a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Naked Face.

Bow Dress: H&M.
Mustard Cardigan: Forever21.
Cream Circle Scarf, Mustard Beret: Target.
Black & White Ballet Flats: Charlotte Russe.
Black Sweater Tights: JcPenny's.

I recently just finished the book I'm doing my senior paper on called Beauty Bound. It's a feminist psychology book about how society influences and pushes women to be the fair sex, be inferior to men, and how nature and the effect of media influence women to be bound by beauty itself. It was a terribly interesting book, and something that really got me thinking about my own struggles with beauty and how beauty had been controlling me for so long- without me even realizing it. That's why today for the first time in my three and a half years of high school I did not wear makeup.

Reading Beauty Bound made me realize how dependent I have become on makeup. I've gotten to the point where I am embarrassed and ashamed of my natural face without it, and refuse to show my naked face in front of all of my classmates. I've known this addiction I've had to wearing makeup for quite sometime, but finishing the book and realizing the deleterious effects this addiction to beauty has had on me is eye opening and something I realized I wanted to challenge. So this morning when getting ready for school I did not put any eye makeup on- the product that I usually put on the most. I'm rather (okay really) insecure about my tiny, narrow set eyes. When I look in the mirror, all I can see is their beadiness, and it frustrates me that I don't have wide, large, fully lashed, blue eyes. To combat this fault I find in myself, I do everything I can to make my eyes appear bigger. Black liquid eyeliner, dark eye shadows, five coats of mascara; literally. For so long I've buried my eyes in all of this gunk, that I've come to forget the natural beauty of my eyes.

Along with no eye makeup, I did not put any blush on my face, something that is also very hard to me to go without because I do not have a very defined and structured face. I view my face as a blob, and putting on blush helps me pretend that I have sculpted, high cheek bones. The only makeup product I put on my face this morning was a thin layer of foundation.

Walking into school was definitely nerve wracking. I felt the need to put my head down, to hide from my classmates my hideous, makeup less face from them. As the day went on, things got easier but the morning was rough to say the least. I was surprised by how inferior I felt to the other girls without makeup on. I didn't want to look at anyone in the face for fear of them judging me and thinking I was ugly. Every time I would pass a girl in the hallway, I would be ashamed of the way I looked and thought to myself, "she's so much prettier to me."

But I can truthfully and honestly say that as the day went on I began to feel better about myself. My face felt so clean and fresh, and it was so empowering to be all that I was without hiding behind layers of paint. Not wearing makeup was also much more convenient. I was no longer checking my face in the mirror every five seconds to see if my mascara was smeared or if my eye liner had smudged. I was just Lauren for once, and didn't have to obsessed over the way I looked.

One person even noticed I wasn't wearing makeup today and commented on how beautiful I looked. It filled my heart with so much happiness because for once, someone was praising me for the way I naturally look instead of the look I fabricate for myself. Receiving a compliment on your natural beauty is so much more gratifying that receiving one on your superficial beauty.

So what have I learned after a day with no makeup? That makeup doesn't have to define who you are as a person. I don't need my cat eye and my layers of mascara to be Lauren. I can be her without all that. Don't think, however, that this experience is going to convert me to never wearing makeup- oh no, no, no! I see makeup as a fun way to express one's creativity and artistic expression; the same way fashion is. When using makeup though becomes less of an artistic expression, but a tool that an individual uses to improve his or her self esteem, then there is a problem. Just like me, you all don't need all of that stuff and gunk to make you beautiful. Society and the media tell you that you need to have big, wide eyes, that you need to have full, luscious lips, that you need to have a chiseled, painted cheeks. Well you know what I think? Screw society and its rules! I'm challenging all of you to prove society wrong and go one day without makeup. It doesn't have to be completely naked, but just for one day don't adore the part of your face that you're most insecure about. Of course like me, it's going to feel highly uncomfortable at first and definitely is going to make you insecure. I can say honestly that if I were to do this same thing tomorrow, I would still probably be as insecure as I first was this morning. But just by trying and taking a step forward, we all can see and appreciate for once our unique beauty just as we are

With much love, Lauren.


Unknown said...

This is a coincidence that you posted about this, because recently I've had a kind of, revelation I guess, and decided that I don't want to wear makeup everyday. It was weird at first, but I just feel so much more healthy not having to rely on painting myself up. I want to have a fresh face, and I want to give it a break. I also want to teach to myself that I am beautiful without any aids. If men can get away with it, why should women feel pressured to always 'look their best' when they are beautiful without having to constantly hide behind a mask?

