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Beauty Editor Without Makeup

I'm a Beauty Editor, and I Don't Wear Makeup

Me with and without makeup.

Brace yourself for some shocking news: I rarely wear makeup even though I'm a beauty editor. This morning I woke up, slathered on about five skin care products, and walked out the door. And that's the same routine I follow every morning. But what about mascara? Nope. Foundation? None. Lipstick! Nada (unless you count lip balm).

For the past two years I've worked in the beauty industry, and not one magnificent makeup launch has convinced me to wear cosmetics every day. Don't get me wrong — I love products and have tested tons. I even have a go-to makeup kit for special occasions. However, I'm most comfortable bare-faced and makeup-free.

In the last year, celebrities have embraced the no-makeup trend, posting naked-skin shots on Instagram. And recently, Elle.com editor Annie Fox revealed she does "makeup-free days" once a week and the Man Repeller, Leandra Medine, took the time to explain why she skips cosmetics regularly. But as a beauty editor, isn't it my job to love makeup?

I grew up watching my grandmother apply her Fashion Fair makeup before leaving the house each morning. To this day, she doesn't go anywhere — even the supermarket — without a coating of cosmetics. "You never know who you're going to run into," she would say. And when I got to high school, my mother taught me how to apply mascara before my first dance. Playing in her lipstick collection before church on Sundays was always a treat.

But the one thing that keeps me from starting a regular makeup routine is actually pure fear. I'm afraid to look in the mirror one day and feel like makeup is a required step to look like myself. Or even worse, have a co-worker comment on how "tired" I look without the help of products.

Yes, I have under-eye circles, but instead of turning to concealer, I reach for the eye cream (in fact, I hoard it). My skin care routine is extensive (like 10 products deep including moisturizing masks, wrinkle-reducing wands, and pimple reducers). The ultimate goal is to keep my complexion as fresh as possible so that makeup is always an option, not a necessity. For me, a compliment about my skin on a day I'm makeup-free gives me much more pride than a nod to my excellent eyeliner application.

By wearing my imperfections out in the open every day, I've learned to embrace them. To quote the oh-so-wise Lorde, "remember flaws are OK." For me, the process of putting on makeup magnifies the things I want to change about myself. Step one: cover up those god-awful bags; step two: erase that humungous pimple; step three: make my nose look smaller with bronzer.

Do I look better with makeup? Of course! But most times it feels like I'm wearing a mask, and inevitably I stain my shirts with foundation (every time). My no-makeup rule does have exceptions, of course. If I do wear makeup, it's simple — tinted moisturizer, eyebrow filler, mascara, blush, highlighter, and lipstick. I wish I could pull off the makeup looks Lupita Nyong'o and Solange Knowles wear effortlessly. However, my one attempt to highlight my cupid's bow with illuminator failed miserably. My boyfriend actually asked if I had sweat on my lip . . .

Makeup is a tool that can give you confidence and enhance your most beautiful features. However, next Sunday, go without and give yourself a long look in the mirror. You're gorgeous — dark circles and all!

Source: Caroline Voagen Nelson

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