The Wilson Beacon

A week without: Makeup

Helen Malhotra and Erin Doherty

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Co-Editor-in-Chief Helen Malhotra tries a week without makeup. 

If someone had asked me to go a week without makeup during my freshman year, when I, along with all of my peers, was teeming with insecurities, I would have ‘made up’ an excuse not to. But now, as a senior, I was excited to embark on this life-changing experiment. I had high hopes that I would end the week as a new person, that at some point during my journey, I would have an epiphany that would guide me towards being a better, stronger, and wiser human being. Unfortunately, none of this happened.

Black eyeliner has been an essential addition to my everyday look since seventh grade, and on Sunday night I wiped it off, ready for a crazy week.

But crazy was far from it. In fact, normal would be the better adjective. No one seemed to notice and no one seemed to care. On day one, I prepped myself for friends and foes wondering if I was tired or sick. Much to my surprise, the only comment I received was when I mentioned to a friend that I was going a week without makeup. “Oh,” said friend, “cool.”

I was shocked! I thought that I looked completely different. As the week progressed, I became concerned that I wasn’t going to have that “ah-ha moment,” and even more concerning, I wasn’t going to have anything to write about.

But then, with three days left to my week, I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me and started thinking about how I perceived myself. If other people don’t seem to notice a difference when I stop wearing makeup, why do I wear it?

After searching high and low for an answer, I realized it wasn’t that complicated. Sure, I wanted an epiphany moment, but unfortunately we don’t always get what we want.

My answer is this: I wear makeup because I want to. I wear it because I think I look better with it on. I wear it because it’s not a hassle and because I like to wear it.

If you didn’t get the hint: Do what you want to do and, yes, I know this sounds extremely cliché, but don’t care about what other people think because they don’t know what you like. In the end, listening to them is not what’s going to make you happy.

Sorry to sound preachy, but that’s what I wanted to do.

Co-Editor-in-Chief Erin Doherty, who doesn’t usually wear makeup, tries a week with it. 

Simply put, I don’t do makeup on a regular basis. Maybe it’s because I’m too lazy and want to get those extra minutes of sleep in the morning, or maybe it’s because of my lack of artistic ability. Whatever it is, I was pretty nervous when The Beacon told me that I was to wear makeup for a week.  

When I first got the assignment, my first reaction was to say, “I don’t know how to [wear makeup].” I’ve seen those wing things on girl’s’ eyes and I knew they looked good, but how was I, a subpar drawer supposed to pull this off? Heck, I can’t even draw a decent circle! It scared me to think that I might have to draw more complicated things on my face! So I put the assignment off for as long as I could. Maybe I thought that a couple of extra days would allow me to hone my artistic skills.

Eventually I couldn’t put it off any longer. I had to conquer the terrifying task of wearing makeup for a whole week. During this adventure, I encountered many roadblocks. First, I realized that I didn’t really have a very diverse range of makeup supplies. I had to accept that my makeup selection for the week was going to be pretty basic. Also, I only knew how to do the bare minimum, so that meant that a little mascara and a little skin stuff would do the trick. Once I overcame these “obstacles,” I was able to wear makeup for the week.

Every morning when I woke up, which was precisely 20 minutes earlier this week, I dragged myself to my bathroom and applied some makeup. After some trial and error, I got dressed, and drove to school.

Then the scary part happened. Walking into school, I was nervous that everybody was looking at me. I thought for sure my friends would notice and say something. Walking down the hall that first day I worried that maybe some of that nude colored makeup would show. But guess what? Nobody said anything, all week.

So, while I nervously walked down the halls that week, slept a little less, and felt pretty  awkward, other people didn’t even notice what I was so focused on. This simply reinforced what I thought all along: do what makes you feel most comfortable. For me, wearing makeup for special occasions is fun, but on a daily basis, I’d rather pass. For others, wearing makeup makes them feel more comfortable. Whatever the case may be, do what makes you feel most confident, not what you think others want to see.

GRAPHIC BY ZACH ESSIG

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