And you Lauren, definitely look stunning without makeup :)

xx Carina

Elanor said...

I'm eager to summon the guts up to do this soon too, actually. i admire your courage! it's strange how difficult it is to be just...ourselves..you know?

this outfit is so cheery and cute. inspired!!

Jenna said...

That dress is so cute!!
That book sounds amazing!!!! To the library!!!
"Screw society and its rules!" :D
--- Jenna

Valerie at Beauty and the Budget said...

you look stunning without makeup! i am so interested in the media and how it effects women--i took a class on it my first year in college and it changed the way i perceived everything--especially women's magazines, which i love, but hate how they force beauty ideals on us.

ps. i've been eyeing that sweater from Forever 21 for way too long now. i've got to get it! super cute!

Emily said...

This was such an inspiring post Lauren. I myself feel very insecure if I don't wear makeup on my face, but I am slowly learning that I am still the same person as I was with makeup, as I was without makeup. There has been maybe 4 times Freshman year, that I haven't worn any makeup. In a way I feel very strong inside when I don't wear any foundation, but at the same time I feel like I could crumple up in a wad, embarrassed of my acne.

As for you, girl, you look gorgeous, with or without makeup. Truly. Your eyes are so beautiful to me, your lashes look full even without mascara!


Anonymous said...

You are beautiful without make-up! What you did was brave and inspiring, I admire you so much. :) It took me a while for me to accept myself without make-up but I love myself for who I am without it now, flaws and all! Every girl should be able feel beautiful without it and what you are doing is a step in the right direction.
xo Amanda

Sarah Hartley said...

You look gorgeous! I wish I looked so good without makeup. And your dress is totally adorable.

Natasha Atkerson said...

I think most girls look better without makeup, including you! Seriously, I think I you look better (fresher, maybe?) without! The probelm is, once you wear makeup for an extended period of time, people see you without and it sort of warps you-if that makes sense? Which is why I've never worn makeup, I know that I would become attached to it and never want to leave the house without it on. I don't want anything to become my god/idol. I also think that it's interesting that most guys don't even like makeup on girls, yet girls are constantly blaming guys for makeing them wear makeup, ironic, huh?!
I love your outfit by the way! Such a great blend of neautral and pop of color!
A Modest Fashion Blog:

Natasha Atkerson said...

Just wanted to add though that I don't think makeup is "wrong", it's just not for me! I realized after I posted the comment that it sounded slightly harsh. :)

leah jean said...

You are so beautiful, and so brave! I've been thinking about this a lot lately too...I literally don't have words to describe how horrible I feel without makeup when I look around at all the other girls at my school. But I also don't have the words for the way my heart sinks a little when someone says I look pretty and I wonder, would I still look pretty all by myself? I've been trying to work up the courage to do this for a long time, and hopefully soon I will. Thanks for the lovely and encouraging posts! I just love reading your blog!

life in a nutshell

S Bee said...

I think you look really beautiful even without any make up on :):)

The dress and the print are so so cute :)

Maria said...

You really are amazing Lauren. This is such a brave thing to do, especially because in our society, wearing make-up is expected. You look so beautiful without it! Your eyes aren't the slightest bit beady and your have a lovely shaped face. I feel fabulous just reading this and I think tomorrows day at school is going to be make-up free. Thank you :)

Unknown said...

I try to do this often, as I think it is really good for you! I love makeup. It's almost a kind of art IMO. Plus it makes you look more professional and I think in some cases that factor is important! (like at work) But I also don't want to rely on it so much that is becomes a mask. I think that is really sad! Because every girl is beautiful in her natural skin, and I don't want to ever forget that.

And surprisingly, 70% of the time when my husband comments on my eyes looking beautiful, I'm not wearing any makeup!! :) It's nice to know he likes me natural too.

Thanks for posting this, as always, you are an encouragement!! :)

Oh, and I love that dress from H&M, I almost bought it last Summer!! :) The print is so adorable!

Midwest Muse said...

I love your outfit. As always. What an insightful post. You'll be so thankful when you're older that you had this little blog. I am the most minimalistic make up wearer. Mostly just eye shadow, bottom liner, and top mascara. I think it's so scary when people have caked on mounds of make up. Ew. No thanks.

