Dear Makeup: It’s Not You, It’s Me.

I quit makeup. Here’s what I’m doing with my face instead.

We first fell in love when I was a little girl, watching my grandmother apply her lipstick, bent over her brightly lit vanity to get a closer look in the mirror so the lines came out crisp and sharp.

I got to know you in middle school, when I wore thick black eyeliner everyday and spent Friday nights with my girlfriends trying on lipstick and perfume at Nordstrom. You didn’t know it, but I was trying desperately to find the beauty on the inside of me, using you.

In high school and college, we experimented. We tried bright colors, red lipstick, and a little too much bronzer. I loved you so much, I didn’t want to go anywhere without you.

But now, I think we need to part ways.

Love, me.

Look, I LOVE makeup. The first time you open a fresh tube of lipstick? Heaven. Those days your contour just looks EXTRA. OMG. Figuring out the perfect eyeshadow combination from three different palettes? YASSSS GIRL.

There’s a simple beauty in a makeup routine — you’re spending that time trying to make yourself look and feel beautiful.

There’s nothing wrong with loving makeup, or loving doing your makeup, especially if you use responsible, natural, and/or non-toxic products that aren’t tested on animals.

For all intents and purposes: I (and whatever dictionary Google uses) define makeup as cosmetics like lipstick or powder that are applied to the face, used to enhance or alter the appearance.

But as we know, there are literally so many layers to makeup. Some days we say, “I’m barely wearing any makeup,” or “I’m getting so glam tonight!”

I used to spend hours doing my hair and makeup — I wouldn’t leave my house without my black eyeliner and mascara. Sometimes I did smoky eyes on random Tuesdays. I would cake on loads of foundation, bronzer and highlighter.

But I used to hate how my skin felt all the time. Without makeup on, I felt uncomfortable, anxious, and like I looked like I hadn’t slept in three days.

On a recent Parisian vacation when it was just too damn hot to wear makeup, I left my Air BnB in a matter of minutes to get the EFF out of our un-air conditioned 8th floor room, get an iced espresso, and sit at a cafe by the Sienne.

All I had on my face was a swipe of mascara, a Chanel lipstick, and a layer of sweat. Maybe it was the warm Parisian air, full of history and romance, but dammit, I felt beautiful. No makeup could make me feel that way, no matter how much I caked on.

And then something clicked, and I decided I wanted to spend that energy I spent putting on makeup… doing something else.

I didn’t give up makeup all together, but I did minimize my routine to incorporate more skincare with less products.

While everyone was out learning how to contour, I was trying to finally fall in love with my reflection. For me, that needs to start with the skin that holds my being.

P.S. Chanel Beauty, you can stay.

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Fashion writer, luxury resale expert, and personal essayist.

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