It may not seem unusual to some, but last week I went to work for four days in a row without a scrap of eye make up. It wasn’t any kind of personal challenge, only that I must have been so distracted that on that first day that I simply forgot, which is quite something because I don’t think it’s happened… Ever. I know plenty of people don’t wear make up regularly or at all, but when you have done so for almost every day of your adult life, home and holidays aside, it’s quite a big deal. Even if you do a pared-down eye, let’s be honest, the absolute minimum is mascara.
I guess it was a gradual reduction of it all. At some point a few months ago I’d begun to think my standard, black flicky liner was a little excessive for everyday and should probably only make an appearance on nights out where the impact of its addition would be felt. That and being time poor. My mornings were now more dedicated to blowdrying my newly short hair, so perfecting the flick had taken a back seat. All leading to The Accident.
I think the real surprise was that I didn’t actually notice for half the day. It clearly wasn’t as huge a step to zero mascara as I’d made it out to be in my head. I’d still done the rest of my make up with a decent helping of blush so it wasn’t as if I looked like I’d just woken up. My eyes just looked clean, fresh and well, young. In fact, I looked perfectly normal – what a shocker!
It did make me feel sad that I’d gotten to a point where not wearing it felt like some kind of statement. I had quite bad skin when I was growing up and had to deal with the disproportionately high insecurity that comes with that. But this has made me realise nothing’s going to happen if I don’t wear it, no-one’s going to laugh and point. Of course I’ll always love make-up and experimenting with it, and though I’m not quite there with completely bare skin, this is now an option. More importantly it’s signalled a level of acceptance which has come with age, and it’s fantastically liberating.