Sian Thomas said...

I did a little series on my blog a while back called No Make-Up Mondays where, obviously, I wouldn't wear make up on a Monday, even though I had quite a few classes and I would always do a post that day too. It really helped me to feel more confident about myself because at first, like you, I felt awful, that everyone was staring at me and thinking how dreadful I looked, but I realised after a while, not only was no one doing that, no one actually cared - I was as horrifying without make up as I thought I was. I now generally tend wear a lot less make up than I used to, and usually 2 days a week I won't wear it, sometimes because I'm just being plain lazy, and sometimes because I just don't feel the need to. I'm so glad you brought up this issue though =) Well done you!

Sian Thomas said...

Oh and I totally forgot to say, you look amazing!! As beautiful as ever without make up =D That dress is perfect and I'm so jealous of your shoes, I had some similar and they broke and now I can't find another pair!!

The Mad Twins said...

love your look! You look so beautiful! And I adore your pictures :)

Kezzie said...

Well, I do this pretty much every day! a) I just cannot be bothered to put it on! b) I can barely scrape myself out of bed to get to school in time with the minimum, breakfast on the run, let alone anything else and c) I've always not wanted to feel I am wearing a mask!! I noticed you hadn't got make-up on in the photos and I thought you looked lovely even before reading the text explanation below. In addition, you're lucky that like me (I presume as people tell me lots) that you have a nice smile; yours makes your face bloom like a rose! Beady eyes? Whaaaaat?

Indy said...

This is an amazing post! You are absolutely gorgeous, girl.

I used to think kind of the opposite. I hated wearing makeup because I felt like people would judge me based on the fact that I like to be "pretty" rather than judge me based on my personality. Now that I've grown as a person a bit I feel more comfortable wearing makeup sometimes because I feel like who cares? I have a good personality no matter what and I don't care as much what other people think.

This is a wonderful post - thank you so much for the inspiration!

Kim said...

This is beautiful. I completely agree. Love your bowtie dress. It's adorable!

found the route

nisha said...

LOVE THAT DRESS!!! and i agree you don't need makeup...personally i never wear makeup unless its a special occasion and I must say there is alot of saved time when you don't have to get up early to put on makeup

Michelle said...

What a beautiful post! And your outfit is so inspiring, to say the least! I just want to steal it and wear it too... :) So pretty!! Xx!

Desirae said...

Ohh, I admire you so much for being able to do this! Cute dress by the way!


Amy Carter said...

You're very admirable!!! And you look terrific!!!

Anonymous said...

You look lovely without make-up...you should embrace your natural looks more often :) I can go for days without make-up...I never think about it. Then, when I go somewhere important it makes a difference :) Even so I hardly ever wear foundation, unless I'm performing for dance or going for an important meal or something. I agree that make-up should be like an extension to fashion...be creative :)

OrigamiGirl said...

You look undoubtedly beautiful without make-up. I was looking at these photos and thinking you look very sophisticated and mature.
I also have to say I love the matching mustard beret and cardigan. You have a wonderful collection of berets.

Jade said...

Adorable outfit!

Eccentric Daydream

Zane said...

you look so great - adore your smile. gorgeous ensemble too.

Maria Elyse said...

We depend so much on our appearances, relying on clothes and make-up to uphold us as individuals. You are so right. This post reminds me of a quote (I can't quite remember it exactly, so here's a good guess at it, haha, even though it will likely sound awful in my own words!) "If you were to take away all that you create your identity with: clothes, make-up, things and belongings, and stand before God with nothing but yourself, who would you discover you truly are without it all?" We let and use make-up and clothes to define us to the point of where we think that's all we are.

Wonderful post, Lauren. ♥

Maria Elyse

Ulia Ali said...

I think you look so beautiful without make up on, but I understand your feelings :) I live in Baku and here girls are very beautiful and take care of themselves, put a make up on everyday, make different hairdos even if they just go out to buy a milk. So it's like competition and I just NEED at least some blush for my cheeks when I go somewhere or some bronzer (or I will feel pale), but when I lived in UK I saw that girls don't use make up a lot, so I was comfortable with my "nude" face. I realized that I still look good and people don't think I am ugly just because I don't have tons of foundation :) And oh.. guys do like natural girls :)

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