Can we talk about how freaking beautiful Alicia Keys is? In May of this year, Alicia penned a Lenny Letter explaining her decision to go makeup free. I remember scrolling past this news a while ago and thinking a momentary "you go girl" and moved along. But now I'm watching The Voice and Alicia is a coach this year. And every episode I watch I #girlcrush a little bit harder. Most of the time, I don't notice the #nomakeup look, I just see how genuine and happy and free she seems. When I do pay attention to the fact that she is makeup free, I get all "you GOOOOO girl" even more.
Let's be clear though. I LOVE makeup. I die for a bold lip (#patmcgrath glitter lip kit anyone?). I drove 45 minutes across town to pick up a Chanel eyeliner I love. I put more time into planning what lipsticks I'm going to pack for trips then I do anything else. I currently have 10 different mascaras so that I can decide what works best for the look I'm creating that day. I. love. makeup.
But here's the thing. Makeup is all fun and games until it isn't. For many women, makeup is seen as a necessary thing. As if wearing makeup is the only way to be actually beautiful. You've heard the commentary: "Oh, I wouldn't want my new boyfriend to see me without makeup" or "You look tired today" (ummm thanks, I skipped mascara. I'm not tired.) Or "I can't go out like this, I don't have makeup on" And the worst: When someone gives a genuine compliment and it's deflected with "Oh no, I look terrible! I don't have any makeup on!”
I don't wear makeup everyday. I teach yoga (sweaty), I like to go boxing (sweaty), and often I'm sitting around blogging (not so sweaty ;). I don't feel it's necessary to wear a face full of makeup in these situations. Most of the time, I don't even think about it. I'm just me. With or without makeup on. I feel beautiful without makeup on. I feel beautiful with makeup on.
t took me a long time to get here. There were many young years spent believing that without a perfectly made up face, I was ugly. If my hair was out of place or not perfectly styled, I wasn't comfortable with myself. I think a part of these feelings are due to being a kid and navigating the uncomfortable waters of growing up and finding yourself. I also know a part of these beliefs were due to society's way of talking to girls and women. Alicia Keys herself has had a lot of backlash for going bare faced. Here's the thing: my face is mostly the same (sure I look more like an adult now then my babyfaced self) but mostly, I look like an older version of that young girl who thought makeup was the only way to acceptable beauty. My face didn't change (much) but my beliefs did. I know deep down that I am perfectly imperfect just the way I am, made up or not. So I will continue to wear makeup when I want to, and I will continue to be fresh faced most of the time. As my #girlcrush Alicia said : "Ya'll, me choosing to be makeup free doesn't mean I'm anti make-up. Do you!" That deserves one more "you GO girl".