Day 100: An Incredible Journey

When tasked with picking a project for 100 days, I decided to challenge myself with something I knew I needed to be held accountable for. My relationship with makeup has been a glamorous, shimmery, pink filled love affair and I decided I needed to test it. I never imagined my relationship with makeup would completely change, or that I would learn so much about skincare, healthy habits and myself. This journey has been nothing short of incredible. 

Today, I pulled out my strategically hidden cosmetic bag. Over the last 100 days I had forgotten how much stuff it contained– three different types of concealer, five different types of mascara, foundation, brushes I totally forgot I had and so much more. I instantly started purging. Mascaras–gone, to old to use now anyways. Concealer–who needs three? Tossed those too. I gathered all my brushes and decided that before any of them where going to touch my face, they were going to be cleaned. 

Tomorrow is my much anticipated thesis presentation, and the first day I can wear makeup if I choose. For the firs time, in a long time, I have a decision to make. 

Day 99: A Fresh Start

After yesterdays break down, today felt like a fresh start. A pep talk with friends made me realize my anxiety was accumulated around one day. ONE day... in comparison to an entire lifetime of days yet to come. It is also an exciting (yes EXCITING not anxiety inducing) time in my life. How often do you get to stop and start a new journey? And in more ways then one.

Leaving California and moving across the country was a starting point for me, one that I never imagined to have so many adventures! Embarking on a personal project of not wearing makeup for 100 days has left me with a fresh new outlook– and most importantly a new view on how I see and feel about myself! With so many things coming to an end and just beginning, I have more to look forward to than fear. 

Day 98: A Blessing in Disguise

Throughout this project I have found myself in several situations where I wish I was wearing makeup. Today I experienced the opposite and couldn't be happier to be makeup free.

While rehearsing for the first time on stage, microphone in hand, I froze–no words came out of my mouth. Offering a solution that would make me more comfortable on stage, the director of my program suggested lipstick. In my mind I thought, lipstick? I didn't get it. How was that supposed to help? Frustrated with my inability to perform my section of the presentation and adding to my overall stress and anxiety around thesis, I had a complete teary eyed break down after exiting the stage. Luckily, I didn't have to worry about streaks of black mascara running down my cheeks or gently patting tears away in order to not smudge my makeup. There is always a silver lining right?

Not having makeup on was truly a blessing in disguise in more ways than one. I also later realized what the director of my program was suggesting when offering me lipstick– she was offering me confidence. The fact that I didn't understand her association of lipstick with confidence made me realize perhaps I really have changed. Lipstick was no longer my secret mood boosting, confidence inducing secret weapon. 

Day 97: Perfect Imperfection

The moment I decided to let go of controlling everything, is the same moment I was able to begin celebrating me. Realizing that beauty doesn't mean matching a set of unrealistic beauty standards but comes from inside me, has allowed me to better understand who I am and what I stand for. 

Being confident in who I am and learning to love all the pieces that make me up–the parts that are imperfect and unique, are the parts that make me beautiful. The combination of those traits–the perfectly imperfect ones are the ones that make me undeniably me.

Day 96: Mood Booster

Contrary to my post yesterday that spoke about me embracing the idea that polished and perfect isn't what always matters, today I got my hair touched up. Roots be gone! I've been coloring my hair for almost as long as I've been wearing makeup–almost. I have never second guessed my need to get my hair colored being that it's blonde it becomes quiet obvious when it's time for a touch up. 

Today I was shocked at how my mood instantly changed after I got my hair done. I felt lighter, happier and even more energetic. It's amazing how the power of your appearance has the ability to instantly change your mood. This goes for good hair days, good mascara days (yes, this is a thing and I hope at least one person is nodding in agreement) and even the idea of waking up on the right side of the bed. Although my days of waking up and running to the mirror to check on my skin are over, I can still feel the mood boosting power of a good day when my skin is bright and free of any minor breakouts. 

Day 95: Focusing On What Matters

I have a tendency to over analyze things. Constantly questioning and over thinking has been my MO for quiet sometime, leaving my inner perfectionist to run wild with the need to make sure everything is just as it should be at all times. This year has been a project of its own with learning that I need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens. 

Spending 95 days trying to figure out how I should dress without makeup, how I should be feeling and what other people think of me because I'm not wearing makeup, has been exhausting. It's exhausting to put so much energy into something, when at the end of the day, it does not matter. I've come to accept the idea that not everything needs to be perfect and polished. It is more important to focus on what truly matters- your happiness and your health. There is even something strangely courageous about letting go of the familiar and embarking on a new life changing adventure.

Day 94: Patience is a Virtue

I have been known to be pretty impatient at times. I'm a typical millennial in that I want everything instantaneously and at the click of an (iPhone) button. Today, more than ever patience really is a virtue and for the first time, I understand why. Often when we rush things, we are so busy concentrating on finishing them that we don't leave time to reflect and understand why they are happening. Everything is onward and outward, racing to get to the finish line. Slowing down and pausing daily with my 100 day project has allowed me time reflect on my feelings and findings.

Being held accountable–both by fellow classmates and the head of my program, and other friends following my journey-has made me follow through on a project that has been a roller coaster of emotions. There were days when it would have been easier to apply makeup–the entire week in Chicago comes to mind, and there are days I couldn't have been happier from what I learned while not wearing makeup. The ups and downs of this project have challenged me and with only 6 more days left, I know it has made me stronger too.

Day 93: Being Bold

One of the comments that has stayed with me the most throughout this project is the one from my professor on day 44. At almost half way through my project, she opened my eyes to what I was really doing. I was shying away, trying to lessen certain interactions because I wasn't confident and (I thought) makeup gave me the confidence I needed. She told me: 

Be bold. You are timid. It’s not right. You are making yourself small.
— Professor

As I got ready to participate in a focus group today, hosted in the same room my professor made this comment to me in, I swore to myself I would not be timid. I would not sit back and be quiet. I would say what I wanted to say and be confident in my opinion and who I was. Talking about design made the process easier and I realized how much I missed discussing design with fellow colleges. Almost 50 days since my professors original comment and I was finally embracing the idea of being bold. 


Day 92: Glowing

Since the beginning of this project people have commented saying my skin is glowing. I could never see what they were talking about and before going makeup free I always assumed it was the application of my makeup that did the trick. To me glowing, dewy skin was reserved for models in magazines and other perfectly polished, effortless looking ladies. 

Therefore, the idea of glowing skin has always been mysterious to me... until today. There are things you have to see for yourself and no amount of people telling you otherwise will change that. This was one of those things. I woke up this morning and there it was, the glowing that people had told me about was finally visible to my eyes. Something I had been so blind to, was now so obvious. It took something inside of me–finally feeling confident in who I was–to show me what I couldn't see all along. When I finally shed all my self doubt and became comfortable in my own skin, it radiated outwardly and I was finally able to see it.  


Day 91: Simple

Simple and me don't usually go in the same sentence. I like my hair done, nails done... everything did... (channeling Iggy Azalea, Fancy). When I travel, I never travel light–makeup case, straightener, and multiple shoe options. An over night stay with a friend left my pleasantly surprised to discover I can travel extremely light. Tossed a sun dress, face cleanser and lotion and clean undergarments in my backpack and I was good to go. About as simple as it gets for me. 

I have always admired women who look effortless. The ones who don't fuss about their looks and naturally have a simple, yet elegant look about them. Today, the closest I got to embodying those traits was the simplicity it took me in getting ready. I hope to one day be able to carry myself with an elegant and effortless air about me.