Let’s try an experiment. Find a mirror, or get out your phone and open the camera in selfie mode. Take a few deep breaths, let your eyelids relax, and make eye contact with yourself. Sit with the emotions and thoughts that come up. Or, to go deeper, you could use a guided meditation.
We’ll circle back to this, but take note of how that affected you.
But there is also a movement to embrace less or no makeup, and there are certainly benefits for doing so.
As outlined in this article from Psychology Today, sometimes it may be a belief in the importance of makeup that makes it beneficial mentally and emotionally. In other words, a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are correlations that show women who wear makeup frequently are more anxious and self-conscious, while those using makeup less often have better self-esteem and social confidence.
And while makeup is no longer lethal (we can thank European renaissance aristocrats for getting that out of the way), it can clog pores, cause an oil imbalance, increase the risk of bacteria, make fine lines more prominent, and damage eyelashes (see this article).
Back to the mirror
Melisa Raouf made headlines recently for competing in the Miss England pageant makeup free. She shared with the Washington Post:
“After entering this contest, I learned that ability to love myself [and] accept myself for who I am in my own skin, whether that be with makeup or without makeup. That inner confidence will radiate [far more] than any makeup or filter can.”
She is surely an inspiration, but what about those of us that are not making it into beauty pageants? Can we also find that confidence in our bodies?
One potential answer comes from an experiment in 2016 using the mirror meditation introduced at the beginning of this post. Women participants looked at themselves in the mirror every day with no goal other than to be present. Over two weeks, they felt better about how they looked, felt less of a need to wear makeup, and received mental health benefits.
At Sole Toscana, nothing makes us happier than to hear reviews saying things like, “My skin is beautiful. I feel comfortable going out without makeup” (thank you Barbara!). Or, like Angela shared, “My combination skin is properly moisturized at last and looks radiant. I'm able to go without makeup most of the time.”
We want to help your skin feel as healthy and vibrant as possible. When it comes to wearing makeup, our hope is that your choice is more about creativity and expression than covering blemishes.
Finally, you might use our routine to fill some of the psychological benefits that come from makeup application. It can be a ritual moment in your day, a time to pause and mindfully reflect.
Let us know how you feel about wearing makeup. Has your relationship to it changed over time? Do you think society’s attitudes will continue changing?