effects they cause.

And so I quit makeup one product at a time. First it was the eyeshadow and eyeliner. No one really noticed anything different.

A few weeks later, I quit mascara. No one really noticed either.

And then I quit the foundation.

Again, no one really noticed. It really made me wonder why some of us bother to take the time to apply so much makeup – I don’t think many people notice (unless it’s really stacked).

To top it off, my skin also started to get better and cleared up. No more pimples and tiny bumps.

Last was the lipstick. That was tough. I then decided I didn’t want to completely let that go. I love colour, so that was one embellishment I wanted to keep. I also managed to find lead and paraben-free lipstick which I buy from the United States, so I feel a little less guilty about the toxin part.

So now I only use full makeup for big occasions (though applying it is a major pain these days!). On regular days when I want to feel pretty, I use mascara, and that feels like a treat.

This got me thinking about makeup and why we use it; why there are some products we can let go of and some we simply can’t live without; what we’re accentuating or what we’re hiding behind; why the thought of being seen without makeup is so terrifying for some of us.

Sure, we all know that we’re a product of society’s standards of beauty.

On top of what’s being projected to us by the media, most of those around us also treat us better and make us feel good when we get all dolled up… especially men. So, how do we get beyond this and let go?

We go within. We understand what we like and don’t like about ourselves, we accept it, we make the best of our strengths, and we go within to practice self-love. We stop caring what other people think and put our foot down against a society that only cares about how someone looks and not about who someone truly is on the inside.

It’s a lot of deep work that could take years, but if you don’t feel good in your own skin, then something within definitely needs addressing. There’s no denying that.

It’s one hell of a journey, but hey – what else is life for, eh?

I have to say – I am blessed to have strong confident women in my life. Every single one has makeup days (again, those big functions) but go fresh faced a lot. And honestly, they are more beautiful to me when they keep it simple. I can really see them shine. I see the real crinkles and contours when they laugh, squint, or are deep in thought. It’s simply beautiful. It’s someone just being in their essence, right before your eyes.

So if I can see that beauty in them when they are not wearing makeup – and in fact, cannot tell the difference whether they are or not – then why should I be worried about what others are thinking about my looks? For all I know they can’t even tell the difference. But if they think I need makeup for the sake of just looking “prettier”, then that’s not the kind of company I want to keep anyway.

I love this video by Anna Akana, it’s so spot on. It’s okay if you want to wear makeup (heck I still do), but what’s more important is the reasons behind why we do, and our attitude toward the façade that we project to others.

This 4-minute video already has over 2.5 million views and is one of the best videos I watched in 2014 – it’s resonating with many women worldwide.

What beauty product can’t you live without and why? Share your thoughts please!

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